The Best Restaurants in Northcote

Updated 2 months ago

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Northcote started heating up in 2011, with the opening of Estelle and the sadly departed Merricote. The former is still the jewel in Northcote’s dining crown, but if you’re after a more relaxed dinner there are several excellent pizzerias, smart wine bars, one of the city’s best Ethiopian restaurants, Israeli take-away and satisfying pub meals at the Northcote Social Club. After dinner take a walk to Cuppa Turca and try some stretchy Turkish ice-cream.

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  • “A touch of innovation without being scary or confronting” is how owner-chef Scott Pickett describes the menu here, and he’s bang-on.

  • The clever veg-forward wine bar created by two former Neighbourhood Wine and Bar Romantica head chefs. In the sunlight-filled dining room, or under the fairy light-studded lemon tree out back, order smoky-sweet turnips, brown butter fish and boozy amaro sorbet.

  • If you forget to book at this cosy neighbourhood restaurant, grab a seat at the bar, order a spritz and picture yourself in the streets of Palermo as you wait for a table. You’re in for home-style Sicilian fare, nostalgic Italian desserts and a welcoming vibe.

  • Pizza Meine Liebe (German for "pizza my love") rode in with a new wave of produce-driven pizza joints – and it’s still around for a reason. Come for thin, slightly chewy bases topped with clever combos, woodfired to perfection.

  • The tables at this bustling Indian joint fill up early – and for good reason. Go for its all-star curry menu that features creamy lamb pasanda, paneer makhani and staff-favourite eggplant curry. Plus, find house wines in glass tumblers, plus sweet mango lassi.

  • A light-filled all-day European bistro, bar and deli stocking fresh pasta, fancy tinned fish and other staples.

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  • Eat with your hands in Northcote.

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  • This wine bar from the owner of All Are Welcome is in a former lawyer’s office. Step behind the original gold-leaf signage and vertical blinds for left-of-centre wines and Russian and Georgian dishes featuring lots of pickles, ferments and seafood.

  • A wholly untraditional pizza joint that’s lots of fun.

  • This vegetarian Israeli street food spot is a local favourite. It’s slinging loaded pita pockets, refreshing salads, two flavours of falafel, shakshuka and smoky roasted vegetables. Plus, satisfying smoothies that’ll make for a whole meal.

  • This wine bar has a particularly welcoming design, with plump, comfy couches; carefree decor; a sharehouse-esque fairy-lit courtyard; and huge light-bringing windows. And the food is just as accessible – it’s a changeable, veg-led affair.

  • A bastion of live music for two decades, this is the spot to see buzzy acts from Melbourne and beyond. As well as the bandroom, it’s got an all-weather deck that blends into the rest of the pub, plus exceptional parmas and roasts.

  • This compact 25-seater flips beef and plant-based cheeseburgers, and serves southern fried chicken and vegan Cocowhip sundaes.

  • Brother Bon aims to make vegan food accessible (and enjoyable) to all. Its pan-Asian brunch and dinner menus hit all the right notes with fragrant noodle soups, dumplings, stir-fries and gua bao. Also on the menu are Vietnamese-style cocktails, as well as Australian beers and wines.

  • Everything is made in-house at this vegan diner. Stop by for some of the best falafels and fatteh in town and watch owner Ahmad Al Alaea – donning his signature cowboy hat – work in the open kitchen.