In Melbourne, a city full of food and obsessed by coffee, I cook, I eat, I share the good news and the bad. essjay eats

Review: Donnini’s Lygon Street

Every time we go to Donnini’s I ask myself why we don’t get here more often. I guess we take them for granted, but are thankful for their commitment to good food on a street that has a mistaken reputation for good food.


Apparently New Year’s Day is their busiest day of the year and they don’t take bookings for it. We seem to often end up here on New Year’s Day, but didn’t have to wait long tonight. Just a few minutes wait under the tree then we were offered an outside table.

One thing I dislike about outside dining in Melbourne is that people smoke at outside tables. They can’t smoke inside restaurants or bars, but they can if a restaurant is set up “properly”. Thankfully, Donnini’s isn’t set up in a way that allows patrons to smoke while sitting at the table. Yay I say!

JB was taken by the Springbay Mussel soup; 3 lovely big mussels in a tasty tomato broth, with just a touch of chilli.


I started with tomoto, basil and mozzarella salad.


I was pleasantly surprised; like I said, I seem to have to always remind myself about the commitment to quality here, I don’t know why. I was expecting some (hopefully) ripe roma tomatoes, with rubbery mozzarella and some generic olive oil. What I received was 3 or four varieties of tomatoes, thinly sliced, coated with a verdant “grassy” olive oil, crumbled “real” mozzarella, and sliced basil; perfectly season, perfectly delicious!

Then we shared one of their delicious, thin crust pizzas – this time topped with leek and pancetta.

Oops! almost forgot the photo as we tucked in.

$70 for two with one glass of wine, and one mineral water.

Worth every penny!

320 Lygon St
Carlton VIC 3053
(03) 9347 3128

Between Faraday and Grattan.


2 thoughts on “Review: Donnini’s Lygon Street

  • You’re not alone in that, the trio seems to very popular. We might go an interesting pasta, but the pizza is really good! And the salads can be inspired.

    Comment from: essjayeats

  • I love Donnini’s, I think it’s underrated because it’s not flashy, but it serves consistently good food. In fact, my menu choice never varies (even though that is not normally my style) – always go for the pasta trio!

    Jetsetting Joyce

    Comment from: Jetsetting Joyce (MEL: HOT OR NOT)

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