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Le Bon Ton, Melbourne.
Le Bon Ton, Melbourne.
Photo: Facebook

The Eater Melbourne Heatmap: Where to Eat Right Now

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Le Bon Ton, Melbourne.
| Photo: Facebook

Today, Eater returns to Melbourne, Australia to focus on 10 exciting, newish restaurants and bars heating up the city's dining scene. As was the case last time around, local restaurant expert Sharlee Gibb returns to kindly share her picks for the hottest drinking and dining openings of the past 12 months.

Leading off the map's offerings is a white-hot new destination restaurant from chef Dan Hunter, located in the nearby countryside (Brae). In Melbourne proper, there's a popular new restaurant that combines oysters, barbecue, cocktails, absinthe, and more (Le Bon Ton), as well as Melbourne's first-ever tickets-based restaurant with a revolving menu (Prix Fixe). Chef Daniel Salcedo has opened a Chinese-Mexican fusion concept (La Chinesca), while Melbourne stole chef Victor Liong away from Sydney to open a modern Chinese restaurant (Lee Ho Fook). Here now, the Eater Heatmap to Melbourne:


Tried any of the places on the list or feel there are any glaring omissions? You know what to do.

· All Melbourne Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Eater Heatmaps [-E-]

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Brae

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4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra
VIC 3242, Australia
+61 3 5236 2226
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Brae, "the new benchmark for Australian cooking and restaurant craft." Chef Dan Hunter has opened his destination dining room and gardens 90 minutes outside of Melbourne to much acclaim. Crafting what's on the plate with what the land around him provides — there is a touch of native ingredients — the results are magical. [Photo: Brae]

2. Babu Ji

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4-6 Grey st, St Kilda
VIC, Australia
This delightful St Kilda newbie next to Melbourne Wine room is a Southside addition from Jessi and Jennifer Singh, who gave the city Horn Please in Fitzroy. The generous menu is a colourful mix of street-style snacks, kathi rolls, and regional curries. No one leaves without trying the milky cardamom, honey, and pistachio kulfi. [Photo: Facebook]

3. La Chinesca

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71 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
+61 3 9663 8333
Visit Website

The name just rolls off your tongue and makes you do a little dance. Only two weeks old and bang on the fusion food trend, in this case it's Chinese-Mexican. Hot chef Daniel Salcedo (Piqueos) is bringing big hits of chili to this Collins Street basement restaurant and bar. With a 3 a.m. license, it's food to groove to. [Photo: Facebook]

4. Le Bon Ton

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51 Gipps St, Collingwood
VIC 3066, Australia
+61 3 9416 4341

Melbourne's current fascination with all things Southern (think fried chicken, cheese fries, brisket, and pecan pie) has just stepped up a notch with the opening of Le Bon Ton. It's an oyster salon, smokehouse, cocktail bar, and absinthe house all rolled it to one…and open til 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. [Photo: Facebook]

5. Lee Ho Fook

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92 Smith St., Collingwood
VIC, Australia
Melburnians love it when they get one up on Sydney and the arrival of chef Victor Liong (Mr Wong, Marque) from our Northern friends gives us all the more reason to gloat. Liong is delivering a new-style Chinese with finessed flavours and a deft touch. The crispy eggplant has already reached cult status as the must-have dish. Whispers say a relocation to a CBD laneway is imminent. [Photo: Facebook]

6. lot 347

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347 Smith Street, Melbourne
VIC 3065, Australia
+61 3 9417 2347

Lot 347 is a craft beer bar — what's not to like about that? On tap, there's Mountain Goat, Moon Dog, White Rabbit, Two Birds, so it sounds like there's a running theme here. The food is suitably matched to accompany lots of beer and cider drinking, such as pulled pork sliders and grilled chorizo. Its address is a heritage-listed auction house where owner Stephen Trainor's father worked as an auctioneer for 50 years. [Photo: Official Site]

7. Northern Light

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102 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia

The story of how the name came about isn't anywhere as compelling as the food hitting the pass at this Smith Street restaurant. Formally the ground-breaking Gigibaba, some might say it's a blessed site for a first venture by chef Adam Liston (Borrowed Space). There are hints of Japanese and Chinese in the menu comprising 20+ plates to be shared. [Photo: Facebook]

8. Prix Fixe

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Alfred place, Melbourne
VIC, Australia
The first of its kind in Melbourne, Prix Fixe sells tickets to their dining room, offering a revolving, inspired menu by gun chef Philippa Sibley (Albert St Food & Wine, Circa, Est Est Est). Current inspiration is A Midsummer Night's Dream, including a dessert called Bottom. Next month: The Whole Hog. [Photo: Facebook]

9. Stokehouse Pop-Up

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30 Jacka Blvd, St.kilda
VIC 3182, Australia
+61 3 9525 5555
After a devastating fire gutted the landmark Stokehouse building in January, Frank Van Haandel and team have pulled off a miracle and opened a beachside pop-up mashing together café and restaurant in a matter of weeks. It's white, light, breezy, and sophisticated. You can try barbecued lamb alfresco or devour Moreton Bay bug and prawn linguine inside while you hang with the beautiful people and watch the sunset over St Kilda beach. [Photo: Instagram]

10. Uncle

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188 Carlisle St, St Kilda
VIC 3182, Australia
+61 3 9041 2668
Visit Website
St Kilda welcomed modern Vietnamese to the 'hood late last year. The "uncles" are hospitality pros Rene Spence and chef Dai Duong. They have created a gorgeous space with multi-level stools, hanging lights, and patterned textiles. The easy-to-choose-from menu is cheeky, too, with dishes like crispy pigs ear banh mi, wrap-your-own pork belly, and monkey banana split. [Photo: Official Site]

1. Brae

4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra, VIC 3242, Australia
Brae, "the new benchmark for Australian cooking and restaurant craft." Chef Dan Hunter has opened his destination dining room and gardens 90 minutes outside of Melbourne to much acclaim. Crafting what's on the plate with what the land around him provides — there is a touch of native ingredients — the results are magical. [Photo: Brae]
4285 Cape Otway Rd, Birregurra
VIC 3242, Australia

2. Babu Ji

4-6 Grey st, St Kilda, VIC, Australia
This delightful St Kilda newbie next to Melbourne Wine room is a Southside addition from Jessi and Jennifer Singh, who gave the city Horn Please in Fitzroy. The generous menu is a colourful mix of street-style snacks, kathi rolls, and regional curries. No one leaves without trying the milky cardamom, honey, and pistachio kulfi. [Photo: Facebook]
4-6 Grey st, St Kilda
VIC, Australia

3. La Chinesca

71 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

The name just rolls off your tongue and makes you do a little dance. Only two weeks old and bang on the fusion food trend, in this case it's Chinese-Mexican. Hot chef Daniel Salcedo (Piqueos) is bringing big hits of chili to this Collins Street basement restaurant and bar. With a 3 a.m. license, it's food to groove to. [Photo: Facebook]
71 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

4. Le Bon Ton

51 Gipps St, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia

Melbourne's current fascination with all things Southern (think fried chicken, cheese fries, brisket, and pecan pie) has just stepped up a notch with the opening of Le Bon Ton. It's an oyster salon, smokehouse, cocktail bar, and absinthe house all rolled it to one…and open til 6 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. [Photo: Facebook]
51 Gipps St, Collingwood
VIC 3066, Australia

5. Lee Ho Fook

92 Smith St., Collingwood, VIC, Australia
Melburnians love it when they get one up on Sydney and the arrival of chef Victor Liong (Mr Wong, Marque) from our Northern friends gives us all the more reason to gloat. Liong is delivering a new-style Chinese with finessed flavours and a deft touch. The crispy eggplant has already reached cult status as the must-have dish. Whispers say a relocation to a CBD laneway is imminent. [Photo: Facebook]
92 Smith St., Collingwood
VIC, Australia

6. lot 347

347 Smith Street, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia

Lot 347 is a craft beer bar — what's not to like about that? On tap, there's Mountain Goat, Moon Dog, White Rabbit, Two Birds, so it sounds like there's a running theme here. The food is suitably matched to accompany lots of beer and cider drinking, such as pulled pork sliders and grilled chorizo. Its address is a heritage-listed auction house where owner Stephen Trainor's father worked as an auctioneer for 50 years. [Photo: Official Site]
347 Smith Street, Melbourne
VIC 3065, Australia

7. Northern Light

102 Smith Street, Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia

The story of how the name came about isn't anywhere as compelling as the food hitting the pass at this Smith Street restaurant. Formally the ground-breaking Gigibaba, some might say it's a blessed site for a first venture by chef Adam Liston (Borrowed Space). There are hints of Japanese and Chinese in the menu comprising 20+ plates to be shared. [Photo: Facebook]
102 Smith Street
Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia

8. Prix Fixe

Alfred place, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
The first of its kind in Melbourne, Prix Fixe sells tickets to their dining room, offering a revolving, inspired menu by gun chef Philippa Sibley (Albert St Food & Wine, Circa, Est Est Est). Current inspiration is A Midsummer Night's Dream, including a dessert called Bottom. Next month: The Whole Hog. [Photo: Facebook]
Alfred place, Melbourne
VIC, Australia

9. Stokehouse Pop-Up

30 Jacka Blvd, St.kilda, VIC 3182, Australia
After a devastating fire gutted the landmark Stokehouse building in January, Frank Van Haandel and team have pulled off a miracle and opened a beachside pop-up mashing together café and restaurant in a matter of weeks. It's white, light, breezy, and sophisticated. You can try barbecued lamb alfresco or devour Moreton Bay bug and prawn linguine inside while you hang with the beautiful people and watch the sunset over St Kilda beach. [Photo: Instagram]
30 Jacka Blvd, St.kilda
VIC 3182, Australia

10. Uncle

188 Carlisle St, St Kilda, VIC 3182, Australia
St Kilda welcomed modern Vietnamese to the 'hood late last year. The "uncles" are hospitality pros Rene Spence and chef Dai Duong. They have created a gorgeous space with multi-level stools, hanging lights, and patterned textiles. The easy-to-choose-from menu is cheeky, too, with dishes like crispy pigs ear banh mi, wrap-your-own pork belly, and monkey banana split. [Photo: Official Site]
188 Carlisle St, St Kilda
VIC 3182, Australia

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