The Best Restaurants in St Kilda

Updated 6 months ago

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Fitzroy Street, Acland Street and surrounds aren’t thriving quite as much as they were in the early 2000s, but St Kilda is still home to two Melbourne’s best restaurants, Stokehouse and Cafe Di Stasio. Beyond that, there’s a long tail of locally treasured institutions such as Cicciolina and Donovans, and fresh, exciting players such as Rufio and the reinvigorated Prince Hotel. These are the best restaurants to dine at in St Kilda.

  • This personable institution has been around since 1995 and retains a huge base of regular customers who love its classic, consistent menu.

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  • Seafood and stunning ocean views – it's no surprise this is such an institution.

  • White-jacketed waiters delivering discreet, attentive service and a consistently excellent menu have made Rinaldo Di Stasio's intimate dining room a pilgrimage for lovers of fine Italian food. The seasonal set menu is an excellent way to dive in.

  • Southall’s owner grew up at Bombay by Night – the respected Indian restaurant his parents ran for 25 years. Here, he serves 48-hour tandoor-cooked kaali daal, and the same dessert his mum has been making for Melbourne since 1990.

  • Enjoy an authentic Cantonese banquet with a view, set above Melbourne’s iconic Esplanade Hotel. Pair duck pancakes, spicy pork chilli wontons and sesame prawn toast with a fusion cocktail. Yum Cha Sundays here are a highlight.

  • This downstairs iteration of the St Kilda institution serves up European-inspired dishes in a laid-back setting. Go for family-sized bowls of pasta and tiramisu masquerading as bombe alaska, all next to a seaside view.

  • You might need a map to navigate this iconic seaside pub. Across its five floors, you’ll find multiple bars and two restaurants. Not to mention three stages for live music, including the legendary Gershwin Room.

  • The chef behind the pans at this all-day diner worked in some of London's top restaurants for over two decades. And you can taste that experience across even the most casual dishes.

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  • This 1915 pub offers something for all across two distinct spaces. Visit the flaming grillhouse for whole flounder and Karen Martini’s lauded Bistecca alla Fiorentina. Or see its more-casual sibling for pub-style plates.

  • There’s only one rule at this Spanish eatery: no cutting corners.

  • Stay up late with pintxos and wine.

  • Gluten-free naan? Indian nachos? You can find them here.

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  • This spot just off St Kilda Beach is one of Melbourne's original Mexican restaurants, and it's still one of its best. That's thanks to an uncompromising commitment to quality ingredients. The drinks list, which includes a handful of Margaritas, complements the fun, shareable food.

  • With an impressive collection of art covering the walls, Cicciolina feels like a dinner party in an eccentric painter's home – and it’s almost always full. Diners young and old are drawn back for its simple Italian cuisine and lengthy wine list. Enjoy drops from Italy, France and beyond from the bar out the back while you wait for a table.

  • Meaning ‘community’ in Japanese, Machi is inspired by its St Kilda location and eclectic culture. Come here for excellent gyoza, Wagyu beef and Kyoto-inspired dishes.

  • This striking, forest-themed dining room has been a destination for pizza and other Italian classics since 2004.

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  • The name says it all.

  • There’s broad appeal at this south-side boozer. It’s known for its crowd-friendly boozy brunches. But there’s also a 16-seat chef’s table for more formal celebrations, and three kinds of woodfired steak for a midweek feed.

  • Fresh and varied fare to rival that of any Southeast Asian island.

  • Artisanal 12-inch pizza bliss south of the Yarra.

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  • Fast food without the mystery-meat aspect on Barkly Street.

  • Settle into the minimalist dining room, or take a seat on the rooftop, at this lively Latin-inspired eatery. Go for smoky bite-sized arepas, slow-cooked chargrilled seafood and three kinds of tostadas. Plus, more than 50 types of tequila and mezcal.

  • A Euro-inspired wine bar, wine shop and deli set beneath The Prince Hotel. Enjoy classic Australian and European wines; cheese, charcuterie and small snacking plates from the deli; and descend to one of Melbourne’s most impressive wine cellars.

  • The iconic Prince of Wales Hotel has lived many lives. Today, it’s the best version of itself, with a beautiful island bar, bistro pub fare, and plenty of footpath seating for pints and people-watching in the sun.

  • Mediterranean-skewed dining and a space full of modern flourishes.