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.
Amazing local produce? Check. And while our list is by no means comprehensive, it will allow you to at least dip your toes—pun intended—in some of St Kilda’s best restaurants and open your eyes to what this neighbourhood has to offer.
St Kilda has a lot to envy. The beautiful seaside location, the historic Luna Park, the charming mansions, the buzzing cultural vibe and convenient proximity to the city centre.
And, of course, there’s also the leading dining scene. St Kilda restaurants and cafes are amongst some of Melbourne’s best, and we’ve picked out the ones you won’t want to miss.
The 22 Best Restaurants in St Kilda, Melbourne
Perhaps the only thing better than St Kilda’s beachfront is the many restaurants scattered across this seaside suburb. Whether you’re in the mood for Italian, Mexican, Vietnamese, seafood or modern Australian comfort, you’ll find a restaurant in St Kilda, and the best part is that many of them come with a view.
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.
Located right on the dreamy doorstep of St Kilda Beach, Donovans is a leisurely dream. Teaming a stunning location with ever consistent and reliable food, this Jacka Boulevard establishment is an institution with over 20 years of experience. Visiting hospitality is at the core of what they offer. Their menu and drinks list celebrates modern Australian dining, quality Victorian producers and the nature of seasonal cuisine. A must try St Kilda restaurant.
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 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 shared 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 impress.
Ichi Ni Izakaya
Ichi Ni Izakaya sits right on the classic St Kilda Esplanade and overlooks Port Phillip Bay so that 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 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.
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.
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 a 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 sure what you’re waiting for.
At the helm of the Espys 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.
Hotel Esplanade is home to the two trendy St Kilda restaurants of Espy Kitchen and Mya Tiger. While the former is worth mentioning, we prefer the Cantonese flavours on offer up the stairs at Mya Tiger.
There’s something about their signature roasted Peking duck, a gourmet range of dumplings and bars, as well as other classic Chinese dishes and nice drinks that we can’t resist. In addition, we love the decor and vibe of the dining room.
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 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. 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.
Araliya is a modern Sri Lankan restaurant with ambience, charm and most importantly, awesomely flavoursome food. Blending spices from the East with culinary techniques from the West since 1985, this popular eatery is known for showcasing the tastes of Sri Lanka elegantly.
Whether you’re after an eight-course degustation, some street food nibbles, a wholesome curry or a Sunday brunch like no other, Araliya has you sorted.
Taking a big focus on contemporary dining, Machi is not your typical Japanese restaurant and isn’t afraid to overlap cuisines with an innovative approach. While the menu at this Inkerman Street restaurant has roots in Japan – think sushi, sashimi, donburi and grilled specialties – guests can also expect exciting specials regularly.
For example, we’re talking dishes like sea urchin sushi tacos, raw spicy tuna on squid ink scallop crackers and Japanese seafood paella with truffle.
Supernormal Canteen is a busy restaurant on Fitzroy Street serving pan-Asian food amongst a cruisey yet polished atmosphere. There are some parallels between this St Kilda restaurant and its sister eatery Supernormal on Flinders Lane, both creating Andrew McConnell and inspired by culinary experiences in Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul and Hong Kong.
However, the hibachi, a traditional Japanese grill, churns out inventive smoking dishes at the St Kilda joint, which aren’t available at the CBD.
If you’re after a special dining experience in St Kilda, the restaurant leading the pack is most definitely Stokehouse. Award-winning food, fine wine, sophisticated decor and truly mesmerising views of crashing waves on St Kilda Beach.
The ambience at this One Hat restaurant is unmatched in St Kilda, and it’s well-known throughout Melbourne’s dining scene. Reservations, as you can imagine, are essential.
Bringing the buzz of Spanish tapas bars to Melbourne, Las Tapas is a sought-after and trendy restaurant on St Kilda’s Chapel Street. The atmosphere here is welcoming, which suits the sharing nature of tapas dining, but better yet, the food is seriously authentic. You can dine here and graze on some of the best Spanish cuisines in the city. FYI, on Tuesdays, it’s BYO for $10 corkage.
Babu Ji is not your typical Indian restaurant in Melbourne. Instead, it’s a contemporary blend of modern cooking and intense Indian flavours, resulting in exciting food complemented nicely with boutique beer and wine.
Get amongst handmade samosas with dried pomegranate and green mango, prawn momos with wild pepper sauce, pork vindaloo sprinkled with crispy pork chicharron and a range of vegan and vegetarian dishes. Furthermore, BYO wine is available, and their beer follows a GYO (grab your own) policy from the ice-cold, self-service fridge.
I Love Dumplings
The name says it all. If you’re craving dumplings and you’re in St Kilda, I Love Dumplings is the restaurant for you. From wontons and xiao long bao to pan-fried numbers and steamed har grow, they’ve got them all, and gluten-free varieties are also available.
It’s little wonder why it’s one of our favourite places for dumplings in Melbourne, and in addition, there are plenty of other Chinese dishes, and it’s BYO. What’s not to love?
Considering how much Australians love Italian food, it’s only necessary to include one Italian eatery on our list. However, that’s not the only reason Cicciolina is one of our favourite St Kilda restaurants.
Opened in 1993, experienced chef Virginia Redmond has been around since the beginning, and her seasonal approach to cooking is authentic, wholesome and indulgent all at the same time – just like Italian food should be. Here you can find an extensive wine list complementing a traditional menu of flavoursome pasta, mains and desserts.
Located on the bustling Acland Street, Rococo is a stylishly seductive restaurant renowned for its curated antipasti boards and traditional Italian meals. The restaurant boasts a huge dining room that incorporates intimate nooks ideal for romantic nights out and outdoor seating.
Open for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner, Rococo’s menu is bursting with simple, flavour-rich dishes, including four varieties of Risotto, three types of gnocchi, house-made pasta, a lengthy pizza list of decadent desserts.
Eclectic Italian restaurant Ciccolina has been an integral part of St Kilda’s foodscape since 1993, and chef Virginia Redmond has been there since the very beginning. Serving modern Italian cuisine seven days a week, the food at Ciccolina is shaped by seasonal produce, with vegetarian and gluten-free options.
The restaurant is also known for its extensive wine list with over 150 local and international varieties to taste. Reservations are encouraged because tables are difficult to come by, particularly on the weekends.
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants & Cafes
Though the islanders are long gone – the last surviving St Kilda, Rachel Johnson, died in 2016 at the age of 93; she had been eight years old when she left – the islands still bear the imprint of humans past and present. After landfall on Hirta, most visitors explore the village, known as Main Street.
House number three, once the home of William and Mary Ann MacDonald, who had 11 children, has been converted into a thoughtful museum with good accounts of the island's history and its wildlife.
To the west of the village is the enclosed graveyard where most tombstones have weathered away. Behind the graveyard lies a substantial pile of rubble known as Calum Mor’s house. More than 1,000 years old, this semi-subterranean house is a corbelled beehive shape of monumental proportions yet is said to have been built in a day by the eponymous Calum to prove his strength.
St Kilda is renowned for its expansive view of Port Phillip, safe sandy beach, palm-lined boardwalk, huge range of beach activities, big skies, gorgeous sunsets, parks and gardens, great restaurants, bars and cafés, fabulous old buildings, and its colourful past and present.
St Kilda is home to Melbourne’s famous visitor attractions, including Luna Park, the Esplanade Hotel, Catani Gardens, Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. It is home to St Kilda beach, Melbourne’s most famous beach, several renowned theatres and several of Melbourne’s big events and festivals.
Yes, in the past, there have been issues with drugs and prostitution, but now it is under control and less likely to rise again. St Kilda is fine as many families live in this area.
Internationally recognised for its birdlife, St Kilda is no less famous for its human history. A community existed here for at least 4,000 years, exploiting the dense colonies of gannets, fulmars and puffins for food, feathers and oil. The final 36 islanders were evacuated in 1930.
The absence of trees on St. Kilda seems to be more natural though, and apparently when the school in the village was opened and teachers first came over from the mainland, none of the children knew what a tree was when shown a photo of one.
Best Cafés in St Kilda: The Local Brunch Spots you Need to Try
Vibrant St Kilda is more than a suburb – it’s an icon. So, it comes as no surprise that this eclectic neighbourhood is home to one of Melbourne's best and brightest café scenes.
From carefully constructed vegan delights to full English breakfasts, here you’ll find the kind of eateries that people travel from the other side of town for (even North-siders have been known to make the trek across the river). Indeed, café culture is something of a religion here. So join us as we deliver you into pure culinary bliss.
In a city of micro herbs, spice-infused lattes, and all things superfood, Staple Providore is bucking the trend and taking things back to basics. As the name suggests, the menu heroes classic brunch staples; eggs, bacon, crumpets, potato hash, and everyone's favourite bacon and egg butty.
Rumble has the coffee covered with a cheeky collab for you to sample as well as their signature Shadowboxer blend. If brunch in your pj's is more your speed, everything you need is available for delivery through their website.
183 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
While most cafes have got a handle on the whole takeaway food and coffee thing by now, Garage is raising the bar offering an impressive selection of indoor and outdoor plants for you to take home along with your morning flat white.
Occupying an old mechanic's workshop, it's a local favourite that ticks all the boxes; the staff are beyond friendly, the coffee is strong, and the benny is brilliant.
126A Chapel Street, St Kilda
Vegan eggs, you say? The geniuses over at plant-based café Matcha Mylkbar have perfected the impossible. The sunflower yellow “yolks” are made of sweet potato, coconut milk and linseed protein, while the whites are made from agar coloured with coconut and almond milk.
Beyond this Instagram, scene-stealer is a robust vegan menu that’ll please burger munchers and salad fans alike.
72A Acland Street, St Kilda
With a smooth soundtrack courtesy of a much-loved record player and vintage Rotel amplifier nestled behind the counter, Hannah is the certified cool kid of the St Kilda café scene.
Offering deli classics with a welcome twist, such as cheese on rye with Kimchi – this charming local keeps its growing fan base coming back for more of that winning hip yet homey atmosphere.
141 Chapel Street, St Kilda
What was once the dilapidated storage room of a Greek taverna is now a stylishly low-key café specialising in hearty fares such as Texan brisket and crispy pork belly. Hiding away from the main drag, Miss Jackson is a cherished hidden gem that trades in a mean espresso. Just the spot for coffee and conversation, it won’t stay a secret for long.
2/19 Grey Street, St Kilda
For eggs served with a side of history, there’s no beating St Kilda Dispensary. What is now a charming café was once the largest dispensary in the Southern Hemisphere, housing doctors’ surgeries, a pharmacy and dentists.
In its newer culinary iteration, the humble sandwich is elevated to an art form with everything from a gourmet Serrano ham toastie to roast chicken on herby flatbread fighting for your attention.
13 Brighton Road, St Kilda
A true local institution, the hippie flavoured Galleon Café harks back to the peace and love touting St Kilda of old. Eternally laidback, the brekkie bagels and lunchtime burgers come on mismatched crockery and the cheerful wait staff stop by for conversations over coffee. All a welcome reminder that sometimes, they still make them like they used to.
9 Carlisle Street, St Kilda