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Best italian in melbourne

9 Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne (2024)

Melbourne is a haven for food lovers, and its Italian dining scene is no exception, serving up some of the best Italian restaurants in Australia. From traditional trattorias like Tipo 000 to modern Italian kitchens like Figlia and Bar Idda, to the hatted 1800 Lasagne, Melbourne’s Italian scene has something for every palate (even the gluten free and vegan among us). Whether you’re craving classic pasta dishes or contemporary Italian flavours, these are the 9 best Italian restaurants in Melbourne you simply must try. Buon appetito!

Best Italian in Melbourne at a Glance

Our list of the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne at a glance are:

Best italian in melbourne tipo 00
Tipo 00 | Image: Supplied

1. Tipo 00

  • Address: 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 11:30am-4pm & 5-9:30pm
  • Phone: (03) 9942 3946

If you’re on the hunt for amazing Italian food in Melbourne, Tipo 00 is not to be missed. Tipo 00’s menu is a pasta lover’s dream (you won’t find any pizza here!) They specialise in handmade pasta that’s both comforting and exciting. From the rich and tasty tagliolini al nero with squid ink to the soft and delicious porcini mushroom gnocchi, every dish is simply unforgettable. Not to mention the serving sizes are pretty dang decent, and for the cost of around $32 per bowl, you get some serious bang for your buck.

The atmosphere at Tipo 00 is equally wonderful, with its clean, minimalist design and open kitchen, you get a front-row seat to the culinary magic. It’s a great spot whether you’re out for a casual lunch with friends or a romantic dinner. What makes Tipo 00 special is their dedication to using fresh, high-quality ingredients and their love for making pasta from scratch. The name, Tipo 00, is actually the type of finely ground flour used in traditional pasta-making. And of course, you can’t go past the spot-on list of Italian wines, and outstanding customer service.

Source: Figlia

2. Figlia

  • Address: 335 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm
  • Phone: 0402 349 327

Figlia is an Italian gem tucked away in Brunswick East, and it’s so much more than your typical pizzeria. From the moment you walk in, with an atmosphere that’s both chic and relaxed, you just know you’re in for a good time.

The menu here dances between traditional and inventive, offering everything from appetizers like tempura eggplant with ricotta, to pippies with nduja, cimi di rapa, and torn sourdough. But the pizzas? They’re a revelation – featuring both classic and creative touches.

The Margherita is a timeless choice with its fresh basil, tomato, and mozzarella—always a comforting pick. For something a bit daring, the Cavolo Nero offers a tasty twist with stracciatella cheese, fermented cabbage, and a hint of chili. On the spicier side, the Nduja pizza packs a punch with its spicy pork, bullhorn peppers, and anchovy, making it a bold choice for those who enjoy a little heat. There are also gluten free and vegan options, which is always a plus.

The drink list alone, with its thoughtful selection of wines and craft beers, is also worth the trip. It’s a mix of creative dishes, vibrant atmosphere, and genuine hospitality that makes Figlia stand out as a truly great Italian restaurant in Melbourne.

Umberto espresso bar 1
Source: Umberto Espresso Bar

3. Umberto Espresso Bar

  • Address: 917 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
  • Hours: Wed-Sun 11:30 am–9:30 pm, Tues 4:30pm-9:30pm
  • Phone: (03) 9484 8654

Umberto Espresso Bar in Thornbury is an inner-north star where the focus is all about capturing the essence of a traditional Italian eatery. The place is cosy and welcoming, with the kind of hearty Italian dishes that taste like they’re straight from nonna’s kitchen.

The menu might be compact, but it’s packed with quality fare, featuring standout pasta dishes and daily specials that locals rave about. When a dish runs out for the day, that’s it—it adds to the charm and ensures everything is super fresh. Some crowd-pleasers include the classic rich and creamy spaghetti carbonara with pancetta and egg, and the light and zesty spaghetti aglio e olio, bursting with garlic and fresh chilli. For mushroom fans, the penne con funghi in a creamy sauce is to die for.

Adding to the experience, there’s a great selection of wines and beers to complement your meal, making Umberto not just a spot for Italian dining, but also a fun night out. Plus, if you’re in the mood to keep the night going, you can pop upstairs to Gigi’s Rooftop bar (although to be honest, Gigi’s is best visited at golden hour for some cocktails and killer views over Thornbury and Coburg).

Bar idda
Source: Bar Idda

4. Bar Idda

  • Address: 132 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
  • Hours: Mon-Fri 6pm-10pm, Sat 12pm-10pm
  • Phone: (03) 9380 5339

If you’re a fan of Sicilian Italian, Bar Idda in Brunswick East is a must visit Italian eatery in Melbourne. The moment you step in, there’s this genuine, warm atmosphere that makes you feel like you’re part of the family.

The menu is truly spectacular, from the tender, slow-cooked lamb shoulder that melts in your mouth to the perfectly crispy arancini bursting with flavour, each dish is a testament to traditional Sicilian cooking. Don’t skip the beef, almond, pine nut, currant & cinnamon meatballs either – they’re a perfect example of how Bar Idda creatively plays with flavours. For dessert, an absolute must-try is the coconut milk pudding, spiced pear cake, quince, pistachio. Simply too good to resist!

Bar Idda is the kind of Italian spot that encourages you to relax, enjoy your wine, and take your time over a meal that feels home-cooked. The service is attentive without being overbearing, and it’s a spot that’ll make you want to come back time and time again.

Johnny vince sam
Source: Johnny, Vince & Sam’s

5. Johnny, Vince & Sam’s

  • Address: 306-308 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
  • Hours: Sun-Thurs 12pm-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-11pm
  • Phone: (03) 9021 9995

Johnny, Vince & Sam’s Ristorante on Lygon Street is Italian dining with a twist. It’s the brainchild of the Sooshi Mango trio, who’ve injected their trademark humour into every corner. The vibe is fun and authentically Italian, decked out with nostalgic decor that adds to the overall joyful atmosphere.

The food here is a heartfelt nod to traditional Italian flavours with a menu crafted by award-winning Italian chef, Johnny Di Francesco. You’ll find everything from perfectly charred Neapolitan pizzas to homey pasta dishes rigatoni with beef ragu and grana padano. Every dish tastes like it’s been handed down through generations.

What sets Johnny, Vince & Sam’s apart isn’t just their food, but how they serve it up with a side of fun. It’s clear the trio love what they do, and they want you to have a great time too. From the warm welcome when you walk in, to the bustling energy that fills the room as the night goes on, this spot is all about good times and great Italian eats.

Osteria ilaria
Source: Osteria Ilaria

6. Osteria Ilaria

  • Address: 367 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm
  • Phone: (03) 9642 2287

Walking into Osteria Ilaria, right next to its famous sibling Tipo 00, you immediately feel the buzz of a place that knows its food. The space is stylish and lively, with seating options that range from intimate booths to bar stools right up against the kitchen bar—perfect if you love watching the culinary action up close.

Start with a light Porcini mushroom croquette, or try the zesty Hervey Bay scallop. For mains, you have choices like the fresh and tangy Kingfish crudo or the luxurious 9+ Sher wagyu rump cap. With every dish, whether it’s a creamy Cacio e pepe risotto or a hearty Pepperberry pappardelle with lamb ragu, there’s a wonderful mix of traditional Italian flavours and creative twists

Osteria Ilaria isn’t just about great Italian food; it’s also a treat for wine lovers. They host special wine nights that delve into the nuances of regions like Piedmont and Burgundy, offering a chance to taste exceptional vintages alongside beautifully paired dishes.

It’s this combination of creative cuisine, atmosphere, and thoughtful wine pairings that makes Osteria Ilaria a standout in Melbourne’s Italian dining scene. It’s the kind of place you leave having already planned your next visit.

Source: Roccella

7. Roccella Italian Restaurant

  • Address: 158 Clarendon St, East Melbourne VIC 3002
  • Hours: Sun-Sat 8am-9pm (Fri & Sat until 9.30pm)
  • Phone: (03) 9416 1700

For all-day Italian dining in Melbourne, Roccella is the go-to choice. Whether you’re on a first date or hanging out with mates, Roccella sets the tone for a great meal with items like their delicious bruschetta, mouth-watering truffle fettuccine, and 72-hour sourdough wood-fired pizzas that are too good to miss.

What we love about Roccella is they’re open all day from 8am until 9pm, serving breakfast, coffee, lunch, and dinner. Plus, they’ve got a fantastic range of ready-to-eat meals and shelves full of gourmet Italian delicacies to take home. Whether you’re craving Italian pastries or a Calabrese-inspired breakfast, a plate of antipasti, handmade pasta, or pizzas, Roccella’s got your Italian cravings sorted. They also cater to gluten-free and vegan dietaries.

So, next time you’re in East Melbourne and craving some authentic Italian goodness, make sure Roccella is on your list.

Scopri food chloe oloan0023
Source: Scorpi

8. Scorpi

  • Address: 191 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053
  • Hours: Tues-Fri 12–3 pm, 5:30–10:30 pm, Sat 5:30–10:30 pm
  • Phone: (03) 9347 8252

For a chic, fine-dining Italian feast in Melbourne, swing by Scopri on Nicholson Street, Carlton. Scopri’s menu is decidedly unique, putting an inventive spin on classic Italian fare. Think: agnolotti filled with roasted rabbit, pork and veal finished in butter and sage, chargrilled spatchcock with field mushrooms and homemade fettuccine pasta with duck ragu.

Wine lovers, you’ll be impressed by their curated selection spotlighting gems from Italy’s Piemonte and beyond. More into brews or cocktails? Their Bellini, with house-made peach puree and prosecco, is a must try. Plus, Scopri’s menu is packed with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free choices, making sure everyone gets a slice of the good life.

While on the pricier side, the vibes are still super welcoming, and the staff are friendly without being pushy. Heads up, though—it’s a Carlton crowd favourite, so booking ahead is a must, especially for groups.

1800 lasagne
Source: 1800 Lasagne

9. 1800 Lasagne

  • Address: 653 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
  • Hours: Mon-Thurs 5pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 5pm-12am, Sun 4pm-11pm
  • Phone: 1800 527 246

If you love lasagne, well, you’ll love 1800 Lasagne. As Melbourne’s first hatted lasagne restaurant, and dubbed by The Age chief restaurant critic as the “kind of a perfect restaurant”, it truly is a stand-out Italian restaurant in Melbourne’s inner north.

It also has quite the backstory, evolving from a unique delivery service where founder and chef Joey Kellock would zip around in an old Holden Barina to deliver homemade lasagne right to your door. Now, it’s a brick-and-mortar establishment in Thornbury, where the homely, Italian vibes make it a local favourite.

The menu highlights include Joey’s famous lasagne—both a meaty version with beef and pork, and a vegetarian option with eggplant. Beyond the star dishes, there’s also the choice of gnocchi, spaghetti, mafalde and casarecce pasta dishes.

The drink menu is a knockout too, with a wine list that includes a mix of Italian varieties, with options available by the glass or bottle. They also offer Italian prosecco, and Yarra Valley sangiovese and rosé on tap. If cocktails are more your style, the 1800 doesn’t disappoint. They have a lineup of classic Italian spritzes—like Aperol, Campari, and Cynar spritzes and other classics like Americanos, amaretto sours, and martinis.

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 the Best Italian in Melbourne

If you’re looking for other cuisines or dinner ideas in Melbourne, we’ve got you covered!

Best Italian Melbourne FAQs

What famous street in Melbourne has Italian restaurants?

You can’t miss Lygon Street in Carlton if you’re craving Italian food. This leafy street is known as Little Italy, and it’s where Melbourne’s cafe culture was born. It’s a wonderful spot to wander around and enjoy some fantastic Italian food.

What are the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne CBD?

If you’re in the Melbourne CBD and in the mood for Italian, you can’t go wrong with Tipo 00, Osteria Ilaria, Il Bacaro, and Florentino. These restaurants are favourites for their mouth-watering Italian dishes and amazing service. They’re perfect for a delicious meal that feels like a little trip to Italy.

Where can I find authentic Italian pizza in Melbourne?

For some amazing, authentic Italian pizza in Melbourne, check out places like Figlia, D.O.C Pizza & Mozzarella Bar, +39 Pizzeria CBD, SPQR Pizzeria, and Pizza Pizza Pizza. These spots are renowned for their traditional pizzas, made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and baked to perfection. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic Margherita or something more adventurous, these pizzerias will hit the spot.

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