St. Kilda is not just a backpacker hangout or a seaside community. It's not hard to see why St. Kilda, a historically significant area of Melbourne that is slowly making a comeback, is home to some of the city's most acclaimed dining establishments.
Superb goods from the area? Check. While the places we've recommended certainly aren't all of St. Kilda's best, you'll at least be able to dip your toes (excuse the pun) into some of the area's most lauded dining establishments and get a feel for the neighbourhood.
To be envious of St. Kilda would be a natural reaction given all the great things happening there. Some of the best features of this neighbourhood are its proximity to the city centre, its seaside setting, the historic Luna Park, the charming mansions, the buzzing cultural atmosphere, and the convenience of its location.
In addition, there is the best dining scene in the world. St. Kilda is home to some of Melbourne's best dining options, and we've narrowed it down to a few of our favourite spots.
The Best Restaurants in St Kilda, Melbourne
The beachfront in this seaside suburb of Melbourne may be surpassed only by the abundance of excellent dining options available all over St. Kilda. St. Kilda is home to numerous restaurants serving up everything from traditional Australian fare to contemporary takes on Italian, Mexican, Vietnamese, seafood, and more. It's great that many of these places have a view of the water or the city.
Donovans in St. Kilda is one of Melbourne's most renowned eateries, having won a slew of awards for its cuisine. Donovans is known for its excellent food, casual ambience, and prime beachfront location, all of which are best appreciated from the restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows and outdoor terrace.
Donovans, a bar and restaurant in St. Kilda, Melbourne, Australia, is the stuff of leisurely dreams. There has been a restaurant at this location on Jacka Boulevard for over 20 years, making it something of a Jacka Boulevard landmark. Amazing, consistent, and tasty food is served in a breathtaking setting. Emphasis is put on treating visitors with kindness and hospitality. Modern Australian fare, premium Victorian producers, and the inherent nature of seasonal fare are all celebrated on the food and drink menus. A St. Kilda eatery that must be experienced.
If you don't feel like leaving the house, Stokehouse is where you should go for upscale beach food.
At Stokehouse Restaurant, in the district's final section, former Stokehouse City chef Ollie Hansford presides. This venue, which boasts a lounge, a terrace with seating overlooking the ocean, and an oval bar measuring 12.5 metres in length, evokes the same warm, familiar feeling as the original Stokehouse.
The entire first floor of Stokehouse is hidden beneath a sand dune, and the restaurant's menu features many delectable seafood options in keeping with its beach luxe aesthetic. Which is precisely why we find it so appealing.
The 18-meter-long bar that greets you as soon as you enter Pontoon is evidence that the establishment has its priorities straight.
In addition, we have a choice of pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, which transports us to the relaxed lifestyle of the Mediterranean. Our minds have not even considered the possibility of spending a pleasant summer evening doing anything other than lounging on the beach.
Cafe Di Stasio
Lighting effects, red leather banquettes, and artwork by Bill Henson all combine to make diners feel like they're in an authentic Italian restaurant. All of your guests will be impressed by the extensive food, wine, and drink options on the menu. Suckling pig, saltimbocca, tiramisu, and zabaglione are just some of the dishes that can be found on the menu.
Tempura, gyoza, yakitori, sushi, and sashimi are just a few of the many Japanese dishes that are available at this restaurant. You can rest assured that you will have a wonderful time at Ichi Ni thanks to their wide variety of speciality drinks, sake, Japanese beers, and fine wines.
Whatever your snacking, mealtime, or wine-drinking needs may be, Las Tapas has you covered.
The Catalan eatery prides itself on serving a menu that changes with the seasons and uses only the freshest local ingredients, all of which are expertly prepared to ensure your complete satisfaction.
If there is such a thing as the "best seafood restaurant in St. Kilda," then Claypots is it.
You might not be able to get a seat at all if you don't show up early.
Both the interior design and the artistic plating of the food at Fitzrovia are expertly executed, contributing to the refined ambience of the restaurant.
Indulge in breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Fitzrovia and pretend you're at a five-star restaurant without breaking the bank. You can't go wrong with a date to this St. Kilda staple, which is known for its delicious food and cosy atmosphere.
We don't know what you're waiting for if you haven't checked out the Esplanade Hotel since it reopened from renovations.
Mya Tiger is a hotel restaurant in the Espy with Sarah Chan as its head chef (formerly of Longrain and Lotus Dining). Dumplings, bao, vegetables, main courses like sweet and sour pork, rice and noodles, and desserts are all available. Starters include sesame prawn toast and cumin lamb spring rolls.
Get yourself to the beautiful Mya Tyger cocktail bar, where you can relax on the plush green banquettes, and enjoy some delicious cocktails.
The Hotel Esplanade is home to two of St. Kilda's trendiest dining establishments—Espy Kitchen and Mya Tiger. It's worth mentioning the former, but we much prefer the Cantonese flavours at Mya Tiger, which are located a few floors above.
In spite of our best intentions, we find ourselves unable to refuse their signature roasted Peking duck, gourmet selection of dumplings and bars, and other deliciously authentic Chinese fare and refreshing drinks. The dining room's ambience and decor are also very much to our liking.
If you're looking for a great restaurant in the St. Kilda area, Cicciolina is a no-brainer thanks to its casual vibe and sleek decor.
Chef Virginia Redmond has been at the helm of Cicciolina's kitchen since its inception in 1993, and under her guidance, the restaurant has become known for its inventive modern Italian dishes made with the best seasonal produce Melbourne has to offer. Delicious options abound at Cicciolina's, from chargrilled wagyu scotch fillet to savoury risotto with mushrooms.
St. Luja is a smoke fusion restaurant, cocktail, and whisky bar, riding the affluent wave that has made Fitzroy Street famous.
Allison Hartmire, formerly of State of Grace and Mr. Mason, now runs the kitchen, and each month she hosts degustations paired with cocktails from the adjacent bar. A shot of Laphroaig 10 year old on the rocks makes any meal more tolerable. You shouldn't miss this.
Mr. Wolf is the best pizzeria in St. Kilda, thanks to its wood-fired oven, crisp-edged crust, and tasty toppings.
The restaurant's executive chef and owner, the culinary celebrity Karen Martini, has designed this traditional Italian menu just for you.
Araliya is an up-to-date eatery that serves authentic Sri Lankan food. It's got atmosphere, personality, and, most importantly, delicious food. Since it opened in 1985, this popular eatery has been hailed for the refined way in which it presents Sri Lankan flavours by incorporating cooking techniques and spices from around the world.
You can find what you're looking for at Araliya, whether it's a unique take on Sunday brunch, street food nibbles, a hearty curry, or an eight-course degustation meal.
Machi is not your average Japanese eatery because of its commitment to cutting-edge cuisine and its willingness to boldly mix and match different types of food. The lack of fear in their actions is striking. You can find Japanese dishes like sushi, sashimi, donburi, and grilled specialities here on Inkerman Street, but you should also be ready for the restaurant's frequent, delicious, and unexpected specials.
The busy Fitzroy Street eatery Supernormal Canteen offers a wide variety of pan-Asian dishes in a casual but polished setting. Like its counterpart, Supernormal on Flinders Lane, this St. Kilda restaurant is the brainchild of chef Andrew McConnell, who drew inspiration from his time spent in the kitchens of Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong. Each of the two dining establishments shares some commonalities.
The hibachi grill at the St. Kilda location, however, allows chefs there to create unique smoked dishes that aren't on the menu in the CBD.
Stokehouse is without a doubt the best restaurant in St. Kilda, and a visit there will be a special treat. In addition to the stunning view of St. Kilda Beach, the restaurant also offers award-winning cuisine, a curated wine list, and an elegant setting.
This One Hat restaurant is well-known in Melbourne's dining scene and has a unique ambience that can't be found anywhere else in St. Kilda. You probably already know that reservations are required.
On Chapel Street in the heart of St. Kilda, you'll find Las Tapas, a trendy and well-liked restaurant. There's a lively vibe, just like in Spanish tapas bars, but in Melbourne, Australia. It has a cosy and welcoming atmosphere, which is fitting given the social nature of tapas dining, but the truly authentic food is the real show-stopper. Dine here and experience the best Spanish cuisine in town. You'll be charged $10 for the corkage fee if you bring your own wine on Tuesdays, so be aware.
There are plenty of options for Indian food in Melbourne, but Babu Ji stands out. Instead, it's a cutting-edge mashup of cutting-edge cooking methods and intense Indian flavours, producing exciting fare that pairs well with craft beverages.
Customers can also choose to enjoy their own beverages by bringing in their own wine or beer and storing them in the establishment's self-service, temperature-controlled fridge (GYO).
I Love Dumplings
The name says it all, really. If you're in the St. Kilda area and you're craving dumplings, I Love Dumplings is the place to go. Gluten-free options are available for every dish, and they serve everything from wontons and xiao long bao to pan-fried numbers and steamed har grow.
The dumplings are excellent, and it's no surprise that this is one of our favourite restaurants in Melbourne. There's also a wide selection of other Chinese cuisine, and BYO wine and beer are welcome. Can you think of anything not to like?
Due to the widespread love of Italian food among Australians, we can safely omit any additional Italian restaurants from our list. We enjoy eating at Cicciolina because it is one of the best restaurants in St. Kilda, but that is not the only reason we frequent it so often.
Her dishes reflect the changing of the seasons and are hearty yet decadent, just as Italian food should be. Virginia Redmond, a seasoned chef, has been with the establishment since its inception in 1993. Traditional Italian fare such as pasta, main courses, and desserts are available, along with an extensive wine list.
Rococo, located on bustling Acland Street, is a stylish and alluring restaurant. It is famous for its carefully arranged antipasti boards and authentic Italian cuisine. As well as having outdoor seating, the restaurant also has a sizable dining room with several intimate nooks ideal for a romantic dinner for two.
Rococo serves breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, and their menu is packed with options that are simple but flavorful. Four types of risotto, three kinds of gnocchi, homemade pasta, a long list of pizzas, and decadent desserts are among these dishes.
Best Cafés in St Kilda: The Local Brunch Spots you Need to Try
St. Kilda is a cultural phenomenon in its own right, not just a suburb of Melbourne. It's therefore not surprising that this diverse area of Melbourne features one of the city's busiest and most successful café scenes.
In this area, you'll find restaurants that attract diners from all over the city, whether they're craving inventive vegan fare or a full English (even North-siders have been known to make the trek across the river). As a matter of fact, one might even say that the café culture of this city is akin to a religion. Join us as we take you to the highest level of culinary delight.
Staple Providore goes against the grain by stocking only the essentials for its customers in a city that is fixated on trendy foods like superfoods, spice-infused lattes, and microherbs.
As if their signature Shadowboxer blend weren't enough, Rumble also offers a sneaky collaboration you have to try to believe. If you prefer to enjoy brunch in your pyjamas, you can do so by placing an order on their website and waiting for it to be delivered to your door.
If you're looking for a new standard in morning flat whites and plant-centric takeaways, look no further than Garage. Garage is setting the standard for takeout restaurants at a time when most establishments have perfected the art of serving both food and coffee to customers on the go.
It's a favourite among the locals because it consistently delivers on all fronts: the service is fantastic, the coffee is strong, and the benny is top-notch. The building previously housed a garage and now serves as a bar and restaurant.
126A Chapel Street, St Kilda
I hear you say that you're looking for vegan eggs. Matcha Mylkbar's ingenious creators have done the unthinkable by perfecting the vegan dining experience. Sunflower "yolks" are constructed from sweet potato, coconut milk, and linseed protein. In contrast, the whites are made of agar that has been dyed using coconut and almond milk.
Apart from being the talk of Instagram, this eatery also offers a varied vegan menu that will please burger and salad lovers alike.
72A Acland Street, St Kilda
When it comes to the hipster vibe of the St. Kilda cafe scene, Hannah is the definition of cool. She keeps a record player and an old Rotel amplifier hidden away behind the counter, and the music they play is very popular with the customers.
Traditional deli fare is given a welcome twist at this charming local, with dishes like cheese on rye with Kimchi bringing in a new crowd that can't get enough of the place's winning hip yet homey atmosphere. Put some cheese and smoked salmon on some rye bread and you've got an example.
141 Chapel Street, St Kilda
Renovations turned the dilapidated back room of a Greek taverna into a hip, low-key café serving up hearty fare like Texan brisket and crispy pork belly. You can get a great cup of espresso at Miss Jackson, a hidden gem that deserves your attention. Set in a quiet area away from the bustle of the city. No one will know about this great spot for coffee and conversation for quite some time.
2/19 Grey Street, St Kilda
In St. Kilda, you can't beat the Dispensary for eggs with a side of history. There was once the largest dispensary in the Southern Hemisphere where a cosy café now stands. Along with the clinic and the dentist's office, the building also housed a pharmacy.
Modern iterations of the sandwich have been given the respect due an art form, elevating them above their humble origins. A gourmet Serrano ham toastie and roasted chicken on herb-studded flatbread are just two of the many options vying for your attention.
13 Brighton Road, St Kilda
An authentic St. Kilda landmark, the Galleon Café exudes a hippie vibe reminiscent of the era when the island was known for spreading love and peace. It's always chill, and the bagels and burgers at breakfast and lunch are served on mismatched plates. While enjoying their coffee, customers are frequently visited by the helpful wait staff. Everything here is a nice reminder that, on rare occasions, things are still made the way they used to be.
St. Kilda is a revitalising district of Melbourne with a rich past. This area's accessibility to the heart of the city, its location by the water, and its cultural atmosphere are among its many attractive features. Multiple restaurants offer a variety of cuisines, from authentic Australian to modern takes on Italian, Mexican, and seafood. When it comes to Italian cuisine with a modern twist, the Café Di Stasio is a clear winner. All of the food at Las Tapas is prepared with seasonal, regional ingredients.
The area around Fitzrovia has gained a reputation for its high quality cuisine and welcoming atmosphere. Two of St. Kilda's most hip restaurants can be found inside the Esplanade Hotel. With its laid-back atmosphere and modern furnishings, Cicciolina's is an easy choice. D.A.D. 333 serves as a restaurant, cocktail lounge, and whisky bar all in one. Mr. Wolf, with its wood-fired oven, is the best pizza place in St. Kilda.
Araliya is a trendy restaurant that serves traditional dishes from Sri Lanka. At Supernormal Canteen, you can enjoy a wide selection of pan-Asian dishes in a relaxed but refined atmosphere. A popular and hip spot in Melbourne's St. Kilda neighbourhood, Las Tapas serves up a variety of Spanish tapas. Babu Ji is a modern fusion of traditional Indian and Western cooking styles. The food at Cicciolina is hearty and rich in the way that authentic Italian fare should be.
St. Kilda is more than just a suburb of Melbourne; it's also a culinary phenomenon. The café culture in this area is highly developed and popular. Look no further than Garage for the gold standard in flat whites and plant-centered takeouts. The brilliant minds behind Matcha Mylkbar have managed the impossible: they have created the ideal vegan restaurant. When it comes to the hipster culture of St. Kilda's cafes, Hannah epitomises cool.
If you're looking for eggs in St. Kilda with a side of history, the Dispensary is your best bet. This cosy café occupies the site of what was once the largest dispensary in the Southern Hemisphere. The island was famous for its love and peace movement, and Cafe Galleon embodies that spirit.
- Our list of recommended restaurants in St. Kilda, Melbourne, includes some of the city's best eateries.
- A former chef at Stokehouse City, Ollie Hansford now runs the show at Stokehouse Restaurant in the area's final section.
- Experience the fine dining atmosphere without the price tag at Fitzrovia, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Restaurants Mya Tiger and Espy Kitchen, two of St. Kilda's most hip eateries, are located within the Hotel Esplanade.
- Cicciolina, with its relaxed atmosphere and stylish furnishings, is an obvious choice if you're looking for a fantastic restaurant in the St. Kilda area.
- AraliyaAraliya is a trendy restaurant that serves traditional Sri Lankan fare.
- It's well-known in Melbourne's dining scene and has an atmosphere unlike any other in St. Kilda, earning it the coveted One Hat award.
- Las Tapas is a popular restaurant located on Chapel Street in the middle of St. Kilda.
- Come here for the finest Spanish cuisine in town.
- I Love Dumplings is the place to go in the St. Kilda area if you have a hankering for dumplings.
- This structure was once a garage but is now a popular watering hole.
- Address: 126A Chapel Street, St. Kilda, Australia
- Mylkbar's Tea Time
- That's right, I overheard you mentioning your search for vegan eggs.
- Matcha The brilliant minds behind Mylkbar have achieved the impossible by creating the ideal vegan restaurant.
- There is a hidden gem in the form of Miss Jackson where you can get a fantastic espresso.
- This cosy café occupies the site of what was once the largest dispensary in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Coffee Shop/Café Galleon
- The Galleon Café is a true St. Kilda landmark, radiating a hippie vibe typical of the time when the island was known for promoting peace and love.
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.