There's a right occasion for trying new restaurants. Business lunches aren't it. You want somewhere more classic. Somewhere safe, quiet and a little bit sophisticated. Attentive service is a must.

We've collected the city's best and they're bookable right here on Broadsheet. Stick to the top half if you're looking for something conservative. Further down the list, the white table cloths disappear and things get more fun and informal.

Bottega

Modern-Italian served right beside the road, just like they do in Rome.

74 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Becco

A long-running restaurant dedicated to classic Italian dining.

11-25 Crossley Street, Melbourne

Philippe

Classic-but-contemporary dishes from Melbourne’s French-cuisine master.

115-117 Collins Street, Melbourne

Flower Drum

A serene Cantonese fine-diner that's been cooking since 1975.

17 Market Lane, Melbourne

The French Brasserie

A dependable brasserie serving French classics to the suited and booted.

2 Malthouse Lane, 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

Rosetta Ristorante

Sophisticated Italian from star chef Neil Perry.

8 Whiteman Street, Southbank

Kisumé

The most ambitious Japanese restaurant in Melbourne.

175 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cumulus Inc.

Andrew McConnell's all-day eating house combines excellent food with interior design.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Cumulus Up Wine Bar

Andrew McConnell goes vertical with this wine bar above Cumulus Inc.

Level 1 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Coda

An energetic bar and restaurant serving modern Euro-Vietnamese fusion dishes.

Basement 141 Flinders Lane (corner Oliver Lane), Melbourne

Tonka

A CBD dining hot spot serving modern Indian.

20 Duckboard Place, Melbourne

Punch Lane

A Melbourne institution, positioned at the top of Little Bourke Street for more than two decades.

43 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Izakaya Chuji

A traditional Japanese Izakaya-like den on Lonsdale Street that's been there for over 20 years.

165 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Saké Restaurant & Bar – Flinders Lane

The fifth Saké outlet has a dedicated sushi bar and retains the fun approach to dining.

121 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Higher Ground

The team behind Kettle Black and Top Paddock go beyond cafes with this CBD spot inspired by hotel hospitality.

650 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Taxi Kitchen

A casual dining space with one of the finest views in Melbourne.

Level 1 / Transport Hotel Federation Square Swanston & Flinders Street, Melbourne