If we’re talking diverse dining areas, South Yarra takes the cake. The multitude of cuisines, dining styles and settings—from intimate to hawker-style eateries—is unbelievable. Just a stone's throw from the CBD, South Yarra is the perfect place to start your adventurous night or you can even duck in and out of the bunch of bars throughout this suburb’s bustling nightlife energy.
So take a stroll in, out and around Chapel Street and discover all of South Yarra's best restaurants right below.
Whether you’re in for a quick bite or sitting down to a multi-slice feast over a few drinks, pizza is one thing that we absolutely refuse to compromise on.
The crust has to be perfectly crispy, the dough light but not soggy, and the toppings pimped to perfection. Which is why we’re so head-over-heels with the slices we’ve found at A25 Pizzeria, the South Yarra Italian restaurant that’s drawing from old-school techniques and the latest food trends to serve up pizza and pasta with a modern twist.
South Yarra staple Misschu in true hawker form is always bursting at the seams of patrons patiently waiting to enjoy the delicious Vietnamese.
With its relaxed style of food, funky interiors and approachable attitude towards dining, Misschu is without a doubt the perfect spot for a casual catch up with mates.
Leonard’s House of Love
Leonard’s celebrates all things simple and tasty—bourbon, charcoal chicken and open fires—all set within a 70s lounge-style log cabin venue it’s seriously a vibe.
It's one of the best dive bars in Melbourne, so whether you’re in for a laid-back beer with friends or ready to chow down on some delicious no-frills food (burgers, fried chicken and loaded fries, as well as salad and mash combos) it’s the spot for you. It also serves hands-down the best cheeseburger in Melbourne.
Building on recipes passed down from his nonna, Thirty-Eight Chairs owner Gino Forlano has beautifully curated a menu that is elegantly classic Italian.
A beautifully intimate setting boasts a sophisticated interior with tables spaced just as they are in Italy, who knows who might go home with a full belly and some new friends?
Domain Road may be home to The Tan track but it’s also home to Gilson, an all-day dining hotspot that transforms into a beautiful dinner haven.
With Jason McBride at the helm (Mammoth, Touchwood and Barry) you know this place is good. A sophisticated and delicious cocktail menu add to the wonderfully somewhat Italian food on offer.
Let's face it: we’ve all witnessed Entrecote’s classic steak and fries on an Insta story one time or another (and if you haven’t, then you're the one posting it). We’ll start with bottomless fries. That’s right: endless fries. Endless. Okay, now that’s out of the way, you have to try the premium cut grass-fed beef with a house sauce and vinaigrette-laced green salad. And if you’re not a meat person, don’t worry: Entrecote has plenty on the menu for you.
Wonderfully wooden, Speakeasy Kitchen & Bar is the perfect place for amazing food while you delve into some delicious drinks.
Everything about this place is legit, especially their menu, from beautifully seared salmon to busty burgers. Done with dinner, just pop over to the bar and continue your night with some unreal cocktails.
Now talking about a culinary cruise, this place is unreal. Atlas’ cuisine changes like the seasons (four months) and the menu changes weekly.
We’d make recommendations but they’d be irrelevant the next week; however, to say the least, the food is amazing. Whether it’s a date night or a catch up with old friends, Atlas is perfect for any dining occasion.
Ichi Ichi Ku
Intimate dining and amazing food, Ichi Ichi Ku is nestled on Park Street and is serving up delicious Japanese dishes both to dine in and take away. With well-established sisters like Ichi Ni Nana (Fitzroy) and Ichi Ni (St Kilda), it’s a definite yes for after-work dinner and drinks on a Friday.
Melbourne’s Middle Eastern dining game is gaining some serious tread and we’re big fans of it. The menu is broken down into yummy snacks, mezze-style entree plates and beautifully hearty mains that will leave you full but still wanting so much more. From falafel to fried eggplant, Yagiz has it all.
Abacus Bar & Kitchen
If you're looking for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, look no further than Abacus Bar & Kitchen.
It's pretty hard to go past the speck croquettes, featuring speck, gruyere, chorizo, and spiced plum on the small shares section of the menu, or for something bigger try the slipper lobster, with home-made crumpets, finger-lime caviar, and dill creme fraiche.
A true Melbourne institution, France Soir has been packing Melburnians in every night for more than 30 years.
You'll find traditional French fare on the menu, including the likes of escargot (snails), andouilette (house-made pork sausage), moules mariniére (mussels in white wine), and much more. As you'd expect in a French restaurant there is also a great selection of steak, chicken, and lamb dishes.
Matilda is a restaurant that is Australian at heart but the big draw is gonna be the cooking method. There’s no gas here: the team are using big hunks of Ironbark, Cherry, Applewood and even Pinot grapevines to smoke the hell out of pretty much everything.
The menu is built around meaty mains like whole John Dory topped with finger limes, saltbush and native grenobloise, ‘Salt & pepper’ Blackmore Wagyu bavette, and fired-up Macedon duck, with leatherwood honey and figs. Kangaroo tartare with fermented red peppers is so smooth you’d like it was A-Grade Tasmanian beef. There are also some delicate pickle plates (the beetroot is a work of art).
For more guides to eating out in suburbs around Melbourne, head to our Best Of Guides section.
Image credit: Matilda | Griffin Simm