The first Age Good Food Guide People’s Choice Awards has been awarded to local favourite Red Spice Road in Melbourne.

More than 16,000 passionate diners voted for their favourite restaurants, cafes and bars across Victoria in the Guide’s first annual people’s poll.

The People’s Choice Awards announcement is a prelude to the hospitality industry’s night of nights, The Age Good Food Guide Awards presented by Vittoria Coffee and Citi, on September 21, before the release of the 36th edition of The Age Good Food Guide 2016 on September 26.

Red Spice Road McKillop2

The top 10 favourite restaurants includes five Asian-style restaurants, two Italian restaurants, a contemporary Australian classic, a long-running regional fine-diner and even a vegan establishment.

Top 10 Victorian restaurants as voted by diners:

1. Red Spice Road, Melbourne

2. Lake House, Daylesford

3. David’s, Prahran

4. Chin Chin, Melbourne

5. The Grand Hotel, Richmond

6. Vivace, Brighton

7. Rice Paper Scissors, Melbourne

8. Rockpool Bar & Grill, Southbank

9. Smith & Daughters, Fitzroy

10. Longrain, Melbourne

The Age Good Food Guide 2016 Editor Roslyn Grundy said Melbourne was often thought of as an Italian restaurant hotspot.

“The People’s Choice Award top 10 is a refreshing take on Victoria’s restaurant scene, and the diversity is a reflection on the vibrant industry,” Grundy said.

“These restaurants, and particularly Red Spice Road, mobilised their loyal diners to vote via their social media channels and databases, and it’s great to see the passion people have for these establishments.”

Located on McKillop Street, Red Spice Road is famous for its chilli caramel-glazed pork belly, which diners love so much that Executive Chef John McLeay has not been able to take it off the menu in the eight years the restaurant has been open.

“The People’s Choice Awards list is a great cross-section of venues that Victorians love, trust and recommend to friends, so I would encourage people to book or line up for a table and see why they are so popular,” Grundy said.

The Age Good Food Guide and Awards are presented by Vittoria Coffee and Citi. For more information on the winners visit

Image credit: Paul Jeffers

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