The simple yet memorable restaurant and bar you've been searching for.
Gary Brun
Published on June 02, 2023
Updated on August 28, 2023


Lygon Street doesn't have any shortage of Italian wine bars, but Agostino is certainly notable — if not due to its food and wine offering, then because of its history. Making its home in the strip's King and Godfree building — that recently reopened after a huge multi-year renovation and relaunch — Agostino was named in a nod to one of the area's original Italian food pioneers. It's a homage to Vincenza-born Carlo Valmorbida, the man who originally opened grocery store Frank Agostino's and whose family has owned (and continues to run) the building since 1955.

The space itself boasts a rich riot of textures against clean lines, brought to life under the guidance of award-winning Melbourne architect Chris Connell. You'll spy further collaborative efforts in the commissioned collection of ceramics, featuring exclusive pieces by local artist Shari Lowndes.

agostino - wine bar melbourne - carlton lygon street

From the kitchen, comes a food offering that's concise, yet punchy, starring drinking fare with a clear northern Italian lean. You might find plates like grilled octopus teamed with nduja new potatoes and salsa verde; sardine beccafico with bread crumb, pine nuts and parsley; and a calamari fritti with lemon.

But it's the wine program that takes centre stage, heroing a diverse spread of drops from across Australia and the homeland, including a rotation of tap wine. A solid retail selection offers bottles to enjoy in-house or at home, while the temperature controlled cellar plays host to a covetable reserve list, filled with rare labels that have been housed here for years. It's all backed by a classic-leaning cocktail lineup and a beer list offering both local brews and Italian craft labels.

Drop by Agostino for an after-work drink, then finish off with a scoop of Pidapipo on the way home.

agostino - wine bar melbourne - carlton lygon street


Appears in:

The Best Wine Bars in Melbourne for 2023


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