When you hear people talking about restaurants and eateries, more often than not they are talking about what’s new or who’s just opened down the street. But what happened to the classics? The stalwarts... the institutions?
We love new concepts, but we also believe that old is gold, and that is why we’ve compiled this list of Melbourne institutions that have survived and thrived in the Melbourne food scene for many years. Take some time this long weekend to check one (or a few) of them out!
Blue Chillies is a modern Malaysian restaurant situated in the heart of Fitzroy. Having opened doors in 1999, Blue Chillies has been faithfully serving Melbourne for over 15 years, serving up authentic and affordable hawker-style Malaysian food in a beautiful space. Without doubt, they bring the best tastes and flavours from KL and Penang. Favourites to try include their Hainanese chicken rice, chicken satay and specialty Duck rendang dishes. Not to mention, make sure you match these great flavours to their extensive and wide ranging wine list.
Blue Chillies - 182 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC, 9417 0071
After fleeing Zagreb to France as a refugee and later landing in Melbourne, the odds were stacked against Vlado Gregurek. So what did he do? Create the most famous steak restaurant in Melbourne, which has been running continuously since 1964. Behind the simple brick exterior is a restaurant renowned for its incredible meat and impeccable service.
Vlados - 61 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121, 9428 5833
Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, Flower Drum is possibly the most decorated restaurant ever to grace Melbourne, making the Restaurant Magazine Top 50 on several occasions. Outstanding service and delectable Cantonese food are what you can expect from this institution.
Flower Drum - 17 Market Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, 9662 3655
Cicciolina has been one of Acland Street’s most loved restaurants since its opening in 1993. As well as serving up exquisite authentic Italian cuisine, Cicciolina is known for its extensive wine list, which regularly features over 250 wines from around the world. A hot tip - go for their Steak sandwich. Its a random little item on their menu...but its most likely to be the best in town.
Cicciolina - 130 Acland St, St Kilda VIC 3182, 9525 3333
For 31 years, this scruffy little restaurant nestled between hairdressers, cafes and bars along Smith St is a little dive gem that has been serving up to locals Melbourne's best peking duck. Think crispy wafer thin duck skin layered on top of juicy succulent duck meat packed together with plum sauce, crunchy cucumber and spring onions wrapped in an ever so delicate 'see-thru' pancake. Each duck comes to you carefully carved and lashes of meat and crispy skin, steamed pancakes and vegetable await your senses.
Old Kingdom - 197 Smith Street, Fitzroy, 9417 2438
Copperwood has been a Lygon Street stalwart since 1956, serving up classic Italian cuisine in a relaxed setting, with the sound of smooth jazz playing in the background. No one does the classics better, with the gnocchi and pappardelle being unrivalled in Melbourne.
Copperwood - 318 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, 9347 1799
Located down a quiet laneway off bustling Little Bourke St in Chinatown sits probably the most known and talked about place at 2am. Easily afforded its 'institution status', Supper Inn has been home to classic Cantonese-style Chinese dishes and seafood for over 33 years. Going upstairs you'll have a 'Back-to-the-Future' moment, where the restaurant looks pretty much like it did when it first opened, with 80's timber panelling and retro-grade brown carpets and doors and conference-style chairs. Awaiting to serve you are still some of the original waiters from the early days, but you'll enjoy a wide range of noodle, rice, seafood dishes that will 'whet your appetite' for that 2am recovery.
Supper Inn - 15 Celestial Ave, Melbourne, 9663-4759