The Best Restaurants in Southbank

Updated 2 weeks ago


Southbank is where you’ll find some of the city’s best theatres and art institutions. Located across the Birrarung from Flinders Street Station, it’s always thronging with pedestrians drawn from the NGV, the Arts Centre and the Malthouse Theatre, plus big hotels like the Langham.

For pre- and post-theatre dinners, it’s even more conveniently located than the CBD. Most restaurants in the area are handily cited on the pedestrian-friendly waterfront promenade, either inside Crown Casino or Southgate shopping centre. Here’s our pick of the best.

  • This is the Melbourne outpost of the globally-renowned Nobu Japanese restaurant chain. Peruvian flavours are expertly combined with Japanese cuisine in dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and black cod with miso.

    Book a Table
  • An elegant Australian steak restaurant championing sustainable, grass-fed beef sourced from the likes of Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim. Various cuts are dry-aged in house, enhanced by a selection of classic sides, raw seafood and pasta. There's also a tome-like wine list to rival any in the country.

  • French dining by renowned chef Guillaume Brahimi. The high culinary standard set by his now-closed bistro at the Sydney Opera House is in full effect here, but the setting is more casual. While it’s not quite the river Seine, the Birrarung is an idyllic backdrop for Brahimi’s nostalgic dishes.

    Book a Table
  • Asado is Spanish for roast. And that’s exactly the focus at this tan-leather-filled restaurant, which showcases grilled meats and big flavours. From the team behind San Telmo, Pastuso and Palermo, Asado encourages you to share a spread of tapas as well as meat, seafood and vegetables charred on the parrilla.

  • This Japanese diner serves up its own version of contemporary Japanese cuisine. The room is sleek, the menu is fun and seafood heavy, and there’s plenty of saké (of course).

  • Innovative Chinese-Australian fusion in a low-lit underground restaurant. More than a decade on, it remains one of the best places in Melbourne to try the lesser-seen cuisines of China's Yunnan, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. While Sichuan food is king here, the entire menu is stylish, vibrant and well-balanced.

  • D.O.C. is all about high-quality Italian fare. Stop by for mozzarella, insalate, lasagna and, of course, pizza. And time your visit with aperitivo hour – between 4pm and 6pm – to enjoy pre-dinner olives and prosciutto with your drink, in true Italian style.

  • The oyster bar at the Atlantic takes inspiration from New York’s famous Grand Central Oyster Bar. If you’ve got cash to splash, this is probably the most opulent way to eat oysters in Melbourne.

    Book a Table
  • The winner of the best-pizza-in-the-world 2014 is also at Crown. Come for an Italian-style long lunch in its al fresco Riverwalk setting with excellent pizza or pasta.

  • Working with top-grade produce such as green lip abalone, snow crab and full-blood Wagyu, Crown Casino’s in-house Cantonese restaurant is largely geared towards visiting high rollers. But the luxurious dining room and its sweeping Yarra views are within reach of the average punter, provided they order wisely.

    Book a Table
  • Daily yum cha, live seafood from the tank and crispy fried noodles are all designed to share at this Cantonese restaurant. Take a seat in the courtyard for a view of the Yarra through bamboo stalks, while sipping jasmine tea or a Singapore Sling.

  • This opulent tearoom is the perfect setting for an afternoon high tea of scones, finger sandwiches and cakes. It also offers expansive buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  • Next to the roulette table at Crown there’s an Asian-influenced sharing menu that makes the most of Australian native ingredients. The view’s good, too.

  • Taking influence from across Asia, this neon-lit diner offers a variety of big-flavoured menus to suit any occasion. Whether you're popping in for pre-show snacks or settling in for a feast with mates, expect dumplings, premium Aussie steaks with seaweed butter, and cocktails with Asian-inspired twists.

  • The cult US burger giant's first location in Melbourne. Drop in for burgers starring double handmade patties (with free choice of toppings), daily-cut fries, hot dogs, shakes and more.

  • The Southgate fine diner is built on its relationships with suppliers in Tasmania.