Colourful and buzzing, Chinatown is a sparkling jewel in Melbourne’s cultural crown. Here’s the lowdown on where to eat, quirky arcades to explore and hidden bars to discover.

A steamer basket with dumplings in it

Dine on dumplings at Shanghai Street

Take the queues snaking out the door as a sign that Shanghai Street is the real deal. Fried pork mini buns or fried chicken and prawn dumplings are on hand for the hungry. Steamed snacks await if you want a warming meal with a pillowy texture, and vegetarians have some un-bao-lievable options too.

More dumpling spots in Chinatown

HuTong Dumpling Bar

A three-level dim sum restaurant recreating the moody ambience of a Chinese dumpling house.

Tim Ho Wan

A dim sum icon, dubbed the world's most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant.

ShanDong MaMa Dumplings

Traditional eastern Chinese cuisine mixed with diverse, multicultural influences.

The ultimate dumpling guide to Melbourne

Steamed, fried, baked or boiled – there’s no such thing as a bad dumpling.

More of the best Chinatown attractions

Museum of Chinese Australian History

Museum preserving and displaying the history of Chinese immigration.

FM Karaoke Bar

Karaoke bar with private rooms or an open space to show off your skills.

170 Russell

A live music venue with gigs seven nights a week.

Chinatown Cinema

This cinema screens the latest Chinese-language movies.

Overhead view of plates of raw food including seafood and very thinly sliced beef, waiting to be cooked in a hot pot.

Feast on hotpot

You've slurped your way through spicy Sichuan, kimchi stew and meaty beef broths. Now it's time to go luxe with Fishpot, a dazzling new hotpot restaurant serving silky smooth fish-based broth. Order luxurious ingredients like lobster, sashimi and premium wagyu to cook at your expert-designed hotpot station. Ready to eat? With the tap of a button the cooking basket automatically lifts up, no effort required.

More hotpot in Chinatown

JiYu Thai Hot Pot

JiYu brings together Thai soup dishes and the modern Chinese hot pot concept.

Dragon Hot Pot

Choose your base stock, then pick from over 100 fresh ingredients to make your own unique hotpot.

Happy Lamb Hot Pot

Serves Mongolian-style hotpot, featuring fresh vegetables and juicy meat cooked in a soup broth.

A group of girls at an arcade

Have a cute arcade adventure

A far cry from the old movie theatre claw machines, the ‘UFO Catchers’ at Million Life in Kmart Centre are cute as can be. Test precision and coordination skills to win everything from anime plushies to Pokémon keychains. Keep the quirky fun times coming with a wander upstairs in MidCity Centre, where secret sushi train, robot dessert machines and Chinese theatre awaits.

More hidden arcade spots


A lobster and champagne bar with pescatarian and vegan-friendly menus.

Kaneda Japanese Restaurant

In Midcity Arcade, serving a range of teppanyaki, sushi, sashimi, bento boxes, tempura and noodles.

Mr Ramen San

Mr Ramen San serves Japanese ramen all the way from Hakata, Japan.

Royal Custard Puff

Takeaway custard-based desserts located in the Midcity Arcade.

A white plate with shaved ice dessert in it

Try deconstructed bubble tea

Melburnians are no strangers to bubble tea. But the Taiwanese tea masters at BlackBall have given the beloved drink an icy edge in the form of their ‘snow ice’. Just picture a mountain of creamy shaved ice, drowned in dessert fixings. Almost caramel in colour, the milk tea flavoured treat served with sticky boba is too sweet to pass up. 

More Chinatown desserts

Sweetie and Moustache

Dessert central with the delicate and complex mille crepe cake being a specialty.

Dessert Story

Offering different types of Asian desserts: tofu pudding, herbal jelly and crushed ice.

Where to find the best bubble tea in Melbourne

Order vegan milk tea, brown sugar boba, famous Taiwanese treats and more.

Maxims' Cakes & Pastry

No-frills Chinatown bakery famous for its egg custard tarts.

A neon sign outside a bar that reads 'Bar Clara'

Discover hidden bars

Hidden underneath Chinatown, Bar Clara is a gorgeous basement bar with an expertly curated cocktail list. Skip dessert and order the banoffee pie cocktail, made with clarified banana whisky. Topped with toasted meringue for extra decadence.

More of Chinatown's best hidden bars

Berlin Bar

A cocktail bar inspired by the German capital.

Section 8 Bar

A funky outdoor bar with drinks served from a converted shipping container.


Unassuming bar that feels like a New York loft, named after a 1937 Polish novel.

Union Electric

A laneway cocktail bar and rooftop gin garden hidden in Melbourne's Chinatown.

Last updated on Wed 11 May 2022

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A riverside bistro with city views, a relaxed vibe, and all-day dining.