The wait is over. These top new venues are open for drinking, dining and all-round good times.

A selection of Thai dishes and drinks on colourful plates.

Khao Melbourne

A little taste of Northern Thailand awaits at Khao Melbourne. The signature dish here is the khao soi. This coconut curry soup comes with a tonne of condiments to create your perfect broth. Sprinkle on some crunchy noodles. Add lime, pickles and herbs. Then amp up the chilli as hot as you can handle. Overdid it on that heat? It's nothing a Thai milk tea and icy cold bingsu dessert can't fix.

Restaurant plates of prawns and broccoli with a glass of white wine.

Friends of Fire

Heading to the footy at Marvel Stadium? Put down the meat pie and elevate your pre-footy dining at Friends of Fire. This new restaurant specialises in fire-grilled dishes infused with Aussie flavours. Think king prawns drenched in fermented chilli butter, dry-aged rib eye with chimichurri and smoky pork ribs. For a dash of dinner theatre, book the hotseat at the grill to see the chefs prepare your meal over the flames.

A prawn dish with bread and greens.

Askal

Melbourne has just landed a new authentic Filipino bar and eatery. Askal is a celebration of iconic dishes that are comforting yet elevated. Start with the ocean trout kinilaw and snacky ox tail doughnuts with kare-kare peanut curry. Load up on large plates and be sure to leave room for the desserts. Think coal-roasted swordfish, black garlic fried rice and halo halo with stone fruits.

A table set with dishes and cocktails.

Doju

Modern Korean fine dining and Aussie native flavours. Seek out this deliciously unexpected pairing at Doju, hidden among the office buildings on Little Collins Street. Try salted calamari with Geraldton wax. Moreish gochujang sourdough. And retired dairy cow beef with bugak and desert lime. For dessert there's injeolmi ice cream. It comes topped with candied walnuts, yoghurt mousse and rhubarb.

A restaurant in an historic building with arches, tiled floors and stained glass windows.

Reine & La Rue

A stunning 132-year-old building has been transformed into Melbourne's most luxe new dining experience. Head to Reine & La Rue in the former stock exchange and dine under the grand gothic arches. The French-inspired menu is brimming with fine-dining favourites. Think caviar service, freshly shucked oysters and Wagyu by the kilo.

Inside a dimly lit restaurant and bar

Torino Aperitivo

Tucked away on Driver Lane is a joint honing in on Italy's aperitivo culture. The menu focuses on tasty morsels like warm nduja, burrata with heirloom tomatoes and house made arancini. As for drinks, you can't go wrong with classic martinis, spritzes and negronis. Speaking of negronis, there's a free flowing fountain of the good stuff right at the bar.

Inside a retro Italian-style restaurant

Johnny, Vince & Sam’s Ristorante

Is it a restaurant or is it Nonna’s house? Comedy trio Sooshi Mango has opened its own version of an old-school Italian diner – Johnny, Vince and Sam's Ristorante. And it comes complete with a generous serving of nostalgia. Step inside and be transported to a retro-style home packed with vintage decor. The food’s pretty great too. Enjoy parmesan-crusted schnitzel, slow-cooked beef meatballs, arancini and more.

Two friends are drinking cocktails on a rooftop bar

Morris House

Melbourne has just earned itself a new multi-level venue featuring a restaurant, rooftop bar and basement comedy club. Head to the top level for signature cocktails like the frozen lemon 'squashie' or the pavlova daiquiri. The food is top-notch too and is available on every floor. Think Wagyu beef burgers, spanner crab spaghetti, king salmon salad and eye fillet with chimichurri and fries. In the basement you’ll find a NYC-inspired comedy venue hosting stand-up gigs from some of Australia’s best talent.

Plates of pasta and cocktails on a table

Alt Pasta Bar

Silky strands of handmade pasta and creamy risottos take centre stage at this moody late-night pasta bar. Tucked down tiny Niagara Lane, Alt Pasta Bar's chefs create art with simple dishes in an open kitchen. Order a plate of gnocchi with shiitake pickles or perhaps squid ink spaghetti with spanner crab. Everything is made in-house, from the pasta down to the seasonal gelato, and carefully paired with a curated wine list.

More of the best new spots in Melbourne

Tapenade

Tapenade

A southern French-inspired café and restaurant serving authentic family recipes.

Yakimono

Yakimono

Yakimono is a high energy Japanese-inspired eating house.

Di Stasio Pizzeria

Di Stasio Pizzeria

Italian wood-fired pizzas and cocktails in an art-filled space.

Otōto

Otōto

Akaiito's underground casual cocktail bar serving Asian-inspired tapas and sharing plates.

Grill Americano

Grill Americano

Offering Italian classics with signature Chris Lucas spin in sophisticated surrounds.

Elchi

Elchi

Elchi re-imagines the wonders of Indian fare in a sleek and alluring space.

Bobbie Peels

Bobbie Peels

Cosy corner pub featuring a beer garden and rotating craft beers on tap.

Dolly

Dolly

Old-world glamour awaits at this elevated European restaurant with a cinematic backdrop.

Tippy-Tay

Tippy-Tay

A colourful Italian restaurant at the Garden State Hotel.

Miss Mi

Miss Mi

Asia’s diverse flavours and traditional techniques are reinterpreted for modern-day adventurers.

Crossley St Cantina

Crossley St Cantina

Late night Spanish food and booze, located in the CBD's theatre district.

Chancery Lane

Chancery Lane

Reimagining timeless charm this European style bistro is suited for any occasion.

Aru

Aru

This Restaurant of the Year brings together the woodfire hearth and flavours of Asia and Australia.

Robata

Robata

Features Japanese grilled dishes, sashimi, pork katsu and select cuts of premium beef.

Kata Kita

Kata Kita

Bringing a new layer of fresh, flavourful Indonesian dining, with delicious cocktails to match.

Ronnie's

Ronnie's

Inspired by family dinners, where friends and family meet to dine, wine and have good times.

Tres a Cinco

Tres a Cinco

Cantina and bar serving authentic Mexican food and cocktails.

La Madonna Restaurant and Bar

La Madonna Restaurant and Bar

A chic day-to-night restaurant and bar inside Next Hotel Melbourne.

Gimlet at Cavendish House

Gimlet at Cavendish House

An elegant cocktail bar and dining room from renowned chef Andrew McConnell.

Society

Society

A glamourous restaurant and bar with contemporary dining and bespoke cocktails.

Lulu's Char Koay Teow

Lulu's Char Koay Teow

The true taste of authentic Penang flavours from a family of passionate cooks.

Lollo

Lollo

Experience a menu of remixed classics sitting alongside bold innovations.

Chef David

Chef David

Chef David fire up the barbecue with their Sichuan BBQ grill menu.

Nomad

Nomad

Upbeat restaurant on Flinders Lane, serving contemporary cuisine with Middle Eastern accents.

Archer's Restaurant

Archer's Restaurant

A modern, sophisticated dining space at Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands.

Serai

Serai

Filipino dishes reimagined and cooked over a wood-fired grill.

Last updated on Tue 28 May 2024

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