Carlton's top dining spots are mostly clustered along Lygon Street, near the corner of Elgin. This stretch – which extends all the way down to Victoria Parade in the south – isn't the force it was in the '80s and '90s, but it remains one of the better places in Melbourne for Italian food.

In fact, nearly all our favourite restaurants here are Italian, with a few notable exceptions such as Epocha and Abla's, the Lebanese institution that's been cooking since 1979.

Related pages:
Guide to Carlton
Best Cafes in Carlton
Best Restaurants in Fitzroy
Best Pasta in Melbourne

Carlton Wine Room

The pretty Victorian building in the heart of Carlton is a modern eatery with a European-influenced menu and wine list.

172-174 Faraday Street, Carlton
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In 2018, this Euro-Japanese fine diner moved from its home in Daylesford to Carlton. We're glad it's made the move to the city. The dishes here, delivered thoughtfully across several multi-course options, are a compelling argument for fusion done the right way.

121 Lygon Street, Carlton


Greek and English fare by Guy Holder and Angie Giannakodakis.

49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton

Lagoon Dining

Take a seat at the black granite bar for hot and sour shredded potato, popcorn chicken with togarashi and cured pork belly with rolled rice noodles in XO.

263 Lygon Street, Carlton
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Traditional Italian dishes and beers from across the globe make for an all-round tasty experience.

191 Nicholson Street, Carlton

Hotel Lincoln

Pub fare that's a cut above the usual.

91 Cardigan street, Carlton
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Leonardo’s Pizza Palace

A rollicking good-times pizzeria from the Leonard's House of Love crew.

29 Grattan Street, Carlton


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

421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
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Super Ling

Sichuan tofu jaffles, elegant steak tartare and wonton-skin mille-feuille.

138 Queensberry Street, Carlton


This Mexican eatery makes its own tortillas and grows its own chillies and herbs. To drink, there’s wine on tap or you can buy mezcal from the in-house bottle shop.

350 Drummond Street, Carlton
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Authentic Lebanese, with recipes passed down for generations.

109 Elgin Street, Carlton

Heartattack and Vine

A Lygon Street espresso and cicchetti bar.

329 Lygon Street, Carlton


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

295 Drummond Street, Carlton
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The Green Man’s Arms

Meat-free Israeli fare and retro decor – this isn’t your usual Melbourne pub.

418 Lygon St, Carlton


Have a relaxed meal at this Lygon Street institution.

400 Lygon Street, Carlton
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Traditional dining alive and well in the heart of Carlton.

19 Lincoln Square South, Carlton

Mr Pietro

A warm space filled with southern-Italian hospitality.

50 Grattan Street, Carlton

Tiamo Coffee

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

303 Lygon Street, Carlton

Tiamo 2

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

305 Lygon Street, Carlton

Shakahari Carlton

David Bowie was a fan of this vegetarian stalwart. Chances are, you will be too.

201-203 Faraday Street, Carlton