These are the best new restaurants in Melbourne
Char-grilled octopus, New York-style pizza, a Middle Eastern feast – no matter what you're in the mood for, these hot new openings in Victoria's capital city will set your tastebuds on fire.
- March 2019
As the culinary capital of Australia, there are so many new restaurants opening all the time around Melbourne it can be hard to keep up. Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you and come up with our pick of the latest openings. There’s something for every taste and one thing’s for sure: you won’t be going home hungry.
Get your American-Italian red sauce vibe on at Capitano, a Carlton pub-turned-New York-style pizza joint starring thin-crust beauties (toppings include ’nduja, the spicy Calabrian salami paste, or pickled chilli and rainbow chard). Add excellent pasta and a mighty veal parma built for two and say “ciao, bella”.
Order the okra fried in cumin-spiked chickpea batter, add a squeeze of lemon and pair with a glass of Lebanese wine. Middle Eastern-accented city dweller Bar Saracen’s snacking game is strong, with a grazing-friendly menu of silken hummus with prawns and boreks filled with spinach, egg and cheese. With paint-stripped-walls and Moorish-style windows, it’s like a little slice of Beirut in Melbourne.
Hakka Chinese cuisine gets its turn in the spotlight at this cute Carlton newcomer, offering an easygoing canteen vibe (complete with colourful chopsticks). The meat-heavy soul food of the northern region warms Melbourne’s cockles with the likes of braised pork belly with mustard greens, best washed down with something from their natural-leaning wine list. Word to the wise: don’t miss the mapo tofu jaffle.
The stocks have risen even further on South Yarra’s well-heeled Domain Road thanks to chef Scott Pickett planting his flag opposite the Botanic Gardens. Anchoring the United Places boutique hotel, the timber and leather-clad charms of Matilda bring primo produce cooked over flame, including a stand-out whole charred Lakes Entrance baby octopus. File under “luxe to the max”.
A tiny 15-seat restaurant at the end of the Hurstbridge train line, Greasy Zoe’s is all about the local, the sustainable and the amazing kitchen talents of Zoe Birch. Make a day (or a night) of it and settle into the farmhouse-style dining room for a modern Australian tasting menu featuring the region’s best produce.