Melbourne is a city of over 4 million people, is truly muli-cultural with people from all over the world living there and throughout the year it plays host to many of Australia's major sporting and cultural events. For these reasons the city has an abundant supply of great places to eat ranging from exclusive restaurants and trendy tapas bars through to affordable yet high quality dining, great pub meals and cheap take-away food. In respect of its true multi-cultural nature the city of Melbourne has a wide variety of food outlets serving different cuisines from countries all over the world.
Of course there are plenty of places to eat in the Melbourne CBD and the other inner city suburbs but Melbourne also has plenty of restaurants, cafes and fast-food outlets throughout the smaller shopping strips that are spread out all over the outer suburbs as well. A great thing about Melbourne is that it features a number of large restaurant precincts which attract visitors to the city and Melbournians back to these areas again and again. Some of these restaurant precincts even have a common theme to the dishes that they serve, such as 'Little Italy' in Lygon Street Carlton, 'Little India' in Dandenong and 'Little Vietnam' in Victoria Street Richmond.
Some of the most popular and largest restaurant precincts in Melbourne are :
- Lygon Street Carlton - referred to as 'Little Italy' this famous street has a huge variety of different cafes and restaurants serving mainly Italian food, but also many other cuisines. Lygon Street also has a number of trendy bars, wine houses, ice cream shops and places where you can get a delicious dessert until late in the evening.
- Chinatown in the Melbourne CBD - located on Little Bourke Street in the middle of the city centre Chinatown is filled with all sorts of different oriental restaurants ranging from budget places to eat through to the exclusive Flower Drum which is often regarded as Melbourne's finest restaurant.
- Federation Square in the Melbourne CBD - located on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Streets this popular meeting place for tourists and Melbournians has lots of fine dining restaurants in a relaxed semi-outdoor atmosphere.
- Southbank Waterfront - this precinct has plenty of quality restaurants overlooking the Yarra River and providing travellers with a unique dining experience.
- Crown Casino Southbank - within the crown casino itself you will find plenty of affordable dining options including the food courts and other restaurants, whilst along the Yarra River waterfront you will find many exclusive dining restaurants.
- Docklands Waterfront - located along the waterfront of the Docklands precinct are lots of fine dining restaurants that provide a truly unique dining experience.
- Chapel Street & Toorak Road South Yarra - this area extends a long way along both streets and is filled with plenty of place to eat including quality restaurants and affordable food outlets to suit all budgets and tastes.
- Bridge Road Richmond - along this road you will discover many trendy cafes, tapas bars, affordable take-away outlets and fine dining restaurants serving different cuisines from around the world.
- Victoria Street Richmond - known for its wide range of delicious Vietnamese restaurants this popular area has lots of restaurants serving foods that cater to all budgets.
- Hardware Lane in the Melbourne CBD - positioned between Little Bourke and Lonsdale Streets in the city this quaint laneway in one of Melbourne's best keep secrets. It features many fine restaurants set in a cosy alfresco environment
- Acland & Fitzroy Street St Kilda - these famous food precincts are filled with lovely restaurants, cosmoplitan cafes, take-away shops and everything in between. After a delightful meal you should have a delicious dessert at one of Acland Street's many famous cake shops.
- Foster & Mason Streets Dandenong - this area is commonly known as 'Little India' and here you will find a selection of delicious Indian food and sweets shops.
- Williamstown Waterfront - situated along Nelson Place here you will discover an array of casual and fine dining that will suit any budget.
- Church Street Brighton - this exclusive suburb has a selection of great dining options and cosmopolitan cafes that delight in making your feel like royalty.