Collingwood’s proximity to the Yarra made it one of the Melbourne’s earliest industrial hubs. Stroll past one of Collingwood’s old factories today, though, and you’re more likely to find an art gallery or the offices of a tech start-up.

That change in culture comes across in Collingwood’s restaurants. Smith Street’s still as vital to dining in Melbourne as ever – and plenty of classics are still going strong – but many of the restaurants in this guide stretch out into the suburb’s backstreets, encouraging you to go exploring. And explore you should – some of the best eating in the city can be had here.

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Maha Bar

Bar

Traditional Middle Eastern eats and za’atar margaritas at Maha’s good-time sibling.

86 Smith Street, Collingwood
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Ides

Restaurant

An acclaimed, set menu only fine-diner featuring punchy, technique-driven dishes.

92 Smith Street, Collingwood

Congress

Restaurant

Kangaroo pastrami, pulled pig’s-head and croquettes are the hallmarks of this flexible restaurant-slash-wine bar.

49 Peel Street, Collingwood

Le Bon Ton

Restaurant

A late-night bar bringing the flavours of New Orleans and Texan barbeque to Melbourne.

51 Gipps Street, Collingwood

Hotel Jesus

Restaurant

Venue number two from the Mamasita crew introduces a careful element of kitsch but loses none of the attention to detail that made its older sibling such a hit. Take a seat at the bar, order a frosty Michelada and snack on some huitalacoche (corn fungus) tacos. Even if you've been to Mexico, you won't find the experience lacking.

174 Smith Street, Collingwood

Jim’s Greek Tavern

Restaurant

Classic Greek dishes served with panache.

32 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Chotto Motto

Restaurant

Landing somewhere between a hip izakaya and a conbini, this place specialises in Hamamatsu-style gyoza served in a hot-and-crisp spiral. It also has a monthly soft-serve flavour for dessert and a beer vending machine for cold Japanese suds.

287 Wellington Street, Collingwood

Wabi Sabi Salon

Restaurant

A charming little Japanese restaurant with a cluttered interior that feels a bit like being in Japan. Dinners here are great but everyone loves the lunch deals, which involve bento boxes or sushi and miso sets.

94 Smith Street, Collingwood
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New Jaffa

Restaurant

A micro Middle-Eastern diner where Israeli hummus is treated as a dish – not a dip.

32 Stanley Street, Collingwood

The Horn African Cafe & Restaurant

Restaurant

Authentic Ethiopian cuisine and live music make this a stand-out venue.

20 Johnston St, Collingwood

Aka Siro

Restaurant

A cheery place for a Japanese lunch.

106 Cambridge Street, Collingwood

The Gem Bar and Dining

Bar

This rowdy pub has a rockabilly theme, complete with genuine American barbeque. It's unusual, but it works.

289 Wellington Street, Collingwood

Easey's

Restaurant

Fancy a no-nonsense burger for, served five storeys up, inside a train carriage? This is the place for you. This eye-catching spot in Collingwood's backstreets doesn't coast by on its looks though – these are some of the best burgers you'll find anywhere in town.

48 Easey Street, Collingwood

Son in Law

Restaurant

If you’re looking for Thai food with a difference, this is your place.

56-58 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Thin Slizzy

Restaurant

At this rock'n'roll pizzeria and bar you'll find punny, Neapolitan-style pizzas such as the Meatallica, the Smashing Pumpkins or the Brockin' in the Free World – by an ex-Rita's chef.

115 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Red Sparrow

Restaurant

A vegan pizza joint on Smith Street.

406 Smith Street, Collingwood

Smith St Bistrot

Restaurant

Scott Picket returns to his roots at this sexy inner-city bistro. With its caviar service, playful spins on Gallic staples and a dining room that recalls Paris in the 1930s, this place is a spirited entry to the genre by one Melbourne's best chefs.

300 Smith Street, Collingwood
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