A Local’s Guide to Melbourne: “The best part is the element of surprise” | Melbourne


While Melbourne’s fine dining scene is impressive, it’s the city’s multiculturalism that makes dining here so exciting. Sydney Street in Brunswick is a microcosm of this, a place where old Italian supermarkets mingle with Middle Eastern jewelers and hipster bars. Start with our toasted halloumi breakfast Wide open road Then wander along the bar, stopping at A1 Bakery Spinach and cheese triangle rolls or chicken tawook. Next door, a blingy Lebanese pastry shop Balaha pastries It opens late and the baklava is the closest thing to my mom’s version – delicate, not too syrupy, just perfect. In an intimate way off Sydney Road, Mama Boy Trattoria Great for handmade pasta. They serve gnocchi and cocktail lunches on Sundays, which you need to reserve online. cross in collingwood, Jim’s Greek Pub is a local institution, a place to celebrate Melbourne’s status as the largest Greek-speaking city outside of Greece. Your best bet is to let their staff feed you but be sure to order the saganaki and scallops.

Spinach and cheese triangle at A1 Bakery in Brunswick
Spinach and cheese triangle at A1 Bakery in Brunswick


You can’t come to Melbourne and not visit National Gallery of Victoria. Its exhibitions are exciting and accessible, weaving in lesser-known artists and designers among giants including Picasso and Alexander McQueen. Also, NGV Friday Nights are always fun, with pop-up bars and musical performances in the garden or under Leonard French’s amazing stained-glass ceiling.

National Gallery of Victoria stained glass ceiling
“Unbelievable”: The Great Hall of the New Motor Vehicle. Photo: Samantha Olsen/Alamy

Fitzroy Center for Contemporary Photography It is one of the former works of architect Sean Goodsell and is a good place to discover interesting Australian artists, while nearby Collingwood Yards – A technology college turned art district – featuring independent galleries and studios, and a rare mural by American artist Keith Haring. Moreover, the Hyde Museum of Art He is also special. Some of the country’s greatest 20th-century artists have worked and participated here, and I especially love the way the modernist building–designed by the architecture firm McGlashan and Everist–plays with light. If you’re feeling energetic, you can bike to Heide from the city along the banks of the river Yarra Trail Main.


Fitzroy has that perfect balance of cool, grit and polish, while neighboring Collingwood is rapidly evolving from industrial to creative. You could easily spend a day exploring the main strips of these two neighborhoods — Smith, Brunswick, Gertrude, and Johnston Streets — lined with interesting cafes, pubs, boutiques, bookstores, furniture stores, and galleries, including easy-to-miss spots. above. I’m obsessed with perfume so I’ll probably take you to it knowledge For his specialty perfumes and wonderful florist jars.

The backstreets also have specials, including an all-gender hammam and day spa sense of self (Book ahead), the specialty roaster coffee and the artisanal bakery To be frank. For the latter, order the super soft dulce de leche pastry, or if you prefer something savory, the eggplant tahini roll. Also tucked away in Collingwood cleverness, a shoe store known for its amazing modifications of women’s sports shoes. We designed the space, which won Best Retail Design at the 2022 Australian Interior Design Awards. I’m proud of that.

Green area

Stunning view of the Royal Botanic Gardens
“The juxtaposition of nature and the city skyline is one of a kind”: Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. Photo credit: Ketma/Alamy

Melbourne has a wealth of well kept parks and it is completely normal to grab a bottle of wine and some snacks to enjoy on a picnic rug. Just down my street is beautiful Edinburgh Gardens, the shared backyard of Fitzroy North. I usually get excellent coffee from standing place And walk through them to reset. Beautiful Victorian architecture surrounds the park and at its northern end stands Rose House 2a graceful brickwork by renowned Melbourne architects Mauro Baracco and Louise Wright.

I once lived in a private apartment because of its location across from Royal Botanic Gardens. The juxtaposition of nature with the city skyline is unique, and in the summer, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra performs free concerts in the vicinity. Sydney Mayer Music Bowl, an architectural teacher that I adore. in the city center Flagstaff Gardens Wonderfully close Queen Victoria MarketSo grab a burek from the market’s Art Deco dairy hall and enjoy it in the garden.

A rainbow is seen as music fans attend the Play On Victoria concert at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl
An “architectural landmark I adore”: Sidney Myer Music Bowls hosts free outdoor concerts in the summer. Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty Images


On any given night, the best part about going out in Melbourne is the element of surprise. There are many great bars that you wouldn’t necessarily know about, especially in the city centre, so simply go for a walk and let things unfold. One of my favorites is the popup window Section 8. It’s nothing more than recycled shipping containers and pallets, but it’s original, down Chinatown Road and serving good DJs. From there I usually end up right around the corner Freddork to dance or underground Margot Bar For a good cocktail and a late night burger.

An olive green lounge chair next to a window framed by gray curtains
“Stylish, affordable rooms with modern touches and plenty of natural light”: The Naughtons Hotel in Parkville. Photo: Emily Weaving

For a night and date vibe, I love Fitzroy Liberty Bara wine bar that serves great food. above the board It is the newest on the scene and great for a night out. Hard to find (entering via a back alley off Smith Street), it’s simple and elegant, and its owner, Hayden Lambert – the guy in the white-rimmed glasses – mixes fantastic cocktails. Melbourne’s live music scene is also great. If you are a jazz fan like me, Grasshopper He has world class acts every night.


Victorian era spread in Parkville Naughtons Hotel (rooms from $145) It has stylish, affordable rooms with modern touches and plenty of natural light. There is a small restaurant locavore on site, and the city and cosmopolitan Carlton are within walking distance.

If money is not an issue, the boutique hotel united places (Suites from $610) Offers ultra-chic digs on village-like Domain Road in South Yarra.

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