Dinesmart Melbourne 2023

Updated today


StreetSmart’s annual DineSmart fundraising campaign is set to launch on December 1, with diners given the option of adding a $2 donation to their bill at participating restaurants. For more than two decades, the hospitality-led initiative has brought together hundreds of restaurants and their diners, raising more than $12 million for grassroots homelessness and community projects.

This year, DineSmart is asking diners to help raise funds to address the current homelessness and housing crisis by providing emergency accommodation, food security programs, tenancy support, material aid, legal services and more. Making a contribution to DineSmart will go a long way in helping people who are without shelter, food or support.

Taking part is simple. Just dine at a participating venue during December, and let the staff know you’re happy to add the $2 donation (or more, if you like) to your bill. Dine out and help out this December.

  • Under the stewardship of star chef Andrew McConnell, this classic bar and dining room in a heritage building feels as vital as ever. Throw back easy-drinking lagers and cocktails with a burger or the rotisserie of the day.

  • The fiery Southeast Asian diner Melburnians and tourists have been queuing for since 2011. So why's it still such a hit after all these years? The service remains fast and efficient; the energy is always high; and Benjamin Cooper's food continues to nail that sweet spot between flavour, tradition and fun.

  • Andrew McConnell's all-day eating house combines the star chef's typically excellent food with smart interior design. While it's not his most famous venue these days, the polished service, considered wine list and inventive dishes at Cumulus Inc. are still worthy of celebration after all these years.

  • The flagship of celebrated chef Andrew McConnell’s restaurant empire is a lesson in refined elegance. From the leather booths to the chic front bar, it’s a perfect spot for a special occasion. Experience McConnell’s renowned fine-dining experience with the degustation.

  • This three-storey love letter to Gippsland and its produce is by Alejandro Saravia, the chef behind CBD classic Pastuso. There's a deli with house-made pastrami rolls; a suave restaurant with a focus on cooking with flames; and a greenhouse-like rooftop oasis.

  • Left-of-centre pizzas are the draw at this big, industrial-chic room from the Tipo 00 and Osteria Ilaria crew. Post up at the central bar for snacks and natural wines, or share bistecca and nebbiolo at a bistro-style table.

  • This spot from the Hanoi Hannah and Tokyo Tina crew is all about spicy birds: with a Vietnamese take on duck à l’orange and charcoal chicken with burnt chilli. Plus, there’s cocktails made with charred grapefruit and burnt plums.

  • Andrew McConnell's signature flair is all over this grand bar and dining room, from the exacting service to the comforting European dishes. It’s named after the classic cocktail, and the calibre of drinks here speaks to that. You’ll find us at the marble bar, Gimlet in hand.

  • Hawker-style food from the chef behind now-closed institution Ezard. Order the famous son-in-law eggs – a fun mix of textural elements that has its roots in Malay and Thai street food – and red duck curry.

  • Spot number two for the southside’s favourite Vietnamese restaurant.

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  • This pared-back eatery from the Higher Ground, Top Paddock and Liminal team specialises in woodfired dishes that are unfussy, yet easily live up to the gold standard set by their other Melbourne venues.

  • Lively cocktails and refined snacks are on the cards at this dark and daring basement bar. But it’s really the wine list you come here for – it’s an adventure in unfamiliar regions and varietals, and focuses on biodynamic and sustainable drops.

  • Uncomplicated, fuss-free and laid-back. It’s mostly about pizza here – everything from pork to porcini (plus choose from a hefty list of extras to make it your own). Roll in after work for a few local beers, or gather a group for an intimate reserved meal.

  • Take a seat at the black granite bar for hot and sour shredded potato, charcoal-roasted char siu and cured pork belly with rolled rice noodles in XO.

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  • Long, slow lunches and degustation dinners at the edge of the lake – Alla and Allan Wolf-Tasker have been doing their thing since 1979 and it's never lost relevance.

  • Longrain started in Sydney in ’95 and came to Melbourne a decade later. Since then, it’s been at the forefront of contemporary Thai dining here. Order a banquet and try favourites like caramelised pork belly and som tam salad.

  • If you’re after Italian with a fun, neighbourhood feel, head here. Restaurateur Chris Lucas’s buzzing southside spot turns out pizzas alongside salumi and traditional, crowd-pleasing pastas.

  • Pick a bunch of shared dishes from the day’s menu on the wall. Order some wine with help from the switched-on staff. The format’s simple, but as we’ve come to expect from Andrew McConnell’s restaurants, everything is just right.

  • In an iconic southside building, this alluring bistro does old Chinese favourites in new ways – like reimagined prawn toast and a Hainanese chicken club sandwich that took 30 attempts to perfect.

  • This two-storey joint is warmly lit and moody, with long timber tables and cosy booths. Order Mediterranean-style share plates, choose a bottle (or three) from the wall, and tuck in with your favourite people. Neptune seats up to 105 people.

  • It’s Vietnamese, but not as you know it. Slide into a booth and order fragrant share plates that might include banh mi fingers, beer tartare with pho jelly, and a playful take on caviar. Plus, a suite of Australian wines and beers (and Vietnamese lagers for good measure).

  • The follow-up to older sibling Tipo 00 stretches beyond the pasta bar concept with meat and seafood dishes you might find at a modern osteria in Italy. An enormous cellar beneath the restaurant stocks Italian necessities such as wine and house-cured charcuterie.

  • Some of the finest food, wine and views on the entire Mornington Peninsula, which is saying something. And the accommodation is no slouch either, with a range of beautiful king-sized suites to choose from.

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  • In a timber-panelled room that feels of another time, get ready for four types of Martini, a daily menu of shellfish on ice, and a stand-out crème caramel dessert.

  • Beautifully executed Japanese (and other east Asian cuisines) by celebrated chef Andrew McConnell. Come for Melbourne's most famous lobster roll, steaming bowls of ramen at lunch, Korean-style barbequed meats and Shanghai dumplings.

  • Pop into this warm, retro-feel restaurant for weeknight dinners of 72-hour-fermented focaccia, handmade pasta and woodfired meats. On weekends, party in the basement with amaro cocktails and DJs spinning Italo disco.

  • After all these years, moody Tipo 00 still attracts queues of people hoping for a taste of its simple yet meticulously assembled pastas. A couple of secondi and dolci also grace the menu, alongside salumi best enjoyed at the marble bar, spritz in hand. Make sure you arrive early – very early – if you don’t have a booking.

  • Enjoy Japanese-inspired food at this moodily lit diner, from the team behind Saigon Sally and Hanoi Hannah. The stars here are crisped-up sticky eggplant, karaage chicken, miso-baked cauliflower and tender duck breast in brothy udon.

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  • A buzzing food and beer hall inspired by Singaporean and Malaysian hawker halls. Work your way through a hit-list of hawker market dishes. Expect various dishes of noodles, rice, roti and curry (from the trusted team behind Chin Chin, Society and Baby Pizza). Plus, order lots of easy-drinking beers.

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

  • Named after a classic Jeff Buckley song, this grungy warehouse wine bar feels like a dinner party in a New York loft apartment. Come for nostalgic dishes with a French bistro lean, music played on vinyl and plenty of interesting wine.

  • Enter the cyberpunk facade to find Chris Lucas’s two-level Japanese diner. Watch chefs turn skewered meat over jumping flames, slurp your noodles and call it good manners (it is in Japan), and sip cocktails named after Tokyo’s neighbourhoods.

  • At this sprawling restaurant by Chris Lucas, there’s an experience for just about every taste. Grab a seat at the marble bar for cocktails, sit in the chandelier-lit dining room to try the luxe European menu, or book one of the striking private dining rooms.

  • Venetian elegance, New York energy and Melbourne nostalgia collide at restaurateur Chris Lucas’s lavish brasserie and grill. Settle into the grand dining room for charcoal-fired bistecca, show-stopping tiramisu, quintessentially Italian cocktails and lots of tableside theatrics.

  • Enter this Euro-style grocer and cafe for an impressive salad sanga, Baker Bleu pizza squares and fancy picnic hampers. Plus, two-person cakes (including Marion’s Basque cheesecake), produce, seedlings, fresh blooms and more for home.

  • A second permanent outpost for prolific restaurateur Andrew McConnell's Covid success story. Enter the sunny flower-filled grocer for chicken Waldorf ciabattas, salmon melts and jaffa-flavoured cakes. Plus, Baker Bleu loaves, fruit and veg, and fancy pantry staples.

  • A classy New York-inspired Italian restaurant complete with white tablecloths, private booths, and comforting Italo-American fare. Go for its for its slow-cooked octopus with cannellini beans; saucy, spicy vodka fusilli with breadcrumbs; or rainbow trout topped with buttery piccata sauce.

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  • 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.

  • The second location for a south-side favourite.

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  • A late-trading Greek institution in the heart of the city. Since 1987, it's been serving traditional, uncomplicated food including fresh dips, chicken and lamb giros from the spit and a famous range of souvlaki that punters keep coming back for – regardless of the time of day (or night).

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  • The longstanding pub is now in the hands of Rustica owner Brenton Lang. Have a seafood feast in the greenery-surrounded glasshouse or wrap your hands around a big burger in the charmingly refurbed dining room.

  • An upmarket New Nordic restaurant occupying two levels of Collins Street’s Gothic 1880s Olderfleet building. Stop by when the sun is up for various smorrebrod, or Scandi open sandwiches. Later on, you’ll find standout savoury waffles, not-your-average beef tartare and other dishes where simplicity tempers innovation.

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  • While sibling restaurant Farmer’s Daughters is all about Gippsland, this sophisticated eatery brings the best of the entire state’s produce to Melbourne’s epicentre. Find an interactive ingredients table, a 3000-bottle “wine library” and a terrace with river views.