The best cafes, restaurants, bars, shops and events in the Melbourne CBD.

Restaurants

Gimlet at Cavendish House

Restaurant

Star chef Andrew McConnell's signature is evident on every Eurocentric plate here, from the clam-topped flatbread to the anchovy Danish to the wood-fired rhubarb cheesecake. You’ll find us at the black-and-gold marble bar, Martini in hand.

Bar Margaux

Restaurant

Walk down the nondescript staircase and let your eyes adjust. There’s no natural light at this bistro – that’s why it’s so easy to lose track of time.

Chin Chin

Restaurant

The fiery Thai diner Melburnians and tourists have been queuing for since 2011.

Misschu CBD

Restaurant

The self-proclaimed queen of rice paper rolls in Sydney and Melbourne.

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Shanghai Village

Restaurant

A fast and furious dumpling house.

Cafes

Market Lane Coffee Victoria Street

Cafe

This iteration of the Market Lane cafe constellation brings the same winning combination: great coffee, quick-and-tasty snacks, plus plenty of beans and accessories to take home with you.

Oli & Levi

Cafe

Oli & Levi brings well-priced, honest fare to city slickers.

Bowery to Williamsburg

Cafe

This tribute to the Big Apple offers the finest deli-style food around.

Higher Ground

Cafe

The team behind Kettle Black and Top Paddock go beyond cafes with this CBD spot inspired by hotel hospitality.

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Earl Canteen

Cafe

Say goodbye to soggy office sandwiches.

Laneway Greens

Cafe

There’s no mix-and-match required at this modern salad bar. The killer combinations are thought up for you.

Bars

Nick and Nora's

Bar

Across five rooms and three balconies, indulge in theatrical cocktails bubbling with liquid nitrogen, tropical boozy yuzu-pineapple punch bowls for four (served in a huge bronze swan), champagne towers, ridiculously large 15-litre bottles of Mumm, and fancy canapés.

Byrdi

Bar

Drinks here include a boozy smoked-pear soda, and gin with jasmine and plum. Get yours alongside hibachi-grilled seafood.

Angel Music Bar

Bar

An audiophile playground for celebrated restaurateur Con Christopoulos that serves up lobster mac’n’cheese with a side of sub-bass frequencies.

Arlechin

Bar

Whether it’s spaghetti, duck liver parfait or tiramisu ice-cream pops, the Grossi family’s new venture will guarantee you’ll be eating (and drinking) in style, post midnight.

Dessous

Bar

Lively cocktails, pork-belly sandos and gruyere croquettes are on the menu at this dark and daring basement bar.

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The LuWow

Bar

Zombie cocktails, leopard print and tikis everywhere (obviously). Check your everyday life at the door – it’s pure fantasy here.

Shops

Obus

Shop

Melbourne-designed practical and travel-friendly garments.

T By LuxBite

Shop

After they conquered the macaron, the folks at LuxBite opened this tart-focussed bakery.

Punchin' Bottles

Shop

This wine shop by Embla’s Christian McCabe, winemaker Patrick Sullivan and importer Eric Narioo stocks interesting (and at times eccentric) small-batch and responsibly produced drops.

búl

Shop

Classical tailored pieces from city to sea by local designer Virginia Martin.

Weirdoughs

Shop

This tiny, technicolour Flinders Lane patisserie serves flaky croissants and fluffy doughnuts without the help of butter, milk or eggs.

Comme des Garçons

Shop

The Japanese label’s only Melbourne store.