The Italian equivalent of a diner, locally famed Pellegrini’s has remained unchanged since 1954. There's no menu; staff tell you what's available. Expect Italian comfort food: sloppy lasagne, spaghetti bolognese, watermelon granita and big slabs of cake. Service can be brusque, but that's all part of the experience. A photo under the neon sign outside is a rite of passage.
Pellegrini's is so important to Melbourne's cultural fabric that after the tragic death of co-owner Sisto Malaspina in 2018 during a terror attack in Bourke St, the 74-year-old was given a state funeral.