As we return to dining in at restaurants again, many of Melbourne’s best restaurants and institutions feel like brand new openings to us. Especially considering most of them have had to reinvent the way they look and feel to comply with these strange times.

It’s important we support these icons, but the pull of a truly new place is hard to deny. And believe it or not, plenty of new restaurants have actually opened recently.

So here it is: our edit of the best new restaurants in Melbourne from the past 12 months, updated monthly. Some of these places opened right in the middle of lockdown, others opened in those small windows between stay-at-home orders. Either way, they're worth celebrating.

Related Pages:
Best Restaurants in Melbourne
Best Restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD

Aru

Restaurant

This sultry sibling to Sunda is every bit as stellar. At Aru, chef Khanh Nguyen is effortlessly blending Southeast Asian flavours, native Australian ingredients and ancient techniques. And while there are unexpectedly playful riffs on classics – like banh mi, Peking duck and mi goreng – they never feel gimmicky, just modernised and expertly refined.

268 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Gimlet at Cavendish House

Restaurant

Star chef Andrew McConnell's signature is evident on every Eurocentric plate here, from the clams, mussels and squid with Trapanese pesto; to the dry-aged duck with baby fennel and blood orange sauce. You’ll find us at the black-and-gold marble bar, Martini in hand.

33 Russell Street, Melbourne
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Nomad

Restaurant

Jacqui Challinor's hotly anticipated Melbourne outpost is everything we've been waiting for. The Sydney original's focus on open-flame cooking and locally-sourced produce has been replicated here, but there are local signatures, too – baked ricotta and anchovies, dry-aged pork cutlets and a big lean on Victorian vino. Find it in the former Ezard space on Flinders Lane.

189 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Society

Restaurant

At this sprawling restaurant by Chris Lucas, there’s an experience for just about every taste. Grab a seat at the angular marble bar for cocktails by one of the world’s best bartenders (or nab a banquette in the walk-in only lounge); take a seat in the expansive, chandelier-lit dining room to try the dazzling Japanese and European-inspired menu; or get some friends together to book one of the striking private dining rooms.

80 Collins Street, Melbourne

Yakimono

Restaurant

Chris Lucas’s two-level, charcoal-fired Japanese diner sits right beside the group’s new crown jewel, Society. Stylistically though, it’s a world away. The cyberpunk fit-out is almost as impressive as the action happening inside the sprawling open kitchen, where chefs turn skewered meat over jumping flames. Visit for elevated rice and noodle dishes, spanner-crab-filled hand rolls and cocktails named after the neighbourhoods of Tokyo.

80 Collins Street, Melbourne

Auterra

Bar

This warmly lit bolthole, by Amaru's Clinton McIver, is all about fun fine-diner snacks – minus the degustation price tag. And most dishes are made to be eaten without cutlery. So, raise a spanner-crab doughnut or aged-Comte eclair in one hand, and a glass of splash-out-worthy champagne in the other.

1160 High Street, Armadale

Hope St Radio

Bar

A glowing wine (and pasta) bar at Collingwood’s mammoth arts hub, which doubles as Hope St Radio’s home. Settle in for rigatoni all’amatriciana, Fernet-Branca-and-cola sorbet and plenty of juicy lo-fi wines.

35 Johnston Street, Collingwood

Bar Romanee

Restaurant

This swish bar – decked out in emerald marble and plush velvet – was once a Bakers Delight. Now, it's a buzzy bistro and wine bar from a former Fitzroy Town Hall head chef and the owner of nearby wine bar Barkley Johnson. Visit for a caramelised-onion baguette, grilled ox tongue served with a fried egg and a peachy aperitif cocktail.

25 Anderson Street, Yarraville

Entrecote Prahran

Restaurant

After seven years in South Yarra, this well-loved brasserie found a new home in Prahran. Alongside the restaurant’s signature dishes, you’ll find a roving caviar trolley, a raw seafood bar, a late-night supper menu and French-inspired cocktails from the brain behind Romeo Lane.

142-144 Greville Street, Prahran

Di Stasio Pizzeria

Restaurant

For the first time, the prolific restaurateur behind Di Stasio Citta is serving pizza – from the classic margherita to a luxurious lobster option – as well as an exceptional fior di latte soft serve. The green-toned interior is studded with impressive works of art, but the 17th-century Italian stone fountain in the courtyard is hard to top.

224 Faraday Street, Carlton
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Mabu Mabu Big Esso

Restaurant

Big Esso is the bigger CBD follow-up to Yarraville's beloved Torres Strait Islander cafe Mabu Mabu. Expect dishes from chef-owner Nornie Bero’s childhood, such as tamarind pipies, buckets of chargrilled prawns, and fried crocodile with saltbush and pepperberry. There's also a retail section stocked with pantry fillers to take away.

Federation Square , Melbourne
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Superchido

Restaurant

This colourful Seddon diner plates up a pan-Mexican menu of favourites. There's tacos al pastor (and plenty of other regional styles), Mexico City-style street snacks and a front bar stacked with stacked with mezcals and tequilas.

82 Charles Street, Seddon
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Robata

Restaurant

Departing from San Telmo's Latin American flavours, here the group focuses on yakitori and kushiyaki cooked over traditional binchotan charcoal. Also, masterfully-sliced sashimi and sake, in a fit-out that resembles a scene straight from the streets of Tokyo.

2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Hero

Restaurant

This elegantly understated all-day diner – by celebrity chef Karen Martini and dessert queen Philippa Sibley – is the ACMI’s flagship restaurant. Visit for uncomplicated dishes such as potato focaccia with a Noma edge, an exceptional crumbed-fish sandwich and a house twist on steak frites.

ACMI Fed Square , Melbourne
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Chancery Lane

Restaurant

Scott Pickett's take on a mod-French brasserie brings old-world European elegance to a heritage-listed CBD building. There's ritzy deep-green marble, dramatic arched windows and candelabras throughout. Visit for caviar by the gram or tin, bistro-style mains and baba for dessert.

430 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

Al Dente Enoteca

Restaurant

What started as a lockdown pasta-delivery service by a stood-down chef is now a swish restaurant and wine bar. Come for spanner crab ravioli, Wagyu bistecca and standout desserts. The cacio e pepe-filled tortellini that started it all? It’s available by request, so make sure you call ahead.

161 Nicholson Street, Carlton
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New Quarter

Restaurant

Enter this warmly lit space – by the owners of Tokyo Tina, Hanoi Hannah and Firebird – for playful takes on classic Vietnamese dishes and drinks.

79 Swan Street, Richmond

Dom’s

Restaurant

This three-level spot, from the guys behind Dexter and Takeaway Pizza, bears little resemblance to its former self (Peaches, Dexter). Go for focaccia-like pizza with house-made mortadella and garlic-fermented honey, chevre-stuffed potato skins, plenty of Aussie spirits and a pool table.

1/301 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Farmer’s Daughters

Restaurant

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 terrine; a suave restaurant with a focus on cooking with flames; and a greenhouse-like rooftop oasis.

80 Collins 95 Exhibition Street, Melbourne

Riso

Restaurant

This all-day diner and wine bar is from an ex-Vue De Monde chef known for his sell out vegetarian pop-up dinners. Come for an a la carte menu that changes daily (pastas are the star of the show) and a wine list curated by an ex-L'Hôtel Gitan and Movida sommelier.

60 Rose Street, Fitzroy

Indu

Restaurant

You'll find this intimate Sri Lankan and South Indian restaurant behind a Victorian terrace frontage. Owner Sam Prince might use his Sri Lankan mum's recipes for aromatic, coconut-y red-lentil dal and potato curry. But the menu here isn’t strictly traditional. Find hoppers with goat’s curd and pomegranate pearls, dosas with bacon jam, and smoky, chai-infused Old Fashioneds.

86a Collins Street, CBD

Tres a Cinco

Restaurant

The Movida team's lively cantina brings home-style Mexican to Hosier Lane. Led by Mexican chef Sarai Castillo, expect beef tacos exactly how they're served in Mexico, plus eight different Margaritas to prime your fiesta.

3-5 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

Waxflower

Bar

Blending elements of Melbourne cafe, European wine bar and Tokyo-style “listening bar”, this buzzing spot hosts vinyl-only DJs five nights a week, with no cover charges. It’s one of the best places in town to hear recorded music.

153 Weston Street, Brunswick

Va Penne

Restaurant

To find this dimly lit Italian bar and eatery, look out for a flashing red neon hand in the window. Inside, you’ll find old-school breadbaskets (loaded with carbs to salsa-verde-doused burrata); garlicky spaghetti vongole swimming in oil; a cocktail list centred around Vermouth; and more.

493 High Street, Nortcote

Abbiocco

Restaurant

This swish, well-polished Italian diner reps lesser-known pastas and obscure wine varieties to drink with them. Plus there’s house-made limoncello, Aperol Margaritas and an unmissable tiramisu.

501 Highett Road, Highett

Gray and Gray

Bar

This wine bar from the owner of All Are Welcome is in a former lawyer’s office. Step behind the original gold-leaf signage and vertical blinds for left-of-centre wines and Russian and Georgian dishes. You might get breads with “various fats”, beetroot-stained dill pickles, flaky puff-pastry pie or a lofty 10-layer honey cake.

188 High Street, Northcote

Lulu's Char Koay Teow

Restaurant

A cafe-style restaurant on Hardware Lane inspired by – and using the special sauce from – the owner’s mother-in-law and her hawker stall in Malaysia.

27-31 Hardware Lane, CBD

Cappo Sociale

Restaurant

This Italian restaurant – in the former Village People Hawker Food Hall space – is the flagship of the Hotel Fitzroy. Come for classic pizzas, salumi, pastas, and a punchy cocktail list. Plus, there's private dining and a terrace balcony.

1/127 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
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Lollo

Restaurant

At the W Melbourne's in-house restaurant, Coda chef Adam D'Sylva is drawing on his Italian-Indian heritage. The star chef has created a globe-trotting menu that includes luxed-up lasagna, pasta-less cacio e pepe (a surprising triumph), and fragrant, spicy duck curry. Plus there's an excellent and fun roster of theatrical cocktails.

408 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Lona Misa

Restaurant

Shannon Martinez's all-vegan, all-day diner inside the luxury Ovolo hotel is a symbol of the group's commitment to plant-based eating. Alongside celebrated chef Ian Curley, Martinez is serving Josper-fired padron peppers, steamy tamales and smoked watermelon tostadas.

234 Toorak Road, South Yarra
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Repeat Offender

Restaurant

At this vibrant all-day Latin American eatery, the entire menu is gluten free and most dishes are vego or vegan. Swing by for cheesy cheesy empanadas and crisp patatas bravas, and a happy hour with cheap frozen Margaritas and tacos.

201 Ormond Road, Elwood