Donnini's

4.7
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208 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.

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What 208 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
Food
4.7
Service
4.4
Ambience
4.4
Value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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RO
ROBM
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

The only place to eat pasta.. never lets us down. Service and food always exceptional!

TN
TaraN
London
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

From the warm welcome to the gracious acknowledgement of a tip, the service at Donnini's was impeccable, prompt, and there was no sense of being rushed.

The menu is broad enough to offer options for everyone, without being overwhelming. Our party of three shared the best bruschetta I've tasted, in or out of Italy, followed by local calamari with chili, eye fillet salad, and lasagna; after some discussion with the host, we all selected a glass of rosé, which was a fitting accompaniment, despite the varied dishes.

The coffee was particularly good, even by Melbourne standards, and the hot chocolate was neither overly sweet nor too rich.

This was the perfect restaurant for our first post-pandemic shutdown meal, and the attention to precautions, from social distancing to cleaning the door handles after every use, was exemplary.

LC
LisaC
Key West
3 reviews
Dined on 9 March 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience3

Great food. Service was decent. It was listed as Italian "fine dining"...we were expecting a nicer atmosphere and establishment. But, again, the food was great!

LR
LisaR
1 review
Dined on 8 March 2020
Overall5Food4Service5Ambience4

Lovely pasta- nice staff easy quick dinner.
Serving not enough for teenage boys. However enjoyed it.

FT
FionaT
1 review
Dined on 29 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience3

Excellent food, wine & service. Highly recommend.

RR
RobbyRosa
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 27 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience4

Great lunch and very good food with great service to match. Thanks guys.

BR
BlakeR
1 review
Dined on 26 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Best italian in Melbourne and has been for decades. No more needs to be said.

WC
WinnieC
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 February 2020
Overall5Food5Service4Ambience4

Satisfied and great pasta. Overall experience is just fantastic

B
Beggars
Philadelphia
6 reviews
Dined on 10 February 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience5

Good food, great staff - a very pleasant evening!

E
Emily
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
SybilC
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
OpenTable Diner
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 February 2020
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience4

The food was amazing.
It did not disappoint.

EL
ErikaL
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
FrancesT
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
WayneH
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
Daisy
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 22 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service5Ambience3

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

KP
KayleneP
1 review
Dined on 20 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
Wales
1 review
Dined on 17 January 2020
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Great place with equally good service. Loved it!

AM
AlexM
1 review
Dined on 5 January 2020
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

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

AS
ArezooS
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
Daisy
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
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

ES
ElizabethS
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
Gabriel
1 review
Dined on 5 December 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

BS
BelindaS
1 review
Dined on 30 November 2019
Overall4Food5Service4Ambience3

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

HM
HelenM
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
DamienQld1
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
Greenies
1 review
Dined on 2 November 2019
Overall4Food4Service4Ambience4

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

MH
MichaelH
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
BrianO
1 review
Dined on 17 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

Food and service out standing did not disappoint
Thank you

PM
PaulM
1 review
Dined on 16 October 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

OT
OpenTable Diner
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
LouiseB
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
OpenTable Diner
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

PC
PeterC
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
BruceH
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
AimeeS
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
cynthiaj
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

GREAT FOOD AND SERVICE, WE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED OUR NIGHT

AK
AndrewK
1 review
Dined on 18 August 2019
Overall5Food5Service5Ambience5

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

s
snake2000
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).

FAQs

Donnini's is rated 4.7 stars by 208 OpenTable diners.

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