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

Leonardo’s Pizza Palace

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

29 Grattan Street, Carlton


Sleek, Euro-Japanese dining delivered in a two-, three- or five- or seven-course format.

121 Lygon Street, Carlton


Greek and English fare by Guy Holder and Angie Giannakodakis.

49 Rathdowne Street, Carlton
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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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Approachable, unfussy American-Italian food with fine-dining pedigree.

421 Rathdowne 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
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Hotel Lincoln

Pub fare that's a cut above the usual.

91 Cardigan street, Carlton
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Super Ling

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

138 Queensberry Street, Carlton
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Alfie’s Wine and Grill

A petite restaurant showing off grilled meats and vegetables, with an Australian and European wine list to match.

312 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 tightly packed 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
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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