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

Restaurants

Nomad

Restaurant

Jacqui Challinor's hotly anticipated Melbourne outpost is everything we've been waiting for. The Sydney original's focus on open-flame cooking and locally-sourced produce has been replicated here, but there are local signatures, too – baked ricotta and anchovies, dry-aged pork cutlets and a big lean on Victorian vino. Find it in the former Ezard space on Flinders Lane.

Magic Mountain Saloon

Restaurant

Punchy Thai food and cocktails.

Longrain

Restaurant

Since 2005, this CBD restaurant has been at the forefront of modern Thai dining. Now under the stewardship of star chef Scott Pickett, it’s resharpened its focus and feels as good as ever.

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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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Yakimono

Restaurant

Chris Lucas’s two-level, charcoal-fired Japanese diner sits right beside the group’s new crown jewel, Society. Stylistically though, it’s a world away. The cyberpunk fit-out is almost as impressive as the action happening inside the sprawling open kitchen, where chefs turn skewered meat over jumping flames. Visit for elevated rice and noodle dishes, spanner-crab-filled hand rolls and cocktails named after the neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

Hero

Restaurant

This elegantly understated all-day diner – by celebrity chef Karen Martini and dessert queen Philippa Sibley – is the ACMI’s flagship restaurant. Visit for uncomplicated dishes such as potato focaccia with a Noma edge, an exceptional crumbed-fish sandwich and spicy crab cavatelli.

Cafes

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.

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.

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.

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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Holy Crumpets

Cafe

Put down the supermarket stuff, these small batch sourdough crumpets are the real deal.

Bars

Siglo

Bar

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.

Cherry Bar

Bar

This dimly-lit dive bar is one of Melbourne's most treasured and iconic rock’n’roll venues. Though it's moved out of its original ACDC Lane location, it's rocking just as hard as ever, with live music multiple nights a week. Expect anything from psych-rock to doom metal, sometimes followed by a DJ to close.

Angel Music Bar

Bar

Restaurateur Con Christopoulos is behind this audiophile spot, which serves bar snacks with a side of sub-bass. Things are pretty fun and loud downstairs, with great drinks and a few bar stools to enjoy them on. But it's on the upstairs dancefloor where the volume really turns up and things get loose.

Pearl Diver Cocktails and Oysters

Bar

A long-awaited CBD cocktail bar by two of Speakeasy Group’s best bartenders, where oysters are served at least eight ways, and your Martini comes with a spherified olive in a tiny oyster shell.

Arbory Afloat

Bar

Melbourne's favourite floating bar is back again for another season.

Arbory Bar & Eatery

Bar

An incredibly long, alfresco-style cafe and bar.

Shops

Tokyo Hometown

Shop

A one-stop shop for Japanese groceries, cooking materials and confectionary that stays open until midnight every night.

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.