Our guide to the best Melbourne dining precincts includes local favourites like Lygon Street, Chinatown and Hardware Lane.

If you are visiting Melbourne and want to indulge in the local food scene – there are some fantastic dining precincts in which to do it. Melburnians are spoilt for choice when it comes to wonderful cuisines and award-winning dining experiences. 

In this article we’ve picked some of the best dining precincts in Melbourne. There are areas where there are many different restaurants, cafes and bars – giving a wonderful atmosphere and plenty of dining options.

If you are planning to visit Melbourne or are already here, we recommend taking a tour of the city or a day tour from Melbourne to see the city surroundings. We offer day trips to locations such as Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road. 

After your tour you can visit one of these great dining precincts in Melbourne for a hearty and delicious meal!

Best Melbourne dining precincts

Chinatown – Melbourne CBD

Melbourne’s Chinatown is the longest continuous Chinese settlement in the western world. With a rich history of Chinese immigration that began in the 1850s gold rush era – today this part of Melbourne is renowned for the plethora of Asian restaurants. Learn about the rich history of Chinatown in the Chinese Museum, with five levels of artefacts. Then indulge in food from all regions of China as well as many surrounding countries including Thailand, Japan, India, Malaysia, Vietnam and Korea. Some of Chinatown’s iconic dishes include the Yum Cha at Shark Fin, sticky Peking Duck at Dahu, fried crab at Crystal Jade and Szechuan-style dishes at China Red.

Collins Laneways – Melbourne CBD

From the high fashion of Collins Street, you can duck into the nearby laneways for a coffee and delicious dining options. Try Melbourne’s most famous pastries at Lune Croissanterie or wander along Flinders Lane to indulge in Chinese, Malaysian, Italian, Thai, Middle Eastern and modern Australian dishes. For a caffeine hit try Industry Beans, and or for an evening drink, you can choose from favourites such as Chuckle Park Bar, Bar Americano and The Black Rabbit.

Hardware Lane – Melbourne CBD

In the centre of Melbourne this bustling laneway brings all the European vibes. With plenty of alfresco dining, the seating on the restaurants and cafes spills out into Hardware Lane. From the pre-work coffee to a bustling lunchtime service – then on to the evening for dinner and drinks, this is a vibrant part of Melbourne. Celebrating Melbourne’s laneway culture at its finest, this is the place to grab a delicious bite to eat. You can choose from a range of cuisines, including Italian, Thai, Mexican and contemporary Australian. For drinks try the rooftop garden at Campari House, or head down to the basement bar at Golden Monkey.

Lonsdale Street – Melbourne CBD

Melbourne’s Greek precinct is guaranteed to have your mouth-watering. There is an enormous array of Greek-style cakes, pastries, tarts and slices including pastel and nougat to halva and loukoumi, plus tiramisu. You can also find plenty of souvlakis including at the 24 hour Greek restaurant, and local’s favourite Stalactites. Located in central Melbourne this part of Lonsdale Street is close to Melbourne’s theatre precinct so it is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat before seeing a show. 

Lygon Street – Carlton 

Lygon Street in Carlton is known as Melbourne’s Little Italy. It is the best place to indulge in authentic Italian cuisine. There are over one hundred restaurants along Lygon Street, therefore it is hard to choose what to eat first! You can’t go wrong with a big bowl of pasta to share, of woodfired pizzas. Make sure you try the hand made gelato afterwards. For an iconic Melbourne experience, try Brunetti’s cakes and pastries with an espresso coffee. Lygon Street is where the first espresso machine was brought to Melbourne and considered the birthplace of Melbourne’s coffee scene. 

Victoria Street – Richmond

Victoria Street in Richmond renowned for the enviable amount of Vietnamese cuisine – including the best bowl of pho in the city. It is the heart of Melbourne’s Vietnamese community and is known as Little Saigon. This area has authentic Vietnamese eateries at cheap prices – making it a perfect place to enjoy dinner and a drink. In addition, you’ll find Vietnamese bakeries, butchers, grocers and fish mongers.  

Take a City Tour with Go West

If you are planning a visit to Melbourne join us to discover the city’s highlights. From the culturally rich dining precincts to laneways where you can discover great coffee, specialty shops and iconic street art. On tour with Go West you can visit Melbourne’s iconic attractions all in a half day tour. All in the comfort of our touring bus. 

Learn more about Go West Tours

We are a family-owned and operated tour business with 22 years experience. Plus we have been the most highly-awarded tour operator in Melbourne for many years. On each and every tour we are committed to providing you with an unforgettable experience. One that is memorable for all the right reasons.


Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au