Pizza? Pasta? Or something sweet? Transport your tastebuds with our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne!
Melbourne has one of the largest and proudest Italian communities in the world, with an unofficial Little Italy in Lygon Street. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that Italian restaurants dot Melbourne’s streets much like toppings on a pizza with the lot.
With so many great Italian restaurants to choose from, often right next to each other, it can be hard to know where to find the tastiest trattoria. This list is here to cut through the crud and offer only the finest Italian cuisine in the city. So take a walk with us to the top 10 Italian restaurants in Melbourne of 2022:
One of the oldest restaurants in Melbourne, Grossi Florentino has transcended into legendary status since it started in the early years of the 20th century. Steeped in traditional Italian cuisine, this fine dining experience blends luxury and service into an idyllic night out. For those looking to indulge themselves, the five-course Gran Tour set menu is a celebration for the senses. In addition to an unmatched Italian restaurant, Grossi Florentino is also renowned for its wine bar in the same Bourke Street location, carrying the high-quality standards you’ve come to expect the Florentino name. One of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne, you’ll be chef kissing after every bite.
The Carlton-based DOC should be front-of-mind for anyone wanting some of the best pizza in Melbourne. DOC, a reference to the Italian system for evaluating quality foods, is an appropriate name for this Italian restaurant fixture, priding itself on using ingredients and recipes from across Italy. The menu itself lets you know that you’re in for a flavour tour de force, curating the best that Italian cuisine has to offer. Taste the difference of these high-quality ingredients with their signature woodfire oven pizzas. Only a short tram ride from Melbourne’s CBD, you have no excuse from missing this tasteful journey!
There are few things as warm and welcoming as an Italian nonna’s kitchen, and that is what Trattoria Emilia has recreated in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling CBD. Pitching itself as rustic cuisine refined, Trattoria Emilia combines traditional Italian food with a casual dining experience. With high-quality ingredients and top-tier chefs, you can be sure that anything from the menu is going to be a cosy reminder of how good Italian food can be. Add in a few friends and you’re in for an unforgettable night out at one of the top Italian restaurants in Melbourne.
While many Italian restaurants in Melbourne stick to the tried-and-true staples of pasta and pizza, Osteria Ilaria is not afraid to offer a taste of modern Italian cuisine. Here, the fine chefs at Osteria want to broaden your horizons of what Italian cooking means: think smoked eel, beef sirloin and barbeque pork neck which are just a few of the dishes meant to breathe new interest in the fabled cuisine. A modernist interior reminiscent of a wine cellar, Osteria Ilaria on Little Bourke Street is just the place to go for those thrill seekers wanting something unexpected.
For those looking for a more approachable way into Italian food, Capitano is the way to go. An American-Italian eatery brought to Australian shores, the menu at Capitano revolves around the holy trinity of Italian cuisine: pizza, pasta, and great wine. As for the art deco interior, it makes this Carlton restaurant as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the tastebuds. Visit Capitano for one of the best modern Italian restaurants in Melbourne!
Those on the hunt for the best pasta in Melbourne should turn their attention to the refined dining of Tipo 00. A reference to the finely ground flour used in Italy for pizza and pasta, Tipo 00 pasta bar is renowned for their silky strands of premium pasta. Whether gnocchi or tortellini, these pastas are elevated by delectable sauces that stand out from the pack. Here you can also pair your delicious pasta with a selection of top-notch wines imported from the best vineyards in Italy. Decked in a minimalist décor of simplistic tables and bare marble, Tipo 00 on Little Bourke Street is unmissable.
For every innovation and fusion in food, sometimes you want to go back to basics and enjoy the classics. Cecconi’s does just that, having spent almost two decades cooking up one of the best places to get traditional Italian cuisine in Melbourne. Enjoy authentic Venetian-inspired cuisine including a range of mouth-watering pork and beef dishes not found at other Italian dinners. A blink-and-you’ll-miss-it location in a basement on Melbourne’s famous Flinders Lane, step on down to one of the most stylish restaurants Melbourne has to offer. Dense marble bench tops, elegant tables and moody lighting that captures that intangible feeling of chic. Apart from being one of the best Melbourne CBD Italian restaurants, you won’t want to miss Cecconi’s ode to tradition and modernity.
Il Solito Posto
Whether you’re after quick meal during your work break, or a night out with a special someone, Il Solito Posto has something for everyone. Housed in a basement in Melbourne’s CBD, Il Solito Posto’s interior looks like it’s been transported from a small Italian village, with wood and tile flooring, low ceiling and hearty lighting that creates a warm and inviting atmosphere that so many have come to love. This cosy Italian eatery also offers some of the best traditional Italian food in Melbourne, with a rich selection of pastas, salads and meat. Don’t miss this little piece of Italy!
Since opening in 2002, Bottega has built a reputation as one of the best modern Italian restaurants in Melbourne. Housemade pasta, refined slow cooked meat, and fresh fish make it easy to recommend this modernist marvel to Italian cooking. Beyond high-quality ingredients, a welcoming and easy-going atmosphere – with tables often spread out onto Bourke Street – recall the best of Roman eateries. For those wanting a more intimate experience, Bottega also offers private dining packages to commemorate any special occasion.
Discovery is the keyword at Scopri. Inspired by the founder’s food treks over Italy, where they were exposed to the diversity of Italian food and wine, Scopri will broaden your view of what Italian food even means. With a seasonal menu, the chefs at this Carlton eatery have a chance to show you their favourite regional Italian dishes, all the while giving something new to choose from with every visit. In addition to artisan producers and sellers to bring you the best quality ingredients, Scopri has their own farm in Macedon Ranges to ensure that they always have fresh, chemical-free produce for the chefs. Taste the difference at one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne!
If you’re still looking for a great meal in Melbourne, here are the 10 Most Unique Dining Experiences in Melbourne. Or plan something romantic with our list of 10 Quirky and Unique Date Night Ideas in Melbourne.