Melbourne’s Top Rated Restaurants: Part 1

Melbourne has a large number of top rated restaurants.  Many of the genuinely best restaurants appear in many sources, however sometimes you can find places on these lists that aren’t necessarily the best.

Urbanspoon, for example, contains a very extensive list, and is used by many people to decide where to eat, however a restaurant’s ranking can be heavily influenced by its popularity. This means that you’ll see restaurants that are in the tourist guides, or that have a big reputation appearing quite high on the list.  Also, people tend to be quite generous in their rankings, which means places that aren’t necessarily that good can have quite a high score.

Overall, these guides do serves as a good starting point, however further research should be done before making a decision. I’ve had a look at the list and have written a short paragraph or two on each of the places on there that I’ve eaten at but haven’t reviewed elsewhere to provide you with some guidance.

Click here for Part 2 of my Melbourne’s Top Rated Restaurants guide.

Rumi

I had heard lots of good things about Rumi and, with it being local to me, the time had finally come to give it a try. The menu at Rumi is modern Lebanese, at a higher level than I’ve ever seen before, with Australian touches and a focus on local, seasonal ingredients.

My fiancée has a severe nut allergy and, given that the food at Rumi uses a lot of nuts, we were both very impressed that they managed to tweak everything that we ordered so that there were no nuts present. The flavours were still amazing, and we especially enjoyed the sweetbreads and the quail.

Rumi

116 Lygon Street
Brunswick East
Victoria 3057
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9388 8255
Email:            admin@rumirestaurant.com.au
Website:        http://rumirestaurant.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sun:    6:00pm to 10:00pm

Rumi on Urbanspoon

Bar Lourinhã

The food at Bar Lourinha is really good. It’s all tapas style, and made for sharing with your friends. It took me straight back to Spain – especially the jamon serrano and croquetas. The venue is small, and the vibe is very cosy and friendly.

A range of decent Spanish beers and wines is also on offer, and I was very happy to find the (admittedly Portuguese) Super Bock on offer, which took me straight  back to my time in Lisbon.

Bar Lourinhã

27 Little Collins Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9663 7890
Email:            info@barlourinha.com.au
Website:        http://barlourinha.com.au/

Open
Mon – Thu:   12:00pm to 11:00pm
Fri:                12:00pm – 1:00am
Sun:              4:00pm – 1:00am

Bar Lourinhã on Urbanspoon

Auction Rooms

The coffee at Auction Rooms is great, and there is a real dedication to using the best beans and experimenting with every method of extraction available. The array of selection is bewlidering, and the staff are happy to guide you through it to pick the perfect drop for you on the day.

Food wise, there are middle eastern spices and influences at play, providing a unique twist on breakfast and lunch classics. Well worth checking out.

Auction Rooms

103-107 Errol Street
North Melbourne
Victoria 3051
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9326 7749
Email:            info@auctionroomscafe.com.au
Website:        http://auctionroomscafe.com.au/

Open
Mon – Wed:  7:00am to 5:00pm
Thu:               7:00am – 10:00pm
Fri:                 7:30am – 10:00pm
Sun:               7:30am – 5:00pm

Auction Rooms on Urbanspoon

Brother Baba Budan

Brother Baba Budan has been around for a while now, and was actually the first place that I went to for a “proper” coffee in Melbourne when I was a tourist in 2008. When I moved to Melbourne to live in 2012, I went right back to see if everything was as good as it used to be.

Happily, it was. The space is very small, with the quirkiness of chairs hanging off the roof. Food options are limited to a few pastries, but the reason you come here is for the coffee. Part of the Seven Seeds family, the beans (which can be purchased for home use) and the coffee is excellent. The service here is always top notch, and it one of my favourties places to grab a coffee in the CBD.

Brother Baba Budan

359 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9606 0449
Email:            n/a
Website:        http://sevenseeds.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:     7:00am to 5:00pm
Sun:               9:00am – 5:00pm

Brother Baba Budan on Urbanspoon

Seven Seeds

Seven Seeds is one of the veterans of quality coffee in Melbourne. Beans are sourced from some of the best growers in the world and are roasted on site. The coffee is the star here, but the breakfast and lunch options are very good too, with local, season ingredients really being allowed to shine through. The space is a converted warehouse and has a really good vibe about it.

Seven Seeds

115 Berkeley Street
Carlton
Victoria 3053
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9347 8664
Email:            n/a
Website:        http://sevenseeds.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sat:      7:00am to 5:00pm
Sun:                8:00am – 5:00pm

Seven Seeds on Urbanspoon

Don Don

There’s a reason that Don Don has somewhat of a cult following in Melbourne. Is it the best Japanese in town? Far from it. What you get though is a decent tasting meal, extremely (I’m talking 2 mins) fast, and for a very good price.

There’s not much more to say other than if you’re in the area and looking for a fast, cheap and good feed, Don Don has to be on your list for consideration.

There is also a branch at 198 Little Lonsdale St.

Don Don

321 Swanston Street
Melbourne
Victoria 3000
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9662 3377
Email:            n/a
Website:        n/a

Open
Mon – Fri:      11:00pm to 3:30pm

Don Don on Urbanspoon

St Ali (South)

A lot of people like to complain about St Ali, perhaps because it’s popular, or becuase it has the reputation that it does and people want to take it down a notch.

All I know is that to this day, St Ali provides some of the best coffee that you can get in Melbourne, with a real dedication to sourcing, fairtrade, methods of brewing and everything else that goes into producing a great cup of coffee.

This ethos flows through to the food too, and the breakfast and lunch options are excellent. Well worth your time.

St Ali (South)

2/18 Yarra Place
South Melbourne
Victoria 3205
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9686 2990
Email:            n/a
Website:        http://stali.com.au/

Open
Mon – Sun:   7:00am to 6:00pm

St Ali on Urbanspoon

Little Creatures Dining Hall

Coming from Perth, and being a big fan of the original Little Creatures Brewery in Fremantle, I was very keen to see how the Melbourne version compared. It’s quite a different proposition. In Fremantle you have the brewing equipment in full view, and of course the beautiful location on the coast. In Melbourne, the vibe is more in line with the Fitzroy locale, with the large, open warehouse conversion taking on somewhat of a “Fitzroy meets Munich” vibe.

The usual Little Creatures beers are available and are as dependable as always, with beers from sister brewery White Rabbit and wines from the related Giant Steps/Innocent Bystander also on offer. Similarly to the Fremantle venue, the food is quite decent with breakfast, lunch and dinner options available. Interesting pizzas and a variety of share type dishes are the name of the game here.  The downside is that prices are on the higher side for what the food is.

One of my favourite things to do in Perth was to go down to Little Creatures and grab a pint and some of the brilliant Belgian style chips and just chill out, and I’m glad that I can get a little taste of home in Melbourne.

Little Creatures Dining Hall

222 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy
Victoria 3265
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9417 5500
Email:            n/a
Website:        https://littlecreatures.com.au

Open
Mon – Thu:   10:00am to 11:00pm
Fri:                10:00am to 12:00pm
Sat:               8:00am to 12:00pm
Sun:              8:00am to 11:00pm

Little Creatures Dining Hall on Urbanspoon

Fonda Mexican

Fonda is one of the new wave of “authentic” Mexican restaurants to hit Melbourne. This part of Swan Street is growing more and more popular as the months roll by, with a new restaurant or bar seeming to open up all of the time. Fonda was one of the first to kick of the renaissance of this area, and when it opened offered food that was a cut above a lot of what was on offer nearby. As a result, it’s built up quite a good reputation.

Fonda can get very busy during the nights, but you don’t have to wait too long to get a table. Service is fast and efficient, and the food on offer is a variety of Mexican “street food”, with the charred corn that’s everyone’s favourite and a focused selection of burritos, quesadillas and tacos. The fish taco is my favourite, while the braised pork didn’t quite hit the spot. Out of the quesadillas, the vegetarian option is the highlight.

Overall there are some good options on the menu and if you’re in the area you’ll get a decent feed, however the market has changed since Fonda first opened and these days there are better options out there.

There is also a Fonda branch at 141 Chapel Street in Windsor.

Fonda Mexican

248 Swan Street
Richmond
Victoria 3121
Australia

Telephone:   (03) 9429 0085
Email:            info@fondamexican.com.au
Website:        http://fondamexican.com.au

Open
Sun – Mon:   12:00pm to 9:30pm
Fri – Sat:        12:00pm to 10:30pm

Fonda Mexican on Urbanspoon


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