Melbourne Dining Secrets

Arguably Australia’s gastronomic capital, Melbourne’s dining scene is dynamic and egalitarian with the rise of no-booking restaurants and affordable but innovative casual eateries. It’s also home to Attica, the nation’s most highly rated restaurant, and more Andrew McConnell eateries than you can poke a fork at. This guide features 52 of the city’s best venues across a diverse range of categories, from neo-Korean to mod-Mexican and everything in between.

More starched tablecloths and upholstered chairs are giving way to placemat menus and bar stools as Melbourne continues to embrace casual, quick-turnover dining. As a result the old distinctions between restaurant, cafe and bar have become increasingly irrelevant. What kind of place is this? More like what time of day is it? We’re also witnessing the ongoing rise of the Super Chefs – kitchen stars who’ve turned their signature establishment into a string of venues. Are they spreading themselves too thinly? Is it sustainable? Time will tell, though sustainability is increasingly top-of-mind for many restaurateurs keen to preserve overharvested species, save energy and reduce waste. In a similar vein, superfoods and specialist diets are escaping the health-food store and making it on to more mainstream menus. Maybe it’s the logical counterbalance to all those hot wings, sliders and tacos we’ve been putting away lately.