When you’re looking to eat at the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne, it’s hard to go past the pasta at Cafe E Cucina and the pizza at 400 Gradi. However, our expert foodies and editors have directly sampled and experienced the best Italian in Melbourne and compiled an independent list of their favourite Italian restaurants so you can eat the creamiest fior di latte and the richest beef carpaccio the city has to offer.
Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne at a Glance
Our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne at a glance are:
- The best Italian restaurant in Melbourne overall: Tipo 00
- If you’re looking for great pasta: Cafe E Cucina
- If you want great pizza: 400 Gradi Mornington
- When you want great cocktails: Bar Carolina
Now we’ve had a look at our favourites, let’s check out the complete list.
Table of contents
- Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne at a Glance
- 1. Capitano Carlton
- 2. Scopri
- 3. Agostino
- 4. Bar Carolina
- 5. Cicciolina
- 6. Osteria Ilaria
- 7. Trattoria Emilia
- 8. Baby Pizza
- 9. Tipo 00
- 10. Cecconi’s
- 11. Di Stasio Citta
- 12. Park Street Pasta & Wine
- 13. Oster
- 14. 400 Gradi
- 15. Florentino
- 16. Lupino
- 17. Il Bacaro
- 18. Rosa’s Canteen
- 19. Sosta Cucina
- 20. Caffe e Cucina
- 21. Bottega Restaurant
- 22. 48H Pizza e Gnocchi Bar
- How Man of Many Chose the Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
- Alternatives to Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
1. Capitano Carlton
Located in the trendy Melbourne restaurant suburb of Carlton, Capitano Carlton is an Italian gem that combines a contemporary Melbourne aesthetic with the flavours of the Mediterranean. We struggle to find a fault in the menu. It’s simple and delicious – exactly what you’re looking for in Italian food – with the Squid Ink Conchiglie pasta, Fennel Salami pizza, cocktail, and wine list being the clear standouts. The perfect option for date night, take a seat in the bar with walk-in seating available daily.
Address: 421 Rathdowne St, Carlton VIC 3053
Hours: Wed-Thur 5:30-9:30pm, Fri 5:30-10pm, Sat 12-10pm, Sun 12-9:30pm
Phone: (03) 9134 8555
Scorpi means to discover, and this Italian restaurant in Melbourne offers plenty with a culinary journey to challenge any in the city. It all starts with their seasonally changing menu where only the best, freshest ingredients are used in each dish, either from local farmers or the team’s own produce. Favourite menu items of ours include the Pesce del Giorno (Butterflied King George Whiting with Sicilian crumb and salmoriglio) and classic Bistecca alla brace. This is also a great option if you’re into Italian wines, with plenty of bio-dynamic options alongside your favourites from the Mt Etna region.
Address: 191 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
Hours: Tues-Fri 12-11pm, Sat 5-11pm
Phone: (03) 9347 8252
A wine bar with an amazing Italian restaurant out the back, Agostino is one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne if you’re looking for a great atmosphere. The cellar downstairs is a great mix of wines and antipasti, while upstairs you’ll find a larger set menu. Seafood is the star of the menu, with tiger prawns, anchovies and flounder swimming across the menu. Our favourite item has to be the Fusilli with Sausage Ragu and the Fettuccine with prawn and zucchini.
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Located in: King & Godfree
Address: 297 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Hours: Thur-Mon 12-10pm, Sun 12pm-4pm
Phone: (03) 9347 1619
4. Bar Carolina
As you first step onto the terrazzo floors of Bar Carolina, you’ll feel yourself transported to the shores of Italy. Run by the owners of Il Bacaro (another favourite on our list) you’ll find some of the best Italian steak and fish in Melbourne on the menu. And, as the name suggests, Bar Carolina has some of the best wine and cocktails on their menu. Plus, its South Yarra location means it’s close to Chapel Street for an after-dinner drink and a boogie.
Address: 44 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 314
Hours: Tue 5pm-10-m, Weds-Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 1pm-8pm
Phone: (03) 9820 9774
Simple, modern Italian cuisine in a laid-back setting, what more could you ask for from one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne? We like to think of this one as a St Kilda institution of sorts, this place always seems to be full, and for good reason—think burrata with Iberico Jamon, heirloom tomatoes and peach, and kingfish crudo with jalapēno, sour cream, finger lime, radish, poppy seeds, and that’s just to get you started. With one of the most extensive wine lists in Melbourne and an eclectic collection of art covering the walls, we love Cicciolina for a perfect spot to sit back and relax after a long day.
Address: 130 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-9pm
Phone: (03) 9525 3333
6. Osteria Ilaria
When you think of Italian cuisine, you think of pasta and pizza. Well, not at Osteria Ilaria. The kitchen serves up traditional Italian food in Melbourne with European influence popping up on their menu. Take the lamb cutlets, duck, and 48-hour fermented sourdough for example. With their variety of meals, we think you can afford to skip pasta for just one night – try the Porterhouse tartare with cucumber and strawberry, you won’t be disappointed. We also love the fact it’s within walking distance of the famous Hardware Lane in Melbourne’s CBD.
Address: 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sat 12-10pm
Phone: (03) 9642 2287
7. Trattoria Emilia
Trattoria Emilia is great for those lunchtime escapes from the office. With bolognese that’s freshly made daily, as well as one of our favourite spinach and ricotta ravioli in Melbourne. We can’t go past the ricotta gnocchi with confit tomato, basil pesto and pine nuts. We love the Polenta Taragna, Buckwheat polenta, parmesan, wild mushroom ragu, chives and Ravioli filled with ricotta & spinach, roasted pumpkin, pecorino, chestnut and porcini crumble.
Address: 360 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Tue 5-10pm, Wed-Fri 12-3pm & 5-10pm, Sat 5-10pm
Phone: (03) 9670 7214
8. Baby Pizza
The flavour and fun of Italian food are at the forefront of Baby. Baby stands out in two ways on our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. Firstly, they make their mozzarella by hand in store, for the richest, stringiest cheese. Secondly, they’re one of the first stores on our list that serve all-day breakfast. This means you can start your day the right way, with spicy shaved pancetta and rocket scrambled eggs. Or if you’re here for dinner, we can’t go past the Diavola Pizza, Carbonara Pizza and Funghi Pizza.
Address: 631-633 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 12-10pm, Fri-Sat 12-10:30pm
Phone: (03) 9421 4599
9. Tipo 00
Tipo 00 more than makes up for the lack of pasta at Osteria Ilaria next door. This isn’t your average everyday pasta spot, this is our favourite restaurant in Melbourne with one of the squid-ink tagliolini you’ll ever taste. If squid ink is a little left of the field, the al dente asparagus and sage tortellini, dripping in Parmesan sauce is a winner.
Address: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-4pm & 5-9:30pm
Phone: (03) 9942 3946
Cecconi’s is Melbourne’s answer to a New York-style basement restaurant, but in this case, you can expect some of Melbourne’s finest Italian cuisine. The menu takes inspiration from Italy’s northern regions, complimented by a well-curated wine list. We can’t go past the crispy calamari rings with salsa verde and garlic aioli, and if you’re vegan, they also have an entirely vegan menu.
Address: 61 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Tue 12-9:30pm, Wed-Thur 12-10pm, Fri-Sat 12-10:30pm
Phone: (03) 8663 0500
11. Di Stasio Citta
Expertly marrying Italian cuisine with a unique Australian expression, Di Stasio Citta is fondly known as ‘the Milan end’ of Melbourne, and we can’t agree more. Located on Spring Street, the space itself is designed to inspire and champion food, art, ideas and philosophy and bring together all the aspects of Italo-Australian history, culture, place and heritage. In terms of food, you can expect a luxurious but authentic menu full of flavours that will transport you to the streets of Milan—we especially love the Milano-style saffron-soused risotto or the Lasagna Pasqualina.
Address: 45 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3004
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-10pm
Phone: (03) 9070 1177
12. Park Street Pasta & Wine
Park Street Pasta & Wine has a unique way of preparing its freshly made pasta. Using a machine to extrude their pasta (a process not dissimilar to Play-Doh being squeezed through different shapes) where macaroni and penne can be made. Extruding pasta is incredibly unique within Australian Italian restaurants, so don’t take your meal for granted as it’s served perfectly al dente. Favourite menu items of ours include the classic cacio e pepe and Pappardelle with pork shoulder – simply outstanding.
Address: 268 Park St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Hours: Tue-Sun 12-10pm
Phone: (03) 9042 8871
With a regularly changing menu to match the ingredients of the season, you’re only getting the best at Oster. While the dinner menu is authentic, fresh, and delicious, it’s the restaurant’s dessert menu that stood out when we visited for the first time. The deconstructed lemon meringue tart, flamed when plated for some extra flavour and presentation points is up there with the best we’ve had anywhere.
Address: 76/78 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121
Hours: Tue-Thur 5:30-11pm, Fri 12-3pm & 5:30-11pm, Sat 5:30-11pm
Phone: (03) 9428 0749
14. 400 Gradi
If you haven’t heard of 400 Gradi you’ve been missing out on the best Margherita pizza in the world, paired with an unbeatable seaside location. Johnny Di Francesco’s world-famous and recognised world-champion Margherita pizza is on the doorstep of every Melburnian and available seven days a week. It’s a must-try, and you can find it in two locations, however, you should make a day of it and explore the Mornington Peninsula at Gradi’s Mornington location.
Address: 25 Main St, Mornington VIC 3931
Hours: Mon-Sun 7:30am-11:30am/ Mon-Thurs 12pm-9.30pm, Fri-Sun 12pm-11pm
Phone: (03) 9116 8350
If you’re looking for a more traditional, fine-dining Italian experience, head to Florentino on Bourke Street. Their menu champions raw produce combined with traditional Italian cooking methods, paired with a wine list that focuses on lesser-known Italian varietals. We love the Carpaccio di Pesce Spada and the Spaghetti Trabaccolara. Having been around since 1928, we don’t see this Melbourne icon going anywhere anytime soon, all you need to do is remember to book to ensure you get a spot.
Address: 80 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-10pm
Phone: (03) 9662 1811
Nestled away on Little Collins Street, you will find Lupino—a simple Italian bistro with handmade pasta, bread and good wine, housed in a kitsch space with a timeless, retro feel. The menu is fairly small, with around six pasta, three to four pizzas, three entrees and three mains, which we find perfect for sharing. We always order the Duck Risotto and the Crumbed Veal – and it never disappoints.
Address: 41 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Tue-Sun 12-2:30pm & 5-9:30pm
Phone: (03) 9639 0333
17. Il Bacaro
Il Bacaro has had a consistent presence on many lists of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. And with their wine menu including more than 400 wines, it’s not hard to see why. For this sheer multitude of wines, don’t be afraid to ask the waiter for their recommendation. And, aside from the wine, the food at Il Bacaro is pretty good too – we love the Risotto alla zucca with taleggio, dragoncello, balsamico Pumpkin risotto, taleggio, tarragon and balsamic.
Address: 168-170 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Sun 12-3pm & 6-10pm
Phone: (03) 9654 6778
18. Rosa’s Canteen
Also located on Bourke Street, Rosa’s Canteen is one of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne that offers a more modern spin on classic Italian fare. The menu leans more towards Sicilian dishes, we love the classic Tortiglioni with alla norma and the zucchini agrodolce, plus, the comfy setting means you can really relax while you enjoy your meal. Our top tip is to grab the window seat spot that overseas Melbourne’s beautiful CBD.
Address: Level 1, Cnr Lt Bourke and, Thompson St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Mon-Fri 12-9pm
Phone: (03) 9602 5491
19. Sosta Cucina
At Sosta Cucina your drink will never be half full (or half-empty, depending on your optimism) with its fantastic table service. Attentive staff will look after you throughout your meal, and this is another three to four-course menu restaurant, so that’s a long time. You will find a great wine list with a selection of international wines and true Italian food in Melbourne, and the antipasti are a great way to start your evening, before digging into a main of pasta or steak.
Address: 12 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051
Hours: Tue-Wed & Fri-Sat 6-10pm, Thur 6-10pm
Phone: (03) 9329 2882
20. Caffe e Cucina
Even though this Italian spot has ‘cafe’ in its name, don’t be fooled. This Melbourne institution has welcomed the biggest stars on the planet and continues to serve authentic homemade pasta to its customers every day of the week. It’s a petit restaurant set in a dimly lit atmosphere, accompanied by smooth jazz and Italian music, just like Nona’s kitchen. The wine list is impressive, and the pasta is better – we can’t go past the Carpaccio di Manzo, Fiori di Zucca “Cacio e Pepe” and the Linguine di Mare al Cartoccio.
Address: 581 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
Hours: Mon-Sun 12 pm-11:00 pm
Phone: (03) 9827 4139
21. Bottega Restaurant
At Bottega Restaurant you can enjoy your Italian food whilst seated on the streets of Melbourne, much like in Rome. Just be ready to have pedestrians eyeing off your meal as they pass by. Favourites of ours include the house-made tagliatelle and lobster, of course. Using ingredients from his own farm, the chef at Bottega loves Italian dishes for you to enjoy. Inside or outside, enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and food found here.
Address: 74 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Hours: Tue-Sat 12-3:30pm & 5:30-11pm
Phone: (03) 9654 2252
22. 48H Pizza e Gnocchi Bar
You’ve heard the term pizzeria before, but what about gnoccheria? Well, Pizza e Gnocchi Bar Elsternwick is the go-to specialist in all things gnocchi. You can watch how the gnocchi is made, before sitting down to a bowl yourself. They also provide freshly made gluten-free gnocchi, something that’s incredibly hard to find elsewhere. Try the Agnello slow-cooked lamb with tomato sauce, Taggiasche olives and wild mushrooms for a life-changing experience.
Address: 15 Gordon St, Elsternwick VIC 3185
Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 5-9pm, Fri-Sat 5-10pm
Phone: (03) 9089 0422
How Man of Many Chose the Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
With an editorial team full of foodies, Man Of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience Italian food from the best spots in Melbourne. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating these selections. The list is led by Aimee O’Keefe’s knowledge of the food scene in her home city, but our editors have taken into account food, service and atmosphere while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few spots outside of Melbourne CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.
Alternatives to Italian Restaurants in Melbourne
If you’re looking for other cuisines or dinner ideas in Melbourne, we’ve got you covered with some options listed below. You can also check out our list of fun things to do in Melbourne. If you’re looking for a more specific cuisine, check out our list of Japanese restaurants in Melbourne or our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne. If you’ve hit a food coma and want to get active, we can also show you the best beaches in Melbourne for surfing and swimming.
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