Visitors who venture out to the suburbs surrounding the city discover there are endless restaurants, shops and experiences to explore. From the effortlessly cool northern suburbs, to the chic fashion hubs in the south, and the multicultural and creative precincts of the west – Melbourne’s eclectic neighbourhoods on the city fringe offer endless possibilities, just a tram or train ride away.
One of Melbourne’s coolest suburbs, Cremorne, often mistaken for its neighbour Richmond, is a Melbourne precinct not to be missed. Cremorne is known as a creative hub in Melbourne, with several arts and design studios situated within the 70-hectare suburb. CRITERIA is part-gallery, part-showroom, which strives to be a place where designers and artists can explore ideas in design and art. Melburnians also love Cremorne for its hugely popular cafes, like Top Paddock, which has lines out the door most weekends. Further café highlights include new opening Sloane Ranger, Denis the Menace, The Boy Who Cried Wolf and hole in the wall café Coe & Coe. Cremorne also houses some of the best boutique homewares stores in Melbourne, including Jardan and Coco Republic.
Footscray, in Melbourne’s west, has long been a working-class suburb and cultural melting pot, which is now slowly gentrifying into a hipster hot spot. The buzzing inner suburb, balances the rich cultural history of international food stores, restaurants and markets, alongside modern and cool new eateries, cafes and shops. The famous Footscray Market is a Melbourne institution, with eager shoppers flocking Tuesday through Saturday to purchase fresh produce ranging from fruit and vegetables, meats, poultry, seafood and exotic Asian produce. Dining options in the heart of Footscray is more diverse than ever, with main-stay Vietnamese and African restaurants lining Barkly street and surrounds, and new modern cafes, burger joints and bars popping up throughout the suburb. Bad Love Club is a bakery-slash-bar with dessert cocktails, Bar Josephine offers craft beer and books, Rudimentary is a sustainable café fashioned out of shipping containers, Back Alley Sally’s is a multi-level warehouse turned watering hole and 8bit serves burgers and retro video games.
Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Albert Park is not only home to the famous Australian Formula 1™ Grand Prix around the stunning Albert Park Lake, but also an array of stylish boutiques, family-friendly cafes and delicious restaurants. Fashion stores Filly’s Stable, Le Hoof and Paloma Bleu are highlights for premium shopping along Bridport Street. Truman Café, Albert Park Deli, The Petty Officer, Urban Projuice Wholefood Café, No. 84 and NSHRY on the bay are great café to enjoy the best coffee and smashed avocado in the area. Families can enjoy a barbecue or picnic at Kerferd Road Pier or watch the sailboats glide along Albert Park Lake with a magnificent view of Melbourne’s skyline in the background. Sporting facilities include Albert Park Golf Course and Driving Range, plus the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. After all that physical activity, visitors will want to re-fuel at Andrew’s Hamburgers, Melbourne’s most iconic burger shop, who have been grilling since 1939.
Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs of Prahran and Windsor make up a buzzing precinct rich in things to do, places to eat and countless shops to explore along famous Chapel Street. Prahran Market is a highlight for locals and visitors searching for the freshest produce, freshly cut flowers, plants and gifts, or simply a coffee and bite to eat. Greville Street is a hub of both eclectic and trendy boutiques, bars, cafes and the legendary Greville Records. Windsor has become a foodie’s delight with outstanding restaurants and bars lining the southern end of Chapel Street. Hawker Hall, Mr Miyagi and Tokyo Tina are a few of the restaurants with queues out the door every weekend. For a cocktail, or two, visit Impala, Morris Jones, Borsch Vodka and Tears or Jungle Boy (a secret tiki bar accessible through the cool-room door of Boston Sub).
The multicultural hub of Brunswick, in Melbourne’s north, is home to the quintessential hipster and a diverse mixture of the very best Melbourne has to offer - from restaurants, to bars, to live music and shopping. See signs of Brunswick's migration history on Sydney Road: a veritable atlas of Mediterranean shops and Arabic eateries. Stock up on pasta and porcini at Mediterranean Wholesalers and enjoy delicious treats from Middle Eastern bakeries like A1. Taste Middle Eastern flavours at hotspots like Rumi and Mankoushé. Sundowners turn into nightcaps at Mr Wilkinson, Mi Corazon, The Alderman and the Brunswick Green. Try a local brew at Temple Brewing Co., Thunder Road Brewery or The Alehouse Project. Live acts and DJs will see the best dance moves come out at the Cornish Arms, Spotted Mallard, Howler and the Retreat Hotel.
Armadale, an inner Melbourne suburb, seven kilometres south-east of the city, is famous for high-end, designer shopping and the finer things in life. High Street is a haven for those wanting to find that little something special, whether it’s a leading Melbourne designer like Thurley, bul, Lisa Barron and Megan Park, or an international brand such as Acne and Dion Lee. Armadale is well-renowned for its collection of elegant bridal boutiques, bridal service stores and jewellers. Brides-to-be travel from far and wide to shop at the Armadale strip in preparation for the big day. Armadale also houses many art and antique galleries and homeware stores.
Yarraville, just 15 minutes west of Melbourne, has a sense of community that makes it feel like visitors have stepped back in time. A Yarraville favourite is the art deco Sun Theatre, a stunning old cinema where moviegoers can enjoy a movie with a wine, beer or home-made choc top in hand. The neighbouring Sun Bookshop is a treasure trove, while Yarraville Village hosts a plethora of boutiques, bookstores and cafes which are buzzing but still welcoming. The monthly farmers market in the historic Yarraville Gardens is a favourite among locals on their way to getting a coffee in one of the cafes housed in beautifully restored Edwardian and Victorian shopfronts around Anderson and Ballarat streets. Yarraville’s pop-up park is a hub for visitors, locals and families alike to sit outdoors in the heart of the neighbourhood and enjoy an ice cream, some take away and various events including live music, film screenings, children’s book readings and more. The new rooftop beer garden at the Railway Hotel provides the ideal spot for drinks as dining aplenty continues in the gastro pub downstairs.
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