The Most Popular Restaurants In Melbourne, Australia

| © Robert Mora / Alamy Stock Photo
Christiane Barro

The top ten Victorian restaurants, cafes and bars have been voted by diners and named by The Age Good Food Guide 2016. Each with its own unique flavor, style and theme, the People’s Choice Poll revealed the diversity of Victoria’s dining scene. Five Asian-inspired restaurants, a vegan bar, two Italian-themed restaurants, a steakhouse inspired by North America and a fine diner have been awarded as the most favorable places to eat out by Victorians. Here’s the low-down on all 10.

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Red Spice Road, Melbourne CBD

Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian, $
Known for its Asian-inspired menu, Red Spice Road, located in the heart of Melbourne, incorporates flavors from Thailand, Malaysia, China and Vietnam. As part of the inaugural The Age Good Food Guide People’s Choice award, Red Spice Road was labeled Victoria’s favorite and most preferred restaurant. It’s signature pork belly dish, with apple slaw, chili caramel and black vinegar might have been the defining factor that pushed it into the top ranking restaurants within Victoria. With large shared tables, Red Spice Road promises a menu that is both fresh and full of flavor.

Lake House, Daylesford

Restaurant, Australian
Daylesford’s Lake House produces seasonal food with a modernistic and revolutionary take on its presentation. The menu is tailored to each season, and produce is often fresh and handpicked every morning before service. Whether it is the grass-fed beef or freshwater fish, Lake House takes a rather countryside approach to its menu. It’s signature dish of smoked Skipton eel in pancetta, shallot confit, beetroot remoulade, and mustard crème fraîche is delicately beautiful and refined in flavor and presentation.

David’s, Prahran

Restaurant, Chinese, $
David’s, an award-winning restaurant located in Prahran, delivers a modernist take on traditional family recipes. Its menu, largely inspired by cuisine from Zhouzhuang, a rural town located on the rivers of Shanghai, aims to deliver simple, honest and flavorsome food with the use of local fresh produce. Its dishes are well known for being seasoned with soy, sugar, ginger and sometimes whole chilies and cloves of garlic. David’s restaurant takes on a relaxing and homey feel, styled to resemble a Shanghai river house.

Chin Chin, Melbourne CBD

Restaurant, Bar, Cocktail Bar, Asian, $
Chin Chin, located in the Melbourne CBD on Flinders Lane, is a Thai-inspired restaurant bringing together flavors from South East Asian cuisine. It takes on a shared-eating concept, with dining tables assembled to resemble the hawker dining halls of Asia. All of Chin Chin’s sauces, pastes and relishes are made in-house, using the freshest ingredients. It’s signature caramelized sticky pork dish was awarded the Tastiest Pork Dish in Asia at the Chowzter Asia Awards 2015. Other signature dishes also include Thai-style crunchy prawns and Chinook salmon wrapped in banana leaf with coconut, red curry, lime and Thai basil. Customers are able to select a ‘feed me’ option as well, in which you are given a selection of Chin Chin’s favorite dishes. Chin Chin restaurant doubles up as an Asian pop-up gallery with a wide display of quirky cartoons and large art pieces.

The Grand Hotel, Richmond

Hotel Restaurant, Australian
The Grand Hotel in Richmond provides an elegant and sophisticated feel to an authentic Italian-style cuisine. It delivers quality ingredients and great value. The Grand Dining Room has been awarded the ‘Age Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat’ on nine consecutive occasions, and whether it’s a business lunch or an intimate date, its lively yet sophisticated atmosphere tailors to all occasions. Its stand-up events are unique to the Grand Hotel. From cocktail parties to corporate functions to Italian feasts, The Grand Hotel has something to suit everybody.

Vivace, Brighton

Restaurant, Diner, Italian, $
Vivace in Brighton offers a modern take on an Italian cuisine, incorporating fresh Australian seafood, Black Angus beef, house-made pastas and delectable desserts for the most fastidious diner. Vivace offers an elegant dining experience with its warm atmosphere and soft lighting. Its dishes are beautifully presented to suit an intimate meal or private function. The kitchen is fresh and seasonal, currently offering guests an enticing delicious winter breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, with an accompanying wine list.

Rice Paper Scissors, Melbourne CBD

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Cocktails, Australian, Thai, Vietnamese, $
Rice Paper Scissors gathers the freshest ingredients to deliver a South East Asian-inspired menu with sauces, patés and relishes made in-house. Dining tables are assembled to resemble the hawker dining halls of Asia, and they are committed to supporting local food and hospitality suppliers. Its menu is centered on a shared-eating concept and the rustic feel only adds to the sense of community and togetherness that this restaurant provides.

Rockpool Bar & Grill, Melbourne CBD

Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, Australian, $$$
Motivated to create an lively environment that somewhat resembles the well-known steakhouses of North America, Melbourne’s Rockpool Bar and Grill focuses on delivering the best Australian-sourced produce. It promises a relaxed and luxurious dining experience, accompanied by a simple and refined menu. It delivers the best quality of meat as all beef is aged locally on the premises of Rockpool Bar and Grill, enhancing the overall flavor and quality of the beef. There are no added supplements or growth hormones, which can be quite a rarity in Australia today. Offering three of what are believed to be the best types of Australian beef — Blackmore’s Wagyu, Cape Grim and Minderoo — Rockpool treats their ingredients respectfully and delivers on taste, quality and excellence.

Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy

Restaurant, Vegan, $
Fitzroy’s new vegan bar and restaurant, Smith and Daughters, delivers beautiful plant-based food with a Latin twist. Forget the belief that vegan food is bland and flavorless; Smith and Daughters is far from this. It commonly uses ‘seafood,’ ‘chorizo’ and the root of a konjac plant to deliver Spanish and Mexican-inspired dishes. Its food and drinks are fresh, vibrant and packed with delicious flavor.

Longrain, Melbourne CBD

Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, Asian, Thai, Vegetarian, Cocktails, Dessert, $$
Longrain provides a collaboration of South East Asian flavors with the finest Victorian produce. They deliver large servings of food, generally made to be shared by diners, as Longrain is well known for its sense of communal eating. From its crispy whole fillets, to its spicy peanut papaya salads, the delicately refined yet rare combinations provide a modern twist to traditional Thai food. However, you cannot go to Longrain and not try the signature cocktail, Ping Pong, bursting with the goodness of lychees, passionfruit and vodka.

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