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

Restaurants

Stalactites

Restaurant

A 24-hour Greek institution in the city.

Soi 38

Restaurant

Walk down a CBD laneway and into a concrete parking garage to find this Thai street-food eatery serving a boat noodle dish with a cult following, tom yum soup, laksas and Bangkok-style coffee and tea.

Isan Soul

Restaurant

Step off Bourke Street into this lively two-storey eatery, where staple dishes from the Thai region of Isan pack flavours of extreme heat and sourness.

Harley House Bar & Grill

Restaurant

Pisco sours and ceviche, just like you’d find in Lima.

The French Brasserie

Restaurant

A dependable brasserie serving French classics to the suited and booted.

Vue de Monde

Restaurant

Some of the best dining and views in the country.

Cafes

Liminal

Cafe

This sea of olive leather, grey velvet and art deco touches is not your everyday foyer cafe. On the menu: French flatbreads you can fold up like a taco, and salads with porchetta or rotisserie chicken.

Pope Joan

Cafe

A clubby and convivial space with an all-day, British-leaning brunch menu. And yes, the famous Reuben has survived the move from Brunswick East.

Book a Table

Axil Coffee Roasters Bourke Street

Cafe

The eighth outpost for Axil specialty coffee roasters – this time with full kitchen service.

Wonderpop & Deli

Cafe

Mac’n’cheese pies, banana and custard pancake pies, and rhubarb and liquorice dessert pies in a tiny shop that takes cues from Alice in Wonderland.

Earl Canteen

Cafe

Say goodbye to soggy office sandwiches.

Holy Crumpets

Cafe

Put down the supermarket stuff, these small batch sourdough crumpets are the real deal.

Bars

Little Lon Distilling Co

Bar

A miniature gin distillery with a one-year lease, and a hundred-year history.

Radar

Bar

This Melbourne nightclub comes with a 29-year dance-music legacy.

polepole

Bar

An African beer and barbeque joint in the city.

Book a Table

Peaches

Bar

Above American barbeque spot Cheek, this pretty cocktail bar has four happy hours a day and serves Sichuan fried-chicken sandwiches until 3am. Further up, there’s a rooftop bar with city views.

Bar Lourinhã

Bar

Spanish food served with genuine flair.

Book a Table

Ferdydurke

Bar

The crew behind Section 8 has a joint high above its original haunt.

Shops

Weirdoughs

Shop

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

Bassike

Shop

The best place to find quality basics and beautifully made pieces.

Kuwaii

Shop

Floral fantasia and femininity abounds at this local label’s boutiques.

Gorman

Shop

Melbourne’s icon of gloriously bold, fun prints.

Quick Brown Fox

Shop

A mixture of vintage and modern women's clothing and accessories.

ACNE Studios

Shop

The Swedish fashion house brings Scandinavian minimalism to Melbourne.