The 10 Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne CBD
Updated: Sep 9
Mamma mia! A culinary tour of Rome to Sicily, all in the heart of Melbourne CBD.
When you think of a nice meal with a group of friends, Italian is one of the top cuisines that come to mind. There’s so much variety with Italian food from delicious cheap $20 meals to high class romantic fusion Italian food . With around 37% of Melbourne’s population deriving an Italian heritage, you can be sure that Melbourne’s Italian food scene provides all the best eats and more.
1. Tipo 00 ($$$$)
When you think of Melbourne’s finest pastas made from the best flour, you can’t stray far away from Tipo 00. Boasting numerous awards from The Age Good Food Guide, Time Out Food Awards and Good Food, the generous 40 seater restaurant can be found being booked weeks ahead of time. If you eat here, we recommend the renowned, decadent ‘tipomisu’ with a blend of chocolate, coffee and mascarpone. It's a dessert that leaves you wanting more after each bite.
Address: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne
Contact: (03) 9942 3946
Hours: Mon – Sat (11:30am-10pm)
2. Il Bacaro ($$$$)
“Try to walk past II Bacaro when it's in full swing without feeling just a little pang of envy. The simple, stylish dining room is one of the city's most intimate and alluring.” The Age - Good Food Guide 2010
Il Baraco not only has the ambiance to set an alluring evening of fun but it also has the food to deliver the full experience. Their dishes use the rich flavours of Venetian cuisine alongside Victorian produce and makers to deliver the Melbourne dining experience. Priding themselves also on their wine collection which extends from vineyards and wine regions in France to Italy and all the way back to local Australian wines, Il Bacaro brings Melbourne the quintessential Italian dining experience.
Address: 168-170 Lt Collins St, Melbourne
Contact: 03 9654 6778
Hours: Lunch: Mon - Sat (noon-3pm); Dinner: Mon-Thu (6-10:30pm), Fri-Sat (6-11pm)
3. Marameo ($$$$)
Marameo calls themselves an Italian dinner party and describes themselves as the ‘cheeky younger sister whose M.O. is mischief’. When you step through the doors, get ready to be greeted by hospitable staff and a friendly, fun atmosphere combined with a twist on original Italian food. Although the menu has a small selection of meals, each dish is packed with flavour and each bite leaving you wanting more. Not only are they serving up delicious dishes at night but you can even get express lunches between 12pm-3pm. Pay $20 to receive spaghetti cacio e pepe, you can add black truffle for only an extra $5 - that’s what we call a bargain!
Address: 6 Russell Place, Melbourne, 3000
Contact: 03 9639 7822
Hours: Mon-Thu (noon-10pm); Fri (noon-11pm); Sat (5:30-11pm)
4. Bar Carolina ($$$$)
Missing a taste of Europe? Sitting down at Bar Carolina takes you back to a simple elegance and beauty of European design. The 6 metre bar made of walnut and matching walnut stools
to sit on is matched with a white tiling underneath - designed by Chris Connell (Agostino, Dukes Coffee Roasters, Bar Carolina) . With a large wine selection ranging from mostly Italian but has a few items from France and our local Australia. Don’t be fooled by the fancy and extensive drinks menu because the food here still is able to pack a punch! Their dishes put a cheekiness onto traditional Italian dishes with items such as Scallop carpaccio with honey-fermented yuzu.
Address: 44 Toorak Rd, South Yarra, Melbourne, 3141
Contact: 03 9820 9774
Hours: Mon-Sat (5:30pm-late); Wed-Sat (noon-3pm)
5. Capitano ($$$$)
Serving only the best of pizzas, Capitano brings you high quality sourdough pizza bases made with fresh milled Australian certified organic flour. Every ingredient is sourced from Australian local produce to ensure the freshest food delivered onto your plate - even the salumi and mozzarella is Australian! This American-Italian eatery has a fun social atmosphere where one can even find vodka sauce on one or two of the pasta dishes.
Address: 421 Rathdowne St, Carlton, Melbourne, 3053
Contact: 03 9134 8555
Hours: Mon-Thu (5:30-10pm); Fri (5:30-11pm); Sat (noon-11pm); Sun (noon-9pm)
6. Bar Idda ($$$$)
Lygon Street’s favourite lively music bar where each dish is jam-packed with regional traditional Sicilian cuisine. If you want to have a bite to eat here, you need to book in advance - this inexpensive restaurant usually has a line out the door with customers waiting to have fun in their social atmosphere. If you’re looking for a fun night out, we recommend getting the $20 litre of ‘Bar Idda red’ or ‘Bar Idda white’, this will ensure your night is nothing less than the best.
Address: 132 Lygon St, Brunswick East, Melbourne, 3057
Contact: 03 9380 5339
Hours: Tue-Sun (6-10pm)
7. Grossi Florentino ($$$$)
One of Melbourne’s truely best Italian restaurants comes Grossi Florentino, kept under the ownership of the Grossi family for 18 years this restaurant serves nothing but the best. Although on the pricier side, they make up with the attention to detail they put in every bite of their food from even their sourdough which is accompanied by cultured butter, organic olive oil, and ricotta and balsamic. With 3 generations of families refining this restaurant to stand out, it can almost be considered the cream of the crop in Melbourne Italian eateries.
Address: 1/80 Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000
Contact: 03 9662 1811
Hours: Mon-Fri (noon-3pm); Mon-Sat (6pm-late)
8. Lagotto ($$$$)
Looking to buy some food? Maybe you want to grab a bite to eat first and even some wine. Lagotto does it all with its European inspired décor and their friendly staff. It’s a place where the food is great but the people are better, not only do they have amazing house-made focaccia - equal parts salty and spongy, but they also buy cheeses, cured meats and other snacks from Australia and Italy. If you’re looking for anything Italian - look no further than Lagotto.
Address: 1 York Street, Fitzroy North, Melbourne, 3068
Contact: 03 9005 1953
Hours: Mon-Wed (7am-3pm); Thurs-Fri (7am-late); Sat (8am-10pm); Sun (8am-5pm)
9. Osteria Ilaria ($$$$)
We’re seen traditional Italian restaurants but Osteria Ilaria gives us a modernised spin on Italian dishes and a selection of beverages from around the world. In 2017, this restaurant was given two Time Out Awards for ‘Restaurant of the Year’ and ‘Chef of the Year’, giving its competitors a scare with how good their food is at their prices. We recommend the lamb tartare covered in purple eggplant, purple Congo potato crisps and hints of rosemary oil.
Address: 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000
Contact: 03 9642 2287
Hours: Mon-Sat (noon-10:30pm)
10. Di Stasio Citta ($$$$)
Opened only in 2019, this restaurant has already begun to put it’s name on the map of top Italian restaurants in Melbourne. Your first task is finding the restaurant with no signage or number, but once you’re in don’t forget to take in the modern art and design of Di Stasio Citta. Designed with a modern minimalist look, it doesn’t forget it’s Italian traits as it’s designed with vintage Italian touches from the music to hand painted artworks. Although this place might leave your wallet feeling a little bit empty, it’s food will take you through an otherworldly experience. We recommend the capellini con granchio which is angel hair pasta and crabmeat with notes of garlic, chilli and white wine.
Address: 45 Spring St, Melbourne, 3000
Contact: 03 9070 1177
Hours: Everyday (11.30am-late)