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.

Momo Station

Nepalese dumplings and a range of other street food snacks from the Kingdom of Nepal.

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.

A neon sign for a restaurant glowing in a laneway

Drop it like it's hot pot

Spice up your life at Mrs Zan’s Kitchen inside 206 Bourke. Here you’ll find shelves overflowing with fresh king prawn, sweet rolled omelette, leafy greens, bamboo shoots and more. Pay per 100 grams and self-serve chilli oil to your spicy heart's content. Or follow the glowing neon to Xiao Long Kan in Tattersalls Lane. Familiar favourites include minced shrimp and fresh lotus root, or more daring choices like pig lung slices.

More hot pot in Chinatown

JiYu Thai Hot Pot

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

Musou

Spicy, numbing Sichuan, stir-fried to order.

Dragon Hot Pot

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

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 Asian dessert spots in Chinatown

Sweetie and Moustache

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

Royal Custard Puff

Takeaway custard-based desserts located in the Midcity Arcade.

Teaser

Teaser in Russell Street offers a range of bubble teas to take away.

Maxims' Cakes & Pastry

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

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.

Ferdydurke

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.

More unique Chinatown spots

Museum of Chinese Australian History

Museum preserving and displaying the history of Chinese immigration.

Heroes

Multilevel karaoke venue with private rooms, open mic karaoke bar and rooftop bar.

Chinatown Cinema

This cinema screens the latest Chinese-language movies.

Happy Town Korean

Specialising in K-pop albums and related merchandise.

Last updated on Thu 4 Feb 2021

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