Best New Restaurants in Melbourne: Where to Dine in 2023
From Korean to Thai, Latin and Italian, these are the best new restaurants in Melbourne to visit ASAP.
When it comes to dining Melbourne is a culinary melting pot, delivering everything from world-class Australian to traditional Sicilian, modern Vietnamese and Latin American with a twist. Whether you're dining for a date, a wholesome family catch up, work do, or girls' night, these are the best new restaurants in Melbourne to cater to the occasion.
Authentic, traditional and a masterclass in Italian culture, Grazia is the newest Italo destination to have on your radar in 2023. Using the freshest seasonal ingredients, this Glen Iris restaurant showcases flavoursome recipes that have been handed down through generations and enhanced to suit today’s tastes. Settle into the warmly lit and heritage listed venue layered with terrazzo floors and marble benches, atrium ceilings and pendant lighting and start the night off right with the cocktail 'Monterosso.'
The menu shines bright early with housemade focaccia, four cheese filled fior di zucca, grilled prawns with salsa verde and classic vitello tonnato. Plates of delectable pastas soon follow; think wild mushroom filled tortellini with creamy porcini and a black truffle sauce, and spaghettini with Nonna’s beef and veal meatballs. Roman-style pizzas are Grazia's specialty, but hearty plates of porchetta and decadent house-made desserts also get their due. The only thing left to say really is 'Buon appetito!'
159 Burke Road, Glen Iris
Mensho Tokyo Ramen
Melbourne's first Michelin-starred ramen has arrived in the form of Mensho Tokyo Ramen...and the queues that line out the door for it right now are a sight to see! Noodle fans and TikTok devouts alike are here to try this internationally famous restaurant's creamy tori paitan ramen and luxurious matcha soup. Patience is key, as the venue seats just 28 and the wait can last up to two hours. Or you know, make a mental note to check it out in about six months.
The signature tori paitan ramen uses chicken broth, kelp and vegetables to help develop the creamy white broth's flavour, and it's served up with fresh, handmade noodles topped with duck char siu. We're also eager to devour the GKO (garlic knock out) ramen, where this signature soup is topped with black garlic oil and three types of fried garlic. Delicious!
166 Russell Street, Melbourne
We're already hopelessly devoted to this atmospheric and intimate new Greek restaurant in Melbourne. Say 'Yassou' to Kafeneion, sitting pretty at the top end of Bourke Street in what was once hip wine bar Self Preservation. Here, join legendary restauranteur Con Christopoulos (of The European, Melbourne Supper Club and Siglo fame) and Stavros Konis (Salona, Richmond) as they invite you to experience a shared passion for authentic Greek cuisine and hospitality.
The restaurant is already bringing in rave reviews for its caper studded fava fondue best mopped up with crusty bread, avgolemono soup, whipped taramasalata, braised beef cheek and fish of the day. Offal dishes too; the sweetbreads are a must. As is the portokalopita (orange filo cake) to finish. The wine list will be half Greek, so keep the authenticity flowing by imbibing in Aegean-only vino by the carafe.
In brilliant news, Christopoulos is looking for a larger 150-seat site so that Kafeneion can put down permanent roots sometime this spring. We'll see you there!
70 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Bringing a touch of luxury and refinement to Chadstone's dining scene, this truly is one of the best new restaurants in Melbourne. Led by the team behind South Melbourne’s Half Acre, Cityfields is so much more than just a restaurant though. It also plays host to a central public bar, with 12-metre high ceilings, and two separate levels for dining (both with indoor and outdoor seating), offering a unique take on a European brasserie not seen outside of Paris or New York City.
Infusing the ambiance of a classic brasserie with the flirty vibes of a European house party, the all-day menu is a fiery balance of wood-fire cooking and traditional flavours, while the drinks list features all of your favourites from around the globe. Drinks wise, prepare yourself for a memorable cocktail experience and/or the perfect Insta moment; you'll just have to find out for yourself what that means!
Dessert comes in the form of a roaming custom cake cart displaying a selection of housemade cakes, slices and tarts to choose from. So whether you're after an epicurean feast with friends or a romantic rendezvous, a boozy brunch or a post-retail therapy recharge, this is the best new restaurant in Melbourne in which to have it all... and eat your cake too.
Chadstone - The Fashion Capital, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone
North & Common
There's definitely something going right when you're a new restaurant and you're already being awarded a Good Food Guide hat. Produce driven, seasonal, neighbourhood dining has arrived to Pentridge with the introduction of North & Common. What was once a prison cafeteria is now a remarkably beautiful new restaurant in Coburg - and we're very much in favour of this reformation. If you're a Northerner (or Northerner at heart) book a seat to indulge in an intimate a la carte dinner for two, or for a lively group experience with share portions that make ordering a breeze. The crustacean risoni is as vibrant and rich as it is mouthwatering. Seafood in general is done supremely well here, and you'll also the citrus cured kingfish with shaved radish and cucumber, and rock oysters with peach mignonette. The spatchcock with confit shallot and fermented chilli was another menu gem, best paired with the charred cabbage and romesco side. The drinks are also thoughtfully considered, with unique cocktail offerings and delicious drops of wine for you to match with your meal. We can't wait to go back again, and then once more for their weekend brunch offering.
1 Pentridge Boulevard, Coburg
Mansae Korean BBQ
Sibling to it's CBD counterpart (which was voted one of Melbourne's best K-BBQ joints) Mansae Korean BBQ has put down new roots in Burwood East - and it's never looked better! Translating to 'hip-hip-hooray', it's a true commemoration of one of Korea's most authentic dining experiences. The new location offers a larger menu and dining space, with the same quality and attention to detail as in the CBD. Fun, interactive and casual, Mansae delivers the very best in quality Australian Wagyu beef and free-range prime pork, cooked fresh at the table over the hot grill - the proper K-BBQ way. All you need to do is gather your friends... and feast!
Shop 12/2 Burwood Highway, Burwood East
Dolly at Le Meridien
This glamorous new hotel dining experience is a total vision, serving up nostalgic looks from a bygone golden era of Hollywood. Pretend you're Ava Gardner as you descend the Art Deco staircase at newly-minted Le Meridien, stepping off gracefully into Dolly. Named after the dolly zoom camera technique pioneered during Hitchcock’s 1958 masterpiece ‘Vertigo’, the name pays homage to iconic storytelling and the site’s long history. Originally a hotel, through to theatre, cinema, live music venue, and entertainment playground, right back around to hotel again. Atmospheric to its core, come for the cinematic cocktails, premium wines, and nostalgic European-inspired menu with a Melbourne twist. You won't regret a dinner date here; it's a little bit (a lot) magic!
Le Meridien, 20 Bourke Street, Melbourne
What was once Yagiz is now Yan, Narada Kudinar's South Yarra counterpart to his hatted Sydney smokehouse. Diners can expect to enjoy most of the dishes served up at Sydney flagship, from beef tataki served with smoked mussels and an anchovy wasabi crumb, to the staff favourite smoked beef short rib. Not all dishes are smoked, but all are designed to pair well with smoky notes.
The must-try dessert features coconut ice cream and coconut jelly, served inside a young coconut - a favourite among the Instagram crowd. Perhaps more exciting are the new menu items that have been developed for the unique Melbourne palate, utilising locally sourced ingredients to ensure a refined dining experience.
Drinks wise, sip on expertly cocktails that are similarly East Asian-inspired. The Dutch Colonial cocktail is a must-try - prepare for a cinematic moment!
22 Toorak Road, South Yarra
It doesn't get much better than bowls of perfectly done pasta, and one of the best new restaurants in Melbourne is more than up to the task. Reaching great new Italian heights is Alta Trattoria, bringing Piemontese cooking and wines to Fitzroy. Put on your stretchy pants and prepare to feast, on humble, feel-good trattoria style dishes like vitello tonnato, rabbit ragu taglioni, fish of the day and a fig and ricotta crostata. Buonissimo!
Ground Floor Rear/274 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Serving authentic Mexican street food and tacos in Bayside, Chilpa is the bright new sister to Melbourne Mexican favourite La Tortilleria. Vibrant in both exterior and nature, step inside and let Melbourne's tortilla experts serve you their delicious corn creations, alongside a fantastic lineup of margaritas and agave-fuelled tipples. Go for the chilaquiles (kind of like nachos, featuring a saucy blend of totopos, salsa roja, cream and cheese), the super zesty and delightfully spicy ceviche, the fish taco, and their birria beef taco, paired with a traditional consomme for dipping. And don't forget dessert — their take on the classic flan is made from a family recipe; and it's muchos buenos!
2 Railway Parade, Highett
No ovens, just open flame, smoke, charcoal and a healthy dose of fermentation. That's the ethos behind this fiery new Fitzroy favourite, Flint. Pop in Tuesday through Saturday from 4pm onwards for snacks that lead into heartier dinner fare. Enjoy an array of delicious share plates the likes of milk bread with bone marrow butter, oysters with fermented green chilli, oxtail skewers with kohlrabi pickle, and the super popular smoked carrot dish, served with house labneh.
Impressive vegetarian options aside, when it comes to mains it's all about the meat, with delicious steak a given, for obvious charred and flame-licked reasons, as well as larger plates such as mackerel and duck. The menu is subject to seasonality and availability, so expect the unexpected.
The intimate space has a private mezzanine dining room overlooking the open kitchen, providing the perfect set-up for a date night to serve just the right amount of heat.
199 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Cicchetti on Napier
For a relaxed yet refined Italian dining experience in unassuming Strathmore, Cicchetti on Napier will welcome you in with open arms. What's in a name? Well, Cicchetti is a Venetian term for small snacks and sides, often served atop bread. And that's exactly what you should order here first, to get the ball rolling... followed by a ball of burrata, obviously!
For more cheesy goodness, the goat cheese balls are worth their weight in gold; for a refreshing pick-me-up, the kingfish ceviche, swimming in a tangy buttermilk with herbed oil and green chilli is a popular choice.
Pastas and mains are also highlights, with slow cooked osso bucco pappardelle, fish of the day, bistecca alla Fiorentina and chicken cotoletta all hearty and delicious dishes. And you'd be remiss not to order the iceberg wedge salad as a side, with a creamy housemade dressing and truffle pecorino.
Simple yet glorious Italian fare combined with an elegant setting, friendly service, and a spritz or glass of red in hand - what more can you ask for in your next date night destination?!
283 Napier Street, Strathmore
Image Credit: Griffin Simm
Say hello to Saint Hotel - a new and multi-tiered drinking and dining mecca housed inside St KIlda's beloved Saint building. You might know the historic building from its many different faces over the years as a bank, pub and more recently a nightclub. It now featuring five striking drinking and dining concepts all under one roof, including Saint Dining, Saint Bar, and Bar 54. Headed by Executive Chef Gary Lai, Saint Dining brings fine dining flair and a produce-driven menu to proceedings, all built around a Josper charcoal grill. Settle into one of the buttery leather banquette seats bathed in light and linger over a long meal with perfectly cooked steak as the main attraction. Saint Bar is a more casual bar and dining spot, where guests can enjoy a namesake 'Saint Burger' or prawn katsu sando. Bar 54 pays homage to the glamour of NYC's infamous Studio 54, and is a sumptuous spot for cocktails and a snack or two. A true labour of love, Saint Hotel has so much to offer, and we for one can't wait to enjoy a night out here.
54 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Image Credit: Jake Roden
Beverly Rooftop is a luxurious foodie escape bringing the glamour of Beverly Hills to Melbourne. It's also dishing up a previously untouched 270-degree view of the city, with the breathtaking scenes set to leave you breathless - and hungry for more! Don't let that hunger go to waste - the food and drinks are just as striking as the scenery. Enjoy a Southern Californian-influenced menu, with modern Australian approach. Think salmon carpaccio, burrata, barramundi with smoked seaweed butter, and expertly executed wagyu steak, alongside magnificent glasses of local bubbles, finely crafted cocktails, and skin contact drops. It's been years in the making for this intimate space, which welcomes diners in for long lunches that become dinners and one cocktail turned into too many. In a word: unmissable.
Goldfields House, Level 24, 627 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Multi-storeyed venues are becoming a seriously cool fixture on Melbourne's dining scorecard - and Richmond's Pizzeria Da Bruno proves a new and ever so worthy contender. This new Italian eatery has five storeys, including two rooftop bars - and it's very much a choose your own adventure type of experience. On the menu? An impressive cocktail list and laid-back menu of Italian favourites, including classic pizza offerings and saucy pastas. Sip on a negroni as you take in impeccable 360 degree views of the city, slip inside the 80's vibes of the mezzanine for a multi-course feast with friends, or dip down into the neon-hued basement for one of their signature cheeseburgers; it's perfect late night fuel.
221 Swan Street, Richmond
The Delia Group have re-launched Maha Bar as Maha North, a Middle Eastern-inspired and wine-focused brasserie synonymous with the Maha name. Serving up signature Middle Eastern-inspired dishes in an eclectic yet unpretentious setting, the menu champions seasonal ingredients and favours bold flavours. It's a replication of the menu and ambience of sister venue Maha East, simply delivered with a northside twist. The interior refresh also delivers elegance and sultriness in spades, a sensibility that lends itself to anything from an evening spent tasting all the wines and small plates with your bestie, to a fun date night, or special occasion dinner. A refined drinking and dining experience.
86 Smith Street, Collingwood
Tucked away within the bluestone walls of the 150-year-old Terminus Hotel in Fitzroy North, Cinder is a celebration of cooking over fire, with Head Chef Jake Furst's fiery feasts all about premium cuts of steak, fresh seafood and seasonal produce. Rich hues of teal and burnt orange beautifully offset exposed bluestone in a space that combines casual fine dining with the warmth of traditional hospitality. Cosy, intimate and refined, it's perfect for your next autumn date night.
Sitchu Tip: Opt for the 4-course Chef's Table menu and expect generous portions, elegantly-plated dishes and a smorgasbord of flavour. The oysters (served with a creamy, citrusy and spicy sauce), scallops with Cafe de Paris butter, lamb backstrap with salsa verde and miso macadamia, and a spectacularly charred, smoky wagyu flank were absolute standouts.
See you in steak heaven!
492 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Sydney institution Totti's has arrived in Victoria - and we couldn't be more here for it! This newly-minted beachside restaurant is situated within the airy confines of the Lorne Hotel; take a seat in its bright, trattoria-style confines and be transported to the Italian coast. With a menu designed for sharing, It's all about simple. delicious. produce-focused Italian food best enjoyed with your favourite people. Think succulent lobster pasta, wood-grilled King George whiting, and Apollo Bay calamari, along with Totti’s classics; antipasti, woodfired bread, platters of fresh tomatoes, anchovies swimming in perfect olive oil, glorious burrata, handmade pastas and tiramisu. Whether you’re in the mood for a sip and a snack, or want to linger awhile, soak up the fun, flavour and coastal vibes at Totti’s Lorne on your next weekend along the Great Ocean Road.
176 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne
Prince Dining Room
St Kilda icon Prince Dining Room has been reinvigorated with a new dining offering that promises to be "the freshest menu this side of the Aegean" and some seriously tasty cocktails. Honouring the storied venue's history, the fit out features Art Deco custom furniture with modernist design touches and black and white photography. The result? A setting that is both glamorous and inviting.
Prince Dining Room's new menu, from Executive Chef Dan Cooper, celebrates flavours and spices from the Mediterranean, with a focus on cooking over flames. Expect dishes that let the produce sing, including a southern calamari with red pepper and spiced almond, beef tartare with a gruyere puff and a Tasmanian lamb rump with smoked eggplant and tahini.
2 Acland Street, St Kilda
A new hidden gem in Footscray has arrived. Opening Friday March 3rd, with an unassuming yet warmly lit frontage on a quiet pocket on Barkly Street, Matsu is the intimate omakase experience the West has been missing. Set to showcase the finest produce from Australia and Japan... this is a new Melbourne dining destination not to be missed!
157A Barkly Street, Footscray
Tortas and Tacos
Fitzroy's friendly neighbourhood Mexican food stand has seamlessly upgraded to a full-blown taqueria. Welcome to the bolder (and boozier) Tortas and Tacos, where you can take a seat in red-lit surrounds and order up a margarita or two. If you're hungry go for the likes of the Pollo Millanesa and Al Pastor tortas; and for lighter fare, you'll delight in a delicious array of tacos. They often have various cured fish and vegetarian tostadas specials, and for dessert? You best say hello to their chocolate-cinnamon and caramel-guajillo ice cream tacos.
30 Johnston Street, Fitzroy
Image credit: Kate Shanasy
KIN at All Saints Estate
Looking for the perfect dining experience to take your upcoming Rutherglen Wine Region escape to new heights? Look no further, because All Saints Estate has opened doors to its flagship restaurant KIN, led by Executive Chef Jack Cassidy.
Connected to the Cellar Door, this gorgeous new restaurant celebrates Estate wines and produce from the region, and the Estate itself.
Owners and siblings, Eliza, Nick and Angela Brown, drew on favourite family memories while conceptualising the space, reimagining recipes that have been passed down through generations. ??The space itself has been thoughtfully designed to foster connectivity and socialising.
?Highlights on the modern-Australian menu include kangaroo tartare with black garlic and rye, the rainbow trout with smoked chilli and dill, roasted eggplant with bush tomato and kale, a marble score 4 striploin and bone marrow, and Mount Ophir apricots served with lemon verbena cream.
Rutherglen Wine Region, 205 All Saints Road, Wahgunyah
Look to the corner of Lygon and Victoria for Figlia, a cool and classy new Italian eatery sporting perfectly light sourdough pizza, chargrilled snacks, and minimal intervention wine aplenty. From the team behind two of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants, Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria, this is one new restaurant in Melbourne you don't want to miss.
Whether you’re looking for a quick bite to eat and a seat at the large horseshoe bar or after something more substantial with a few friends at dinner time, Figlia (meaning little sister) is only too happy to provide - and it’s always best to start things off with a drink. The beverage list is filled to brim with tasty cocktails, hazy IPAs and wild-fermented sour beers, and lots of well-priced Italian and Australian natural wines.
Food wise, you’re going to want to try one of everything, with impressive snack plates of octopus skewers and fermented green chilli, duck mortadella, vitello tonnato and deliciously charred peperonata swimming in pinenuts and a basil cream. And then there’s the pizzas – well, it’s the ultimate combination of a great Italian thin-crust pie, with light sourdough tang and considered char, and a range of tantalising toppings evoking modern Australiana.
Be sure to swing a little left of centre and try a cavolo nero, stracciatella, fermented cabbage and chilli variety, or pork and fennel salsiccia with radicchio and mozzarella.
331 Lygon Street, Brunswick East
The art of Korean slow food has flown into Cockatoo, hidden well within the hills of the Dandenong Ranges. What began as a 6-seat namesake restaurant out of a one-bedroom apartment in Brunswick has been transformed into a modest yet ultra-unique restaurant. It epitomises the beauty and simplicity of cooking, and is a must-try restaurant in regional Victoria.
By mastering traditional Korean fermentation and promoting holistic wellness through healthy eating practices, Chae's natural approach to cooking will leave you wanting more. More so again when you experience its intimate and ambient setting, in perfect harmony with the whispering gum leaves and laughter of kookaburras that only add to the serenity. .
33 Mountain Road, Cockatoo
If you haven't paired Thai with a snappy little pet nat, you've really been missing out, and Thai Tide is here to show you why. Regional Thai dishes, Australian natural wine and a feel good setting are all the keys you need for a good time, and they've got the formula down to a fine art. Food wise, comforting Thai stir fries from Central Bangkok, grilled dishes, oysters, Thai salad, crispy pork belly and simmering curries with distinct flavour from different regions of Thailand fill the menu, alongside a cracking list of wild, cloudy and ultra-drinkable natural wines to be poured alongside. Next level Thai dining.
171 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Laotian isn’t easy to come by in Melbourne – and that’s why Richmond’s Jeow is something to get excited about. Borne out of a love for the bright and funky flavours of Laotian cuisine and inspired by suburban Laotian eateries of Australia’s two major cities, it’s here to satisfy cravings and quench your thirst. It’s also the perfect opportunity to provide your palate with something fresh and unique.
The menu might include tasty snacks of spiced herb sausage with cabbage and Vietnamese mint, grilled shellfish and betel leaf, crispy rice salad with coconut, pomelo and fermented pork, and heartier dishes like wok-tossed Goolwa pippies with chilli jam, and beef short rib stew with wood ear mushroom, long melon, pepper leaf oil and dill. If you can, be sure to try the durian and white chocolate Swiss roll with Meyer lemon marmalade for dessert.
338 Bridge Road, Richmond
Calling all Lost Boys…. say hello to Rufio, a brand-new Latin fusion and 100% gluten-free restaurant, bar and rooftop that’s opened in St Kilda – from the team behind Elwood’s Repeat Offender. ‘Rufio’ originates from rufus, meaning ‘redhead,’ which bodes well for this elegant and uplifting venue – it’s already standing out amongst the crowd along this classic St Kilda strip.
Slip inside this beautiful dining space and outdoor jungle for one of their fantastic signature cocktails (hello cherry Pisco sour) and a specially crafted menu of delicious food boasting Latin-American flair with European influences. Think lobster or wild mushroom tostadas, slow-cooked chargrilled octopus, and a spiced half chicken with black pudding, pumpkin, and Bolivian pepper sauce. The perfect spot to eat and drink to your heart’s desire.
188 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
Al Dente Sapori
Italian dreaming: Andrea Vignali and Davide Bonadiman have opened their second Melbourne restaurant, Al Dente Sapori in Carlton. The existing Italian provedore has been updated into a casual eatery serving up traditional flavours inspired by the duo's childhood. Bonus points: It's BYO and customers can still purchase Italian pantry products used in the pair’s recipes from the surrounding shelves. Highlight dishes are the delicious vitello tonnato, a gnocchi alla sorrentina and the spaghetti alle vongole. Mangia, mangia!
161 Nicholson Street, Carlton
Stokehouse Pasta & Bar
St Kilda's Stokehouse has a new sand-level sibling, Stokehouse Pasta & Bar. The downstairs venue (formerly known as Pontoon), has been re-envisioned into a laid-back, all-day Mediterranean eatery boasting an offering that is European in flavour and Australian in style. Slip inside to enjoy tortellini with spinach, ricotta and pine nuts, a towering pesto lasagna, pillowy gnocchi with cacio e pepe sauce, or the crowd favourite spaghetti with crab and chilli. For mains, Murray cod and Cape Grim sirloin are on offer, both designed to share around the table, much like the punchy snack list. Finish the meal on a high note with a classic Tiramisu in the shape of the hugely popular Stokehouse Bombe Alaska.
30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
Classic wine bar vibes abound WoodsYard, a neighbourhood pizza and small plates joint nestled by Albert Park Lake. Pizza wise, the well-crafted sourdough bases are naturally fermented and then laden with local produce, (like guanciale, chilli, honey and buffalo mozzarella), before being fired in a wood oven. The tightly-executed small plates range from oysters and kingfish sashimi, to anchovy toast with salsa verde and goats cheese and snack-tastic gnocco fritto. The list of natural, biodynamic and organic pours changes almost daily, and there's a range of wild-fermented craft beers from the likes of Hop Nation on tap and by the tin. They also make a mean dirty martini.
74 Eastern Road, South Melbourne
Looking for more of the best new restaurants in Melbourne? We've got plenty of delicious eateries to fuel your appetite. From gourmet burgers and Italian pizza joints, to romantic date nights and boozy brunches, we've whittled down the coolest things to do in Melbourne to make sure your next dinner date is a complete success.