Like neighbouring South Yarra, Prahran seems to move at two speeds.

By day, pedestrian-friendly Greville Street and the adjoining Grattan Gardens have a cloistered, village-like feel that only Yarraville can match. Residents take their time over coffee or grocery shopping at Prahran Market and there are relatively few offices to bump up the pace.

The eastern end is even quieter. Beyond Williams Road, the streets are lined with well-maintained weatherboard cottages; Victorian and Edwardian terrace houses; and substantial parks such as Victoria Gardens and Orrong Reserve.

On weeknights, pubs such as the Mount Erica, College Lawn and Flying Duck draw a civilised crowd for dinner. On busier Chapel Street, fixtures such as Electric Ladyland attract a younger, rowdier demographic.

This slight party atmosphere gets turned up to 11 on weekends. Apart from the CBD itself, Prahran has more nightclubs than anywhere else in the city. Chief among them are One Six One with its flashing disco dance floor, and of course, Revolver, Melbourne’s most notorious club. Between midday Friday and 5am Monday, it only shuts for five hours. Visit the downstairs fruit shop mid-morning and you’ll be joined by at least a few pale, disoriented-looking clubbers who’ve left in search of an energising banana.

Restaurants

  • Enjoy elevated Shanghainese fare and sharp cocktails at this intimate, buzzing restaurant right off Chapel Street. Go for the memorable set menu, which might include Peking duck pancakes, chicken ribs with spicy mayo and white chocolate dumplings to finish it all off.

  • Head here for two kinds of hoppers, accompanied by spicy sambals and rotating curries. And forget the cutlery, there’s a tap in the centre of the room to encourage eating with your hands.

  • This classic corner hotel, revamped by the Marquis of Lorne team, has a little Wes Anderson energy. If you look past the lofty menu and exceptional wine list, you’ll find it’s a rowdy Melbourne footy pub at heart.

  • This casual Italian restaurant can be the anchor for any evening. Expect carbonara arancini, tiramisu served tableside and a party after dinner wraps up.

  • Restaurateur Jacques Reymond’s vision of a Melbourne pub. It's more about fostering a pop-in, pop-out approach, without abandoning the flair. The food leans French, but there’s a notable showing of Aussie talent on the wine list.

  • A touch of the Deep South on Greville Street.

  • A Thai restaurant from the chef behind Cookie and The Toff in Town. Bring a group and go for Bangkok bolognaise, fat duck noodles and souped-up curries. Play on the Nintendo 64s while you wait.

  • Run by a passionate French Australian, this 12-seat omakase restaurant is open for just two sittings a day. Book in for a simple chirashi bowl, or an 11-course lunch featuring dishes like dry-aged kingfish sashimi with roasted spring onion oil and Hokkaido scallops with burnt orange gel.

  • 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.

  • There's an extensive ramen menu at this bar and diner from the man behind Wabi Sabi Salon and Neko Neko, alongside a range of other classic Japanese dishes. Plus, there are plenty of sake-based cocktails and a tight line-up of rare whiskies.

  • This spacious gastropub serves honest and elevated pub food alongside sharp cocktails. Go for its excellent oysters, gooey burrata, hulking burgers and juicy steaks.

  • Look for the lush olive-green facade on Prahan’s High Street to find this handsome restaurant and bar. Inside, a dedicated “pasta lab” produces all shapes and sizes, with a big emphasis on egg-based pastas specific to northern Italy. The wine list includes a handful of Italian varietals produced here in Victoria.

  • A rock‘n’roll steakhouse serving dry-aged Wagyu and bottomless Bloody Marys.

  • A classic name attached to a deceptively large space that's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Cafes

  • Meet the flagship of one of Melbourne’s top coffee roasters, where education is key. Order its excellent coffee, pastries by Baker Bleu and sangas made with market-fresh produce. Plus, if you time it right, wait-worthy mushroom burgers.

  • A cheese-centric spot at Prahran Market by an expert in fromage. Expect a walk-in cheese-maturation room, rare and boutique cheeses from around the world, and those signature grilled-cheese toasties.

  • Cubano sandwiches are the hero at this Cuban-inspired diner, from the owner of Atlas Dining. Stop by the neon-coloured shop for five takes on the sanga, plus salads and sides.

  • From paleo avo toast to hotcakes with passionfruit crème, this bright cafe balances between healthy and indulgent.

  • A colourful all-day Japanese diner with a dedicated tempura station and fun cocktails.

    Book a Table
  • 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.

  • All the usual suspects are present on this menu; the Espresso Martini adds an extra hit.

  • Champagne-coloured banquettes and vases of blooms adorning almost every surface, this luxurious-look cafe is fit for a royal.

  • Dishes made from fresh local produce and Five Senses coffee, inside this unassuming garage.

  • Expect brioche French toast and Mexican-inspired dishes at this rustic retreat.

  • Sandwiches, bagels and house-roasted coffee are the hallmarks of this little cafe.

Bars

  • The good times fly at this backstreet corner pub. Have a seafood feast in the greenery-surrounded glasshouse. Or wrap your hands around a big burger in the charming dining room.

  • This intimate wine bar pays homage to the excellent wine regions that encircle the European Alps – but you'll also find honest drops from Australia and New Zealand on its 400-strong wine list. The food menu is small but considered, and might include exceptional cheese, charcuterie and anchovy toast.

    Book a Table
  • Right across from Prahran Market, the facade isn’t exactly attention-grabbing. But what’s inside certainly is. The stomping fried-chicken sanga and rotating pasta line-up make this communal wine bar a local’s favourite.

  • From the genuine vintage pistols to the cabinets full of movie memorabilia, everything’s for sale at this two-level, curio-filled bar. It’s also a destination for commercial house music – head down on Pawn Saturdays and you’ll see what we mean.

    Book a Table
  • This South American bar and diner will have you drinking mezcal and pisco; and eating Argentinian chorizo sandwiches, vegan empanadas and taco fries.

  • An American-themed bar serving craft beer, ribs, hot dogs and cocktails.

Shops