Donnini's

4.5
162 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Italian
Top tags:
  • Authentic
  • Special Occasions
  • Good for a Date
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 162 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
4.7
Food
4.7
Service
4.3
Ambience
4.3
Value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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ED
Melbourne / VIC
40 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!

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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

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R
Hawaii
1 review
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

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

Great food, good service. Reasonably priced. Would recommend

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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.

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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!

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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!

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ED
Melbourne / VIC
41 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!

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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.

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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

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

Fabulous food and service. Very authentic. Thankyou.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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PS
Detroit
13 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.

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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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MG
Chicago
1 review
Dined on 7 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Would rank Donnini’s as the best pasta in Melbourne. Just the right balance of excellent fine dining food and a welcome and casual atmosphere. Our “go to” for Lygon Street and Italian food overall.

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LB
1 review
Dined on 3 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We love Doninnis. Ric and the family do an incredible job. Best pasta in Melbourne 👌

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TG
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 2 February 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Our first timing dining at Donnini's , selected due to its proximity to Cinema Nova. We were very happy with our choice. Excellent food, excellent service; well priced.

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S
1 review
Dined on 18 January 2019
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 3

The food is excellent, pasta homemade daily but lacks atmosphere. Closes early, cleared out by 10:30p on a Friday night. Would go for the food not romance, special celebration, strictly for the good food and service.

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DB
1 review
Dined on 4 January 2019
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fresh Homemade Pasta. Exceptional Service. Food was Excellent.

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PM
1 review
Dined on 22 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 4

We went with friend and had 4 kids between us. They provided plain pasta with a little olive oil for the younger kids and we enjoyed the calamari which was super sweet and fresh. The linguine with prawns was delicious. The only thing that would have improved the experience was that we wouldn’t have been sat at the back of the restaurant near the kitchen - am not sure if this is because we had kids or not. The waiting staff were friendly and the service was really good. Would definitely go back

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 21 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The absolute best real Italian food I’ve had in a while. Their pasta is melting in the mouth and the flavour is outstanding!! Their service is outstanding and their staff are so nice and funny!!! Nice and quiet too. One of my favourite restaurants!

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KF
1 review
Dined on 16 December 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

Always good food but the choice of wines by glass is limited.

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m
1 review
Dined on 11 December 2018
Overall 3Food 5Service 5Ambience 3

Excellent thankyou, except for acoustics. unfortunately when you get to 50yrs plus, you cant hear conversations easily so you tend to go to places where acoustics are better. We came lunch time last visit, much better on the hearing, (didnt have that option this time). thankyou

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OT
Melbourne / VIC
1 review
Dined on 6 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful food. Beautiful service. A place to go for exquisite food and that touch of class.

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D
Melbourne / VIC
2 reviews
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 1Food 5Service 5Ambience 1

We were there on Saturday night.
We started with Bruschetta and their homemade bread topped with fresh tomotoes with basil it was to die for. It was thoroughly enjoyed with a crisp cold pino grigio.
We ordered pasta for the mains and the home made pasta makes a huge difference.
The service was fantastic.
What spoilt it for us was two long tables of a bus load of tourists who were loud and totally disrepectful of other diners.
I don't know if thats a regular thing there but that has put me off going there again. I like to go somewhere I can catch up and chat with my family and friends and not put up with obnoxious never to be seen busload of rude with no manners tourists.

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CB
1 review
Dined on 1 December 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Loved the food, atmosphere, service. Overall it was quite pleasant. Great with kids

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