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University Cafe

#370 of 3,179 Restaurants in Melbourne
Certificate of Excellence
€€ - €€€
Lygon Street
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257 Lygon St | Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria 3053, Australia
+61 3 9347 2142
07:00 - 23:00
Closed now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 07:00 - 23:00
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143 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
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Time of year
Showing 141: English reviews
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
142 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 124 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

I'd often walked past this establishment and occasionally perused the menu but, on this occasion, one item caught my eye and I just had to go in and try it. It's not often that you see 'Pasta e fagioli' on a menu in Lygon Street and it happens to be one of my favourite Italian dishes. I often cook it... More 

Thank Ryszard L
Queensland, Australia
Level Contributor
30 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Fabulous dining, very courteous staff & host, good wine choice, recommended to us by friends, an excellent experience shared with friends. Would definitely return again.

Thank Geoff B
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

I had a terrible experience at this place. They got my order wrong. Then i found a piece of plastic in my food. Not only that, the glass for my water was absolutely filthy. No one asked me how was experience was either. Poor service and I don't think the food was even that nice. I don't recommend this place.

Thank Amy Louise H
Pakenham, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
51 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Have walked past the restaurant in Carlton for the last 40 years. Finally have lunch there. Menu had enough to choose from and the daily specials were interesting. I had spaghetti marinara and it was quite nice. Our table also ordered an orecchiette and broccoli. Just like I make it at home. Overall a pleasant experience.

Thank PakeFrankie
Level Contributor
8 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 January 2017

Lygon Street in Melbourne is known for its well established Italian restaurants. I visited quite a few of them and was keen to try the University Cafe. It is praised for its 60+ years of its excellent Italian cooking. It seems we picked the wrong day for this. Our experience was a little bit different. The menu is well structured... More 

Thank Sunflowerhug
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
25 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 January 2017

I think that the original creators of this restaurant have died out or that they are no longer active. The spaghetti marinara was still excellent the last time I was there, although the very delicious pickled marinara of yesteryear has disappeared from the menu.

Thank rainer446
Sydney, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2017

Good choice for breakfast, very good service, decent range of options, value for money, sat outside looking at Lygon Street

Thank Tim H
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 December 2016 via mobile

My family and I have visited University Cafe many times over the last 25 years. It was never my restaurant of choice as I consider it overpriced, but we have always been happy with the quality of the food. Until last night. As it was between Christmas and the New Year, many of the Lygon Street restaurants were closed —... More 

2 Thank Merete C
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 December 2016

We ordered Bruschetta which took over 30 minutes to arrive because the first batch was burnt! My main - Salmon Rissotta with Spinach & Tomato was delivered by a waitress who asked 'who's got the rice dish?' - yes, it was rice, PEAS and salmon. I sent the meal back as not what I ordered then received 2nd meal with... More 

1 Thank Helen O
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 December 2016

Quick friendly service and simple authentic Italian fair. My favourite venue for drop in meals between normal service times. Always feel welcome..

Thank Andrew H

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Melbourne, Victoria

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Restaurant Details

Rating summary
  • Food
    4 of 5 bubbles
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Italian, Pizza, Cafe, Gluten Free Options
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, After-hours
Restaurant features
Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Highchairs Available, Full Bar
Good for
Open Hours
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
07:00 - 23:00
Location and Contact Information
  • Address: 257 Lygon St | Carlton, Melbourne, Victoria 3053, Australia
  • Location: South Pacific  >  Australia  >  Victoria  >  Melbourne>  > Lygon Street
  • Neighbourhood: Lygon Street
  • Phone Number: +61 3 9347 2142

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from University Cafe staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?

Staying in Lygon Street

Neighbourhood Profile
Lygon Street
If you want real parmesan, cut from the block, grated over your pasta with a twist of style, this is the place. Until recently, this neighbourhood was home to the notorious ‘Carlton Crew,’ a pseudo mafia who started their day with a local espresso. They are gone, but the espresso still runs strong in this Little Italy which has something for everyone. Starched white tablecloths, candles, pizza the way they do it "back home" and maybe even a bit of amore. The number of gelato choices will leave you in a state of indecision and wide footpaths, big awnings and a sea of packed tables makes this al fresco dining experience a continental buzz. Even if you’re not eating, it’s worth the stroll just for the people-watching, which, of course, is an Italian tradition.
Explore this neighbourhood