In a city as cool as Melbourne, there are no fewer than 3,500 restaurants to choose from. But with a culinary scene as hip as this, is fine dining still sought after in Victoria’s capital? We take a look at the Melbourne restaurants that prove there’s nothing stuffy about a fancy dinner with all the trimmings (and a few hats too). From native ingredient-driven menus that celebrate Australia’s bountiful land to restaurants with showstopping views to match the food, we’ve rounded up the top restaurants to book at for fine dining in Melbourne.
Fine dining in Melbourne: modern Australian cuisine
Best for: world-renowned Australian haute cuisine
Showing up on the world’s leading restaurant rankings every year is what we’ve come to expect from celebrity chef Ben Shewry’s three-hatted restaurant in Ripponlea. Attica has made its mark on the global culinary map with exceptional dishes made using native ingredients such as salted red kangaroo and bunya nuts. To fully experience this moody hued restaurant, the extended tasting menu with wine pairing is the way to go.
📍 74 Glen Eira Road, Ripponlea
Best for: familiar flavours reinvented
Chef and restaurateur Clinton McIver showcases the skills he honed as sous chef at Vue du Monde in his 34-seat two-hatted restaurant Loosely translated from an amalgamation of words, Amaru means ‘a beautiful place to love’ – we like to think of it as an ode to the local landscape and its bounty of ingredients. Tuck into regional cuisine with a modern twist and appreciate an outstanding wine list featuring more than 450 bottles.
📍 5/1121 High Street, Armadale
Fine dining in Melbourne: restaurants with a view
Best for: beach sunset views with your dinner
Beloved by Melburnians and returning visitors to the city, this award-winning, two-hatted restaurant sits on the top floor of Stokehouse Precinct on the St Kilda beachfront. Between the superb seafood-led menu and the clever design of this upscale beach house, which ensures you get a glimpse of the ocean no matter where you sit, a meal here is anything but forgettable. For a complete experience, why not enjoy a drink in the refreshing ocean air at the bar on the terrace?
📍 St Kilda Beach, 30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
Vue de Monde
Best for: 360-degree city views from Docklands all the way to the Dandenongs
Chef Shannon Bennett’s restaurant has been a beacon on Melbourne’s culinary map for more than 20 years, maintaining a prized three hats again heading into 2023. At the top of the Rialto Towers, this restaurant serves up some of the city’s finest vistas, complementing the frequently changing proudly Australian tasting menu. Sustainability is central to Vue de Monde‘s philosophy, with a focus on achieving zero food waste and carbon neutrality through partnerships with local suppliers, manufacturers, and designers.
📍 Level 55 Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Central Business District
Best for: fine dining taken to new heights
As the southern hemisphere’s highest dining and event space, this sleek restaurant and cocktail bar will make you forget your fear of heights if only for the duration of your meal. You’ll have a choice between a five- or seven-course degustation menu that features contemporary Australian cuisine and can be paired with wine from the restaurant’s vast offering. Pre- or post-dinner cocktails, while you drink in the incomparable views of Melbourne’s city lights, are a must.
📍 Level 89 Eureka Tower, 7 Riverside Quay, Southbank
Fine dining in Melbourne: date night done right
Best for: sharing plates for two
Much like its sister in Sydney, this Melbourne CBD outpost of the award-winning hatted restaurant serves up Moroccan, Middle Eastern, and Spanish cuisine with inimitable flair. The signature house flatbread that has diners willing to roll themselves home after their meal has also made it over to Melbourne. The feast menu comprises made-for-sharing dishes using locally sourced premium ingredients – most often prepared over an open flame.
📍 187 Flinders Lane
Best for: a traditionally romantic dinner date
If you go weak at the knees for fresh, handmade pasta or are seeking out a date spot worthy of a romance novel, Florentino is the place for you. The restaurant opened in 1928 and is one of the oldest in the city, so it comes as no surprise that it knows how to make any visit memorable. The atmosphere is ideal for doe-eyed moments with your date, – with soft lighting, Renaissance-inspired murals, white-linen-clad tables, and waiters who hang up your jacket and lay a crisp napkin across your lap. The menu is a celebration of authentic Italian dishes presented in an updated way, with ingredients such as truffles and saffron making regular appearances.
📍 80 Bourke Street
Gimlet at Cavendish House
Best for: impressing your dinner date
Foodies in Melbourne have long known that one-hatted Gimlet is a phenomenal place to eat and drink. So much so that it made it to the 84th position on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants longlist this year. Decadent ingredients such as lobster, caviar, fresh oysters shucked to order, and steak tartare prepared tableside are mainstays on the Euro-Australian menu. When it comes to the setting, you’ll find gleaming 1920s-inspired interiors with plush booths and intimately set tables for two that are just begging diners to have a Lady and the Tramp spaghetti moment, sans spaghetti.
📍 33 Russell Street
Best for: innovative cuisine in an intimate setting
What was once a burlesque lounge in South Melbourne is now the home of Lûmé, and the star of the show these days is the cuisine. Even the decor in the cosy dining room is muted – think neutral colours, modern furniture, and plenty of natural light – to give the food and your date the spotlight. Expect a 15-course tasting menu, a plant-based tasting menu, and a four-course à la carte menu that are all inspired by the local produce that Victoria has to offer.
📍 226 Coventry Street
Fine dining in Melbourne: private-dining perfection
Best for: A-list celebrity treatment
Society consistently pops up when it’s time to mention the poshest restaurants in town, and the private dining rooms do not disappoint. This swanky supper-club-style restaurant has three private dining options available but the masterpiece here is The Green Room, which seats 20 guests and has its own private chef, kitchen, sommelier, and a bespoke modern Australian menu created by the executive chef. What’s more, the room has a private entrance so you can come and go without being spotted by your fans.
📍 80 Collins Street
Best for: pomp and seclusion
This esteemed restaurant in the Normanby Chambers building is known for superb modern European dishes and impeccable service. There are two semi-private dining room options and a fully private one, The Chandelier Room, which is most popular. This room for 12 gets its name from the exquisite 19th-century crystal chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and comes with a dedicated team of waiters as well as a set menu.
📍 430 Little Collins Street
Best for: a fine dining dim sum feast served family style
This family-run Chinatown darling has been part of the local fine-dining scene for more than 45 years, serving Cantonese cuisine in an elegant setting. The private dining room can host up to 20 guests, while the banquet dining room can accommodate 50 people. Expect banquet and chef’s menus with theatrical tableside service for dishes such as hand-roasted whole suckling pig or Peking duck.
📍 17 Market Lane, Central Business District
Fine dining in Melbourne: honourable mentions
Best for: lunch and a scenic drive
This multi-award-winning, three-hatted farm-to-table restaurant in Birregurra is about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s CBD. We suggest taking the slightly longer, more scenic route along Great Ocean Road to make the most of the trip. Sustainability is at the heart of Brae – which is set on a 30-acre working farm – with almost all the ingredients on the menu available within walking distance of the low-waste, solar-powered kitchen. Chef-owner Dan Hunter’s culinary mastery is displayed in a menu that changes daily based on what comes in from the farm. Brae also has six deluxe eco-friendly suites that are available to prebook if you’d rather stay overnight and have dinner there instead.
📍 4285 Cape Otway Road, Birregurra
Best for: creative plant-based fine dining in Melbourne
Don’t let the exterior of this revamped electrical transformer warehouse mislead you. Inside, you’ll be greeted by a sleek industrial-chic space with exposed brick, shards of natural light from the large windows, and plants aplenty. What sets Transformer apart from the other veg-friendly restaurants we’ve mentioned is that its menu is entirely vegan and vegetarian. Nothing about the dishes served here is pedestrian though, so banish from your mind the thought of another soggy mushroom burger and prepare to dig into exquisite edible works of art.
📍 99 Rose Street, Fitzroy
With tables this in demand, it helps to have a pro on your side to help you secure the reservation you want. At Westpac Concierge, we’ve got a team of dining specialists who can provide recommendations for the foremost places to eat and help you manage your reservation if you’re an eligible Westpac cardholder. Check your eligibility below.