The Best Restaurants in Northcote

Updated 2 months ago


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.