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.
Find the best dumplings in Chinatown
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
Tim Ho Wan
A dim sum icon, dubbed the world's most affordable Michelin-starred restaurant.
HuTong Dumpling Bar
A three-level dim sum restaurant recreating the moody ambience of a Chinese dumpling house.
ShanDong MaMa Dumplings
Traditional eastern Chinese cuisine mixed with diverse, multicultural influences.
Feast on hotpot
Chinatown's most luxe hotpot experience
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
QQ Chicky Pot
Where chicken claypot meets hotpot and creates a dish with double happiness.
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.
Have a cute arcade adventure
Where to find claw machines in Chinatown
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
Chilli wontons, Shanghai shao long bao and touch-screen ordering.
Seek out the best sweet treats
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.
Offering different types of Asian desserts: tofu pudding, herbal jelly and crushed ice.
Maxims' Cakes & Pastry
No-frills Chinatown bakery famous for its egg custard tarts.
Discover hidden bars
Chinatown's cutest hidden basement cocktail bar
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
New Gold Mountain
Double-storey cocktail bar that blends old-world Shanghai glamour with modern boudoir decadence.
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.
A laneway cocktail bar and rooftop gin garden hidden in Melbourne's Chinatown.
Moutai Melbourne Boutique
Be introduced to the illustrious world of China's most revered liquor.
Find the best events and things to do in Chinatown
Explore Chinatown on a walking tour
The self-guided Heart of the City walk leads you through all the Chinatown highlights. Follow the glowing lanterns to see the winding Chinese dragons at the Chinese Museum. Stop for a lunchtime yum cha feast and seek out hidden bars.
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.
More of the best spots to visit in Chinatown
Crystal Jade Melbourne
Serving modern contemporary Cantonese cuisine in Chinatown.
Last updated on Thu 14 Sep 2023
Located in Melbourne Central, New Shanghai offers Chinese cuisine of the Shanghai region.