Donnini's

4.5
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174 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Authentic
  • Good for a Date
  • Special Occasions
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 174 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.6
Food
4.7
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

PC
1 review
Dined on 24 August 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

GREAT FOOD AND SERVICE, WE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR NIGHT

AK
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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

s
1 review
Dined on 17 August 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 5Ambience 5

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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
Overall 5Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

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
Overall 3Food 2Service 5Ambience 4

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
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

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
Overall 3Food 3Service 4Ambience 1

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
1 review
Dined on 11 July 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

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.

CH
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We always drop in for lunch or dinner at Donnini's when in Melbourne, and we have been for years.
The food, service and staff are outstanding!

GC
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Had a lovely evening. The food was beautiful and the service was great. Used to go to Donnini's 20 years ago and it is still just as good.

L
1 review
Dined on 27 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

One of the best dining experiences we’ve had for a long time. Simply a fantastic restaurant.

WJ
1 review
Dined on 16 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Best pasta I have ever had, other offerings on menu outstanding.
Don’t miss this place if in Melbourne.

ED
Melbourne / VIC
43 reviews
Dined on 15 June 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Hums with the quiet confidence of a team that knows that good food and service, equate to a good night out for its patrons!

KB
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

Not enough choices on Menu
Nothing for kids
Not really family friendly

R
Hawaii
2 reviews
Dined on 26 May 2019
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

A go to for us on a lazy Sunday for a great pasta experience. Missed the mark this time unfortunately.
The pasta ragu came out as a bolognaise sauce which was disappointing and the gnocchi pomodoro was
lacking in seasoning and overcooked. Maybe an of day, will be back

SG
Sydney / NSW
1 review
Dined on 19 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great food, good service. Reasonably priced. Would recommend

RG
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 18 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

We had the linguine with prawns and chilli. The entree size was plenty and the prawns were fresh, juicy and plentiful. The tiramisu was delicious and the Italian vermintino complemented the main brilliantly. Our waitress for very attentive and pleasant. I would certainly come back.

LR
1 review
Dined on 4 May 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

I would thoroughly recommend Donnini's for a large group. From the time we walked into the restaurant, and throughout the entire evening, our family party of nine was treated beautifully by the most attentive and professional staff. We were given a large table at the back of the restaurant where we could hear each other perfectly, even with the restaurant at full capacity. The honest, high-quality Italian meals and wine left us all feeling very satisfied and happy. Thank you for a memorable evening, Donnini's!

EB
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 26 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Superb traditional Northern Italian with a modern twist. Mouth-watering selections (and specials), great wine choices, attentive staff and relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for a special ocassion or a catch up with friends. Will definitely come back!

ED
Melbourne / VIC
43 reviews
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

On Saturday night, Donnini's was full to overflowing - a testament to the loyal clientele that return again and again for the great fresh and delicious food and wine! Oh right - that's us! Our meal was as usual delicious and we had a lovely evening - thanks again to the crew at Donnini's!

DM
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 20 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Simply the best pasta in Melbourne. Great food, service is top notch. Highly recommended.

EM
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic place. The food is always amazing and the service is always on point.
I always go there when I come to Melbourne

JC
1 review
Dined on 13 April 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fabulous food and service. Very authentic. Thankyou.

GT
1 review
Dined on 11 April 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

We encouraged friends that were also visiting Melbourne to join us for dinner and they were reluctant but came along and enjoyed the meal and everything about the occasion.

CD
1 review
Dined on 31 March 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

The pasta dishes we had were extremely fresh and very tasty. The coffee was very good. The atmosphere was pleasant, the restaurant was spacious and was not too crowded. This was a Sunday evening.

MH
1 review
Dined on 30 March 2019
Overall 2Food 2Service 3Ambience 2

From when myself and my same friend went to have lunch a couple of years ago, the food was presented with much more flavour and colour, this time it seemed like it was just simple and plain, not the same.
The service was good, the gnocchi was just put on the plate and that's it, I went the next night and had dinner at another place that had gnocchi and it was presented with alot more herbs, flavour, presented nicer and in a bowl. Sorry, but I won't probably go back if it's the same ok standard.

G
1 review
Dined on 26 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Outstanding. The staff were on a whole new level. Amazing dining experience

JR
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 16 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Bruschetta was outstanding. Donnini's is always a destination when in town

JA
1 review
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 1Food 4Service 4Ambience 2

The reason for the low overall rating was the interaction with a particular Donnini at the end. Table staff were fantastic, attentive, personable & caring. However, the offensive, obscene language used when sorting out the bill was atrocious, showed lack of professionalism & height of arrogance. I see this particular character has a habit of polarizing diners.

E
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 15 March 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Good food, but expensive. Useful that they have an option of getting a smaller size serve (this will still set you back $28 or so). Good and varied wine list.

BS
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 9 March 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Always reliable. Dinner for three lovers of simple food. All dishes were characterised by the the freshness of their ingredients and flavoursome preparation. The fish of the day was grilled to perfection and accompanied by beautiful seasonal fennel and colourful citrus 'discs. The obligatory pasta dishes were splendid: highly recommend the ravioli (snapper, pawn and zucchini with saffron butter). The larger size would be too large for many people! Donnini's is always an outing to look forward to.

PS
Detroit
15 reviews
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 5Ambience 4

Authentic but modern charm in the historic Little Italy section. Portions are perfect with two choices for most options. Vegetarian friendly/\. Outside seating available.

BL
1 review
Dined on 16 February 2019
Overall 4Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

Pasta is fantastic here, so that should be no surprise. We had a 6:15pm booking for 2, and were seated quickly. Strangely, my only reason for not giving 5 stars is because we were served and presented with our meals very quickly. Normally, this would be great, but from being seated, to having mains and paying the bill, it was 45minutes. Yes, if we had Entrees or a desert, dinner would last longer, but just almost felt rushed. Terrible thing to complain about of course ;)

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