Italian restaurants in Southbank, Melbourne. Many of the Italian restaurants in Melbourne's Southbank area are based in and around the sparkling Southgate precinct, a short stroll from the central business district and overlooking the stately Yarra River. Waterfront terraces with outdoor seating make the most of the sweeping views, while the décor is big on airy plate glass and clean-lined modern design. Options range from sophisticated contemporary gourmet dining to bustling eateries serving a crowd-pleasing mix of grazing plates, pastas, grills and pizzas. In either case, expect a great choice of craft beers and well-reviewed wines to wash down your meal.