Melbourne is a city of endless creativity when it comes to eating, drinking, shopping and culture. Amongst the many options on offer it can be difficult to sort the great from the good – so here we present our guide to Melbourne’s very best so that you can go forth and indulge in the results of our tireless research! P.s. Some of these recommendations might be a tad difficult to find, so be alert – blink and you might miss it!
Need a Coffee?
Traveller | 2/14 Crossley St A city coffee bar from the same people that brought us the infamous, Seven Seeds
Captains of Industry | Level 1/2 Somerset Pl A little quirky, a little different, a very Melbourne cafe in a groovy, converted loft.
Sensory Lab | 297 Little Collins St | 9643 2222 An edgy cafe for hardcore coffee connoisseurs.
Dukes Coffee Roasters | 247 Flinders Lane | 9417 5578 The lines out the door are a sign that their coffee is a favourite amongst Melburnians.
Brother Baba Budan | 358 Little Bourke St | 9606 0449 Always busy, yet always serves up great coffee.
A Cup of Truth | Subway under Flinders St Station For a truly Melbourne experience, pick up a takeaway at this hole in the wall located deep underneath Flinders St Station in the subway that links the station and Degreaves St.
Good for Lunch
These eateries are perfect for a quick and easy relaxed lunch…
Miss Chu | 297 Exhibition St | 9077 1097 Fantastic Vietnamese hawker style fare in a funky hole-in-thewall restaurant.
Grand Park Trailer Taverna |87 Bourke St |9972 3699 An American style diner serving burgers and spiked inside old Airstream caravans.
Earl Canteen | Rear Courtyard, 500 Bourke St & Emporium Simply fabulous baguettes & cafe fare will come out faster than you can say “I love Melbourne.” Now with an outlet in the Emporium complex right next to our hotel!
Bomba | 103 Lonsdale St | 9663 1997 A great value $15 Spanish express lunch. the best lunch deal in town: 1 tapas, 1 racione and 1 side dish for only $15 and if you want more you can choose additional items to add on (nb lunch special is only Mon – Fri). Also try out their amazing rooftop bar.
Becco | 11-25 Crossley St | 9663 3000 An institution in Melbourne’s Italian dining scene, Becco is often referred to as “just like being in Italy”. It’s a great place for lovers of the good old fashioned ‘long lunch’ with delicious food (try their crab pasta) and an amazing wine list. Not cheap but an experience you will remember (Mon-Fri only).
Bowery to Williamsburg | 2 Locations: 16 Oliver Lane & 123 Hardware Lane Get all your American favourites here such as pastrami sandwiches, bagels and key lime pie.
Time for a Drink!
When it’s time for an alcholic beverage you’ll love these very uniue Melbourne bars (most of them serve food too)..
Goldilocks | Level 4, 267 Swanston St Ultra cool rooftop bar with great snacks (try their pork sliders with fresh coriander). A secret bar accessed via the old lift in the Noodle Kingdom building. Come and ask your Concierge how to get there.
Campari House | 23-25 Hardware Lane | 9600 1574 Another great rooftop bar with cheap pizzas, cold beers and friendly staff. A regular hang out on a sunny afternoon for Chief Concierge Chris Pappas!
Ponyfish Island | Under the Pedestrian Bridge on the Yarra Yes you read that correctly, it is UNDER the bridge! This bar is floating on the pontoons of one of the bridges across the Yarra. a totally unique experience that lets you see the river and the city from a different perspective. They even have their own in-house beer brand: “Unlikely Lager.”
Section 8 | Tattersalls Lane Another unusual bar. This time made out of shipping containers and packing pallets. Always busy and fun, it gets rowdy on Friday and Saturday nights.
Siglo | Rooftop, 161 Spring St | 9654 6631 Charming rooftop terrace bar reminiscent of Paris. Kirk’s Wine Bar | Hardware Lane | 9600 4550 A cosy European style bar with a great selection of wines and cheeses. Great for people watching on the famous Hardware Lane.
Cabinet | 1 Rainbow Alley | 9654 0915 Intimate bar & cosy balcony, yummy flatbreads.
Garden State Hotel | 101 Flinders Lane |8396 5777 This four story pub is an inner city garden oasis. With both indoor and outdoor places to drink at, this is the place to be this summer.
Riverland | Vault 1-9, below Federation Square Outdoor bar on the banks of the Yarra River.
Napoli Wine Bar | 30 Russell Pl | 9650 5020 Part wine bar, part wine shop, part tasting room, Napoli is our favourite secret little wine bar.
Bar Americano | 20 Presgrave Place | 9428 0055 Hard to find (ask the Concierge Desk). A tiny bar that serves the BEST apertif in town with their take on the classic Amerciano. If this baby doesn’t get your gastric juices flowing and make you enjoy your dinner then you better see a doctor
Out for Dinner
Heading out for dinner is a real treat at these divine (yet not too pricey) restaurants.
Portello Rosso | 15 Warburton Ln | 9602 2273 Laneway gem, serving tapas and fine Spanish jamon.
Izakaya Den | 114 Russell St | 9654 2977 Hidden away in a basement, this modern, sleek Japanese eatery is not at all dingy! Serving fresh flavours with even fresher cocktails, this is the place you take a date you want to impress!
Cookie | Level 1/252 Swanston St | 9663 2636 Amazing modern Thai food with an eclectic & very popular bar.
Gingerboy | 27-29 Crossley St A modern, hip restaurant serving Asian hawker-style street market food to share.
Cumulus Inc | 45 Flinders Ln | 9640 1445 Award winning chef, Andrew McConnell’s casual bar/diner, contemporary food that’s made to share.
Crystal Jade | 154 Little Bourke St | 9639 2633 A stylish Cantonese restaurant overlooking Chinatown.
Fratelli Fresh | 7 Alfred Pl | 1300 253 733 A newcomer to the Melbourne dining scene, expect simple but delicious Italian food. Order one of their fresh pasta dishes or a pizza from their state of the art wood-fired pizza ovens.
+ 39 | 362 Little Bourke St | 9642 0440 Authentic gourmet Italian pizzas.
Pretty Mama | 201t/220 Spencer St | 9034 4355 A Caribbean themed restaurant that serves plenty of rum along with Caribbean favourites, like Jerk Chicken.
Maha | 21 Bond St | 9629 5900 Middle Eastern dining at it’s best with Melbourne famous Shane Delia heading up the kitchen. Save room for the Turkish Delight Doughnuts.
Staff Dining Picks
And here’s our staff picks in the “so hot right now” category of CBD restaurants.
Pastusto | 19 AC/DC Lane | 96624556 (Recommended by Nick) Pastuso is a fabulous new Peruvian restaurant specialising in ceviche (raw fish marinated in citrus juices) and delicious smoked meats. The whole front opens up onto the laneway to make this perfect place for some summertime dining an drinking Pisco (Peruvian white grape brandy – highly recommended by your WKM team).
Rice Paper Scissors | 19 Liverpool St | 9663 9890 (Recommended by Devi) A very cool restaurant inspired by South East Asian Hawker style food. Devi says it’s got a great atmosphere, fabulous cocktails and lots of tasty little bites to share.
Lucy Liu | 23 Oliver Lane | 9639 5777 (Recommended by Alex) Fitting into the “so hot right now” category, Lucy Liu offer’s the best in pan-Asian dining. Alex recommends the yellow fin tuna tataki with wasabi ginger dressing and sesame crackers. All of the dishes are of a high standard and offer a great cross section of Asian tastes and flavours.
Campari House | 23-25 Hardware Lane | 9600 1574 (Recommended by Christos) Great Italian dishes served over 3 levels but Chris recommends having a delicious pizza in the open air rooftop bar and Bobby recommends washing it down with a nice cold beer.
Belleville | Globe Alley Chinatown | 9663 4041 (Recommended by Andreas) Andreas checked out WKM’s favourite south of the border rotisserie chicken bar. and agreed the chicken cooked in the specially imported Brazillian cooker is divine. You must try the meatballs.
Mama Buoi’s | Postal Lane (Recommended by Dave) Vietnamese home style cooking in a cool and funky setting only 2 minutes walk from the hotel. Dave says to try their fried chicken with fish sauce and ginger, and Nick goes for the crab cakes with sweet potato, corn and school shrimp.
Tipo 00 | 361 Little Bourke St | 9942 3946 (Recommended by Katherine) If you’re after carbs, this is the place for you. This wins Katherine’s vote for the best pasta in Melbourne and she says to try the spanner crab tagliolini.