A little away from the quirky, university student flooded area of central Brunswick, we’re not going to pretend East Brunswick is an entirely different suburb. But perhaps a little more delicate, a touch more refined and a smidgen quieter (you won’t hear the dull thump of a house party in the distance), it’s more than worth the extra few blocks east when you’re looking for a great place to out for a bite to eat. So, here are the best restaurants that Brunswick East has to offer.
With an aesthetic interior boasting hand-painted murals and purple neon lights, Mama Manoush truly excels in the modern design peppered throughout all Melbourne restaurants. And the menu is nothing short of a culinary marvel that transports you straight to Lebanon.
Delicious falafel, authentic hummus and wonderfully roasted meats off the grill—be sure to go hungry cause Mama will fill you up with Lebanese goodness wanting you to come back for more.
Middle Eastern maestro Rumi is an elegantly aesthetic modern eatery that will transport you straight to the Eastern Mediterranean. A night at Rumi is embodied with a gentle green tinge, from olive saplings next to Arabic inscribed screens to table water served in green glass amphora. With a menu to send the taste buds into a euphoric overload and designed to share, there’s a good reason why it’s always packed, creating a wonderful ambience to dine in.
Etta is aesthetic as hell. With polished concrete walls, comfy booths and wonderful food, this place screams first date heaven. The food here is so delicately presented that you almost feel bad for eating it, but once you dive in, you’ll be so glad you did. With over half the menu featuring vegetarian dishes, carnivores out there you’ll be amazed how delicious meals without meat are. Etta is one of our favourites and we’re sure will soon be yours so book a table and see what all the fuss of this modern Australian eatery is about.
Simple decor and amazing food is the combination of Sicilian influenced Bar Idda on Lygon Street. The aurora is intimate and fosters a sense of belonging whether it's your first time or you’re a weekly local. With delicious flavours highlighting the menu it’s hard to list our favourite, but make sure you save some room for dessert because it's seriously to die for.
Quality, hearty Italian meals passed along from generation to generation has fuelled the success of this little beauty, and we love it. In the heart of Lygon Street is Zia Teresa, home to wonderfully authentic Italian since 1985. With a vegan and vegetarian menu available, you can be sure that everyone can be catered for, which is why it's always full when you walk past.
Traditional village recipes created using wholesome, organic unrefined ingredients is what's behind the beautifully intimate Lebanese eatery Teta Mona. The menu reflects true Lebanese cuisine filled with zesty flavours and delicious dishes. Falafel D.I.Y. should be a staple every time you go (because you’ll want to come back again and again). For dessert, the organic vegan baklava is straight up amazing and slightly guilt-free, so maybe a couple after dinner won’t go astray.
Kumo Izakaya & Sake Bar
An elegantly modern interior design decorated with handpainted koi fish, Kumo feels like you have been transported to the hustling restaurant establishments in Japan. With huge communal tables, it creates an aurora unlike any other in the area and we love it. To the food, absolute wow whether it be meat, seafood, sushi or vegetables yours after Kumo Izakaya has hit the nail on every avenue of their menu and with a menu that will leave you speechless—it’ll be your next Friday night ritual, without a doubt.
Ah, the world's best pizza—just going to leave that there to sink in. 400 Gradi now has seven locations in Victoria, all of which truly showcase the success of making an amazing pizza. We don’t need to give you any advice on the menu because it’s all amazing. You will find an incredible selection of antipasti, pasta dishes, mains and seasonal specials, each one bursting with rich, authentic Italiano flavours.
Shimbu Tibetan Restaurant & Bar
Walk by Shimbu and you might miss it. But if you're looking for some top-notch momos this side of Lygon Street, this joint is where it's at. Besides momos, this quiet little spot serves up delicious vegetarian and meat-atarian curries, stir-fries and much more. Definitely a must if you're in the area.
Heads up, because Texas just moved to Brunswick—all we need now is a live appearance from Miley Cyrus belting Party In The USA and it's life complete. Walk in and breathe in the unreal smell of the burner firing away, smoking beautiful brisket, flame grilling tomahawk steaks and perfect pulled pork. That's right, Bluebonnet is meat heaven. But the unreal drinks and deliciously extensive curated whiskey menu is really the cherry on top of this Melbourne institution.
Celebrity Chef George Calombaris, the man behind Jimmy Grants and Gazi, presents Hellenic Republic: a clever, modern and attractive take on the hearty and lively flavours of Greece, excellently presented and at the right price. With a menu curated around meals designed to share, Hellenic Republic is the perfect place to eat for groups. A delicious set menu is also available for larger groups that will leave you full yet wishing you could stuff your face that little bit more.
Dimly-lit and bare except for a brightly mismatched collage which stretches along one side of the bar, The B.East is a fuss-free diner. An ideal low-key hangout with deliciously greasy burgers and a range of beers, The B.East is one of the best diners in Melbourne. Offering both classic and contemporary burgers and sliders for vegans and meat-eaters alike, you will definitely find something that’ll hit the spot.
Dim lit, New York-style wine bar this place is slick and we love it. The wine list at Bouvier Bar is beautifully curated and full of both international and local winemakers and the cocktail menu is unbelievable. Food-wise, the menu is riddled with delicious bites that will leave you appropriately full without feeling like you're going to explode.
The Stonemill 347
Now, this little Italian food and wine bar is an absolute gem. If you’re after authentic Italian pasta and antipasto alike then this is the place for you, it’s Brunswick's little slice of Italy bought straight to our door. For us, it's hard to go past a fresh pasta, made in house and rolled daily. Ughhh, get us there ASAP.
Once you've sampled all of these, skip down Lygon Street and hit up Carlton's best restaurants.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White