The Best Restaurants in Collingwood

Updated 2 weeks ago

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Collingwood’s proximity to the Yarra and plentiful water 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, a tech start-up or yes, a restaurant.

Smith Street’s still a vital part of the conversation, but many of the restaurants in this guide are found in the suburb’s spacious backstreet warehouses. Go and explore – some of the best eating in the city can be had here and in neighbouring Fitzroy.

  • A glowing wine (and pasta) bar at Collingwood’s mammoth arts hub, which doubles as Hope St Radio’s home. Settle in for rigatoni all’amatriciana, Fernet-Branca-and-cola sorbet and plenty of juicy lo-fi wines.

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

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  • In an old furniture warehouse, you’ll find sour-coffee ales and beer that mimics wine. Plus, a schmick Southeast Asian restaurant (and beer garden) next door with kangaroo tartare, twice-fried chicken wings and more.

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  • Experience fun takes on Middle Eastern classics at Shane Delia’s moody spot. Go for crispy burek buns filled with duck fesunjun (a classic Persian stew), alongside a signature Pomegranate Sour cocktail.

  • Acclaimed chef Scott Pickett returns to his roots at this swish 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.

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

  • A cafe by day and izakaya by night. Mornings are for bowls of salmon- or Wagyu-topped rice with an umami-rich broth. And in the evenings, sake cocktails and snacky bites like mirin-dressed oysters come out.

  • After more than 40 years, this classic Greek spot still brims with diners most nights. It stays true to tradition with pan-fried saganaki, house-made Greek dips, lamb sliced from the gyro and hot plates of charcoal-cooked seafood.

  • 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.

  • This place specialises in Hamamatsu-style gyoza, which is served in a crisp, hot spiral. But Chotto Motto doesn’t just do one thing well. Beyond the main event, there are impressive katsu sandwiches, juicy karaage (chicken or cauliflower), and a beer vending machine for cold Japanese suds. Its siblings, Neko Neko and Wabi Sabi Salon, are also worth a visit.

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  • 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.

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

  • A cheery place for a Japanese lunch.

  • At this specialist noodle joint, organic Tasmanian buckwheat is milled on site and rolled into 100 per cent gluten-free soba noodles fresh every day. Try them hot or cold.

  • This saloon-style pub has an Elvis fixation. The boot-worn floorboards feel lived in, and you might even catch a cowboy hat-wearing country act. The food sticks to the Americana theme: think Southern fried chicken and cheeseburgers.

  • Fancy a no-nonsense burger served five storeys up inside an old-school train carriage? This place – and only this place – is for you. Easey’s doesn't coast by on its looks alone, though. These are some of the best burgers you’ll find anywhere in town. The view is pretty great, too.

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

  • Despite the modern refurb, this charming all-day boozer feels like it’s been around forever. Park up in the sunny, plant-filled atrium or out front for upmarket parmas. The knockout-style pool competitions here are a mid-week spectacle.

  • 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.

  • This vegan pizza joint will please everyone (even the most avid carnivores). Pass the neon-red sparrow to find perfectly blistered woodfired pie that’s loaded with toppings.