northern suburb restaurants and cafes

Where Should I Eat In Northern Suburb Restaurants And Cafes Melbourne?

There are many Melbourne Restaurants in the Northern Suburbs serving great food from cuisines like Italian, Seafood, Spanish, Thai, French, Greek, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican and Indian. Our Northern Suburbs Restaurants site gets you in touch quickly with venues within the Northern Region.

For a suburb so close to the city, North Melbourne is deceptively suburban. It’s spacious, tight-knit and much less developed than other pockets of the inner city. At most times of day, finding a park on its wide streets is no hassle.

The broad, wedge-shaped area is bordered by Royal Park in the north and Queen Victoria Market in the south. At the height of Melbourne’s boom in the 1880s, it was the most densely populated part of the city, filled with blue-collar workers who favoured its ease of access to the factories in the city and out west.

Although the population has changed markedly since then, those early residents left their architectural footprints on the area. Closer to Parkville, stately Victorian and Edwardian-era terrace houses line the main streets. Approaching the city, you’ll find intact weatherboard workers’ cottages or simple stone constructions.

The proximity of the main strip, Errol Street, to Queen Victoria Market has hindered the growth of food retail in the suburb. Luckily, that’s translated to an upsurge in dining options in the area. And because only 40 per cent of North Melbourne’s population was born in Australia, those options are broad. Excellent ItalianMexican and Vietnamese restaurants are all in close range.

Top 10 Restaurants In Melbourne's Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs may not be at the forefront of your mind when it’s time to make lunch or dinner plans in Melbourne, but it's time that changed. 

Covering a wide spectrum of cuisines and dining experiences, the Northern Suburbs offers a mouth-watering selection of restaurants. For visitors, the detour will pay off, and locals may yet discover a new gem.

Doors

Bar, Restaurant, European, Italian, Fast Food

4 Doors offers European cuisine with an Australian twist. This classic yet contemporary restaurant radiates casual elegance with a marble bar, low hanging lights, and smoky tones. The large patio is perfect for eating outside. 

The menu includes sautéed scallops or marinated figs, pork or fennel sausages, house-made agnolotti with duck, and much more. Spoil yourself with many desserts, including hot or cold items from the display cabinet.

The Empress Hotel

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, Australian

This 141-year-old pub was once the hub of Fitzroy’s music scene. Recently reopened, the hotel has been overhauled, the front bar and dining room have a new charcoal grey finish, and retro artwork is everywhere. 

The Empress Hotel offers modern dining and a twist on classic pub meals. Quality food, with a friendly and comforting atmosphere, you will feel relaxed in no time.

northern suburb restaurants and cafes

Paladar

Restaurant, Thai, Asian, Vegan, Vegetarian

One of the best Thai restaurants in the Northern Suburbs is Paladar. Utilising the freshest ingredients and serving authentic Thai cuisine, this restaurant is hard not to love. 

Paladar specialises in stir fry, soups, curries, and salads, and there are plenty of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The contemporary décor, complete with dark furnishings and a warm fireplace, creates a relaxed ambience.

Kumo Izakaya

Restaurant, Japanese, Asian, Vegetarian, Vegan, Fast Food

Kumo Izakaya serves ‘Izakaya’-style Japanese cuisine. Instead of getting stuck into the traditional western style of entrées, mains, and desserts, Kumo Izakaya offers a vast range of smaller dishes, which is great for those who want a taste of everything. 

Rustic décor also brings a homey atmosphere, adding to the list of reasons to visit. Kumo Izakaya won the 2015 Excellence Award for the best Japanese restaurant in Australia.

Roquette Bar and Grill

Bar, Pub Grub, Seafood, Australian

Steaks are the highlight of Roquette. With its trendy-industrial feel, the warm touches of lights, and brown leather booths, this place is for those who love a comforting atmosphere with a hint of class. 

Roquette Bar & Grill is a city dining restaurant in Melbourne's suburbia. Roquette also offers a range of Australian seafood, pasta, and many other delectable meals. It offers an endless wine list for those who love a drink with their meal.

L'Artigiano Ristorante Italiano

Bar, Restaurant, Italian, Pub Grub

L’Artigiano Ristorante Italiano offers a wide range of freshly cooked meals. A favourite among customers is the wine and pizza bar, which displays the range of Italian food and drinks on offer. The friendly and prompt customer service creates a welcoming atmosphere. The restaurant has classic dining tables, a fireplace, and Italian artwork.

Laksa King

Restaurant, Malaysian, Chinese, Fast Food

This Malaysian-Chinese restaurant offers the very best Malaysian meals in the Northern Suburbs. Famous for a range of items, such as chicken and roasted duck curry laksa, vegetarian laksa, and curry puffs, Laksa King offers an exciting menu to suit anyone’s taste. The food is rich in flavour and spices. Laksa King is usually busy, so call ahead.

The Woodlands Hotel

The cosy Woodlands Hotel offers meals with a difference, along with a vast range of Victorian craft beer. The beer garden is a favourite among those who want to wind down or have a nice afternoon drink. 

Rustic dining rooms are filled with a warm atmosphere. The combination of meats cooked to your liking, especially the wagyu burger, and interesting contemporary sides makes the hotel a favourite.

84/88 Sydney Rd, Melbourne VIC, Australia

Philhellene

Restaurant, Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian

Philhellene provides Greek food, culture, music, and history with a strong Cretan influence. With authentic food and drinks made with high-quality produce and traditional methods, this restaurant is popular. Philhellene appears continually in the Good Food Guide. With a range of diverse food choices and new experiences, it is definitely looking for something different.

The Abyssinian

The Abyssinian offers a range of flavoursome Eritrean and Ethiopian delights. If you enjoy trying something new, this is the place for you. The menu offers a range of vegetarian food, lactose intolerant food, and options for people with small or big appetites. 

There are hearty curries, salads, and stews, but if you are indecisive, your best option is the Chef’s combination, a range of curries and dishes all served on a huge amount of injera bread.

277 Racecourse Rd, Kensington VIC, Australia

FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants & Cafes

Despite its proximity to the CBD, friendly North Melbourne is renowned for maintaining a strong sense of community – postcode-proud locals are fiercely loyal to their charming slice of inner-city living. The key to North Melbourne’s lasting appeal is how it successfully manages to sustain that laid-back village feel.

On 26 August 1887, the Borough was renamed North Melbourne Town after completing the imposing North Melbourne Town Hall and the Metropolitan Meat Market.

Although there were pockets of middle-class housing in the wider tree-lined streets such as Dryburgh, Chapman and Brougham, by the 1880s, the suburb had become a predominantly working-class area with most of the male population employed in the local industry.

In the 1890s, tram routes had entered the area as far as Abbotsford Street, walking distance from the Arden Street Oval.

In the 1930s, many areas of North Melbourne, in particular the laneways, became overcrowded and defined as slums. Large government housing development projects were proposed, which were eventually completed in the 1960s.

The North Melbourne Court of Petty Sessions closed on 1 January 1968, and the former courthouse was sold to a private buyer in 1981.

If you are looking for an investment property, consider houses in North Melbourne rented out for $588 PW with an annual rental yield of 2.7% and units rented for $375 PW with a rental yield of 3.6%. Based on five years of sales, North Melbourne has seen a compound growth rate of 2.0% for houses and 0.8% for units.

The northern suburbs of Melbourne include Ascot Vale, Broadmeadows, Brunswick, Bundoora, Coburg, Epping, Hume, Ivanhoe, Moonee Ponds, Nillumbik Shire, Northcote, South Morang, and Tullamarine.

Greensborough is a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 17 km (11 mi) north-east from Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government areas are the City of Banyule and the Shire of Nillumbik.

The Top Eateries In The Inner North

The Inner North is bursting with amazing cafes and restaurants and many cuisines. From Mexican to Latin American to fine coffee, the inner north is where it's at. Check out our favourites.

northern suburb restaurants and cafes

Che - Fitzroy

CHE taps into the Australian chicken shop dream, and The World Loves Melbourne was invited to sample some of the menus at the launch. We love the name - it sounds like the name of a revolutionary (and it is a revolution) - but CHE stands for Chicken/ Helados/ Empanadas as well as "mate" in Spanish (clever). 

CHE has a modern fit-out and is in the heart of Fitzroy on the corner of Johnston St and Brunswick St (look for the neon letters in the windows at night).

CHE is a next-level chicken shop with an attractive street style fit out with an attractive mural on the wall, as well as exposed brick. How about the best empanadas you've ever tasted? Both chicken and beef. 

Or 48 hour marinated chicken slow-cooked in a charcoal oven? Or top-notch salads? And alcohol options in a chicken shop? Of course, no chicken shop ticks the boxes unless the chips are amazing - and CHE delivers! 

Auction Rooms - North Melbourne

Auction Rooms is a standout café in Melbourne and exudes industrial chic, and is a serious coffee haven. Housed in the old WB Ellis Auction House, it is an oasis of coffee perfection in trendy North Melbourne

Loads of serious coffee lovers descend on the award-winning Auction Rooms in their accessible location on Errol Street.

Admire the blue façade then enter into a massive warehouse-style building featuring the rough texture of exposed brick along with fine dark timbers and concrete floors. The ambience is also created from unusual aspects such as Six Degrees lead lighting and pendant low hanging PVC lamps. Come here on a lazy sunny day and be inspired by the natural light that pours in from the large front windows.

Auction Rooms is a spacious café with split levels and a charming courtyard. When you are done admiring the ambience and architecture, call on the helpful hipster staff to engage you with an outstanding coffee experience. The coffee here is consistently rated among Melbourne’s best. 

Auction Rooms roast their coffee with links to Small Batch Roasting Co., a roastery, not just a cafe. This sits them in the place of coffee royalty. Enjoy single origins of the day. Enjoy a syphon or pour over or cold drip. Admire the gleaming Synesso. And, of course, score an irresistible espresso. The coffee here is velvety and resonates with the nuances of the blends.

It’s famous for its serious coffee, but Auction Rooms also serves great food! The menu selections feature inventive names playing with the auction theme, such as “opening bid” (two free-range poached eggs on sourdough with bacon, field mushroom, grilled tomato and sautéed spinach on Dench sourdough) and “shady deal” (Moroccan style tomato and chorizo stew with eggplant served with poached eggs, olives, dukkah and feta and flatbread).

CH James - Fairfield

A popular venue to open in recent times is CH James, a trio of festive spaces in Station Street Fairfield. Locals are imbibing the modern menu and character of the venue, which includes a stunning outdoor courtyard. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience CH James and its signature dishes. 

The ambience here is a standout, with large welcoming windows and bright spaces, giving a feeling of light and airy. Fascinating farm implements adorn the wall, referencing the period of CH James and heritage. The fit-out is such that the indoors and outdoors meet seamlessly, with the windows opening up to accommodate the coffee bars, and it's an easy stroll to the courtyard.

CH James is modern but features a nod to yesteryear with its compelling story of local CH James. The latter was prominent in the northern suburbs in the halcyon period of Melbourne's development. Charles Henry James was a businessman extraordinaire in the 1870s and 1880s and hugely influential in forming the unique community dynamic of the north we love today.  

Dreamer, innovator and fiercely local, CH James was an influencer who was keen to “have a go”, connect with his community, and he conducted his business with distinctive flair. CH James became a model and mentor to young business people of the era.

Station Street has its place in Melbourne history. With diversity and an eclectic vibe, Station Street is quintessentially Melbourne. CH James spent much of his time on Station St Fairfield and in 1884 established a horse tramway, which ran the length of Station Street. Very Melbourne.

CH James is well equipped with a coffee bar that faces iconic Station Street. Customers can pull up to the bar for top-notch Small Batch coffee. The World Loves Melbourne sampled two lattes perfectly made with fine latte art to boot. Service here is excellent, with the team personable and on their game. 

CH James also hit the high notes with this Hungry Vego dish of Three grains, roasted pistachio, activated almonds, seasonal veg, lemon yoghurt & a poached egg. When we look at the menu, there are some healthy style dishes. This is modern cuisine and on-trend.

The coffee here is excellent and served in proper glassware. CH James spent time sourcing the best sugar to match its specialist coffee and uses Coconut blossom sugar, which features a slightly caramelised taste.

The drinks list includes Small Batch coffee, Mork Chocolate, and Tea by Chameleon. The wine list includes boutique World Loves Melbourne favourites, Maddens Rise and Medhurst, and other boutique wines. Another favourite is Pizzini Prosecco, our favourite Australian Prosecco. Craft beers are sourced from Victoria, including Hargreaves Hill and Holgate Brewhouse. An interesting option is Lager from Keo, Cyprus. 

CH James has developed an amazing courtyard area next to a church, featuring plantings of fruit trees and fresh herbs used in its cooking.

This is a great new addition to the northern suburbs and Melbourne. CH James has character in spades and boasts several attractive dining spaces. Service is top-notch, the coffee excellent, and the menu compelling and on-trend. It is highly recommended.

Proud Mary - Collingwood

Nestled in warehouse-like premises in Collingwood, Proud Mary, with its uber fit-out, is the coffee summit. Inspired by owner Nolan Hirte, it exudes a rarefied air of coffee excellence. Hirte's stamp of excellence is on every aspect of ambience, passion, coffee sophistication and exceptional cuisine.

 Proud Mary is a benchmark for roasters and coffee lovers in Melbourne and, along with its sophistication, has the charm of a riverboat queen. Just listening to Nolan speak about his trips to source the world's best coffee and his belief that great coffee can bring change is contagious and inspirational. 

When he speaks about his recent trip to South America, there's excitement.

The breakfast rush is on every day, and the place is humming after 8 am. A great option is to have breakfast here and then go on into the city for work.  

Great breakfast here with the Potato Hash a standout for me – featuring a large crispy not too greasy hash brown with stringy fibres of potato with crispy bacon, buttery spinach, a poached egg and bagna cauda. Too good! Especially with a great coffee.

Camus - Northcote

Camus is a revelation in Northcote; behind the humble entrance is a world of chic and nuance with French Algerian cuisine at its finest. The World Loves Melbourne was invited to experience Camus for a Friday luncheon.

Michelin star chef Pierre Khodja (below) is having fun with his playful menu, expressing his soul and childhood fantasies. Melbourne needed this restaurant, even in a sea of launches and openings. 

Honest food served with sophistication, vibrant colours on the plate and subtle use of spices. We remember Pierre from Terminus on the Mornington Peninsula, where he earned a hat four years running and where we were mesmerised by his cooking.

Industry Beans - Fitzroy

Industry Beans has been making a big impression since it opened recently as a quintessential Melbourne cafe with a nondescript entrance (off Rose St Fitzroy), chic fit-out and top-grade coffee and cuisine. 

Set back from the street, you enter a semi-industrial world of creative space and transformation. High ceilings and interesting panelling combine with funky lighting and attractive tiling along the counter. This ex-warehouse now has the feel of a large studio.

They visited once. I returned three times in a week to sample more of the menu and the coffee. I couldn't get enough. I found Industry Beans a great cafe to relax, imbibe, and check my emails and tweets. Brothers Trevor and Steve Simmons have done wonders with this space.

Industry beans is a serious coffee (and tea) destination. One can get fooled into thinking the food might be secondary - it's not. The breakfast menu is creative and not the same old same old... Options include Deep-fried Duck eggs and Avocado smash. The philosophy is to use the best ingredients and make dishes and components in-house.

Industry Beans pours a mean coffee. Single origins from Panama, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nicaragua. Filters and pour-overs. Check out the Roaster on site. The dude who took my breakfast order then proceeded to the Roaster to give the beans a bit of a stir. 

Resources:

The Top 10 Restaurants In Melbourne's Northern Suburbs

Top 10 Eateries In The Inner North

Melbourne Restaurants Northern Suburbs

North Melbourne

Scroll to Top