The best cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and events in the Melbourne CBD.

Restaurants

The Hardware Club

Restaurant

Two childhood friends are behind this diner that pays homage to the neighbourhood eateries of their hometown. On the menu? Osso bucco ravioli, cacio e pepe toasties and a classic tiramisu. That means bold and robust wines from small-scale vineyards paired with simple flavours such as tinned anchovies on house-baked bread; or roast chicken with baked brussels sprouts.

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Taxi Kitchen

Restaurant

A casual dining space with one of the finest views in Melbourne.

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Supernormal

Restaurant

Beautifully executed pan-Asian offerings by Andrew McConnell. Come for Melbourne's most famous lobster roll, steaming bowls of ramen at lunch, Korean-style barbequed meats and Shanghai dumplings.

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Pepe's Italian & Liquor

Restaurant

Pepe's is a New York-inspired Italian restaurant. The space has all the terrazzo floors, plump leather booths and dim lighting you could ask for. So grab a Martini, take a seat in one of those booths and scan the menu. Clams Casino? Veal parmigiana? A hot-fudge sundae? It’s hard to go wrong.

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Pastuso

Restaurant

Authentic Peruvian in the heart of Melbourne.

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Palermo

Restaurant

An Italian-influenced Argentinian spot by the San Telmo and Pastuso team.

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Cafes

First Love Coffee

Cafe

A slick specialty coffee bar by the Rustica Team. Pop by for a smooth locally roasted brew and a grab-and-go egg-and-bacon roll, then take in the peach-terracotta terrazzo and striking green marble of the pretty room.

Pellegrini's

Cafe

A Melbourne institution with a diverse crowd of regulars.

Le Shoppe

Cafe

This cross between a daytime bistro and a New York Deli is the casual sibling adjoined to Scott Pickett's Chancery Lane. Slide into a booth for charcuterie and crepes suzette, or grab curried-egg sandwiches and roast-pork rolls (with crackling) to go.

Bench Coffee Co

Cafe

At Bench Coffee's CBD flagship, stop in for an espresso at the sleek standing bar or grab a latte and rich, bite-sized dacquoise (in flavours such as matcha, black sesame and vanilla-sea salt) to go. It's by the same team as nearby katsu sando bar Saint Dreux.

Pope Joan

Cafe

A clubby and convivial space with an all-day, British-leaning brunch menu. And yes, the famous Reuben has survived the move from Brunswick East.

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Nico's Sandwich Deli

Cafe

This sandwich spot from a trio of experienced hospo players was supposed to open in March 2020. One pandemic and a long Fitzroy pop-up later, Nico's has made its way back to its original home in the CBD. Come for jazzed-up Italo-Japanese-leaning sangas, strong coffees and sweet shakes.

Bars

Heartbreaker

Bar

Pre-batched cocktails and classic rock on the jukebox – there’s only one result here.

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The LuWow

Bar

Zombie cocktails, leopard print and tikis everywhere (obviously). Check your everyday life at the door – it’s pure fantasy here.

Handpicked Cellar Door Melbourne

Bar

An urban cellar door that pours sustainable, organic drops from the Handpicked Wines range. Visit for tutored wine tastings with cheese and charcuterie pairings. And you can visit for the full cellar door experience any day of the week.

Curious

Bar

Descend a dark spiral staircase into this basement cocktail bar wrapped in a cocoon of timber, where you’ll find theatrical drinks with smoke, bubbles and art.

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Bar Lourinhã

Bar

Spanish food served with genuine flair.

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Cookie

Bar

A beer hall, cocktail bar and modern Thai restaurant all in one.

Shops

The Crux & Co. Patisserie

Shop

This CBD pastry shop is best knows for its "crogel" – which tastes a lot better than it sounds. It's a croissant-bagel hybrid that lends itself well to an abundance of different fillings. The regular croissants, coffees and cakes are excellent, though.

Agathé Pâtisserie Petite

Shop

This spin-off to Agathe's South Melbourne Market HQ has every treat from the original – including those sensational croissants – just in a smaller CBD package.

Moncler Collins St

Shop

The CBD outpost for this luxury Italian sportswear brand stocks its full range of coats, jackets, knits and more. That includes pieces from Moncler’s Genius collections – one-off monthly collaborations with the world’s best designers.

Pidapipo CBD

Shop

A gelataria that serves sweet brioche, has a chocolate tap and does affogato Italian style.

Laguna

Shop

This supermarket in QV has an extensive range of Asian produce, ingredients and snacks. So it's a handy option if you want to stock up on all of staples in one place.

Tang The Asian Food Emporium

Shop

Tang (formerly known as Great Eastern Foods) has been stocking Asian groceries at its Russell Street residence for over 35 years. Come here for noodles, dim-sims, sambal, soy and sake.