To say the town of Melbourne has grown over the years would be an understatement. It is a totally different place from when I came here in 2010, mainly due to the increase in population. The best thing about the growth of this area is all the excellent restaurants that have come with it! We now have more foodie options than ever before and pretty much every cuisine imaginable.
I wanted to list in no particular order the 10 best Melbourne, Florida restaurants for people looking for a place to eat here. When I say Melbourne, I mean from Palm Bay all the way up to Suntree, and I’ve also included Melbourne Beach to Indian Harbor. I plan to do another post for the north side of Brevard County which will feature the ten best restaurants of Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Merritt Island and Satellite Beach. If you are in the south area of Brevard County, you definitely need to check out these awesome restaurants.
Umami Restaurant & Sushi Bar
Umami is without a doubt the best place to get sushi in Melbourne, Florida. This is saying a lot because there are upwards of thirty different sushi restaurants in this small area. You would not expect it from its strip mall location, but the atmosphere here is upscale and modern. What really sets Umami apart though is the food and we have so far loved everything on the menu.
There are about twenty different sushi rolls and each one is uniquely curated by the chef. Many feature ingredients I had never thought of like fried sweet potato curls or raw Japanese scallops. The menu ranges from extremely well done classic rolls to crazy creations for adventurous eaters.
They also offer a variety of Japanese dishes such as the umami mushrooms and bulgogi steak. You cannot go wrong with any of the tempura dishes for they have mastered the crispiest and lightest tempura batter that I have found around here. They even offer sushi and sashimi platters that are great for a whole group. Whether you are looking for a date night, a group dinner or a cheap lunch meal, Umami is a great spot for spectacular Japanese food.
Coaster's Pub and Biergarten
Whenever I am craving a burger, Coaster’s is my go-to spot. They are known for their burgers and bar food, as well as a selection of German favorites. Oktoberfest is celebrated here all through October with a selection of German delicacies like goulash and schnitzel and plenty of beer.
I have been here many times since I wrote this review and really need to update it. Since then, I frequently order the Black and Blue Burger, which is a massive burger topped with crispy bacon and savory blue cheese. Andrew on the other hand, often gets the Exotic Burger, which they offer every Saturday. The type of meat on the exotic burger is always rotating and he has had camel, elk, and kangaroo!
They also have some great appetizers like lightly fried shisito peppers, if you just want to have a bite with some beer. We enjoy coming here with friends for the lively atmosphere and I love sitting in the dog-friendly biergarten where Charlie can join us! This place can be busy on weekend’s, but it’s worth the wait!
El Ambia Cubano
For Cuban food in Melbourne, Florida, my favorite spot is El Ambia Cubano. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting here on the patio, listening to some salsa music while drinking a mojito. This down to earth spot serves up a variety of Cuban dishes including ropa veja, Cuban sandwiches and plantains.
My favorite items on the menu are the tender pork or the ropa veija, as they are extremely flavorful entrees that come with delicious beans and rice and plantains. They also have some amazing, authentic, appetizers like yuca fita and papa rejellna. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with the flan and a cup of Cuban coffee.
This downtown restaurant is located right across from Crane Creek and has an extremely charming island atmosphere. It is small spot, so make sure to call ahead if you have a large party. I find sitting outside to be the best followed by a walk around Downtown Melbourne to work off all that food!
You cannot talk about Melbourne Restaurants without mentioning The Mansion as it has become a local staple in the last decade. It’s hard to describe The Mansion because it is so many things. They serve everything from sandwiches to tacos to filet mignon, so there’s something on the menu for whatever mood you are in.
You can sit indoors, outdoors under a covered awning, and on the rooftop, which is the best spot in my opinion. I tend to stick with the fish tacos or a salad, however they do often have delicious, specials like the miso glazed salmon recently. Another thing I love about the Mansion is that they have over 60 beers on tap and they are always changing the selection! This is not surprising considering there is also an extensive Cellar where you can shop through hundreds of different kinds of wines and liquor.
It’s such a unique place and I really give them props for offering so much. The Mansion is a community gathering spot that every local has been to dozens of times. If you are visiting the area, come here to experience the eccentric beachy vibe of the Space Coast.
Mustard’s Last Stand
It may seem odd to have a hot dog stand on a list of top restaurants, but Mustard’s Last Stand is a Melbourne classic. There are two locations and they both serve about 40 different kinds of hotdogs! The combinations are seriously endless and we love trying new ones.
Our favorites include The Firecracker which has sriracha, cheese, garlic and French fires and the Discovery dog which has chili, cheese, salsa, onions and jalapenos. They even offer hot dogs deep fried in a tortilla which make for a seriously indulgent dinner. You can get fries with a variety of toppings as well. This is the perfect place to go after a day at the beach for a simple meal with a twist.
There aren’t a lot of restaurants in Melbourne Beach, but Ocean 302 has some foodie cuisine to satisfy most of my cravings. Foodie is probably the best way to describe it, as saying they just serve American cuisine would be a sever understatement. Ocean 302 has pizzas, sandwiches, steak and seafood on the menu all served in so many unique ways.
We tend to come here for a casual lunch or dinner, but you can make it a splurge meal if you want to order one of the dry aged steaks. The pizzas are my favorite as they get perfectly crispy in the brick oven. Lately we have been obsessed with Havana Nights pizza which is topped with ham, pork, gruyere, plaintains, pickles and mustard.
They are always coming out with new and exciting dishes being added at Ocean 302. The cocktails are inventive and there are tons of beer and wine options. The only downside is there isn’t outdoor seating, but there’s plenty of room inside to enjoy this farmhouse style restaurant rain or shine.
Yellow Dog Cafe
You will find Yellow Dog Café beautifully situated on the river making for a very romantic setting. Andrew and I have dined here for a couple of special occasions and are always impressed. The menu features seafood as well as French inspired cuisine.
The seafood options are our favorites with the potato crust salmon being the stand-out. The risotto and vegtables are also delectable and I have a hard time passing up the zesty cesar salad, prepared traditionally with anchovies. If you are looking for a multi-course meal than this is a great spot.
You can easily come here for a simple salad or sandwich lunch as well though! Despite the sophistication, Yellow Dog Café is a laid back restaurant where time slows down. Sitting by the river, you can really appreciate the nature of the area and we always find it to be a delicious and relaxing experience.
The Bearded Chef Food Truck
Adding The Bearded Chef Food Truck kind of felt like cheating since it’s not always located in Melbourne, but it was too good not to include! You can usually find the Bearded Chef outside of local breweries making the perfect food to go along with a refreshing beer.
We tried just about everything on the menu recently and I was blown away by the flavors. The menu is always changing, but the honey habanero loaded fries, bacon fried rice and a Gouda stuffed burger can usually be found in some delicious variation. Cheese and bacon are both heavily featured but the carnitas tacos with just radish and pico de gallo are equally as tasty.
The biggest surprise was the mouthwatering Bacon Apple Mac and Cheese as I really didn’t think apples had a place in a pasta dish. However they ended up adding the right amount of zest to make this an addicting Mac and Cheese. This is one of the many ways The Bearded Chef goes out of the box and why I had to include them! You can find out the location of the truck daily on Facebook and I highly recommend seeking them out.
Cedar’s Café is another strip mall stand out that is shockingly good. It specializes in Lebanese food, but they often push the envelope in a variety of ways. You wouldn’t expect it from a Lebanese spot, but Cedar’s Cafe has won the award for the Best James Beard Blended Burger three times in a row. Every year, they craft a burger made of beef and mushrooms and top it with unimaginable ingredients for an incredible creation.
Burger Week aside though, they have perfected classics like tabbouleh, gyros, and kebabs. I can’t resist ordering some hummus and pita as well, as the hummus is extra garlicky just how I like it! This is a tiny restaurant, so it can be good to make a reservation, as you do not want to miss coming here.
I am often going back for their gyros and never seem to be disappointed here. This is definitely the best Greek salad spot in the area along with so many other Greek and Lebanese favorites.
I have saved the best for last, as I think Crush Eleven is the best restaurant in Melbourne. They recently moved from Cocoa Village to a new spot in Downtown Melbourne and have done wonders for the area. The atmosphere has a refined elegance, and though I find it best for date nights, they welcome casual visitors.
Every thing on the menu is carefully crafted and beautifully presented. This goes for the unique cocktails made with in house infused liquors to the inventive appetizers, such as the sweet and savory pierogi trio. This is one of the more expensive restaurants on the list, but it is worth the splurge.
We have loved having Crush Eleven in Downtown Melbourne so that we can go for cocktails and some appetizers, or a chic meal. I can’t wait to see what enticing options they will come up with next, but whatever it is, expect a wonderful meal when you dine here.
I had a hard time picking just 10 restaurants to include, but I know you can’t go wrong with a single option on this list. As of Fall 2018, these are the best Melbourne Florida restaurants, however, I plan to update this list regularly. I will also have a Best of Cocoa Beach list soon, so feel free to give me your suggestions!
The Florida Travel Girl
As The Florida Travel Girl, Amy's goal is to travel the Sunshine State as much as possible and share what she learns along the way. Amy moved to the Space Coast for college and has now been a resident for eight years. When she's not travelling, she enjoys paddleboarding, and hanging out at the beach with her husband and corgi. The Florida Travel Girl was started in 2017 to inspire others to see everything this beautiful state has to offer. You can find more from her at TheFloridaTravelGirl.com or on Instagram @TheFloridaTravelGirl.