Here is my list of Melbourne tips as requested. It is one of my favourite cities so it is basically guaranteed that you will have an amazing time.
Top tips for food and drinks:
Chin Chin (Flinders Lane): head here as soon as you arrive. They open at 11 and stay open until late and you will often have to queue for up to three hours. You can order the “Feed me” menu but I recommend the following dishes as essentials: Kingfish, Calamari, Pork roll ups, Butter Chicken and Roti. Even if you get the “feed me” menu, ask that it includes these at a minimum. You can book, whick you should do, one month out, if in a group larger than six, but there is something great about getting a table after doing your time in the queue (which can also be a nearby bar) so live a little and get in line.
City Wine Shop (Spring Street): This is the perfect place for breakfast, lunch, dinner or drinks. I recommend just sitting at the bar at any time. The risotto is normally amazing...even the beetroot one! No booking needed.
Sunda: Amazing for dinner. It is expensive but well worth it. Order the Buttermilk roti with vegemite curry. Trust me. Book well ahead if in a group of more than one.
Supper Inn: Late night dining in Celestial lane. This place is sometimes hard to find but it is worth searching for. The suckling pig is ridiculously good, as are the Peking duck rolls. It is authentic Chinese, cheap and cheerful. There may be a line, I don't think you can book and there is no website. Just go, they are open until after 2am so there is always time.
Other noteworthy places: Embla, Supernormal, Kitsume, Ginger Boy, Tonka, Hochi Mama, Tipo 00, Il Solito Posto. These are just CBD restaurants. There are lots of others at the Casino but they are mostly expensive and not quite as fun if you're only in town for a short time. There are also great places in Fitzroy and Carlton...far too many to mention (maybe another post). It is worth booking but, if you are a small group, you will almost always get a walk in.
For some cheap eats, there’s a dumpling place on the level above the food court in the Emporium. It is great but always crowded. The line moves quickly though so it’s worth the wait. They have robot waitors.
Breakfast: Most places have great coffee but if you want a good breakfast then head to Hardware Societe, Cumulous Inc or Lune (CBD or Fitzroy). If you feel like walking, Napier Quarter in Fitzroy does a good breakfast (also lunch and drinks....super tiny place with a tiny menu but very good). Also Auction rooms café in North Melbourne is great. Walk through the Queen Vic markets (the meat hall is crazy) and you are nearly there.
For drinks I like Gin Palace, Embla, The Rooftop at the QT Hotel, Madame Brussells, City wine shop, Meatballs, Garden State Hotel, Goldilocks, Up on Cumulous, Bar Americano. Her is also amazing.
Transport: Get a Myki card when you arrive. I tend to walk in a different direction each day and tram it back to the hotel. It is super easy.
Shopping: Obviously shopping in Melbourne is amazing. David Jones and the Emporium basically have everything, but Fitzroy has lots of cool boutiques and Richmond lots of homewares. Fenton and Fenton is always worth a trip and you can do the Chapel street shops while you are in the neighbourhood. They are basically the same as the Emporium with one or two exceptions.
Accomodation: So. Many. Options. The QT is one of my favourite hotels. I love the beds, I love the decor, I love the rooms, I love the bars, I love the resturants and I love the location. I love it! Would 100% live here.
The Grand Hyatt has a great location, big rooms, amazing service and an incredible gym. To be fair, we stay here because of the gym, it is that good. I also love The Victoria Hotel for its incredible location at an amazing price. It is simple accomodation in the city centre and has a fabulous lounge with a pool table so is perfect for group or family getaways.
Other noteworthy places include Ovolo Laneways (quirky and cool), The Sofitel (fancy) and the Adelphi (its a Dessert Hotel - what else needs to be said. Also roof top, suspended pool, so there's that also). The Windsor also deserves a very honourable mention. This is a hotel that embraces the traditions of times' past and must be stayed at at least once in ones lifetime.
There is so much more information that can be added but this should get you through the first weekend at least. More details to follow on another day.