For a certain kind of person, the best part about birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations is the excuse to splurge at a top-tier restaurant. Even if that's not you, nearly everyone can appreciate the experience of settling around a table to enjoy the company of friends and family for several hours while all your whims are catered for.

These spots do it better than anyone else. In short: you bring the occasion and leave it to the staff to supply the special.



Although the menu changes often at this neighbourhood restaurant, regulars keep coming back for the beautiful dining room, old-school Italian hospitality and extensive wine list.

533 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy North



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

243 High Street, Northcote
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A bold, contemporary diner dedicated to cooking with fire and smoke, from the owner-chef of Estelle and Saint Crispin.

159 Domain Road, South Yarra
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This once-esoteric fine diner has a more approachable format under executive chef Elijah Holland. It’s serving chic, accessible food that defies any one cultural influence.

226 Coventry Street, South Melbourne



Take one of 34 seats and put yourself in the hands of Clinton McIver and his degustation-only menu.

1121 High Street, Armadale

Atlas Dining


Ambitious young owner-chef Charlie Carrington changes the cuisine every four months.

133 Commercial Road, South Yarra



One of the most remarkable dining experiences in the world. And it’s right here in Melbourne.

74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea

Cutler & Co.


The flagship of Andrew McConnell's restaurant empire.

55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
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Enjoy multiple creative courses from a former Attica sous chef.

92 Smith Street, Collingwood



The hushed, reverent atmosphere here is well suited to owner-chef Koichi Minamishima's awe-inspiring knife skills. He works with both local seafood and fish flown direct from Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo to produce his peerless sushi. This is the best Japanese restaurant in Melbourne.

4 Lord Street, Richmond



This is one of Melbourne's best Japanese restaurants. It's certainly its most ambitious. There's a New York-style sushi bar at street level, a pumping izakaya-style basement and an upstairs private dining room – Kuro – for intimate kaiseki-style meals.

175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cafe Di Stasio


The word institution gets thrown around a lot, but Ronnie di Stasio's elegant Italian diner has well and truly earned the accolade.

31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
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The big gun classic in Italian dining in Melbourne.

80 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Vue de Monde


Shannon Bennet's theatrical diner, with 360-degree city views.

Level 55, Rialto Building 525 Collins Street, Melbourne

Spice Temple


A modern take on Chinese, from Neil Perry, with a dramatic interior, endless wine list and quality food.

Crown Melbourne 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
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One of Melbourne's best farm-to-table fine diners is housed inside the old Beaconsfield post office. Wildly inventive degustations featuring produce from the restaurant's own Cardinia farm take place in a light-filled, spacious dining room. And out the front is a mood-lit wine bar for casual but no-less-inventive bar snacks and Victorian wines.

70 Princes Highway, Beaconsfield

Rockpool Bar & Grill


A large experience in the best possible way.

8 Whiteman Street, Crown Complex, Southbank
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Grill Americano


Venetian elegance, New York energy and a kick of Melbourne nostalgia collide at the Lucas Group’s lavish brasserie and grill. Take a seat in the grand dining room for charcoal-fired bistecca, a show stopping tiramisu, quintessentially Italian cocktails and plenty of tableside theatrics.

101 Collins Street, Melbourne