6 must-book new restaurants in Melbourne

Retro vibes are high at Follie’s bar. Credit: Follie’s Bar
Bright orange tile table covered with an assortment of pinxtos and cocktails.

It’s an exciting time to be eating your way around Melbourne as a batch of innovative new restaurants blossom across Victoria’s food-focused capital.

Hospitality veterans joined forces to open a Piedmontese trattoria in Fitzroy. In Coburg, a chef launched a dazzling new wine bar inside the former Pentridge prison. In Collingwood, sensational steaks and an all-Aussie wine list beckon diners to a new open-fire restaurant.

These are some of the hottest new entrants in a city teeming with restaurants to explore. Read on for a guide to Melbourne’s six must-book spots to visit right now.

Serai Kitchen (Melbourne CBD)

The highly anticipated Serai Kitchen opened on Racing Cub Lane in June 2022, and the accolades quickly started flowing. Head chef Ross Magnaye packs punchy Filipino flavours and techniques with Australian produce. The approach earned him distinctions including Best New Restaurant and One Hat from the Australian Good Food Guide. Snag a bar seat in the warehouse-like space, and you can watch chefs prepare food over a wood fire. Devour dishes such as the McScallop, an Albrolhos scallop tempura with crab fat sauce, sandwiched in soft and airy Filipino bread, and Lechon, pork belly with smokey pineapple palapa (a spicy-sweet condiment). Opt for smoked leche flan (creme caramel) with passionfruit for the decadent finale.

Book now

No.100 Flinders Lane (Melbourne CBD)

A man stands by the sidewalk entrance to No.100 Flinders Lane in Melbourne
Step inside No.100 Flinders Lane in the CBD, a deli-cafe by day and a wine bar by night. Credit: Guy Lavoipierre, No.100 Flinders Lane

No. 100 Flinders Lane comes from the team behind the renowned specialty coffee roaster Code Black. Their latest act, which they opened this March, is a delicatessen cafe by day and wine bar by night. Stop by the minimalist space for a coffee and weekly rotating Italian deli sandwich (chicken, sage mayo, fid, tomato, and artichoke or porchetta with celeriac remoulade and green salsa). Or linger in the elegant 20-seat timber-panelled dining area and graze on shareable European-inspired small plates, including zucchini flower with bush tomato and romesco. Pair your dishes with Beechworth brewery beer, a simple selection of cocktails, or a non-alcoholic brew. Or consider a glass from No. 100’s wine list, which champions sustainably produced Australian varieties along with a few international gems.

Book now

Alta Trattoria (Fitzroy)

Two bowls of pasta on a white tablecloth with glasses of red and white wine at Alta Trattoria in Melbourne
Standout pasta dishes at Alta Trattoria include mushroom ravioli and gnocchi with cheese and hazelnuts. Credit: Alta Trattoria

In February, Fitzroy welcomed a neighbourhood trattoria from seasoned hospitality restauranter Carlo Grossi (Ombra, Grossi Florentino) and sommelier James Tait (King & Godfree). Alta is inspired by Italy’s Piedmont region, where the menus are simple and the wine abundant. Chef McKay Wilday cooks like a seasoned nonna, prioritising seasonal ingredients, and plates like a MICHELIN-starred chef. Start with focaccia dipped in Frantoio olive oil and vitello tonnato (cold sliced veal covered with a creamy sauce) with fried capers. Don’t miss the tajarin (long ribbon-like tagliolini) with rabbit ragu, hailed as a ‘“favourite dish of the year” by Besha Rodell, chief dining critic at The Age. A relaxed atmosphere makes Alta Trattoria a great weekday spot for a glass of dolcetto and a bowl of pasta, or a weekend feast washed down with bottles of Barolo.

Book now

FLINT (Collingwood)

A long wooden bar, open kitchen, green bar stools, and black tables and chairs make up the dining room at FLINT in Melbourne.
Dinner at FLINT is an elegant take on wood-fired dining. Credit: Annika Kafcaloudis, FLINT

Fire up the coals because there’s no traditional oven at this Fitzroy newcomer, an October 2022 opening, appropriately named FLINT. Smoke, char, and flame feature in every dish here, including a delicious smoked carrot and labneh side, though you’re likely here for the sensational wagyu steak.  FLINT’s elegant dining room is dark, wooden, and moody, with a curvy handcrafted bar—a great setting to sip on a glass from the all-Australian wine list, a cult beer, or a house cocktail, such as a carrot sour. Book the private mezzanine dining room overlooking the kitchen for the full fiery experience at this unique new spot. 

Book now

Olivine (Coburg)

One of Melbourne’s most stunning new restaurants is in the former Pentridge prison. 

The 100-seat wine bar, which opened in April 2023, features bluestone walls that set a moody ambience, soaring walkways lined with contemporary art, and a dozen refurbished jail cells—now booths—with turquoise velvet banquettes. Snacks range from Appellation oysters with peach mignonette dressing, yuzu scallop tart, and potato rosti topped with taramasalata and salmon to a selection of artisanal cheeses. To nail the pairing, thumb through the “Book of Wine,” featuring a 500-plus selection, and seek the help of celebrated sommelier Liinaa Berry—or browse the beautiful walk-in cellar to select something special yourself. 

Book now

Follies Bar (Fitzroy)

Two bright orange cocktails with foam tops sit atop a bright orange table with menus at Follies Bar in Melbourne
God Herself cocktails (made with pisco, lime, strawberry, aquafaba) pair well with the pintxos at Follies Bar. Credit: Follies Bar

Follies Bar is a hot new all-vegan bar that opened in March, serving Basque-style pintxos and plant-based cocktails, spritzes, and wine. Choose from hot, cold, sweet, and savoury bite-sized snacks on sticks inspired by Spanish and Mediterranean bars. Highlights include peach and goat cheese crostini, Italian meatballs in tomato sauce, and patatas bravas with roasted chickpeas. The decor is a nod to the 1970s with fuzzy carpeting, retro wallpaper, prints, lamps, and bright orange tabletops. Stop by for daily happy hour ($18 cocktails, $10 spritzes, $9 wines, and $7 schooners), enjoy a bottomless lunch ($75), including pintxos, spritz, beer, and wine, or keep an eye out for the seasonally themed events planned throughout the year. 

Book now

Find your table for any occasion