international food

Do Melbourne Restaurants Have The Best International Food?

If you're looking for a delicious international meal, you'll want to check out the restaurants in Melbourne. There are endless options for every type of cuisine, making it the perfect destination for foodies from all over the world. 

From Indian curries to Italian pasta dishes, there's something for everyone when you eat out in Melbourne. So if you're planning a trip down under, be sure to add a few restaurant visits to your itinerary! You won't regret it.

Considered Australia’s culinary capital, Melbourne is a wonderland for those who love to explore a city through its eateries and bars. From the first perfectly brewed flat white of the day to brunch, lunch, late-night eats, and even later boozy nightcaps, it is sure to satisfy any foodie at any time of the day. 

Thanks to the many waves of migration the city have welcomed, Melbourne’s culinary identity is ever-evolving, culturally diverse, and relentlessly adventurous. Here, you’ll find indigenous Australian ingredients mixed with a range of cultures—which explains why locals are often just as familiar with wattle seed, banh mi, and xiao long bao as they are with saganaki and salumi.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the city’s epicurean vibrancy is because Melburnians love to eat out—and do so with great frequency. Even better, the city’s best eating is accessible and affordable, a democratic affair and a shared passion for the city’s almost five million inhabitants.

These 18 Essential Melbourne Restaurants Epitomize The City’s International Culinary Scene.

Looking for an International Restaurant in Melbourne? Our Dining Guide gives you a list of the best Restaurants from right across Melbourne and the suburbs. It's that simple!

Let your taste buds travel around the world without leaving Melbourne’s CBD.

Melbourne is home to people from approximately 200 countries. Over 66% of the population was born overseas. So if you want the cuisine from your hometown or want to fly overseas without boarding a plane, do it through Melbourne’s restaurants. 

All these are a fine walk or free tram ride away from your home away from home at Waterfront Melbourne Apartments.

Annam for Vietnamese Food

Melbourne has a sizable Vietnamese population, so it was only a matter of time before a new-gen Vietnamese-Australian chef repackaged the cuisine for a broader, cocktail-drinking audience. 

Here at Annam, Saigon-born chef-owner Jerry Mai combines her skill as a professional chef (she’s an alumna of London’s late, Michelin-starred Nahm) and her pride and passion for her traditional cuisine with delightful results. Her squid ink cuttlefish with Szechuan chilli salt is a pure flavour bomb, while the sweet-sour tamarind caramel pork hock with apple slaw is pure, sticky joy.

Gazi for Greek Food 

Greek food has long held a special place in the heart of Melburnians. When talented local chef George Calombaris turned his back on fine dining to embrace his roots and reimagine Greek street food in the mid-2000s, he prompted a veritable Greek renaissance. 

Drawing hungry crowds at every hour, this bustling eatery serves up delicious and vibrant fare big on generosity and soul and elevates Greek cuisine in a fresh, modern way.

Daughter in Law for Indian Food

When you thought Melbourne was all understated, cool and brooding sophistication, along comes the newest contemporary Indian venue by Melbourne-based chef and restaurateur Jessie Singh. In a riot of colour and noise (like a rickshaw ride through Mumbai during Holi), you can expect big delicious flavours, loud music, great cocktails, and guaranteed fun times. 

The tasting menu is full of hits and exceptionally good value—prime yourself for the textural delight of Singh’s “Happiness Balls” and Colonel Tso’s cauliflower.

Lee Ho Fook for Chinese Food

The directions to this cult-classic mod-Chinese restaurant are about as Melbourne as you’ll get: Head down a dingy laneway, look for the red neon, and walk up some stairs. Inside, you’ll find chef Victor Liong deftly creating his unique “new-style Chinese food” to a dining room of people who at some point will likely pause to marvel at what might be the most downright delicious Chinese food of their lives. 

Liong’s dangerously addictive crispy eggplant with spiced red vinegar is the stuff of obsession.

French Saloon for French Food 

The team behind this effortlessly elegant bistro have created some of Melbourne’s most atmospheric, wine-centric venues (The EuropeanCity Wine Shop, and Kirk’s Wine Bar being among them). Here, Chef Todd Moses takes the best of Australian produce, reads it a little French poetry, and serves it with a modern-Australian touch. 

Light-filled and full of old-world character, the dining room is pure romance. Start with oysters and a glass of Gippsland pinot gris before moving on to a superb dry-aged steak (cut by their in-house butcher).

Osteria Ilaria for Italian Food

Located in one of the city’s most buzzy dining precincts, this charming Italian restaurant is all leather banquettes, whitewashed brick, and quiet sophistication. Chef-Owner Andreas Papadakis made the city fall back in love with pasta again (hard) at sister venue Tipo 00 (a few doors down and equally as worthy of a visit), and here he diverts his attention more broadly with seafood and game coming to the fore (try the octopus with nduja and anchovy). 

The staff is very friendly, making the bar a perfect perch for a solo cocktail.

Bar Saracen for Lebanese Food

Located in a quiet, nondescript laneway and cheekily dubbed “a bar of Middle Eastern appearance,” this cozy, low-lit bunker serves up some of the city’s most vibrant and flavourful Mid East-inspired fare and plenty of warm hospitality. 

Start by taking a seat at the bar with a glass of chilled arak (white anise spirit) and a serving of fried okra with cumin and lemon before settling in for a journey through Lebanese-Australian chef-owner Joseph Abboud’s wonderfully aromatic mezze-style fare.

Carlton Wine Room for Europe-Meets-Australian Wine Country

Inhabiting a handsome, 19th-century building in leafy the Carlton neighbourhood, this relaxed bistro and bar boast the kind of welcoming. This low-lit ambience is equally suited to a romantic cocktail hour or an extended voyage through Australia’s wine regions

The staff knows their vino, and with a list of over 100 bottles on offer, you’ll have a good chance of finding a new favourite. Produce-driven and seasonal, the European-accented menu is terrific too (try the Kingfish Crudo, creme fraiche, horseradish, and pickled wombok).

Sunda for Southeast Asian Food

Serving innovative South East Asian fare with an Australian native accent, this hot-right-now, industrial-chic canteen is a true culinary surprise package. Settle in with a Krakatoa Cocktail (gin, native pepper berry, chilli, and sparkling wine), then opt-in for the set menu, which offers a good insight into Chef Khanh Nguyen’s border-hopping creative genius.  

A modern take on the classic otak otak (grilled fishcake) is elevated by native Australian finger lime. In contrast, grilled pork cutlet combines the flavorful forces of rainforest tamarind, rhubarb, and kohlrabi. Go for the adventure—there’s nowhere else in the city pulling off anything remotely like it.

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Stalactites Restaurant

177/183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

A column of rock that hangs from the roof of a cave.

As its namesake suggests, Stalactites provides a faux cave vibe without sacrificing good food. This 24hr Greek eatery is one of the most well known in Melbourne for offering indulgent Greek staples from mixed dips to meat or seafood, whatever takes your fancy. Rather than eat in the privacy of your apartment, you can grab takeaway for the night.

Reservation? They can usually fit small parties on a table without a reservation.

Vapiano

334 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

Smart, yet casual as they like to describe themselves. Vapiano invites you to see the true passion that goes into Italian cuisine. Order your pizza or pasta however you like and watch them make it right in front of you. 

Pasta is made on-premises, so it is guaranteed that what you eat will be fresh. It’s a relaxed atmosphere with seating for parties of 1 or more.

Reservation? For large groups, walk-ins will be fine.

Lupino

41 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

With a retro terracotta feel, Lupino creates a relaxed experience without compromising on good food and wine. The menu is based around six kinds of pasta, three pizzas, entrees and main. After Italian, do yourself some good by visiting an Italian restaurant run by experienced professionals who will guarantee high-quality service and food.

Bodega Underground

55 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

Where will you find this restaurant? Underground. Go there for the drinks and the Mexican menu that covers all bases. You can choose a large service or opt for smaller sharing plates to get a taste of everything. 

The wallpaper is made up of Mexican cinema posters, and check out the messages written on the lampshades. Highly recommended for a funky dining experience.

Reservation? Recommended if you want a good table underground.

MoVida

1 Hosier Lane, Melbourne

High in demand, this restaurant offers the best of Spanish tapas. Rather than something less exclusive, try its sister restaurant next door. 

MoVida is located in the eclectic graffiti lane, adding to the exotic experience. If you are feeling spontaneous, let the kitchen order for you and sample the signature dishes across the menu.

Reservation? Yes, in advance (months) or else stand in the queue.

Roule Galette

Scott Alley, 241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Roule Galette, An early morning option or a treat after an early desert. Explore off the main drag into this small alley straight to France. The tiny café is intimate, which is authentic. Whether you fancy a sweet or savoury crepe, there is one to please everyone. From a traditional recipe, the experience will scream homemade.

Reservation? Not necessary.

Philippe

115 Collins Street, Melbourne

The restaurant’s namesake, Philippe Mouchel, has won accolades for his talent in the kitchen. His passion shines through the well-crafted menu that endeavours to be “gourmand, generous and affordable.”

Reservation? Five or more people, see website for reservation policy.

Rice paper scissors

Mama’s Buoi

Postal Lane (behind H&M)

Feeling peckish after spending a day at Bourke Street Mall? Rice paper scissors Or just craving some flavours of Vietnam? There is no other place to head to, but hidden in an alleyway behind the iconic GPO, you’ll find the best of home-cooked Vietnam cuisine here, along with a range of local Asian beers and a dedicated cocktail menu.

Reservation? Usually not needed but good to have on busy nights.

Byblos

13 – 38 Siddeley Street, Docklands

Whether you are after a quiet dinner or a celebratory cocktail, Byblos will provide whilst indulging you in the finest Lebanese food around. I wouldn’t go past the garlic dip Toum with pita or the halloumi salad, whilst there is a range of meats from the grill for you to try. 

This restaurant is the neighbour of Waterfront Melbourne Apartments, so you have no excuse not to try this restaurant out.

The Top Foreign Cuisine Restaurants in Australia

Australia is a cultural melting pot. This modern nation exists due to large-scale immigration worldwide, and the food culture highlights that. 

The influences of indigenous Australians and the early British colonies is easy to see in the traditional Australian dishes. Still, throughout history, other cultures have left their mark on the nation. 

In the age of globalisation, Australian cuisine has become even more international and some of the best international cuisine restaurants in the world.

Mr Wong

3 Bridge Lane, Sydney

Mr Wong, This Cantonese-style restaurant mixes the traditional with the modern. The décor is classic Chinese for the contemporary era, and chef Dan Hong has created a menu that caters to all needs. With over 80 dishes on the menu, everyone is sure to find something that suits their desire.

Spice Temple

10 Bligh St, Sydney

Spice Temple is a modern Chinese restaurant that offers a menu of lesser-known dishes from regions such as Guangxi and Xingjiang. The sleek interior exudes a high-class ambience, which, coupled with the adventurous menu, allows for a memorable meal.

Ormeggio

D’Albora Marinas The Spit, Spit Road, Mosman

With beautiful views of Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay, Ormeggio is an excellent place for contemporary Italian cuisine. The menu is inspired by the regions of Italy and can be enjoyed a la carte or as a degustation menu. The wine menu showcases the strength of Australia’s wine producers and those throughout the world.

Café Di Stasio

31 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda

The identity of Café Di Stasio is interwoven with the life experience of founder Rinaldo Di Stasio. As the child of Italian immigrants, Di Stasio created the restaurant in the image of his family’s culture and heritage and offered a menu of traditional Italian dishes in a traditional Italian atmosphere.

Masala Theory

545 Crown Street, Surry Hills

Masala Theory is an unapologetically colourful restaurant serving neo-Indian cuisine. The menu offers traditional dishes with a new twist, giving patrons a delicious, adventurous meal. The owner Yashpal Erda highlights Masala Theory’s dedication to “taste above all” through the use of authentic, fresh, healthy ingredients.

Tetsuya’s Sydney

529 Kent Street, Sydney

Tetsuya’s offers a first-class Japanese atmosphere and a tasting menu to match. Each dish evokes Japan and is created in line with the Japanese philosophy of using natural seasonal flavours. Although the high price tag of the tasting menu may shock some diners, Tetsuya Wakuda’s skill and creativity create the perfect backdrop for a special occasion.

Minamishima

4 Lord Street, Richmond, Victoria

Japan is famous for many things, and sushi is not least among them. Minamishima is an omakase sushi restaurant, which means that Chef Koichi Minamishima leads your experience. In addition to omakase, a degustation menu is available in the main dining room, and an evolving menu of seasonal cocktails, teas and Japanese whiskies are available to pair with your experience.

The Black Toro

79 Kingsway, Glen Waverley, Victoria

Mexican cuisine is relatively new to Australia, gaining popularity in the last decade. The Black Toro offers patrons Latin American inspired dishes such as tacos and tostadas and cocktails inspired by the region. The restaurant accommodates casual meals and special occasions, balancing an atmosphere that is suitable for all kinds of dining experiences.

Mamasita

Level 1, 11 Collins Street, Melbourne

Claiming the title of Melbourne’s first proper taqueria. Mamasita, Melbourne, has been serving Mexican-inspired flavours since 2010. The in-house mezcalier provides knowledgeable guidance on “all things agave spirits” to complement your lengua tacos or braised goat tostadas. 

The menu in a tandem casual atmosphere has helped keep Mamasita as one of the top dining spots in Melbourne every year.

Australia’s international food culture is growing with no signs of slowing down. From the Far East to North America, the restaurants in this list represent some of the best the nation offers, but there are more popping up every day. In most cases, reservations are recommended, and details can be found on the restaurant’s webpage.

international food

Conclusion

Restaurants in Melbourne are some of the best for international cuisine. This is because Melbourne is a melting pot of cultures, and as a result, you can find any type of food imaginable here. Whether you're looking for Italian, Thai, Indian or Japanese food, Melbourne will not disappoint. 

Some people even say that the restaurants here have the best international food in the world! If you're looking to try something new, then be sure to check out one of Melbourne's amazing international restaurants. You won't be disappointed!

FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants

The world's best foods

  • Massaman curry, Thailand. One more reason to visit Thailand.
  • Neapolitan pizza, Italy. Neapolitan pizza: always delicious, no matter the size. 
  • Chocolate, Mexico. 
  • Sushi, Japan. 
  • Peking duck, China.
  • Hamburger, Germany.
  • Penang Assam Laksa, Malaysia.
  • Tom yum Goong, Thailand.

The Ministry of Food Processing will market khichri as India's international food. The ministry also plans to rope restaurant chains worldwide to popularise khichri.

Hamburger. Hamburger is considered by many people as the national dish of the US because of its popularity across all age groups.

Roast lamb

Roast lamb has been declared Australia's national dish in a major poll that shows we're still a country of meat-eaters at heart.

Iconic Australian Foods You Have To Try

  • Vegemite.
  • Fairy Bread.
  • Tim Tams!
  • Meat Pies.
  • Anzac Biscuits.
  • Chicken Parma (AKA Chicken Parmigiana)
  • Pavlova.
  • Witchetty Grub.
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