What makes a good CBD lunch spot?

It could be that you're meeting a prospective client and you need somewhere central and impressive to dine. Or you could be a time-poor worker looking for a place with reliable food and fast, efficient service. Or maybe you're just a tourist in the centre of Melbourne looking for the kind of restaurant that Melburnians eat at day in, day out.

Whatever the case, there's a spot in here for you.

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Best Restaurants in Melbourne's CBD

Akaiito

Sit at the omakase bar for robata-grilled marron with kombu butter; clam and miso soup; and fried rice amplified with Wagyu, shiitake and cod roe. All in a heritage-listed building full of original bluestone features and brooding black marble.

349-351 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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Asado Bar and Grill

A former Stokehouse chef putting a Spanish twist on traditional Argentinian cooking.

6 Riverside Quay, Southbank

Bar Carlo

A laneway bar with unique liqueurs and classic Italian bites. Come for the spritz; stay for the cicchetti.

20 Meyers Place, Melbourne

BangPop

Hawker-style food from the streets of Bangkok, at South Wharf.

35 South Wharf Promenande, South Wharf

Butchers Diner

Late night burgers, steak sandwiches and duck-heart yakitori.

10 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Cumulus Inc.

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

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Daughter In Law

A vibrant pan-Indian diner serving naan pizzas, sweet-and-sour fried cauliflower and Tandoori-fired-pineapple cocktails.

37 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Dohtonbori

A DIY okonomiyaki restaurant. There's also sushi, salads, fried chicken, donburi, gyoza and yakitori.

Level 1 14B Star Circus, Docklands

Din Tai Fung

It's the dumpling chain with a Michelin star and outlets all around the world. What more encouragement do you need?

M002/4 Emporium Melbourne 287 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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Farmer’s Daughters

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.

80 Collins 95 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Fancy Hank’s

One of Melbourne's original American barbeque joints.

Level 1 79 Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Greta

At Greta, you'll find breakfast pasta, crackling-coated porchetta rolls and free aperitivo snacks. Swing by this olive and mustard-toned sandwich and wine bar for Axil coffee and Penny for Pound pastries, or linger with a Martini made with Four Pillars Olive Leaf Gin.

450 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Gradi Crown

Winner of the best-pizza-in-the-world 2014 is also at Crown.

Shop 25 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
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Hawker Chan

The Melbourne outpost for Singapore's most famous chicken-rice vendor.

157 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Ippudo

A world-famous ramen joint serving the Hakata-style noodle-soup dish from Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture.

Shop 18 Artemis Lane, QV Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

Magic Mountain Saloon

Punchy Thai food and cocktails.

62 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Palermo

An Italian-influenced Argentinian spot by the San Telmo and Pastuso team.

401 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

Pepe's Italian & Liquor

Pepe's is a New York-inspired Italian restaurant. The space has all the terrazzo floors, plump leather booths and dim lighting you could ask for. So grab a Martini, take a seat in one of those booths and scan the menu. Clams Casino? Veal parmigiana? A hot-fudge sundae? It’s hard to go wrong.

275 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Rooftop Bar

This is one of the CBD's quintessential rooftops. It's appeared in Melbourne-set movies, has great outlooks, good drinks and vibey music. Plus, in summer, it morphs into a rooftop cinema screening cult movies and classic blockbusters.

Level 7, Curtin House 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
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San Telmo

An Argentinean restaurant and wine bar that features a traditional parrilla barbeque.

14 Meyers Place, Melbourne

ShanDong MaMa

A family-run dumpling house specialising in seafood.

Shop 7 200 Bourke Street, Melbourne

Supernormal

Beautifully executed pan-Asian offerings by Andrew McConnell. Come for Melbourne's most famous lobster roll, steaming bowls of ramen at lunch, Korean-style barbequed meats and Shanghai dumplings.

180 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
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The George on Collins

An elegant all-day bar and restaurant in an iconic building.

162-168 Collins Street, Melbourne
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The French Brasserie

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

2 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne

Mrs Singh

An Indian(ish) wine bar on Flinders Lane, where cheesy flatbreads star.

88 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

The Moat

More than simply the Wheeler Centre's bar and cafe, The Moat is a food and wine destination.

176 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
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Taxi Kitchen

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

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

+39 Pizzeria and Antipasteria

The prefix for international calls to Italy is a fitting title for this pizzeria and degustation bar.

362 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
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Tres a Cinco

The Movida team's lively cantina, in the former Bar Tini site, brings home-style Mexican to Hosier Lane. Led by Mexican chef Sarai Castillo, expect beef tacos exactly how they're served in Mexico, prawn-and-chorizo tamales and a jiggly chocolate flan. Plus eight different Margaritas and hard-to-find agave spirits.

3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Le Shoppe

This cross between a daytime bistro and a New York Deli is the casual sibling adjoined to Scott Pickett's Chancery Lane. Slide into a booth for charcuterie and crepes suzette, or grab curried-egg sandwiches and roast-pork rolls (with crackling) to go.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne