Heading down to Chapel Street for a bite to eat is no walk in the park. With over 2km of venues to choose from across three suburbs, you could spend half your night just trying to pick a place. But don’t worry, we’re here for you. We’ve narrowed the offerings down so you can take the guesswork out.
From Vietnamese to Middle Eastern and modern Australian flavours, there’s something for all tastes and occasions. Make sure you wear your stretchiest pants though because you’re in for a night of solid feasting at the best restaurants Chapel Street Has to offer.
Known as one of the best restaurant's Chapel Street could serve up, almost everyone from Melbourne should have visited at least once. With the slogan ‘open late for hungry people’ and a menu that’ll have your mates rolling you out the door, you’ll definitely need those stretchy pants for Hawker Hall. Tuck into the dumplings and buns, roti, satay barbecue, salads, noodles, rice, curries, stir-fries, greens, sweets and drinks galore. It’s a culinary global tour within a single venue, so buckle up because you’re in for a big feed.
Hanoi Hannah Express Lane
Could you really have a best restaurants Chapel Street list without this southside stalwart? One of our absolute favourites is Hanoi Hannah Express Lane. Technically they’re on High Street, and your best bet is takeaway here, but at only a few doors down from Chapel Street we know you’ll forgive us for the technicality when you try their food. As the name would suggest, Hanoi Hannah isare serving up their take on Vietnamese classics—think hot pho, lemongrass beef, rice paper rolls, spring rolls and of course, plenty of fresh coconut to wash it down with.
The name doesn’t lie, this place is all about fire. With a whole section of the menu literally called ‘from the fire’, Firebird is the place for all your chargrilled needs. Head Chef Steven Ngo leads the team, serving up Vietnamese-inspired flavours from their custom-built chargrill and woodfire oven. The folks behind Hanoi Hannah are the ones to thank for this fiery venue, so book your place because seats here are hot.
You know the old phrase, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’? Well it definitely applies here. Tokyo Tina has hit the ground running much like their big sister restaurant Hanoi Hannah. The Japanese-style street food menu features all your favourites like pork belly bao, okonomiyaki Japanese pancakes, edamame and karaage fried chicken. Tokyo Tina is bustling all year round, with folks stopping in for snacks and sake, or going all in. The choice is yours, but we recommend keeping your evening free, just in case.
Any guide to eating along Chapel Street would be incomplete without Mr Miyagi. The Japanese-style foodie hotspot can often be seen with wannabe patrons queuing out the door for a seat. It goes without saying that you’ll need to book ahead for this one, but once you’re in, good luck sticking to your budget.
We all know Shane Delia’s award-winning restaurant Maha, so you can fearlessly keep those expectations high for the more relaxed sister venue, Maha East. Order à la carte or let them make the decisions for you with the ‘soufra’ three-course set menu. These Middle Eastern dishes are perfect for sharing, whether you’re a party of two or verging more on squad numbers—or why not sit at the bar and have a ‘treat yourself’ evening for one. Go on. You deserve it.
Abacus Bar & Kitchen
Abacus is the go-to place for anyone wanting to impress. With beautiful bronze trimmings, soft wood furnishings and a load of plants, the atmosphere is super sophisticated. Better yet, the menu is bloody delicious. Open for all your daily meals, this light-filled venue is even more spacious now with their new pop-up beer garden. From morning to night, they’re meeting all your bevvy needs with great coffee, great food and great cocktails. Definitely a favourite with the locals.
If Fonda and the DOC Pizza had a lovechild, it’d probably look something like Chachos. Think traditional pizza bases with nachos on top, think pepperoni with a side of grilled corn, think bangin margaritas and beer battered fries with chipotle mayo. Now stop thinking and get your butt down there. These guys don’t do tradition. They take tradition, shake it up and throw their favourite flavours together for the ultimate taste bud frenzy.
Ok, so it’s not a restaurant, but your night won’t be complete until you’ve topped it off with a gelato from Pidapipo. If you’re feeling too full after your meal, then why not grab a take-home tub to save for later? We won’t judge. The Nutella Swirl flavour is a must, and there’s a range of sorbets for all the dairy-free folks out there.
Once you've made your way through this list, check out Lygon Street's best restaurants.
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