restaurants in melbourne to wine & dine

What Are The Best Restaurants In Melbourne To Wine & Dine?

A meal at a winery transports you in a way that city restaurants struggle to replicate. It’s the whole package that makes it greater than the sum of its parts: the relaxed pace, the extensive wine list and the typically picturesque setting. And if a winery’s gone to the effort (and expense) of opening a restaurant, you can bet it’s done the thing properly.

Nowadays, winery restaurants are more than just a great way to showcase how their wines pair with food. Many of Victoria’s best regional restaurants operate out of wineries, tempting some of the best chefs in Australia out from the cities and towards the country. 

There are wine lists, and there are Wine Lists. Melbourne's best are comprehensive, considered and reflective of the restaurant's core philosophy — with a knowledgeable, hopefully, unpretentious team to help you choose wisely. 

Each list should have a mix of affordable and top tier wines, a few rarities, and well-paired food is a plus. With the World's Best Sommeliers heading to Australia in March, we thought we'd get our wine knowledge into gear by painstakingly tasting our way through Melbourne's best wine lists.

Melbourne Restaurants With A Notable Wine List

Finding a nearby wine in Melbourne that fits your desires is as difficult as finding your favourite wine in a liquor store while blindfolded. But luckily, we’ve taken the blindfold off and pointed you in the right direction: to the best wine bars in Melbourne.

Firebird

223 High St, Prahran, VIC 3181

The Firebird Commune Group are imperative to the Melbourne food scene as they founded Hanoi Hannah, Tokyo Tina, Neptune and now their latest addition, Firebird. 

This flame driven restaurant is situated along High Street in Prahran and offers delicious Southeast Asian food. This venue can fit 110 diners with its interiors designed by renowned architecture firm Ewert Leaf, who has created an extremely modern space inspired by Vietnam’s smokey street food stalls. Go on their website and book now, as this trendy restaurant tends to fill up quickly.

Future Future

191 Swan St, Richmond, VIC 3121

If you’re looking for a simple, elegant Japanese restaurant in Melbourne, look no further than Future Future. What used to be an old art gallery now has transformed into a modern eatery paying homage to Japanese street style and culture. Future offers a unique dining experience from the moment you’re seated in their exquisite dining room. 

To start, you’ll receive some sweet-potato crisps and a cup of chamomile, green and mandarin-rind tea, a little taste of the mouthwatering food to come.

Farmer’s Daughters

95 Exhibition Street, 80 Collins Precinct, Melbourne, VIC 3000

From the ‘Paddock to plate’, Farmer’s Daughters curates a memorable dining experience, as this iconic Melbourne restaurant celebrates the fantastic fresh produce coming out of Gippsland, Victoria. 

The founder of Famer’s Daughters, Peruvian chef Alejandro Saravia, first fell in love with Gippsland in 2016 when he went on a tour there and was instantly taken back by the region’s food quality and biodiversity. This led him to become an ambassador for the area and launch Farmer’s Daughters earlier this year – and we’re so grateful he did.

Society

80 Collins St, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Chris Lucas is the great mind behind Melbourne’s greatest restaurants, including this gem, inspired by Australian contemporary culture. A state of Australian design and modernity, this stylish dining room is filled with grey-toned curtains, plush circular booths, crystal chandeliers and conveniently sits on Collins Street in the heart of the CBD. 

If it’s fine dining you’re after, Society is an absolute must-try.

restaurants in melbourne to wine & dine (2)

Hawker Hall

98 Chapel St, Windsor, VIC 3181

Speaking of Chris Lucas, this fine food and beer hall is another restauranteur’s most popular endeavour. Inspired by the vibrant hawker centres of Singapore & Malaysia, Hawker Hall serves some of the most delectable Asian fusion food, making it an incredibly popular restaurant with both locals and tourists alike. 

Great food met with a great vibrant, bustling atmosphere. Is there anything more you could ask for?

Tres a Cinco 

3-5 Hosier Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Frank Camorra of MoVida fame has opened up another great eatery in Hosier Lane, now with a fresh-faced Mexican cantina. What initially started as a side project of takeaway food packs quickly developed into this authentic Mexican restaurant due to its extreme popularity. 

Tres a Cinco offers an incredibly satisfying menu that serves up some more indulgent tacos, tamales and Mexican inspired desserts. However, if you’re looking for an excellent beverage to pair with your meal, Tres a Cinco also has a carefully selected drinks menu of up to 20 cocktails based around tequila or mezcal, including eight different Margaritas.

Transformer 

99 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Those seeking out a plant-based menu, listen up because Transformer offers an extensive menu of the most innovative vegetarian and vegan dishes around. Based in Fitzroy, this vegetarian restaurant by Laki Papadopoulos and Mark Price is the pinnacle of seasonal dining in the Melbourne restaurant scene, as Transformer often gets its produce from small scale growers to offer up the freshest yet tastiest dishes.

After you’ve eaten your main, make sure you try their incredible selection of ever-changing desserts. Go on. You deserve it.

Kappaya

St Mary’s Building, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC, 3067

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Melbourne where soul food, beer, sake and coffee collide, then Kappaya has answered your prayers. This little gem hidden away in Abbotsford Convent serves up some great bento boxes and other Japanese specialties, all of which will leave you oh so satisfied.

Also, there are many Japanese craft beers supplied from the Sapporo brewery if you’re after an icy cold beverage to down your meal with. Kappaya doesn’t have a website, unfortunately, so if you want to make sure there is space for you, be sure to call ahead.

Gimlet at Cavendish House

33 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Gimlet is Andrew Mcconnell’s (Cutler & Co) latest addition to the Melbourne fine dining scene and was easily one of the 2020s most anticipated new restaurants. Set inside the Chicago-style 1920s Cavendish House, Gimlet offers a delicious selection of local seafood, hearty wood-fired mains and a cocktail list curated by Head bartender Cameron Paris, who is also the brains behind the restaurant’s catchy name.

Embla

122 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000

If you’re craving exquisite small plates and great live music inside an industrial-chic wine bar, you have to try one of the more unique restaurants in Melbourne; Embla. Head Chef Dave Verheul and wine connoisseur Christian McCabe have joined forces to offer one of the best wine bars that truly feels like an extension of your lounge room.

Feeling a bit peckish? Why not start with their quinoa & rosemary sourdough with grain mustard butter or their burrata with spring vegetables and pair it with one of their fine French wines.

The staff at Embla admit that their taste in wine might be slightly weird, but they think other people will happily share their off-centre drops. They take lunch bookings (particularly for their Sunday set menu) but are only walk-in in the evening. Everything at this wine bar Melbourne – the wine, food and staff – is full of character that shouldn’t be missed.

Vesper Bistro and Bar

23/25 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC, 3141

Taken from Vesper Lynd, a famous Bond girl from the James Bond franchise, comes Vesper Bistro and Bar, a new food hub in South Yarra specialising in European cuisine. Vesper Bistro and Bar will make you feel like you’ve been whisked away to the Mediterranean islands with dishes full of flavour and vibrant colour from the islands of Greece, Spain, Italy and France, fusing a contemporary approach to fine dining. 

Their À La Carte Menu is available for bookings for up to 6 people, so make sure you get in quick.

HERO

Level 1, ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne VIC 3000

Tucked away inside ACMI is Hero, a place where the ideas of film, food, music and art are combined to create a hotspot where creative minds come together. This understated yet refined cafe and bar has a seasonally driven menu made with local produce curated by renowned local chef Karen Martini. While you’re here, make sure you also try their flavoursome range of bespoke cocktails.

Al Dente Enoteca

161-163 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053

In April 2020, Italian pasta chef Andrea Vignali launched her restaurant in Melbourne, Al Dente Enoteca, amid the global pandemic. This restaurant initially began as a delivery service solely providing pasta dishes to Melbournians stuck in lockdown; however, this little passion project of Vignail’s was immensely popular, leading to the opening of Al Dente Enoteca. 

While you’re here, you must try the artichoke filled tortellini or even crab ravioli. Our stomachs are rumbling just thinking about it.

Radio Mexico

11-13 Carlisle St, St Kilda VIC 3182

Located in Carlise Street, St Kilda, This iconic Melbourne restaurant has been serving up some of the city’s best tacos, margaritas and beer since 2012. Radio Mexico serves up spicy authentic Mexican flavours that are sure to pack a punch and keep you on your toes. Radio Mexico is all about the finer details of their food. 

Everything from the house-made salsa to their three-cheese nachos featuring roasted pumpkin and toasted pepitas shows this restaurant is the benchmark for Mexican cuisine.

Epocha

49 Rathdowne St, Carlton VIC 3053

Situated in a picturesque 19th-century building with a stunning view of the Carlton Gardens, Epocha is Melbourne’s answer to modern Greek food that combines fresh Australian produce. 

Angie Giannakodakis (co-owner of Hellenic Republic) and Guy Holder (The Press Club, Rockpool) have joined forces offering a dining experience from a double-storied terrace that has been restored but still has remnants of the Victorian Era. 

Epocha not only serves delicious food, but they have an extensive wine list that showcases Australia’s rich biodiversity.

City Wine Shop

159 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000

City Wine Shop is more than just a wine bar in Melbourne CBD and even goes beyond a wine shop. It is your source for the latest viticulture news, the most helpful tips on wine pairing and a lesson on which wines you should buy for your lady. 

Whether you want your wine by the glass, by the bottle or by the home-delivered case, City Wine Shop will make your wish come true. They also host regular events such as wine tastings from particular regions or evenings with the guest bar staff. If that weren’t enough, they even host functions and offer certified WSET courses.

Cumulus Up.

45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000

The equivalent of powering up in a video game, if you’re craving a delicious drop – you better Cumulus Up. Featuring the season’s best from small-scale farms, the ever-changing menu will never fail to delight. 

The food menu is similarly curated, including locally-sourced produce such as Port Phillip Bay scallops and duck from the Macedon Ranges. Experience the charm of this European-Esque wine bar in Melbourne for yourself.

The Alps Wine Shop & Bar

64 Commercial Road, Prahran VIC 3181

An unassuming locale that takes no mercy on its fine wine selection, The Alps is everything you’d imagine the best wine bars in Melbourne CBD to be. A former milk bar, the space features touchwood, exposed brick, fireplaces and steel. 

The wine selection focuses on exemplifying the grape's origin, favouring honesty over innovation. You’ll notice a particular fondness for wine hailing from the foot of the alps – Jura, Savoie and Burgundy – hence the name. 

You can even visit informal masterclasses once a month around a barbecue to learn more from these viticultural masters.

restaurants in melbourne to wine & dine (3)

Marion

53 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Marion has more than just fantastic, seasonal wine and produce. It’s a space that encourages you to stop for a moment and indulge in dishes designed to share local and foreign blends that demonstrate the breadth of the winemaking world. Take a little of your visit to this wine bar Fitzroy home with you with their Deadman’s Dozen – a mixed dozen wine selection of mostly limited production wines that changes by the month. You could even capture yourself free home delivery with a six-month subscription.

Neighbourhood Wine

1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North VIC 3068

Neighbourhood Wine takes the best products offered at any certain time of the year and makes something beautiful and fragrant to put on your plate. The wine at this wine bar Fitzroy focuses on low-interference winemaking principles, which they believe allows the provenance of the wine to shine through. 

The list curated by Simon Denman is in constant evolution and growth, meaning each time you visit this great wine bar, you’ll fall in love with a different drop.

Milton Wine Shop

1427 Malvern Road, Malvern VIC 3144

Milton Wine Shop is so much more than just a wine shop. They are a small wine bar that represents producers focusing on quality, honesty and representation of place in their wines. But that didn’t quite fit in the title. They have red, white, pink and orange varieties of wine, as well as a curated selection of accompanying snacks. 

Whether you warm yourself by the cosy fireplace in the ‘living room’ in Winter or feel the Summer rays out in the courtyard, there’s always a reason to head to Milton, one of the best wine bars in Melbourne.

Seddon Wine Store

2/101 Victoria Street, Seddon VIC 3011

The perfect blend of diversity and quality, Seddon Wine Store stocks the 500 best wines from boutique producers in Australia and beyond. While they focus on smaller producers, their primary focus is on quality. 

The co-owner has worked as a wholesaler, distributor and in pubs and restaurants, so safe to know he’s pretty well-versed in the area of viticulture. He and his wife Suzy don’t buy the wine unless they’ve seen it, tasted it and talked about it. 

So if you want to have a conversation about the intricacies of the drop your drinking, visit Seddon Wine Store, one of the best wine bars in Melbourne.

Napier Quarter

359 Napier St, Fitzroy VIC 3065

Napier Quarter is a neighbourhood wine bar & guesthouse nestled on a backstreet corner in Melbourne’s oldest suburb. With a commitment to quality, they celebrate the community and champion the artisan. 

None is more evident than in this Melbourne wine bar's curious wine list and innovative menu. While it changes constantly, look out for the goat milk fromage frais, with house-made bottarga & lavish.

Bellota Wine Bar

181 Bank St, South Melbourne VIC 3205

Standing right next to Australia’s leading independent wine store is Bellota Wine Bar. It suffices to say that this wine bar in Melbourne might have one of the city's best selections of wine. 

There’s nothing better than walking into an unfamiliar place and being greeted by a knowledgeable staff with a passion for wine. Chef Nicky Riemer, former co-owner and head chef of iconic Melbourne establishment Union Dining, champions the kitchen with her European cuisine. 

As one of Melbourn's best wine bars, chef Reimer offers a sense of provenance and brings back flavours that often get lost in modern cooking techniques.

Conclusion

From a refreshing rosé to a hearty red or a crisp white, wine varieties offer a taste sensation for every palate and occasion. Much more than just a drink, wine is an elixir of relaxation, made through complex processes and under much scrutiny – well, the good ones anyway. 

But sifting through the stores and menus to find these can be quite the chore. That’s where the best wine bars in Melbourne come in.

With knowledgeable staff and carefully constructed menus featuring only the top-quality producers, there is no wrong choice at a Melbourne wine bar from this list. From a wine bar in Fitzroy to a wine restaurant in Melbourne CBD, we’ve got the whole city covered. 

Now your only job is to enjoy the hospitality, delectable drops, and food come to (grape) fruition.

FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants

There are a lot of great wine bars in Melbourne. The best wine bar in Melbourne is Gerard's Bar, a highly decorated wine bar with an extensive wine list.

There are several wine bars around Melbourne's inner-city suburbs. However, the best regions are Fitzroy, South Melbourne and Prahan.

Not all wine bars in Melbourne take bookings. Some, like Smalls Wine Bar, have a strict 'walk-in only' policy. However, it's always best to check the website before arriving.

A wine bar is like a pub or a tavern, except it specialises in wine. People who enjoy drinking wine may prefer to visit a wine bar rather than a regular bar if they like ordering wine by the glass, sampling wine from different bottles.

The Platonic ideal of the wine bar is a glorious place: an endless array of interesting and unique bottlings, served by knowledgeable but gracious servers and sommeliers, where the prices are always fair, and the charcuterie board always has one last slice of cured meat on it.

Scroll to Top