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

Restaurants

Chin Chin

Restaurant

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

Il Bacaro

Restaurant

At this CBD stalwart, you'll find old-school service, a lengthy wine list and plenty of classic Italia charm. Dishes here have a Venetian focus, and include a zucchini risotto, a "fish charcuterie board" as well as the signature Moreton Bay bug spaghettini. For drinks, opt for a classic Bellini or a parmesan-infused Martini.

Movida

Restaurant

The restaurant responsible for igniting Melbourne's love for modern Spanish food.

Chancery Lane

Restaurant

Scott Pickett's take on a mod-French brasseries brings old-world European elegance to a heritage-listed CBD building. There's ritzy deep-green marble, dramatic arched windows and candelabras throughout. Start with black truffle and foie gras toasties, then move onto French-style gnocchi, and finish with a gin-and-raspberry baba.

Dom’s

Restaurant

This three-level spot, from the guys behind Dexter and Takeaway Pizza, bears little resemblance to its former self (Peaches, Dexter). Go for focaccia-like pizza with house-made mortadella and garlic-fermented honey, chevre-stuffed potato skins, plenty of Aussie spirits and a pool table.

Farmer’s Daughters

Restaurant

This three-storey love letter to Gippsland and its produce is by the Alejandro Saravia, the chef behind CBD classic Pastuso. There's a deli with house-made pastrami rolls; a suave restaurant with a focus on cooking with flames; and a greenhouse-like rooftop oasis.

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.

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Wonder Pies & 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.

Bakemono

Cafe

This Japanese-inspired bakery is from the team behind Little Rogue just across the street. It's selling whole loaves of shokupan (fluffy milk bread), flaky almond-yuzu croissants, Danishes piled high with berries, and soft buns filled with cream cheese, then doused in garlic butter.

Cafe Lafayette

Cafe

This Japanese cafe in the old Restaurant Shik space features the kinds of design elements that are more common in a nightclub than a coffee spot (especially the neon lights). The fun brunch menu here includes unagi hotdogs with yuzu mayo, fried chicken on squid-ink waffles, and double choc milkshakes.

Gelateria Primavera

Cafe

This gelateria, perched next to City Wine Shop and Spring Street Grocer, is a contender for having the best gelato in town. The ingredients are high quality, seasonal flavours range from classic to strange, and the pozzetti cabinets keep the preservative-free gelato nice and fresh.

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.

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.

Hihou

Bar

At this Japanese-influenced bar from the owner of Izakaya Den, you'll have a hard deciding whether you prefer the drinks or the food. The solution? In order to make your mind up, you should order copious amounts of both.

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Angel Music Bar

Bar

An audiophile playground for celebrated restaurateur Con Christopoulos that serves up bar snacks with a side of sub-bass frequencies. Things are pretty fun and loud downstairs, and there's a few seats and some great drinks on offer. But it's on the upstairs dancefloor where the volume really turns up and things get loose.

Heroes

Bar

It's hard to describe this place. Is it a karaoke bar? Is it a Southeast Asian barbeque restaurant? Is it a great rooftop bar? Yes, to all of the above. Either way, odds are you'll find yourself with a lamb skewer in one hand and a mic in the other at some point during an evening here.

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Siglo

Bar

This rooftop bar, which sits above the Melbourne Supper Club, has unrivalled views of Spring Street and Parliament House. It's also one of the few spots in Melbourne that has its own cigar menu – there's even a humidor full of hard-to-find Cubans. If that's not your style, the cocktails are equally excellent.

Goldilocks Bar

Bar

At this long-running hidden rooftop bar, there's an emphasis on cocktails and comfort. Unlike many rooftops, this spot is understated; the team here let the cocktails and the view do the talkings. The retractable rooftop means that this a great all-weather option, too.

Shops

Trunk Tailors

Shop

Trunk Tailors promises to fulfil your suiting needs.

Weirdoughs

Shop

This tiny, technicolour Flinders Lane patisserie serves flaky croissants and fluffy doughnuts without the help of butter, milk or eggs. There's also all-vegan ice-cream, including vanilla with croissant dough and Espresso Martini.

American Doughnut Kitchen

Shop

Melbourne’s first ever doughnut outlet.

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.