Dinner with a view is always the best – and it’s an ideal way to enjoy the sights and scenery of a city. Here are some Melbourne restaurants that serve dinner with an impressive outlook.
There are a lot of noisy dining rooms on this list. Minamishima’s hushed, reverent atmosphere is better suited to owner-chef Koichi Minamishima’s awe-inspiring knife skills. He works with both local seafood and fish flown direct from Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo to produce his peerless sushi.
4 Lord Street, Richmond
The Baths Middle Brighton
Established in 1881, The Baths Middle Brighton features a street level café and upstairs restaurant – both with picturesque views of Port Phillip Bay and Melbourne’s city skyline. Perfect for a casual meal or relaxing tipple, the café offers an extensive breakfast and lunch menu including smoothies, seafood, salad, pizza, and pasta, while one level above you’ll find The Baths Upstairs which serves contemporary Australian cuisine with French influences. The venue also has an intimate private dining room for parties of up to 28 guests seated and up to 40 guests cocktail style.
Sons of Mary
Named after their mum who lives down the street, Sons of Mary is owned by brothers Tim and Matthew Smith of past ventures such as The Flinders Hotel, The Brown Cow and The London. Filling a café void in Brighton, the converted warehouse has oodles of ambience and caters to hungry patrons seven days a week. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Sons of Mary offers such meals as Smashed Avocado and Persian Feta with Egyptian Dukkah, Seafood Linguine, and Roasted Pressed Lamb Shoulder with Root Covelo Nero and Parsnip Mash.
On a quiet street in Carlton, right near Melbourne University, is a pizza place that feels like it’s actually on a quiet street in Rome. The menus are handwritten photocopies and often covered in red wine stains, wine is poured into tumblers, and the seating is so cramped you’ll definitely be involved in the relationship debrief happening at the table next door. Yes the pastas are good, but we’d advise not using too much stomach space for those – it’s all about the thin-crust, simply-topped pizzas. And that includes the dessert pizzas too.
Pacific Seafood BBQ House
You won’t find chicken chow mein or General Tso’s anything at Chinese restaurants in Australia. The Chinese food here is pretty different – a lot less sweet and arguably a bit closer to the Chinese food they eat in China. Despite its location amongst pho shops and Vietnamese restaurants on Victoria Street in Richmond, Pacific Seafood BBQ House is one of the best options for Chinese food in town. The tables are always a little sticky and there are specials written in Chinese on colored paper taped to the walls. Get the salt and pepper calamari, half a peking duck, and a hot pot.
Vue De Monde
There aren’t many places to eat with a view in Melbourne, but Vue de Monde, on the 55th floor of the Rialto building, is the best one. Vue is a fine dining restaurant where you can only do a tasting menu, but despite this it feels pretty casual. The space is dark and modern and the food is serious (and often includes little-seen native Australian ingredients), but service is laid-back and there are no hushed tones. Be warned: you’ll be dropping some serious money. For a less-expensive option with a view, have a cocktail and a snack at Lui Bar next door.
Chinese food has all its bases covered in Melbourne – dumplings, yum cha (what we call dim sum), modern takes, traditional takes. But if you want traditional Cantonese done at the highest of levels, Flower Drum is where it’s at. They’re known for their peking duck, but regulars will always get an order of abalone in there as well. They’ve been doing their thing for 41 years, and we’re not entirely sure things have changed much since then, but that’s just the way we like it.
In Melbourne, you can eat just as well during brunch as you can at dinner, maybe better — and Babajan is proof. This place is tiny, but mighty. Chef-owner Kirsty Chiaplias puts all her effort into making her soulful, Turkish-inspired brunch fare from scratch. In the morning, the menemen (a baked egg dish with spiced tomato sauce, and pistachio dukkah) and the lahmacun (flatbread topped with spiced ground lamb, tomato, pickled chile, onions, and parsley) are favorites. Later in the day, fish, salads, and hummus continue to satisfy. On a sunny day, get one of the sidewalk tables. Expect a wait; coffee and a house-made pide or simit should ease the pangs.