Melbourne’s CBD is home to a vibrant Italian food scene, with restaurants offering everything from traditional dishes to contemporary takes on Italian cuisine. With so many options, narrowing down the best Italian restaurants in the Melbourne CBD can be tough. This list highlights some of the top spots for authentic pasta, pizza, antipasti and more.
Top Italian Restaurants in Melbourne CBD
This lively restaurant on Little Bourke Street charms with its bustling open kitchen and handmade pasta focus. Their pasta menu features classics like ravioli and gnocchi along with seasonal specials. Don’t miss their Neapolitan-style pizzas baked in a wood-fired oven – the Margherita is a favorite. Tipo 00 has a fun, lively vibe and fantastic Italian fare.
This upscale Italian institution inside the Grand Hotel has been serving Melbourne since the 1920s. Their elegant dining room exudes old-world charm and dishes up refined Italian classics. Menu highlights include melt-in-your-mouth osso bucco, silky gnocchi and tiramisu for dessert. With its classic ambiance and cuisine, Grossi Florentino offers a fine dining Italian experience.
Ombra Salumi Bar
Ombra keeps things casual with share plates showcasing house cured meats and cheeses. Their salumi plates pair perfectly with Italian wines. Other standouts include arancini, pasta like bucatini all’amatricana, and tiramisu. The laid-back Warehouse District spot allows you to sample top notch charcuterie and Italian fare without the fuss.
For traditional Neapolitan pizza in a lively setting, +39 Pizzeria hits the mark. These authentic pizzas are fired up in a wood-burning oven, with great choices like the Diavola with spicy salami or the Parma with prosciutto and arugula. The cheerful, bustling space pairs nicely with the simple, delicious pies.
Modeled after Venetian bàcari bars, Il Bacaro serves up Italian small plates and cicchetti. Their menu encourages sharing plates like creamy polenta, fried calamari and grilled octopus. Don’t miss their excellent selection of Italian wines. The cozy, rustic interior makes you feel transported to Venice.
Other Notable Mentions
Other renowned Italian restaurants in the Melbourne CBD include Cecconi’s Cantina for upscale Italian in a chic setting, Pellegrini’s for classic Italian in a casual space, Bottega for refined modern Italian, and Maccaroni Trattoria for homemade pasta.
Best Areas for Italian
In addition to the CBD, foodies flock to Lygon Street in Carlton for its “Little Italy” vibe and abundance of Italian restaurants. Hardware Lane features several Italian spots tucked away in charming laneways. The Little Italy precinct on Lonsdale Street also promises authentic pizza, pasta and more.
Here is an additional section that could be added to the article to expand on Melbourne’s best Italian food options:
Top Italian Dessert Destinations in Melbourne CBD
After a meal of delicious pasta, pizza or antipasti, finish off your Italian feast on a sweet note at one of Melbourne CBD’s top spots for Italian desserts. These restaurants serve up authentic gelato, tiramisu, cannoli and other post-dinner treats to satisfy your cravings.
Pellegrini’s – This Melbourne institution is famous for its traditional Italian coffee and desserts, in addition to full meals. Their in-house pastry chef whips up cream-filled cannoli, rich Italian cakes and perfect tiramisu to enjoy alongside an espresso.
Gelato Messina – With several locations in the CBD, Gelato Messina serves artisanal Italian-style gelato made fresh daily. They offer rotating flavors like salted caramel, hazelnut and pistachio. The creamy gelato is a great way to end any meal.
+39 Pizzeria – Along with incredible wood-fired pizza, +39 Pizzeria serves indulgent Nutella pizza for dessert. This decadent treat combines warm, pillowy dough, melted chocolate-hazelnut spread, and fresh strawberries.
Pidapipo Gelateria – Specializing in gelato, this bright and colorful shop near Queen Victoria Market scoops up flavors like crema di latte, baked apple crumble, and Belgian chocolate. Their cones are works of art.
Dessert lovers will adore what these Italian dessert specialists have to offer after dining at the area’s stellar Italian restaurants. A scoop of gelato or creamy tiramisu is the perfect sweet finish.
With its outstanding Italian dining options, Melbourne CBD offers the full range of Italian cuisine from casual trattorias to fine dining. Whether you seek traditional dishes or modern interpretations, the area provides delicious Italian fare in lively, charming settings. From pizza and pasta to antipasti and gelato, Melbourne’s Italian restaurants deliver an authentic taste of Italy.