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A Local’s Guide to Melbourne’s Best Hidden Gems
THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE THAT MELBOURNE HAS TO OFFER IS SO DIVERSE AND RICH. Not only is it AUSTRALIA’S FOOD MECCA but it also home to many LANEWAY SECRETS AND SO MUCH MORE. KEEP READING BELOW FOR MY MUST VISITS WHEN IN M-TOWN…
SHANDONG MAMA – $
In an arcade off Chinatown, is a dumpling lover favourite. Affectionately known as Mama, she creates some tasty Shandong dishes including unique no-frill dumplings such as mackerel dumplings.
NEW GOLD MOUNTAIN – $$
Sister and next door neighbour to Double Happiness is the dramatically themed and decorated New Gold Mountain – split over two levels – green and red, the bar is a great place to impress your guest over cocktails.
PARIS CAT – $$
In Goldie Place, Paris Cat is an intimate jazz club with a bevvy of amazing performances every night it is open. Perfect for cocktails or wine paired with tapas as well as a meat or cheese board.
NO VACANCY – $
This contemporary gallery exhibits local & international artists, emerging designers and curators. Never a dull moment, the space has been used for festivals, fashion shows, launches and performances.
BEKU – $
In Brunswick East is the humble Beku ice cream shop serving up classic flavours as well as Asian-inspired ones such as Teh Tarik, durian and my personal favourite…coconut with jackfruit.
JOE TAYLOR – $$
A local favourite, Joe Taylor’s is a cosy bar in Errol Street combining cocktails, boutique beers and wines. Nibble on their bar menu or get pizzas from next door. Great service and good vibes all around!
UKIYO – $$
One of the best escape rooms I’ve done in Melbourne…Ukiyo is inspired by the game of Zelda as well as films by Studio Ghibli. 2 -4 players choose their mask/character in an extremely immersive game using AI
ROSE Street MARKET- $$
The Rose Street Market is located off Brunswick Street and houses a rotation of stalls from local designers, artists, crafters, makers and more! The weekend market is perfect for retail therapy or present shopping.
TON & CO – $$
This casual eatery is a pork-focused restaurant who take a lot of pride and care, working with local butchers to bring mouth-watering Japanese inspired dishes with a modern twist.
JUNGLE BOY – $$
Head in via the secret entrance in Boston Sub to find the rum bar Jungle Boy. Drink one of their delicious concoctions from a fun tiki mug but note, due to its size, it fills up pretty quickly and is always busy!
FONDA ROOFTOP CINEMA – $$
The Windsor location of Fonda now has a boutique Rooftop Cinema for 20. Never leave your seat as you can order delicious Mexican food and drinks, from downstairs, via your mobile while watching.
SIGNED & NUMBERED – $$
Down Greville Street is Signed & Numbered which sells accessible & affordable limited edition prints from artists based in Australia as well as overseas including handmade prints, woodblock and letterpress.
SHU RESTAURANT – $$
Not your stereotypical restaurant, Shu Restaurant in Collingwood dares to be bold and experimental whilst providing something for everyone…both vegan and non-vegan degustation options at affordable prices.
ABOVE BOARD – $$
Hidden above a bottle shop is the 12 seater bar, no standing room, Above Board. Time just flies, in this intimate space with great cocktails and conversation – they do not take reservations…first come, first serve.
THE BREAK ROOM – $$
For those feeling stressed or just needing to let off some steam, head down to The Break Room which lives up to its name – armed with a baseball and protective gear, break plates, glasses (and more) to your heart’s content.
VINTAGE GARAGE – $$
Located on Smith Street, the warehouse space of Vintage Garage is filled with so many goodies, from festival wear to furniture, homewares and so much more. It’s a treasure chest of statement pieces.
BAD LOVE CLUB – $
Treat yourself when you visit Bad Love Club, a cafe with jaffles, coffee and more by day and then come night time…it’s a boozy bakery and bar with delicious cocktails and beer to indulge on.
MR WEST – $
For all those in need of libations – Mr West knows best. With 24 taps to choose from, the bar and bottle shop also has an extensive list of craft beer, boutique wines and speciality spirits plus cocktails to choose from.
SUN THEATRE – $
A stunning art deco theatre located in Yarraville with 8 screens each with a different name for each cinema rather than a number. From time to time, they also run a pop-up beanbag cinema.
FAR FETCHED DESIGNS – $$
The adorable shop Far Fetched Designs sells items from local designers, each with a story to tell. It also hosts workshops so you can upskill in sewing, screen printing to help those who need a creative outlet.
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