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  • Written by Victorian Government
Neighbourhood Bites

Melbourne’s food scene mirrors the city’s mix of cultures in its myriad restaurants, cafes, bistros and bars. Waves of migration over the years has influenced its culinary scene and the diverse cultural tapestry can be enjoyed across its city. Whilst neighbourhoods remain synonymous with particular cultures and cuisine, some amazing meals can be enjoyed where least expected.


Agostino: Be part of the local scene at Lygon Street's iconic King & Godfree, expanded from longstanding family grocery store to encompass a deli, expresso bar, gelati bar, wine cellar and rooftop bar. Agostino is the wine bar arm, with bottle shop attached. Perch at the bar for cocktails or aperitivi or gather friends at a table to sample some primo Italian and Australian wines. It’s all backed up by a menu of classic Italian bites that are perfect for a quick snack or delicious meal as you watch Carlton’s foot traffic go by. 297 Lygon Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053

Centonove: Nestled behind a cornerside art deco brick facade in residential Kew, Centonove is a longstanding winner of chef’s hats from the Good Food Guide, with 2020 being no exception. Dine with devoted regulars beneath a sparkling chandelier on exceptional Italian dishes magicked up under the creative watch of executive chef Patrick Fletcher. With impeccable service, an exceptional boutique Australian-centric wine list, and exquisite flavours on the plate, this is one to savour. 109 Cotham Road, Kew, Victoria, 3101

Bar Nonno: Set in the heart of Northcote’s High Street, Bar Nonno is the result of grandson and son’s desire to bring food and wine ideals of traditional Italian and French bistro design. Patrons can choose to sit either in the middle dining room, the courtyard area amongst the herb garden or if wishing to enjoy watching the characters of Melbourne’s inner north, the front bar is the perfect spot. While the menu offers a selection of classic Italian dishes, the thin-crust pizzas are hard to go past. 83 High Street, Northcote, VIC, 3070

Leonardo’s Pizza Place: Pizza is the name of the game here - monster dishes, pilled with toppings and served with ranch sauce on the side, to dip, dunk and consume your crusts. Pair with some fancy booze and consume under the portraits of pop icons Marilyn Munroe, Bridgette Bardot and co, lining the walls of this cosy, den-like space where the shutters on the windows are closed, so even if it’s light outside it’s always night-time in here. 29 Grattan Street Carlton, Victoria, 3053


Izakaya Den: Discover the best sake and tataki this side of Shibuya, served in a slick bunker like basement space in the heart of the city. Pull up a stool at the 30-metre bar and get stuck into delicious Japanese-style tapas. You can watch the chefs behind the bar as they artfullly slice up tasty morsels, while Ninja-like waiters pour imported Japanese beers or cool, dry sakes. 114 Russell St, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Minamishima: Immerse yourself in an okamase experience with sushi master Koichi Minamishima (ex Kenzan). As fifteen courses are prepared before you, enjoy the show of culinary expertise. Each course is expertly paired with wine and sake from Randolph Cheung (ex Atlantic, Flower Drum). Perfect for a special occasion or when you really want to treat yourself, you won’t be disappointed at this award winning restaurant. 4 Lord Street, Richmond, Victoria, 3121

Mr Miyagi: Move through the queue of this buzzing Windsor restaurant/bar that walks the line between contemporary cool and kawaii. Mood lighting, blond wood and concrete floors meet neon signs and slogans in broken English. The tongue-in-cheek take on Japanese culture carries over to flamboyant cocktails and Asian fusion bites that play with in-your-face flavour, texture and visual allure. 99 Chapel Street, Windsor, Victoria, 3181

Ichi Ni Izakaya: The Izakya style restaurant is worth visiting purely for the visual of combine modern dining with a traditional twist. A decking with sweeping ocean views and year-round heating makes encourages year-round lingering over sake, sushi, yakitori, sashimi and Japanese tapas. 12 The Esplanade, St Kilda, Victoria, 3182


Laikon Deli: Laikon means, “for everyone” and Laikon Delicatessen has been part of the Bridge Road action since 1976. Take the time to enjoy our home-made food or pick up ingredients for the perfect meal at home. Ask staff for recommendations and surprisingly, they are happy to share their recipes with customers! We’re sure you’ll find something too. 324 Bridge Road Richmond, Victoria, 3121

Elyros: Proud custodians of Cretan culinary traditions, Elyros is redefining perceptions of Greek cuisine. Hatted by Good Food Guide 2019, the Camberwell restaurant serves a blend of modern and traditional Cretan dishes made with a focus on sustainable, locally sourced produce. Meet for meze and small plates in the bar or book in to the dining room to take a more leisurely culinary journey through Greece's largest island. 871 Burke Road, Camberwell, Victoria, 3124

Jim’s Greek Tavern: There is a focus on simplicity at Jim’s Greek Tavern. There is no menu on offer as waiters lead patrons through options in the taverna-inspired restaurant. Patrons can expect to choose from traditional Greek food including ptions that include pan-fried Saganaki, homemade dips, Saganaki, and an array of meats and seafood cooked in a traditional way. Don’t expect it to be a quiet meal as the restaurant is always full of life. 32 Johnston St, Collingwood, Victoria, 3066


Mamasita: Mexican institution Mamasita, has been showcasing innovative Mexican-inspired flavours for 10 years. The menu seasonally changes and represents a modern slant on what’s happening in Mexico’s food scene right now. Highlights include handmade fresh burrata cheese w guajillo-chipotle salsa, grilled calamari tacos and the chargrilled corn with cotija (a Mexican cow’s milk cheese). If in doubt, opt for the feed me menu where staff will ensure a selection of courses will leave patrons satisfied. Level 1 11 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000

Los Hermanos: Los Hermanos, is the result of the influence that Bruno Caretto’s upbringing on his grandparents cooking and a love of Mexicos taquerias where drinks and cheap food is shared amongst friends. Enjoy soft tacos with beer-braised lamb or maize-battered fish, and flautas, slender tortilla cigars filled with poblano chilli mash and topped with a mop of iceberg lettuce, queso fresco and tomatillo salsa. 339 Victoria Street Brunswick, Victoria, 3056

Radio Mexico: Crossed between a street-style taco truck and a restaurant, patrons can enjoy fun and shareable food. Tacos include barbequed pork belly and pineapple; beer-battered fish; and guajillo-chilli tofu with hibiscus mole, pinchos are generously sized and the ceviche, palate cleansing. Enjoy a selection of Margaritas, tap beers or mezcal at the bar or sit out on the wooden deck with an agave tequila. 11-13 Carlisle Street St Kilda, Victoria, 3182

La Tortilleria: Melbourne's inner-city suburb of Kensington, La Tortilleria serves authentic Mexican street food and tortillas fresh from the oven. Its tortillas are stone-ground with their own corn in a traditional Mexican mill, then baked fresh daily in-house. Tacos al Pastor. Free-range (Otway) pork, marinated in achiote, ancho and guajillo chillies and cola, is a favourite alongside the chicken deep-empanadas. 72 Stubbs Street Kensington, Victoria, 3031


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