The Best Italian Restaurants in Melbourne

Melbourne is arguably one of the most European states in Australia and by that, we mean it has some of the most authentic Italian restaurants going round. With whole suburbs that are basically mini-Italy’s and incredibly talented chefs and restaurateurs that have been in our midst for decades, there’s a lot of good stuff to choose from.

Depending on what Italiano night you want to have, whether it’s casual share plates and lots of wine vibe or a fancy sit down dinner with a date, there is an Italian restaurant in Melbourne for you.

Here are the best Italian restaurants in Melbourne right now.

Instagram / @parkstreetpastawine

Park Street Pasta & Wine

South Melbourne
Set in a beautiful two-storey shopfront in South Melbourne, Park Street Pasta & Wine serve some of Melbourne’s most divine authentic homemade pasta that you’ve probably never heard of like Mafaldine, Agnolotti, Conchiglie and Maltagliate. It’s more than a restaurant, it’s an education. 

Chef Angus Cadden whips up seasonal delights that rotate constantly; we’ve never had the same dish twice. If you’re looking for a casual but elevated dining experience, with an authentic Italian feel, streetside terrace and all, then Park Street Pasta & Wine is what you need. Book here.

The Hardware Club

Hardware Lane, CBD
The Hardware Club is found on Hardware Lane (shocking, we know), upstairs in a beautiful old building. It’s very euro-centric and you honestly feel as though you’ve stepped into a classic eatery in Rome. All of the food is pretty on point, serving delights such as roasted Marrow Bones toast, salsa verde, fried capers, shallots and fried crispy octopus “Pizzaiola”, buffalo mozzarella, crispy capers and tomatoes, but the pasta is particularly delicious, made in-house. If you’re into warm, buzzing vibes in the middle of the CBD, this is for you. Book here.

Instagram / @capitano.carlton


Believe it or not, the light-filled, art-deco x italo-disco-influenced venue that is Capitano used to be dark, nordic-themed pub The Beaufort. Debuting its transformation in 2018, Capitano has been delivering quality pizza, homemade pasta, beautifully curated snacks, an extensive wine offering and an excellent cocktail list ever since. One of their specialities is the deep-dish pizza pie style, involving luscious hunks of dough served up with a range of toppings. Capitano can be a great place for a drink and a snack or a full sit down feast. It’s elevated, yet casual. Book here.

Instagram / @doc_gastronomia


Carlton, Albert Park & Mornington
DOC is a true taste of Italian culture. Being one of the most popular Italian franchises in Melbourne, they have pizza restaurants, a pasta restaurant and a gluten-free and vegan restaurant. Their true Italian pizza is what they’re known best for, the base is thin and crispy with a fat, chewy crust, and the toppings are simple and classic. D.O.C have pizzerias in Mornington and Albert Park—with a pizza truck that frequents Mordialloc—however their best and original is on the corner of Drummond and Grattan Street in Carlton. The Italian waiters are loud and unapologetic while somehow still brimming with devilish charm, and you always leave in a better mood than when you arrived. They have daily specials, a great gluten-free base and spritzes for days. If you’re looking for a good time and some good food to match, we’d recommend that you find a DOC near you stat. Book here.

Instagram / @bar_romantica

Bar Romantica

Brunswick East 
Bar Romantica may be Brunswick East’s favourite late-night dive bar, but their food is not to be overlooked. They home-make pizza dough as well as pasta, and both are equally incredible. They also have a pretty epic wine list and can serve up any cocktail your heart desires. It’s got everything you crave from an inner-city dive bar, but with a more chill vibe in the ‘burbs. You can dine in amongst the indoor plants, low-lit lamps and red curved booths, or order takeaway. With great classic euro combinations, Bar Romantica serves up some of the best comfort pasta you could dream up. Book here.

Facebook / Photo c/o Mike Finch / Vintage Marios


Marios is all about simple classics. They serve their wine in those cute little wine glasses that always make you feel like you’re having the fullest glass of wine ever, there are checkered tablecloths and the waiters are all wearing white shirts and black aprons. They operate more cafe style, with a steady walk-in operation, quick-bite-and-a-wine vibe, serving up coffee, booze and food from 8am to 10pm-ish every day. They have daily specials and seasonal food on offer, but you can always guarantee a yum pasta, risotto and meat offering. Marios is an absolute staple of Brunswick Street, a must-do. Walk-ins only.

Instagram / @tipo_00

Tipo 00

Little Bourke Street, CBD
Tipo 00 is pretty well-known for its incredible pasta here in Melbourne. Although it’s only a small restaurant, its reputation is impressive, and with good reason. The energy inside Tipo 00 is warm, cozy and approachable, while still managing to feel like a high-end restaurant. The staff are a mixture of Italians and locals, their wine knowledge is impeccable and you’re bound to try something new. You literally can’t put a step wrong in Tipo. If you’re open to trying anything, you could genuinely order with your eyes closed and emerge having eaten a life-changing meal. People come from all over Australia and the world to try their incredible homemade pasta and perfect sauce combinations that are sometimes unexpected and always delicious. Book here.

Instagram / @osteriailaria

Osteria Ilaria

Little Bourke Street, CBD
Right next door to Tipo 00, Osteria Ilaria doesn’t disappoint. A sister to Tipo 00, Osteria Ilaria offers a slightly more casual fine-dining setting, with a bigger menu, an incredible wine list and of course, fantastic homemade pasta. This is perfect if you still want that Tipo 00 quality, minus the chaotic city buzz. Book here.

Facebook / Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar


Bourke Street, CBD
Pellegrini’s is a Melbourne institution, opening its doors in 1954. Operating as one of Melbourne’s first pasta and espresso bars, it essentially created the European vibes that continues to expand down the Spencer Street end of Melbourne CBD. The white-shirted waiters go between excessively charming and wonderfully dismissive, giving you the full European experience. People have travelled far and wide for their crispy lasagne and cannelloni, in front of you at a piping hot temperature, within 5 mins of ordering. The best spot to sit is in the kitchen. Yes, you read that right. You can chat to the nonnas as they bustle about and curse under their breath, all while sitting at a huge kitchen table. It doesn’t get any more bellissimo than that.
They only take walk-ins.

Instagram / @distasiocitta

Cafe Di Stasio

St Kilda
Cafe Di Stasio is the true old school Italian experience. The waiters wear white jackets and speak in low drawling voices, that are equally charismatic as they are knowledgeable. It’s a total institution, opening its doors back in 1988 if you can believe it. Over 30 years on and two hats later, it’s still one of the most beloved joints in Melbourne. You can definitely dress up at Cafe Di Stasio. It’s a restaurant the way that restaurants used to be, formal but informal, with gold adornings, gorgeous staff and elegant bathrooms (always the sign of a successful restaurant, tbh). The food is created of humble combinations, but are taken to the next level with execution as well as an impeccable wine list. If you want a night to remember, then you can’t go wrong with Cafe Di Stasio. Book here.

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