Italian is more woven into Melbourne’s food fabric than any other cuisine. For most of us, it’s our first choice in terms of familiarity and everyday eating. Many of the restaurants in this guide have been feeding us for decades. They haven’t changed a bit, and we hope they never do. Even places that have opened more recently tend to lean classic. It’s hard to change up Italian too much, it was pretty much nailed the first time around.

So this guide was difficult to narrow down. Chances are you’ll see a lot of your favourites in here; but it’s just as likely some will be missing. That speaks to the breadth of choice at Melbourne’s disposal nowadays.

If you’re looking for something more specific, try one of these:

Related Pages:
Best Pasta in Melbourne
Best Pizza in Melbourne

Di Stasio Citta

Restaurateur Rinaldo Di Stasio is back in the city with an extraordinary restaurant that blends high art, high drama and high cuisine.

35 Spring Street, Melbourne


The big gun classic in Italian dining in Melbourne.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Osteria Ilaria

A largely pasta-free zone next door to wildly popular older sibling, Tipo 00.

367 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Tipo 00

Tipo 00 has an offering too good to refuse: carb-loaded, butter-drenched pasta.

361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne


Traditional Italian dishes and beers from across the globe make for an all-round tasty experience.

191 Nicholson Street, Carlton


Approachable, unfussy American-Italian food with fine-dining pedigree.

421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
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Al Dente Enoteca

The pasta-delivery service that took lockdown by storm is now a fully fledged restaurant. But liquor licensing delays are taking a toll on owners Andrea Vignali and Davide Bonadiman. Even without booze, a meal here is well worth the visit. Come for cacio e pepe tortellini, house-baked focaccia, fancy booze-free cocktails and more.

161 Nicholson Street, Carlton
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Park Street Pasta & Wine

Fresh, handmade pasta rolled from the best possible ingredients is the draw at this intimate osteria.

268 Park Street, South Melbourne


Northern Italian fare in a dimly lit osteria.

76-78 Bridge Road, Richmond


A modern take on the classic Italian enoteca, a 50-seat wine bar with house-made pasta, hard-to-find wines and waiters clad in head-to-toe white Japanese denim in an iconic heritage-listed building.

297 Lygon Street, Carlton


After 19 years behind the counter at Pellegrini’s, Matt Picone opened this pasta bar dedicated to his late father.

2/377 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Cafe Di Stasio

The word institution gets thrown around a lot, but Ronnie di Stasio's elegant Italian diner has well and truly earned the accolade.

31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
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Il Solito Posto

This cosy, cellar-like restaurant is an old favourite with a sophisticated wine list and classic Italian cuisine.

Basement 113 Collins Street (enter George Pde), Melbourne

Trattoria Emilia

A North Italian-style trattoria that’s all about making you comfortable.

360 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
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Modern-Italian served right beside the road, just like they do in Rome.

74 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Il Bacaro

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.

168-170 Little Collins Street, Melbourne


Here to feed us traditional home-style pizza, pasta and all things Italian food and drink.

305 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North


What Marios lacks in authenticity it more than makes up for in comfort. The food here is simple, delicious and accessible. Does it really matter that the carbonara on the menu uses cream? It's delicious. And people certainly haven't been complaining. Marios has been open since 1984.

303 Brunswick Street,, Fitzroy


A polished Italian diner that’s ditched the traditional red-and-white tablecloths for contemporary art and modern plating techniques.

242 High Street, Windsor

Lupino Bistro

An Italian bistro on Little Collins Street with a retro vibe.

41 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Rosetta Ristorante

Sophisticated Italian from star chef Neil Perry.

8 Whiteman Street, Southbank


The perfect place to bask in luxury and tradition.

61 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

+39 Pizzeria and Antipasteria

The prefix for international calls to Italy is a fitting title for this pizzeria and degustation bar.

362 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Zia Rina’s Cucina

Settle into this tiny trattoria for Japanese-influenced pasta and aperitivos.

857 High Street, Armadale

48h Pizza e Gnocchi Bar Elsternwick

This sister venue to the South Yarra original brings the same pizza and gnocchi – but there's an added delicatessen, here too.

15 Gordon Street, Elsternwick

Bar Carolina

From the restaurateur behind Sarti and Il Bacaro.

44 Toorak Road, South Yarra


A laidback Italian eatery in the space which once housed Sarti. The voguish menu taps into current pasta obsessions such as cacio e pepe and cavatelli with pan-fried pork sausage; bolstered by larger, protein-heavy mains. The wine-list has an emphasis on Australian and Italian varietals, while the easy-drinking spritzes – best enjoyed on the rooftop – are the name of the day over on the cocktail side of things.

6 Russell Place, Melbourne
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A long-running restaurant dedicated to classic Italian dining.

11-25 Crossley Street, Melbourne


The sister restaurant to Chin Chin and Kong is all about pizza.

631-633 Church Street, Richmond

The Hardware Club

Two childhood friends are behind this new diner that pays homage to the neighbourhood eateries of their hometown. On the menu? Osso bucco ravioli, cacio e pepe toasties and a classic tiramisu. On the menu, that means bold and robust wines from small-scale vineyards paired with simple flavours such as tinned anchovies on house-baked bread; or roast chicken with baked brussels sprouts.

Level 1 43 Hardware Lane, Melbourne


Simple Italian in intimate surrounds.

445 Little Collins Street, Melbourne
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Umberto Espresso Bar

A recently expanded espresso bar serving hearty Italian fare with a warm, local feel.

917 High Street, Thornbury

Rosa’s Canteen

At Rosa Mitchell’s latest venue the self-taught chef embraces broader Italian influences.

Rear 500 Bourke Street (enter via Thomson Street), Melbourne

Italian Artisans

Pizza is king here, but the former DOC owner behind this Italian joint is also making “antipasto sexy again”. Enjoy it all with minimal-intervention wines from Italy.

135 Victoria Avenue, Albert Park

The Waiters Restaurant

Once the place waiters dined after they'd finished their shift, now a legendary institution.

20 Meyers Place, Melbourne

Tiamo 2

A true feel of Italy at this bustling Italian bistro with a pizza focus.

305 Lygon Street, Carlton

Tiamo Coffee

An ever popular, family run Italian bistro that dates back to the 70s.

303 Lygon Street, Carlton

1800 Lasagne

After years running lasagnes around town in a ’91 Holden Barina, Joey Kellock has moved into a former pizza shop. On the menu: lasagne, maybe a dirty Martini and little else.

653 High Street, Thornbury


A busy pizzeria in Carlton, like something straight out of the boot-shaped country.

295 Drummond Street, Carlton
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Caffe e Cucina

An authentic Italian stalwart on Chapel Street.

581 Chapel Street, South Yarra


A Melbourne institution with a diverse crowd of regulars.

66 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Thirty Eight Chairs South Yarra

A traditional pasta bar with proper elbow-to-elbow ambience.

4a Bond Street, South Yarra


Authentic, no-fuss Italian since 1993.

130 Acland Street, St Kilda

Bar Idda

A cosy room serving home-style Sicilian food with generosity and heart.

132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East