Melbourne's central business district is a buzzing hub of activity from morning to… well, the next morning. From Fed Square to glitzy Collins Street boutiques, there are plenty of destinations to work up an appetite. As a result, it's perhaps no surprise that some of the city's best restaurants are in the CBD to fuel the fast-paced lifestyle. Here are five of our all-time faves.
Red Spice Road
A meal at Red Spice Road takes you on a little journey through the flavours of Southeast Asia. If you're torn between Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese tonight, you'll find a masterful mix of all of the above on the menu. The food's overseen by talented executive chef John McLeay, an alum of popular seafood joint Livebait. The man clearly knows his way around a prawn, dressed here in a refreshing pickled carrot and papaya salad or wrapped into crispy spring rolls. But you'll also find lamb, beef, pork and chicken cooked in coriander-scented curries and glazed with chilli caramel. It's a stylish, modern take on your typical Thai.
The CBD lunchtime crowd flocks to Massi for high-flying Italian cuisine straight out of Sicily. It's the little brother of Chef Joseph Vargetto's Mister Bianco restaurant, named after his son Massimo. Dining at Massi is a little bit like being welcomed into the family, with comforting house-made pasta dishes, cannoli and bottles of red. It's also perfect for business lunches. The sharing dish menu invites you to put your heads together over a table laden with fried calamari, meatballs and pickled olives. There's no better way to inspire brilliance.
Some of Melbourne's tastiest treats make you work a bit to find them. Shandong Mama is a tiny canteen hidden away in a Bourke Street shopping arcade, turning out batches of handmade, crazy-tasty dumplings each day. You won't find fish dumplings like these anywhere else, stuffed by hand with mackerel mince, ginger, coriander and chives. Combos like pork and fresh dill or chicken with shepherd's purse are the flavours you never knew you needed in your life. Don't miss the Melbourne dumpling, a multi-culti love letter to the city with a combination of mixed seafood, chicken, olive oil, lemon, garlic and parsley.
A glittering bistro and cocktail bar, Nieuw Amsterdam brings all the glamour of the Big Apple to the CBD. The menu offers a modern Aussie take on American comfort food. The mac and cheese comes with bacon jelly, the chicken nuggets with salsa verde and roasted garlic mayo. You'll be smacking your lips with down-home dishes like BBQ brisket with fried potato salad or smoked chicken with summer slaw. Are you drooling yet or is it just us? Don't miss out on the uber-classy cocktail list, including the 'Poor Tom's old fashioned' with French earl grey syrup and Vietnamese mint.
Are you looking for a meal to remember in Melbourne's CBD? Place your order from Deliveroo and our riders will bring the best in the biz to your home or business.