This is one of Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants. It's certainly its most ambitious. There's a New York-style sushi bar at street level, a pumping izakaya-style basement and an upstairs private dining room – Kuro – for intimate kaiseki-style meals.
At this CBD stalwart, you'll find old-school service, a lengthy wine list and plenty of classic Italia charm. Dishes here have a Venetian focus, and include a zucchini risotto, a "fish charcuterie board" as well as the signature Moreton Bay bug spaghettini. For drinks, opt for a classic Bellini or a parmesan-infused Martini.
Izakayas are Japanese bars where the eating is just as important as the drinking. That's true at this CBD favourite. There's a selection of drinking-friendly dishes that accompany the excellent sakes and Japanese-influenced cocktails.
At this elegant 16-seat Japanese fine diner, which is inside a giant paper lantern in a Bourke Street basement, you'll find one of the best kaiseki – a traditional degustation-style multi-course meal – experiences in town.
Thanks to Jesse Gerner (Green Park, Añada), the old Aylesbury is all about tapas now. Plus, there are spectacular views out over the city to enjoy while you eat. It's no surprise this place is held dear by so many Melburnians.
This Japanese-inspired bakery, from the team behind Little Rogue just across the street is selling whole loaves of shokupan (fluffy milk bread), flaky almond-yuzu croissants, Danishes piled high with berries, and soft buns filled with cream cheese, then doused in garlic butter.
This gelateria, perched next to City Wine Shop and Spring Street Grocer, is a contender for having the best gelato in town. The ingredients are high quality, seasonal flavours range from classic to strange, and the pozzetti cabinets keep the preservative-free gelato nice and fresh.
Across five rooms and three balconies, indulge in theatrical cocktails bubbling with liquid nitrogen, tropical boozy yuzu-pineapple punch bowls for four (served in a huge bronze swan), champagne towers, ridiculously large 15-litre bottles of Mumm, and fancy canapés.
At this Japanese-influenced bar from the owner of Izakaya Den, you'll have a hard deciding whether you prefer the drinks or the food. The solution? In order to make your mind up, you should order copious amounts of both.
An audiophile playground for celebrated restaurateur Con Christopoulos that serves up bar snacks with a side of sub-bass frequencies. Things are pretty fun and loud downstairs, and there's a few seats and some great drinks on offer. But it's on the upstairs dancefloor where the volume really turns up and things get loose.
It's hard to describe this place. Is it a karaoke bar? Is it a Southeast Asian barbeque restaurant? Is it a great rooftop bar? Yes, to all of the above. Either way, odds are you'll find yourself with a lamb skewer in one hand and a mic in the other at some point during an evening here.
This rooftop bar, which sits above the Melbourne Supper Club, has unrivalled views of Spring Street and Parliament House. It's also one of the few spots in Melbourne that has its own cigar menu – there's even a humidor full of hard-to-find Cubans. If that's not your style, the cocktails are equally excellent.
At this long-running hidden rooftop bar, there's an emphasis on cocktails and comfort. Unlike many rooftops, this spot is understated; the team here let the cocktails and the view do the talkings. The retractable rooftop means that this a great all-weather option, too.
This tiny, technicolour Flinders Lane patisserie serves flaky croissants and fluffy doughnuts without the help of butter, milk or eggs. There's also all-vegan ice-cream, including vanilla with croissant dough and Espresso Martini.