One of Melbourne’s leading suburbs in terms of restaurants and cafés, Brunswick East is any foodie’s heaven.
The main drag Lygon Street is heaving with delicious and diverse options on nearly every corner. Locals can eat out every day of the week, for both lunch and dinner, and still have options left.
Yet with such a huge number of restaurants in Brunswick East, there’s definitely some hits and misses amongst the mix. To avoid such a dining experience occurring, we’ve put together a list of the best eateries in the neighbourhood. Enjoy!
One of Brunswick East’s favourite neighbourhood restaurants, Bar Idda is a Sicilian eatery situated within a homey 100-year-old historical building. Owner Alfredo La Spina wants his guests to feel right at home and it’s hard not to when you experience the community atmosphere and Italian home cooking available here.
Seasonal produce brings to life some of Sicily’s most signature dishes like barbeque swordfish, housemade cavatelli pasta, saffron smoked scamorza arancini, cassata ricotta cake and lemon granita.
Open Monday to Sunday from 6 – 10pm.
132 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
East Brunswick Hotel
With a history dating back to the 1880s, East Brunswick Hotel is somewhat of a Melbourne institution. It’s still a boutique hotel, as well as an upstairs cocktail bar and balcony, but we’re all about the public bar on the ground floor.
Punters can look forward to ordering beers being by the pot, schooner or pint. There’s also a nice little wine list and the food menu is all about offering Australian pub classics. Expect sharing bar snacks, pasta, grilled steaks, juicy burgers and favourites like chicken parma and beer-battered fish and chips. East Brunswick Hotel is a local you can always count on!
Open Monday from 5 – 11pm, Tuesday to Sunday from 11am – 11pm (Fridays and Saturdays until 1am).
280 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
Mankoushe is a Middle Eastern restaurant run by two brothers that’s well known for serving some of Melbourne’s best pizzas. You might not connect pizzas with the Middle East, but one trip here and you’ll soon understand.
Fill up on pies like Palestini curried lamb with almond tahini, in-house Turkish sausage with babaganouj or vegetarian numbers covered with toppings like Iraqi tomato sauce, grilled eggplant and sautéed cauliflowers. There’s also a great range of authentic mezze dishes for sharing, which is just another reason why it’s one of Melbourne’s best Middle Eastern restaurants.
Open Wednesday to Friday from 5 – 10pm, weekends from 12 – 10pm.
323 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
Matsumoto Japanese Restaurant
Sometimes all you want is some damn-good Japanese food. It doesn’t have to be from a fancy place, nor does it need to cost an arm and a leg. That’s where Matsumoto Japanese Restaurant comes in, a charming spot on Lygon Street that serves uber-fresh sushi and sashimi.
The deluxe sushi boats could well be the best thing we’ve ever seen, presented before you at the table in grand proportions. Other top recommendations include the flame-seared Wagyu beef nigiri, the soft shell crab karaage and traditional mains like chicken katsu curry and grilled eel donburi.
Open Monday to Sunday from 11:30am – 10:30pm.
48 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
The 400 Gradi restaurants serve some of Melbourne’s best pizzas and thankfully there’s one right in Brunswick East on the corner of Lygon and Weston streets. A skilled team of pizzaioli at this pizzeria whip up Neapolitan-style pies which are simply not to be missed.
Guests can order classics like Bufalina with fresh buffalo mozzarella, Diavola with hot salami, Napoletana with anchovies, or of course the Margherita Cerace which was awarded the world’s best pizza in 2014. After your meal, we recommend checking out the hand-churned gelato served next door at Zero Gradi.
Open Monday to Sunday from 12 – 11pm.
99 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
Nothing short of an absolute Greek gem, Hellenic Republic serves authentic fresh food inspired by the Mediterranean. Sourcing quality ingredients from both Greece and Melbourne, this inviting tavern whips up dishes straight from grandma’s recipe book.
The mains cooked over coals are unmissable – especially the local baby octopus, swordfish and pork belly. Factor in a spacious and bustling dining space on the corner of Stewart Street and you’ve got a great lunch or dinner out in Brunswick East.
Open Monday to Thursday from 5:30 – 9:30pm, Friday to Sunday from 12 – 3pm and 5:30 – 9:30pm.
434 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
From an unassuming corner on Lygon Street, locals can savour some of the best BBQ food in Melbourne. Lead by head chef and pit boss Chris Terlikar, Bluebonnet Barbecue is inspired by the thriving BBQ scene in the United States and eating here offers a real mouth-watering experience.
There’s small plates for sharing, while the speciality meats are available in 100g or 200g servings. Sink your teeth into Black Angus brisket, smoked then fried chicken or ribs glazed in bourbon, acho and peach sauce. There’s also a bar onsite pouring close to 100 types of whisky.
Open Monday to Thursday from 5pm – 12am, Friday and Saturday from 12pm – 1am, Sunday from 12 – 11pm.
124-126 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
Guests are made to feel right at home at Etta, a neighbourhood eatery that aims to welcome, excite and comfort. While it’s true that maybe not all homes are this sophisticated, the hospitality and personable service on offer here is as genuine as it comes.
The team behind this Brunswick East spot enjoy celebrating the quality of Victoria’s local produce, sourcing fresh and artisan ingredients to create a modern menu of inspiring seasonal dishes. The wine list is also superb. Take note, there’s limited seats at Etta and reservations are essential.
Afternoon winter sun warming up our bar. Doors are open at 5 ☀️ 🍷
Open Tuesday to Friday from 5 – 11pm, weekends from 12 – 1pm.
60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057