Melbourne is a city known for its culinary delights. From its thriving cafe culture to the innumerable bars, restaurants and clubs scattered throughout the city’s laneways and riversides, Australia’s culture-capital is sure to be a thrill for any foodie looking to broaden their horizons. With that said, the seemingly-infinite number of tasty temptations can make it difficult to know where you should begin. So, to help you fully embrace your visit and experience every flavour the city has to offer, here are a few of our top picks for restaurants to visit while staying in Melbourne!
Too often, it can feel as if our restaurant experiences are too homogenised. Many restaurants feel as if they need to appeal to the widest group of people by offering the same tried-and-tested meals that we have seen time and time again. Whilst this is by no means a bad thing in and of itself, with delicious classic meals being available at practically any location, it loses the excitement of having a true culinary “experience”.
Thankfully, there are establishments like Attica that are still taking bold risks with their menus and providing a more artistic approach to dining. Chef Ben Shewry takes inspiration from local mythology, personal life experiences and everything in between, crafting unforgettable menus in the process that have captivated Melbourne’s food-lovers for over 15 years.
Even taking a step away from its menu, Attica’s sense of place and dedication to atmosphere makes any visit feel special and unique. Shewry’s native philosophy can be seen in everything from Attica’s handmade Australian tableware to their use of native ingredients. For anyone that is hoping to enjoy 5-star eating whilst also having an experience that is truly-unquestionably Australian most make a reservation. Well… That’s if you CAN get a reservation…
Small, understated, and full of flavour; Anchovy certainly lives up to its namesake. Offering a fine-dining take on Southeast Asian traditions, Anchovy is the brainchild of acclaimed chef Thi Le, who has turned this minute restaurant into one of the city’s most celebrated eateries. With classic dishes including charred beef tongue skewers dripping with caramel and pickled muscles doused in all manner of flavours, Thi Le brings each dish to life with a level of skill and consistency that you can only get from a true master of the art form. So, if you’re looking for a tasteful way to step out from the usual food options, Anchovy is an excellent place to start.
Care to add an extra dash of romance to your evening meal? Well, few restaurants will provide you with the same level of care and chivalry as Florentino; Melbourne’s bastion of high-class Italian dining. Florentino originally opened its doors in 1928, and to this day offers diners a sense of class and tradition rarely seen outside period dramas. Where else can you go for waiters to open the door for you, politely hang up your coat, and treat you to some of the city’s finest food in a Renaissance-esque setting?
For those that are hoping to splash out and do away with their budgeting for the night, Florentino’s five-course set menu is practically a thing of legend, with wine pairings that have been sourced from France, Italy, and the finest local suppliers. It may not be the first choice for everyone, but if you’re a person that appreciates the finer things, or you’re looking to treat your special someone, Florentino is sure to impress.
It’s hard to walk more than 10 steps in Melbourne without stumbling across a unique place to taste the many flavours of the city, and this list is by no means exhaustive. However, if you’re new to the city, or just hoping to step outside your comfort zone and treat yourself or a loved one to a night out, then we hope you’ll give these establishments a try.
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