There’s more to St Kilda than just backpacker culture and beachside vibes. With the iconic neighbourhood slowly making a comeback, it’s easy to see why some of Melbourne’s best restaurants are nestled on St Kilda’s shore. Great views? Check. Amazing local produce? Check. And while our list is by no means comprehensive, it will allow you to at least dip your toes—pun totally intended—in some of St Kilda’s best restaurants and really open your eyes on what this neighbourhood has to offer.
So without further ado, here are the best restaurants in St Kilda.
If you’re looking for an authentic Japanese yakitori bar experience on Fitzroy St, look no further than Supernormal Canteen.
Like its Flinders St counterpart, Canteen is styled around pan-Asian share plates like fish-shaped taiyaki pancakes stuffed with ice cream and custard; mussels and clams, doused in XO sauce; typhoon-style school prawns, covered in crispy batter debris...you get the idea. In short: everything at Supernormal Canteen is deliciously amazing and you’d be doing yourself a great disservice by missing out.
Award-winning Donovans in St Kilda is one of Melbourne's most iconic restaurants. Famous for the excellent food, relaxed vibe and beachside location, Donovans is best enjoyed via the floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace.
The menu is extensive with a modern mix of dishes like the crispy skin Cone Bay Barramundi, the glazed duck breast with charred mustard greens, or other favourites like the grass-fed Hopkins River eye fillet. There's also an extensive wine list of Australian and imported wines, as well as an eclectic mix of cocktails—perfect for any occasion.
If you’re looking for beach luxe dining, look no further than Stokehouse.
Stokehouse Restaurant makes up the last third of the Stokehouse precinct, with Chef Ollie Hansford of Stokehouse City at the helm. The venue has the same Stokehouse feel of old, with a 12.5-metre oval bar, a lounge area, and a terrace to sit by the beach. With the entire ground floor buried under a sand dune and a delectably seafood-focused menu, Stokehouse takes its beach luxe aesthetic very seriously. And that’s why we love it.
Boasting an 18-metre long bar as soon as you walk in, Pontoon has its priorities in order.
The menu features hand-held and share plates, like fresh sardines with harissa, a pulled beef brisket toastie with manchego, and grilled king prawns. There's also a range of wood-fired pizzas, giving us just the right amount of casual Mediterranean vibes. We honestly can't think of a better way to spend a lazy summer night on the beach.
Cafe Di Stasio
Café Di Stasio is an award-winning Melbourne institution.
Mood lighting, red leather banquettes and Bill Henson artworks set the scene for an indulgent, authentic Italian dining experience. From the freshest of homemade pasta to suckling pig, saltimbocca, tiramisu and zabaglione, the extensive menu, wine and cocktail list will definitely impress.
Ichi Ni Izakaya
Ichi Ni Izakaya sits right on the classic St Kilda Esplanade and overlooking Port Phillip Bay, so you couldn’t ask for a better location.
Offering all the Japanese fare you would expect including tempura, gyoza, yakitori, sushi and sashimi, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. Plus, Ichi Ni boasts an impressive range of sake, Japanese beers, fine wines and cocktails, so you know you’re in for a great night.
Whether you’re looking for a quick snack, lunch, dinner, or just a glass of wine, Las Tapas has you covered.
The Catalan joint boasts a fresh menu whipped up from ever-rotating local produce that’ll leave you deeply satisfied. Plus their weekly specials are always on point: seafood or meat grill mix and a jug of Sangria? Yes, please.
If ever there was a St Kilda seafood eatery that deserved the title, it's Claypots.
An early adopter of the no reservations policy, you'll want to get in early for some of the best seafood in Melbourne, especially if you want to grab a prime spot in the magical courtyard with its fleet of hanging model ships.
Uncle St Kilda
Uncle knows best when it comes to fresh-as-hell Vietnamese food.
With a stylish, laid-back venue and an extensive menu, you won’t be disappointed. Tuck into some Pho or tackle the satay lamb cutlets or the grilled king salmon. Uncle’s cocktail list is also extensive, with plenty of options for the perpetually thirsty ones among us. And while Uncle always makes sure to keep some tables free for any spur-of-the-moment diners, we recommend that you book ahead of time, just in case.
From the venue's interior to the artfully presented meals, you’ll notice that Fitzrovia is very talented at keeping it chic.
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, Fitzrovia’s dishes will give you that fine-dining experience without breaking the bank. And with amazing food and cozy atmosphere to match, this St Kilda classic is a great place for a date.
If you haven’t been to the newly refurbished Esplanade Hotel, then we’re not really sure what you’re waiting for.
At the helm of the Espy's iconic Mya Tiger restaurant is head chef Sarah Chan (formerly of Longrain and Lotus Dining). The menu is broken down into snacks (sesame prawn toast, or cumin lamb spring rolls?), dumplings and bao, vegetables, mains (sweet-and-sour pork, anyone?), rice and noodles, and of course, sweets. And if you’re jonesing for some cocktails, sink into the velvety green banquettes at the gorgeous Mya Tyger cocktail bar—you won’t regret it.
With its casual vibe and contemporary decor, Cicciolina is an obvious choice if you’re looking for a great St Kilda restaurant.
With chef Virginia Redmond at the helm since its inception in 1993, the Cicciolina menu focuses on using the best of Melbourne's seasonal produce to make inspiring modern Italian dishes. From rich mushroom risotto to chargrilled wagyu scotch fillet, there’s something for every palate at Cicciolina’s.
St Luja is a smoke fusion restaurant, cocktail and whisky bar that’s riding Fitzroy St’s upmarket wave.
The kitchen (run by Allison Hartmire of State of Grace and Mr Mason) features monthly degustations, paired with cocktails from behind the bar. Think seared scallops with smoked corn puree and toasted brioche crumble, or smoked Flinders Island lamb pappardelle, topped with braised shallots, carrot shards, confit garlic puree and a red wine sauce. It all goes down pretty smooth with a glass of 10-year-old Laphroaig on the rocks. Definitely not one to miss.
Wood-fire oven, crisp-edge crust, tasty-topping pizza lovers of St Kilda, we’ve found the perfect location for you: Mr Wolf.
This authentically Italian menu is brought to you by executive chef, owner and culinary celebrity Karen Martini. Not only does Mr Wolf serve some of the best pizza in Melbourne, but their wine fridge is also fully stocked with your perfect meal accompaniment, so you’ll get the best of both worlds every time.
Want to learn more about Melbourne's iconic neighbourhood? Here's why St Kilda's making a comeback.
Image credit: St Luja | Griffin Simm