There's no better place to take the pulse of Melbourne's restaurant scene than in its oldest suburb. Everything fresh and exciting seems to be happening here or in adjoining Collingwood, from cheerful Japanese joints to sophisticated wine bars. Here are our favourite places to sit and have a full, leisurely meal.

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Best Restaurants in Carlton
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Ides

Fine-dining from an ex-Attica chef.

92 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

Ladro - Gertrude

A pizza-slinging classic.

224 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065

CHE

Chicken and chips, Peruvian style.

Shop 3 296 Brunswick Street (enter from Johnston Street)
Fitzroy VIC 3065