Just halfway through 2023, and Melbourne’s dining scene is already brimming with a bounty of fantastic new restaurant openings.
Best Melbourne Restaurant Openings 2023 – Ranging from cozy Italian bistros to high-rise dining destinations, these culinary newcomers are bringing fresh flavours and experiences to our city. Let’s dive into the highlights of the year so far.
Aoi Tsuki: South Yarra’s Hidden Gem
After gaining popularity during lockdown with their much-loved sushi boxes, chefs Tei Gim and Jun Pak have finally unveiled their dream project, Aoi Tsuki, a 12-seat omakase restaurant in South Yarra. The duo, boasting experience from renowned kitchens of Kisumé, Nobu, and Kenzan, initially embraced a delivery model to establish their brand amid pandemic restrictions. Now they are set to fully express their deep understanding of Japanese cuisine, with the flexibility to serve a diverse range of dishes, no longer limited by delivery constraints. Their 20-course omakase menu changes daily, emphasizing seasonal ingredients, and places particular emphasis on the quality of their sushi rice. Aoi Tsuki represents their philosophy of always going the “one more step” in every aspect, from interior design to the culinary experience.
384 Punt Road, South Yarra
Henrietta: The Hottest Chick In Town
Henrietta redefines the humble chicken shop. Drawing inspiration from Middle Eastern flavours and uniting them with modern Aussie charm, Henrietta’s charcoal-grilled treats are a game-changer. With a beautifully designed interior that evokes a chic Lebanese aura, the spot is perfect for dining adventures and casual catch-ups alike. Indulge in their richly varied menu or opt for a banquet option to experience the full depth of their offerings, paired with some impeccably curated drinks. With Henrietta, Melbourne’s dynamic dining scene just got more exciting.
75 Chapel St, Windsor VIC 3181
Cityfields, Chadstone: An Unexpected Culinary Haven
Nestled within Chadstone’s dynamic Social Quarter is the two-storey powerhouse Cityfields. In its unique blend of Vegas and LA vibes, you’ll find an engaging bar, an outdoor terrace, private dining areas, and a sought-after rooftop bar. From addictive potato doughnuts paired with fondue to hearty mains like wood-fired steaks, Cityfields has crafted an impressive menu that far exceeds mall-dining expectations. And for those with a sweet tooth? There’s a delightful selection of cakes on their moving dessert trolley to end your meal on a sweet note.
Chadstone Shopping Centre, 1341 Dandenong Road, Chadstone
Atria: Sky-High Dining
On the 80th floor of Melbourne’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel lies Atria, a restaurant that takes dining to new heights—literally and figuratively. Gaze at the breathtaking city views as hot-air balloons glide past your window while you dine. The talented team, boasting renowned names in the culinary world, curates an à la carte menu featuring high-quality steaks and vegetable delicacies. Lesser-known fish and seafood also make a feature, echoing Executive Chef Michael Greenlaw’s personal passions.
The Ritz-Carlton, 80 Collins Street, Melbourne
Loey’s: Italian-American By The Beach
Louey’s Bar & Kitchen is the fresh addition to an iconic pub in St Kilda. Taking the place of a previous kitchen, it’s set to debut with an Italian-American menu and an energetic, welcoming atmosphere. Louey’s, with its stylish interior and lively entertainment, transforms dining into an engaging experience. The venue features a house band, DJs, and unique brunch sessions, ensuring every visit is an event. Blending casual and elegance, bookings are now available for this distinctive culinary destination.
The Esplanade, St Kilda
North & Common: The Old Prison Turned Foodie Heaven
North & Common has quickly gained acclaim with its Good Food Guide hat. Located in Pentridge, the former prison cafeteria has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant, delivering delectable, seasonal dishes that range from citrus cured kingfish to spatchcock with confit shallot and fermented chilli.
1 Pentridge Boulevard, Coburg
Dolly at Le Meridien: Hollywood Glamour in Melbourne
Dolly at Le Meridien is all about capturing the golden era of Hollywood. Enjoy an unforgettable meal in a setting that resonates with cinematic history. The menu combines a European style with a Melbourne twist, served up in an enchantingly nostalgic atmosphere. A great addition to our Best Melbourne Restaurant Openings list.
Le Meridien, 20 Bourke Street, Melbourne
Saint Hotel, St Kilda: A Multi-Level Feast for the Senses
Welcome to Saint Hotel, a multi-tiered gastronomic paradise housed inside St Kilda’s iconic Saint building. Executive Chef Gary Lai helms Saint Dining, which brings fine dining flair and a produce-driven menu built around a Josper charcoal grill.
54 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Hellenic House Project: A Welcome Return
George Calombaris is back with his new eatery, Hellenic House Project, creating excitement and warmth that’s typical of his renowned style. From casual Greek street food to the more formal Good Room, guests will be treated to unique and delectable dishes. The cosy atmosphere offers a Greek island experience in the heart of Melbourne. George’s gregarious grin and humble welcome complete this exciting new venture, and to that, we say a warm Filoxenia – Welcome Back.
515 Highett Road, Highett, VIC, 3190
Beverly Rooftop, South Yarra: Luxurious Foodie Escape
The Beverly Rooftop combines the allure of Beverly Hills with breathtaking views of Melbourne. The Southern Californian-influenced menu offers dishes like salmon carpaccio and wagyu steak, along with a selection of expertly crafted cocktails and wines.
Goldfields House, Level 24, 627 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Yan, South Yarra: Asian Smokehouse
From Sydney to Melbourne, Yan’s unique smoke-kissed flavours have not only earned its dedicated following. And a coveted Chef Hat from the Good Food Guide. Originally rooted in the humble suburb of Wolli Creek, Yan has, since 2019, developed a near-cult status for its contemporary twist on Chinese and Japanese smoking techniques. First, they started with smoke-infused meats. Then expanded to seafood and vegetables. All kissed by the warmth of a charcoal grill. Consequently, Yan has made itself a magnet for gastronomes far and wide.
22 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
What a year it’s already been for Melbourne’s culinary culture! These venues have set a high bar for Best Melbourne Restaurant Openings 2023, offering diverse, exceptional dining experiences. As we anticipate what’s next for the remainder of 2023, these promising restaurants are the spots to watch and visit. Here’s to a year of delicious exploration in Melbourne’s vibrant dining scene. What are your best restaurant openings this year? Flick me an email email@example.com and I can add it to our list!