Donnini's

4.6
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200 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Italian
Donnini's is a generational Italian eatery with a sincere focus on handmade pasta, real food, generous hospitality & well sourced wines.

Family owned and operated DONNINI'S relaxed atmosphere and honest approach to traditional cooking provides the perfect environment for family get-togethers, intimate dinners and business lunches alike.
What 200 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.7
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
95% of people would recommend it to a friend
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B
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 10 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Good food, great staff - a very pleasant evening!

E
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 6 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service5Ambience4

Id say donnini has the most authentic pasta in Melbourne so close to what you get in Italy

SC
San Antonio
1 review
Dined on 4 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

We had an early lunch so there was no issue with the noise level, however if we had been there during dinner, it probably would have been quite noisy due to the design of the restaurant (modern, open, high ceilings)...but can't be helped.

I was a little confused about who my server was...the man who greeted and seated me? The man who came over to chat and ask us if we needed anything? The woman who served the food? Anyway, it was interesting having so many people paying attention to us, but not in a overbearing way.

The food! Oh my. The food! Absolutely delicious! We started with the COVACCINO. The flat bread was perfectly toasted and the balance of cheese to prosciutto was excellent. It was just the right amount to whet our appetite for our mains. Italian for lunch is tricky...will it be too heavy? Should I just get a salad? Well, I took a chance and got the LASAGNA. I have never, ever in my life had such a delicious lasagna! The pasta was feather thin, the sauces perfectly balanced with the béchamel and just the exact right amount of cheese. The Bolognese was a bit bland for my taste, but the construction of the dish made up for it. My dining companion ordered the SPINACH & RICOTTA TORTELLI. Again, divinely light but filling. Served in a large bowl, the served portion was *exactly* enough...mainly because the pasta was light as air and so flavorful. As if that weren't enough (and it was), we did order dessert and were not disappointed. AFFOGATO & TIRAMISU. Again, delicious and a nice touch to an excellent meal.

In all, our experience was positive and a gastronomical delight. The pasta is the star here! The choice of cheese's to compliment, on par. Flavorful due to expert construction, but a little bland. I'm not one to add salt to my food, but found it necessary to add a touch to punch up the dishes.

I would highly recommend this restaurant and will visit again. It was a perfect luncheon dining experience.

OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

The food was amazing.
It did not disappoint.

EL
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 31 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always amazing food in a nice, casual atmosphere. Quality ingredients and food that is closest to Italy than most others out there.

FT
1 review
Dined on 26 January 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

Food was great and staff are brilliant - table always cleared promptly - nothing too much trouble and not hassled when just wanted to sit and chat between ourselves. Would not hesitate to go back and highly recommend to anyone.

WH
1 review
Dined on 24 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We took my best friend and his wife there for his birthday. My best friend and I have been going to Donnini's for many years as our regular lunch destination. But we take our wives and go there for dinner on special occasions. Never been disappointed in the food and Peter runs the kitchen producing high quality food on a consistent basis. Marco is an excellent welcoming host and his staff are attentive, good spirited and know the menu confidently, allowing them to make sensible and capable recommendations when needed. Overall - a great dining experience.

D
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

This is my go to restaurant. Sometimes too noisy for my older guests.

KP
1 review
Dined on 20 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Seriously the best pasta I've ever had - don't tell Nonna!

OT
Wales
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great place with equally good service. Loved it!

AM
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

Been many, many times - never fails to please, so will always return

AS
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall3Food1Service4Ambience3

I was expecting a very nice food as the menu was pointing out that the pastas are hand made. But the pasta was cold, with some seafoods on top which seemed to be old from the taste. I also think the value of the portion should be much less than the real price (at least $5). I was happy with the person who served us as she was kind and helpful when we asked a question. She was smiling all the time too.

D
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 15 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always outstanding, welcoming service. Wine list, very good selection. Menu, very good, especially the Trio Pasta, homemade pasta like silk and the sauces perfect. It is my regular and I always am happy to recommend to others.

OT
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

One of the best places to eat with friends and be carefully looked after

ES
1 review
Dined on 6 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Everything was delicious!!! We are entree of liver and the pork sausage. Both were outstanding in taste and presentation was beautiful. Pasta for means was fresh and tasted amazing. We finished with panna cotta and we’re extras happy with every dish, service and loved sitting on lygon st.

G
1 review
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

As always, service is first class from Marco and is team. Food - say no more!

BS
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience3

I had the Hand Made Spinach and Ricotta tortellini and it was delish!!

HM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 17 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service3Ambience3

We were a party of four on a relatively busy Sunday night. One of our orders was recorded incorrectly, so it had to be re-ordered after the other meals were presented. It was delivered as quickly as possible after that. All of us enjoyed our meals (the late one - calamari - was the standout). The food prices seem to be fair for the quality and quantity, but the wine is expensive in terms of mark-ups on ordinary labels/vintages. However, this seems to be standard in higher quality restaurants in Carlton. The room has a lot of hard surfaces, so is a bit noisy, but at least they do not insist on playing music to make it worse. The service was enthusiastic and prompt (but - as above - not entirely accurate).

DQ
1 review
Dined on 14 November 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Sensational food with incredible depth and balanced flavours served by friendly and attentive staff. We sat outside and enjoyed the ambience full Italian experience.

G
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

The food was excellent, a great restaurant to take interstate friends to.

MH
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 24 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Wonderful food, great service as always and just a great atmosphere with well spaced tables.

BO
1 review
Dined on 17 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food and service out standing did not disappoint
Thank you

PM
1 review
Dined on 16 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Always a terrific dining experience - pasta that cannot be beaten anywhere in Melbourne

OT
Vancouver
1 review
Dined on 8 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We have been 3 years in a row for our wedding anniversary and every time it’s a great experience. Great service and the food is amazing!

LB
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2019
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience5

Food delicious as always and staff very professional. Only downside was we had to send 2 lasagne dishes back to the kitchen because they were cold, but apart from that, everything else fabulous. Highly recommended

OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

It simply is just a fabulous restaurant for any occasion! We love it!

PC
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience3

The three pasta dish we had for a shared entree was superb.
My chicken rissoles on mash potatoes with a tomato based sauce was very good.
Others enjoyed the calami.
Our red wine selection was enjoyable and complimented the food. A bit pricey.
Service was good with regular filling up of water glasses which was appreciated.

BH
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

There were a range of choices for mains and the staff were extremely accommodating with our grandchildren - a most enjoyable Saturday lunch with off street carp parking in the nearby Clock Tower development, accessed off Drummond St. The service and advice from the staff were excellent.

AS
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Fresh and delicious pasta & great wine with impeccable service to match. Return every time i'm in Melbourne

c
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

GREAT FOOD AND SERVICE, WE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR NIGHT

AK
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Amazing pasta and lovely people. Can't wait to go there again.

s
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall3Food3Service5Ambience5

The food is good but menu is limited to pasta only. I leave the shop with half satisfied and end up having a big desert in Brunetti next door. I can only recommend this restaurent to those who is crazy about pasta (but nothing else).

RV
1 review
Dined on 3 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Cannot fault a thing. Service was fantastic, Marko, as well as the rest of the staff were the souls of courtesy. Fantastic emphasis on quality ingredients. Wait times between ordering and actual receiving the food was barely noticeable.

As someone who lives interstate, I’ll make it a mission to visit Doninni’s every time I’m in Melbourne. 10/10!

AL
1 review
Dined on 30 July 2019
Overall5Food4Service4Ambience4

Donnini's Tri de paste is still as good as ever. Over 30 years they have retained their reputation for good Italian food.

One area for improvement, the cake in the Tiramisu was dry and not up to their normal high standard.

N
1 review
Dined on 21 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Forgot my bag on leaving and considerate waiter quickly ran onto the street and promptly returned my bag. Extra special service.

C
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Welcoming and friendly atmosphere- staff very attentive and helpful- a very enjoyable experience and first visit to a Lygon Street restaurant so will definitely return when next in Melbourne

A
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2019
Overall3Food2Service5Ambience4

The source for the Gnnochi was really sour, and I could still taste the raw flour flavour in each gnnochi.

C
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

We have been going to Donninis regularly for many years. Especially in Carlton but also back in the 90’s to their restaurant on the Pier in Cairns when we lived up there. Living more recently for ten years in Northcote, regular visits to Lygon St became a real treat, a mid-morning coffee, some relaxed shopping and then a wonderful lunch at Donninis was a regular outing. Most recently, last weekend we met old friends for dinner and all agreed it was as good as ever. The zucchini ripieni were delicious, my chicken livers sublime and all the dishes declared delicious. Their own nero D’avola red was so good, the guys drank two bottles! Didn’t see Marco this time but the warm reception and good service continue in his absence. Grazie for a warm ambience on a cold Melbourne night!

TH
1 review
Dined on 12 July 2019
Overall3Food3Service4Ambience1

The food wasn't value for money at all. We spent more than $150 for 4 entree size mains, drank only water (no coffee no wine), no dessert and two not that tasty apetizers???? The stuffed zuchinni which cost $8 per piece (only the size of a baby quke cucumber) didn't even taste nice at all.. we were disappointed n left looking for more food at other restaurants. The only saving grace was the service provided by the waitress who served us as she was really pleasant.

AM
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 11 July 2019
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience4

A tremendously warm Italian dining experience. The friendly table service certainly sets this restaurant apart from others. Our table were all complimentary of the fresh pasta and would all return for another serve in the future.