>Stokehouse, 30 Jacka Boulevard, St. Kilda
The Stokehouse is a bit of a Melbourne institution, located right by the water on the St. Kilda beachfront. Downstairs is casual dining and drinks, with an outdoor terrace – great for anytime of the day or night. We used to come here when I had no money and sit for hours over a coffee, watching the St. Kilda people roller-blading by. Upstairs is fine dining, with similar spectacular views across the bay.
Soul Mama, St. Kilda Sea Baths, Jacka Boulevard, St. Kilda
Great vegetarian food and fantastic cocktails, with spectacular views across the bay.
Café Tien Tien, 217 Barkly Street, St. Kilda
A wonderful Chinese/Singaporean restaurant with a great wine list and fascinating décor including a genuine Buddhist shrine. Food is beautifully presented and service is impeccable.
Chinta Ria Soul, 92 Acland Street, St. Kilda
This is the first Malaysian restaurant I ever visited, and my niece had to order for me! The food blew me away the first time, and every time since. The music is laid-back, and you don’t have far to fall to find a great cake shop for dessert afterwards.
Café Barcelona, 25 Fitzroy St., St Kilda
They say the food isn’t completely authentic, but it’s still delicious. Sit on the sidewalk and sip a sangria and let them bring you a parade of tapas as you watch the world go by. (but check out my more recent review for a cautionary tale)
Vineyard, 71A Acland St., St Kilda
It’s a bit of a see-and-be-seen spot, but a truly democratic crowd from locals to backpackers to people just off the beach. Modern Australian food, a decent winelist and buzzy atmosphere.
Cicciolina, 130 Acland St., St Kilda
A Melbourne institution, Cicciolina’s is reputed to be the best Italian restaurant in Melbourne. Owned and run by women, this cosy restaurant is the favourite eatery of many of Melbourne’s biggest chefs – and I guess they know their stuff. The back bar is where Melbourne’s finest wait for their (unbookable) table, and the wine list is legendary.
Mr. Wolf, 9-15 Inkerman St, St Kilda
We ate here one very hot Melbourne Sunday with friends who have just moved in to a new town house across the road from this bar/restaurant. As as result the place was deserted, most people having fled to the beach. Secondly the air-conditioning had not been adjusted accordingly so by the end of our meal I was fast approaching frostbite. That said, the pizzas were light and delicious. Toppings such as the Signore Lupo (roast tomato, roast cauliflower, mozzarella, sausage, pancetta and chilli) and the Patate (potato, taleggio, parmigiano and rosemary) make for innovative dining, and the wine list is decent enough too.