You’ll find some of Australia’s best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. In fact, some of the best the world has to offer this side of the equator. And that’s not just my entitled Melburnian snobbery talking.
Famed Melbournian ‘pizzaiolos,’ Johnny Di Francesco (400 Gradi, 2014), Silvio Serpa (Pizzaly, 2016), and Michele Circhirillo (48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar, 2019) have been crowned the ‘World’s Best’ at the annual ‘Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza,’ in Parma, Italy – AKA, the Olympics of pizza making.
And it’s not all about pizza, either. With 37% of Melbournians boasting an enviable Italian heritage, you can guarantee that you’ll be able to find every staple Mediterranean dish (and then some) at one of these 10 impeccable Italian restaurants in Melbourne. For rich, hearty and authentic Italian cuisine, look no further.
Now if you’re after authentic Italian food that’s a cut above the rest, from that cosy little wine bar that serves homemade pasta, to that world-renowned Melbourne institution where Italian dishes are worshipped like none other. Pick any of these solid spots and you’re guaranteed a wonderful dining experience.
Marameo is the newest, and self-proclaimed “cheeky” member of Joe Mammone’s Bar Carolina, Il Bacaro and Tetto family – in other words, a cadre of some of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. If “cheeky” is the drive behind their delicious twists on classic pours, and surprise combinations like Wagyu tartare cannoli – then it’s my favourite in the family. The squid ink spaghetti, WA blue swimmer crab, chilli, tomato and fish roe deserves its own mention, but all the handmade pasta here will win your palate’s heart. Enjoy the playfully decorated interior or settle into the courtyard on a warm night in Melbourne’s CBD.
Address: 6 Russell Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9639 7822
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (12pm – 10 pm), Friday (12pm – 11pm), Saturday (5:30 pm – 11 pm)
Tipo 00 has a tasty selection of starters, but don’t kid yourself; the main event is the pasta. It’s actually found in the restaurant’s namesake. “Tipo 00” is the specialty flour used in the creation of their delectable dishes. If you want to ignite all of your senses, go for the chef’s menu – it is a truly religious experience. If you have any doubts, the chef in question, Andreas Papadakis stepped out of Vue de Monde to gift Melbourne this small 42-seat CBD pasta bar.
Is Tipo 00 the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne? It’s debatable, but the consistency throughout the years puts up a strong case for the restaurant, where handmade pasta is elevated without indulgence. It’s this kind of delicate balance that will always see Tipo ahead of the pack.
Address: 361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9942 3946
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (11:30 am – 10 pm)
Park Street Pasta & Wine
Housed in an understated Victorian terrace, Park Street Pasta & Wine is the best combination of an Italian countryside flair and friendly local hang out. Save a bit of that freshly baked rosemary focaccia and whipped pork lardo starter, you’ll need it to wipe up the “Mafaldine” pasta, oozing in cacio e pepe, black pepper & pecorino-romano sauce.
The daily pasta, based on locally sourced and high-quality ingredients, are regularly switched up for your pleasure, although signatures like the aforementioned, and a beautiful pappardelle with pork shoulder and beef brisket bolognese (you’ll never settle for standard spaghetti bolognese again), are hard to look past.
Address: 268 Park Street, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Contact: (03) 9042 8871
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday (11:45 am – 9:30 pm), Friday – Saturday (11:45 am – 10:30 pm)
Al Dente Enoteca
As one of the newest stars of Melbourne’s Italian dining scene, Al Dente is in an excellent position to become one of the industry’s new frontrunners. The Nicholson Street restaurant began as a pasta-delivery project from Italian-born chef Andrea Vignali after he was let go from the kitchen of Florentino. Popularity picked up fast, and now Al Dente has its own permanent space, offering a modern restaurant and wine bar that’s more than just a cut above the surrounding competition.
From cacio e pepe-filled tortellini to saffron spaghetti with Moreton Bay bug, the pasta is top-notch. Although no one should overlook mains like the flounder served with butter sauce and smoked salmon roe, and entrees like wagyu bresaola served with melon and smoked paprika.
Address: 161-163 Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Contact: 0483 800 861
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (9 am – 5 pm)
Café + Bar Di Stasio
Rinaldo Di Stasio’s famed institution has graced St Kilda for over thirty years. Di Stasio guarantees you an even of indulgence and gluttony, waited upon by white-jacketed waiters…but save it for a special occasion. The bill adds up very quickly. The newer CBD “Cittá” location offers some overlapping dishes in a completely unique and architecturally acclaimed gallery-like space. Think of Cittá as expressing the brutalist yet cosmopolitan high-fashion world of Milan, and the St Kilda location, as offering the enchanting and timeless beauty of Rome.
Address: 31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
Contact: (03) 9252 3999
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (11:30 am- till late)
Caffé e Cucina
Caffé e Cucina opened its doors in 1988, the same year as Di Stasio. The low-lit interior clad with vintage prints is as cosy and warm as its traditional menu offering. The vitello alla milanese is as big as your head, and the tiramisu is perfect in all its glory. Grab one of the coveted curbside spots for guaranteed entertainment. If it’s not the Italian waiters who add theatre and drama to your meal, it’ll be the colourful Chapel Street characters that pass you by.
Address: 581 Chapel Street, South Yarra VIC 3141
Contact: (03) 9827 4139
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday (12 pm – 11 pm)
Zia Rina’s Cucina
If you’re looking for a trattoria dishing up Italian fare with its whole heart, Zia Rina hands-down deserves a spot on our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. The intimate space offers a rotating set menu based on the best seasonal produce sourced from the Mornington Peninsula. Don’t be fooled by the concise menu, the price is bang on for the quality and quantity served. The option to choose from local or Italian wines (or BYO), makes it a very attractive date night option.
Address: 857 High Street, Armadale VIC 3143
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (6 pm – 10 pm)
Rita’s is a dependable and consistently tasty option for any night of the week. At Rita’s, it’s the semolina-encrusted pizzas that are the real heroes. In fact, the three founders, and best mates, opened an offshoot next door to meet the takeaway pizza demand. Be sure to order a Bingo Bango – tomato, mozzarella, salami, pancetta, caramelised onion and olives – as well as the Potato – garlic base, mozzarella, caramelised onion, taleggio, rosemary, truffle oil. The pizza here is so good that we just had to include it in our round-up of Melbourne’s best Italian restaurants, even if we’ve got a separate one just for the best pizzas.
Address: 239 Johnston Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Contact: (03) 9419 8233
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday (5 pm – 9:30 pm), Friday – Sun (12 pm – 9:30 pm)
It’s crazy to think the ex-Attica, Bar Liberty crew, (which copped Best Bar in Australia) only added Capitano to their inventory in 2018. It has become an institution in record time. Capitano is just an all-around great vibe. It offers up round and square pizza pies, inspired by New-York Italian cuisine. You’ll want to try everything on the menu, which makes Capitano perfect for a small group. Don’t leave without sampling the Vodka sauce Rigatoni, the Herb Salad Pizza, and the ‘Roni squared with tomato, pepperoni, mozzarella and pickled chilli. Be sure to wash it all down with a Negroni if you really want the full Italian dining experience.
Address: 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton VIC 3053
Contact: (03) 9134 8555
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday (5 pm – 10 pm), Friday – Saturday (5:30 pm – 11 pm)
If you’re trying to find the best Sicilian family secrets outside of Sicily – look no further than Bar Idda. Reflective of its hipster neighbourhood, the interior is rustic and the cooking is completely unpretentious and utterly delicious. Credit goes to the Milinciani; baked layered eggplant, passata, buffalo mozzarella, basil, pecorino, as well as the Maccaruni; twirled pasta, slow-cooked beef & pork ragu, grated pecorino. The set menu at $50 per person is a complete steal.
Address: 132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057
Contact: (03) 9380 5339
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (11 am – 3 pm, 5 pm – 10 pm)
Umberto Espresso Bar
This Thornbury Calabrian-inspired father-son duo treats you to breakfast, lunch and dinner in a delightfully ’70s trattoria. And we’re talking traditional Italian breakfast as it should be; filled cornetti and Genovese coffee. However, Umberto’s is getting a massive makeover, moving to a new three-storey home in a 100-year-old building, with a rooftop! Yet, as exciting as the new digs will be, it’s the old favourites that have kept customers coming back for over ten years, most notably the classic pasta con funghi, slow-cooked osso buco and delicious rotating paninis.
Umberto has recently moved location but it’s still on High Street, this time taking over a multi-floor venue that has allowed the team to extend their offering, which now includes one of the best rooftop bars in Melbourne.
Address: 917 High Street, Thornbury VIC 3071
Contact: (03) 9484 8654
Hours: Monday, Wednesday – Thursday (11:30 am – 2:30 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm), Friday – Sunday (10 am – 2:30 pm, 5 pm – 9 pm)
The smell of fresh, hand-rolled pasta hits you soon as you strut into this energetic CBD pasta bar. Pentolina has fast become a favourite for city workers who enjoy a good wine list as much as a hearty pasta dish. Given the menu is so extensive, there’s plenty of space for many vegetarian friendly pasta options amongst the usual entrees and antipasti, making Pentolina one of the more accessible Italian restaurants Melbourne CBD has to offer.
Address: 2/377 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9606 0642
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Thursday (12 pm – 3:30 pm, 6 pm – 10 pm)
Il Solito Posto
Always dependable for a wonderful dining experience, Il Solito Posto is anchored on precision and traditionalism despite the impression its modern design can give. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this Melbourne Italian restaurant can be found underground, locking in all those wafting aromas full of Italian wines and fresh, handmade pasta.
Address: Basement/113 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9654 4466
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday (11:30 am – 10 pm); Saturday (5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Up above Hardware Lane, on the first floor of the iconic Hardware House, is where you’ll find this incredibly small, compelling space. Hardware Club was opened by two childhood friends, mostly paying homage to Valpolicella.
That’s head chef and co-owner Nicola Dusi’s hometown, represented with fresh coastal flavours like Don Bocarte anchovies served on toast with Old Bay butter, alongside wood-fired pizza, and fascinating creations like a deep-fried cacio e pepe toastie with mozzarella and leek. Head up here for a drink, a great feed, and some impeccable service – it’s the quintessentially modern take on a typical Melbourne Italian dining experience.
Address: 43 Hardware Lane Upstairs, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9670 1110
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (12 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (5 pm – 10 pm)
Ladro is not only home to some of the best pizza in Melbourne, but nothing else here is an afterthought either. This is an all-encompassing Italian restaurant with the chops to compete with the likes of Tipo.00 and Park Street Pasta at the best of times. You’ll of course want the typical pizza, most likely loaded with fior di latte, but make sure to pay equal attention to the few pasta dishes on the menu. You’ll get excellent dishes like a buffala ricotta and spinach ravioli balanced perfectly with butter sauce and pine mushrooms.
Address: 224 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Contact: (03) 9415 7575
Opening Hours: Monday, Thursday – Friday (5:30 pm – 11 pm); Saturday – Sunday (12 pm – 11 pm)
Head to Little Bourke Street for some pasta and you most likely already know where you’re going – Tipo.00. They wait might be longer than you like, in which case head next door for Osteria Ilaria, a sister venue to the famous pasta bar, but by no means a compromise.
Based heavily around a modern osteria, this beautiful space feels like a grand long lunch in Italy is about to take place. But don’t arrive with a staunchly traditional approach, given the menu is adventurous enough to step outside of Italy on occasion and draw in some flavours from neighbouring countries. The wine list is very similar in its approach, looking beyond Italy with drops from Portugal, France, Georgia, and elsewhere in Europe. Still, pasta is the strong focus for the kitchen so it’s always going to be what you should order first and foremost.
Address: 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (12 pm – 10 pm)
Legendary Melbourne chef Guy Grossi is still a powerhouse when it comes to Australia’s rich and diverse Italian dining scene. Florentino is his Australian flagship, still positioned as one of the touchpoints of Bourke Street and an easy pick for some of the best Italian Melbourne has to offer.
Whether you’re after three courses or five courses, the menu is extensive and varied enough to keep regulars satisfied and constantly experiment to find new angles to traditional Italian cuisine. It’s this kind of balance that makes Grossi Florentino such a reliable eatery all these decades later.
Address: 80 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9662 1811
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (8 am – 11 pm)
You’ll find Supermaxi in Fitzroy North, not exactly looking for attention but still managing to outshine any neighbouring competition with a solid reputation for consistency, great service, and a nicely curated wine list. Minimalism is everything here, steered confidently by owner Rita Macali, who was the original chef for Ladro, and her husband Giovanni Patané. If you find yourself in the area, there is nowhere better for pizza, pasta, and everything in between.
Address: 305 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
Contact: (03) 9482 2828
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (5:30 pm – 10:30 pm)
Lygon Street may have been considered mecca for lovers of good Italian food many decades ago, but the bustling strip has lost some of its lustre over the years. You’ll now find the best Italian restaurants off the winding street, like Scopri, which can be found nearby on Nicholson Street.
The classic Italian eatery is a no-brainer for anyone after excellent pastas and even better wines. The menu changes regularly, but you can expect primi such as a risotto of the day, and agnolotti filled with roasted rabbit, pork, and veal served simply with butter and sage.
Address: 191 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
Contact: (03) 9347 8252
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday (12pm – 3pm, 5:30 pm – 10 pm); Saturday (5:30 pm – 10 pm)
Bottega may have some tough competition to contend with, but the Bourke Street restaurant can still muscle out the best of them on any day of the week. Located in Melbourne’s Italian quarter, Bottega favours the alfresco atmosphere, with prime tables sprawled out over the footpath so you can feel the seething jealousy as each passerby catches a whiff of your housemade pasta like ricotta gnocchi and cacio e pepe.
Address: 74 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9654 2252
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday (12 pm – 3pm, 5:30 pm – 10:30 pm); Friday (12pm – 3pm, 5:30 pm – 11 pm); Saturday (12 pm – 3:30 pm, 5:30pm – 11 pm)
You’ll find this modest Italian bistro on Little Collins Street. Lupino keeps things simple, foregoing any extensive menu or overlong wine list and landing on a precise offering of pasta, pizza, and a few other entrees and mains. The focus here is on being a welcoming neighbourhood Italian restaurant where dishes change regularly and the wine list is one you’d actually want to explore.
Address: 41 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9639 0333
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday (12 pm – 2:30 pm, 5 pm – 9:30 pm)
Stocked with incredible Italian wines, this cellar bar on Lygon Street can be found underneath the heritage-listed King & Godfree building. It’s one of the few spots left on Lygon Street that keeps the Italian precinct’s glory intact, serving up mostly antipasti to pair up exceptionally well with the drops on offer. Head upstairs if you want a more substantial menu, but Agostino is so good that you’ll unlikely want anything more than the shared plates.
Address: 297 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Contact: (03) 9347 1619
Opening Hours: Monday, Thursday – Sunday (12 pm – 10 pm)
When it was announced that 1800 Lasagne was opening in Thornbury, the name alone could have told you that this would either be the best thing to hit the area in a long time… or the worst. Fortunately, Joey Kellock’s initial home-delivery service has knocked it out of the park.
What started as a rising star during the early stages of the global pandemic has now become a fast-favourite for fans of Italian restaurants that master one thing and remain unconcerned with much else. Lasagne is, of course, the star here, but there are also a few other dishes so you can fill a table with more than just that deliciously moreish, perfectly cooked dish.
Address: 653 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
Contact: 1800 527 246
Opening Hours: Wednesday – Sunday (5 pm – 11 pm)
If you’re looking to seal the deal, try following up the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne with 7 of the Best Date Night Wine Bars in Melbourne. And if you’re in NSW instead, check out the best Italian restaurants in Sydney.
Best Italian In Melbourne – Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best pasta in Melbourne?
Melbourne has many good quality Italian restaurants but some of the highest rated for pasta include Tipo 00, Capitano, and Marameo.
What is the best Italian restaurant on Bourke Street, Melbourne?
You’re going to want to veer off to Little Bourke Street instead, which is where you’ll find Tipo 00.
What is the best Italian restaurants on Little Collins Street, Melbourne?
You can head along to Pentolina, which serves some great fresh pasta on Little Collins st.
What is the best Italian restaurant in St Kilda?
Di Stasios is the best and most consistent Italian restaurant in St Kilda.