If your next Melbourne adventure takes you to vibrant St Kilda, a meal here is a must. The fish and chips are some of the classiest you’ll have the pleasure of tasting, comprising King George whiting alongside triple cooked chips dusted with seaweed salt. The views over the bay make it a fantastic spot for watching the sun go down.
Where 30 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda
Getting there Tram route 3, 16 or 96 to stop 138
If you’re serious about wine, this place won’t disappoint. Its comprehensive wine list will make it hard to stop at one glass. There are sections for orange wine, and minimal-intervention varieties that showcase the provenance of the grapes they’re made with. The rotating food menu offers small bites including cheese and charcuterie, as well as heartier choices like roast chicken and steak.
Where 53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Getting there Tram route 86 to stop 13
This swanky restaurant and speakeasy is inspired by the prohibition era — but fear not, the drinks still flow. Enjoy American-style eats like a Philly cheesesteak sandwich or the bagel burger, a beef patty on a toasted bagel with cream cheese and chive spread, lettuce, onion, cheese, pickles and special sauce. Straying away from American cuisine is the parma menu, with options like the ‘Cheeseburparma’ and a Mexican-inspired version. Wash it all down with a creative cocktail, like the spicy blackberry margarita.
Where 249 Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
Getting there Tram route 1, 3, 5, 6, 16, 64, 67 or 72 to stop 8
Believe the hype surrounding this place. It opened in 2011 to hordes of avid foodies patiently waiting in line for its flavour-packed Thai dishes, and it’s still just as loved today. Line up early then kill some time at GoGo bar downstairs until your table is ready. Anything you choose — especially if it’s the Massaman curry — will show you why it’s still going strong. That goes for the drinks menu too. The Molly Boom Boom of Aperol, Midori, passionfruit and fresh lemon juice brings the summer vibes at any time of year.
Where 125 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Getting there Tram route 35, 70 or 75 to stop 6
You'll find this foodie hot spot situated inside the historic Prahran Post Office. The specialty is steak but make sure you save a little space for dessert — the doughnuts, with lime curd filling, berry marmalade and vanilla ice-cream, are hard to pass up. The New York inspired interior is all class, with luxe leather seating, exposed brick and ambient lighting, making it the perfect place for a special occasion.
Where 168 Greville Street, Prahran
Getting there Sandringham train line to Prahran Station
Delicious vegan eats are served in a sleek-meets-grunge setting at this Fitzroy eatery. Pasta lovers will leave satisfied, with dishes like trippa alla romana — slow-braised mushroom, white wine sugo and maccheroni — and spaghettini sitting proudly on the menu. Visiting with a group? Opt for a few items from the share menu.
Where 175 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Getting there Tram route 11 to stop 14
For a tasty Italian feed morning, noon or night, check out this Richmond gem. Get ready for hearty Italian dishes jammed with flavour, the freshest ingredients, including handmade mozzarella on its famed pizzas, and a whole lotta love. Prefer to dine earlier in the day? The brunch menu here is also Italian-inspired, with meals like baked eggs amatriciana waiting to start your day right.
Where 631–633 Church Street, Richmond
Getting there Tram route 78 to stop 53
This restaurant and bar is a popular spot for everything from an after-work Aperol Spritz to dinner dates of tasty Thai food. If you come for the latter, the drunken noodles of minced pork, tomato and green chillies are always a hit. No matter what you come here for, you can expect good vibes and great eats.
Where 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Getting there Tram route 19, 57 or 59 to stop 3
Experience Indian cuisine reimagined at this gem tucked down one of the city’s much-loved laneways. Classics like vindaloo and biryani are plated up here, but perhaps not quite as you know them. The standout though is the melt-in-your-mouth lamb curry. Add a few tasty sides to your meal, like fried cauliflower, naan or yellow dal tadka, and you’ll leave both full and wanting more.
Where 20 Duckboard Place
Getting there Tram route 35 to stop 7
Far from your typical Japanese takeaway, this renowned southside eatery was one of the leaders in a new wave of Asian restaurants. And, as they say, the original is usually the best. For a meal that will change how you see KFC, go for the famed Miyagi fried chicken with kewpie mayo. Or if you prefer Japanese cuisine raw, go for the sashimi or the Himalayan salt-slab cured kingfish with quinoa, green chilli, coriander, fennel, apple and lemon. Add a bottle of sake, and you’re all set for a good time.
Where 99 Chapel Street, Windsor
Getting there Sandringham train line to Windsor