The perfect road trip would be tragically incomplete without good food. For the true Melbourne experience, it’s vital that you include some of the latest developments in Victoria’s food scene on your itinerary.

The previous year saw a huge number of must-try restaurants popping up across town. Here are our top picks for 2017’s new restaurants.

1. Osteria Ilaria

Osteria Illaria’s kitchen is headed by chef Andrea Papadakis, who serves up Italian food, with a glimpse at other European cuisine. This restaurant and wine bar offers a modern reinvention of a classic Italian osteria.

In a bold move, Papadakis’ menu has almost completely said goodbye to pasta – with the exception of a paccheri dish. Enormous tubes of pasta sit atop sauces of vibrant tomato and gently herbal sorrel. The dish is finished with Crystal Bay prawns and a drizzling of rich prawn-oil, which tie together its simple, but perfectly executed, elements.

None should look past the rest of the menu, however – mushroom croquettes or stuffed courgette flowers are just the start of Osteria Ilaria’s modern classics.

2. Wilson & Market

Wilson & Market is a massive endeavour – a restaurant, bar, cafe and wine cellar in one, found in Prahran. With an array of boutique wines, diners can select a bottle for purchase from the cellar and simply add corkage to drink on-site alongside a meal.

The interiors of Wilson & Market are luxe, but unpretentious. Formal place settings are made more welcoming by clean lighting and simple decor.

Head chef Paul Wilson focuses on showcasing seasonal, biodynamic and organic produce through big flavours. Fish procured from Australia’s premium fishing grounds is accompanied by seasonal condiments, cooked over a wood barbecue as a fillet or on the bone. Meanwhile, a range of vegetarian and shellfish dishes are prepared with finesse.

3. Etta

For culinary inspiration from all over the world, Etta is the place to go. The menu can be defined as Australian with strong influences from the multi-national people of the area, meaning hints of Italian, Greek, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines can be found.

Half of Etta’s menu is plant-based fare, inviting the conscious diners of today. The bar and 80-seat dining room are separated by an open kitchen, allowing you to watch in anticipation as your dish of tamari-roasted buttercup squash and dairy-free sunflower cream is immaculately plated.

For a unique experience you can pay $65 to have your dishes chosen by the chefs.

The best way to get between Melbourne’s best new restaurants is by car. Be sure to pick up your very own rental at either of our Melbourne CBD car hire or Melbourne Airport car rental locations before you begin your culinary tour. For any questions about your rental, get in touch with us today.