Numerous people, including yourself, have made efforts to break free. There has been a relaxing of controls at the border. Nightlife establishments such as bars, restaurants, and clubs are reopening. We're all taking baby steps towards a more comfortable normality.
Well, then, describe it for me. You can find out by observing your immediate environment, including the neighbourhood, local park, and even your own backyard. Cities in our region have flourished throughout 2020 and 2021.
Communities came together, socialised, and produced goods despite overwhelming odds. All the vigour, fortitude, and ingenuity of the grass-roots innovators who had made their emergence possible was on full display. They made it.
And now for our annual list of the world's hippest enclaves. To be honest, we had to rearrange our priorities for the new year. What people eat, drink, do at night, and learn about are all vitally significant. A strong sense of community, the ability to bounce back from setbacks, and a commitment to long-term sustainability are all crucial if we are to achieve results of which we can be proud and share with the world.
The coffee and brunches of Melbourne's thriving food scene are what bring in millions of tourists annually, but the hip Australian city has much more to offer. Here are the restaurants in the city's trendiest neighbourhoods that you simply must try, whether you're looking for a Michelin-starred meal or street food worth shouting about.
10 Unmissable Restaurants in Melbourne’s Coolest Neighbourhoods
If you're ever in Melbourne, you simply must eat at Ezard. Owned by Australia's most celebrated chef, Teage Ezard, the CBD eatery boasts what many diners consider to be the country's finest tasting menu.
If you'd rather order from the menu, signature items like the oyster shooter or the pork hock are delicious options.
David's Hot Pot is a great option for those who don't want to venture too far from the city centre, serving bubbling Sichuan broth with a variety of unusual dipping options, from tofu to ox penis.
With its kitsch decor and enthusiastic wait staff, this restaurant provides an unforgettable dining experience. There is a strict requirement for reservations.
The Munich Brauhaus is more than just a restaurant; it's a famous German beer hall that can accommodate an astounding 900 guests.
Suckling pig, sourced locally and cooked over a charcoal spit before being sprinkled with cardamom and fennel salt, is on the menu to show that the owners aren't skimping on flavour. In addition, there is a plentiful strudel.
Despite all the trendy pop-ups, you can find some solid establishments like Neighbourhood Wine in Melbourne's Fitzroy neighbourhood.
The restaurant features a rotating sustainable menu. You can still count on hearty fare like gnocchi made from potatoes and ricotta cheese or grilled octopus with fried purple potato, both of which come with excellent wine pairings.
This one's for the carnivores out there. Macelleria is Spanish for "butcher shop," and it's common practise for customers to peruse the meat selection before deciding on a specific cut and preparation method. Even if you're not interested in learning about meat, owner Peter Zaidan's restaurant will serve you a steak that will blow your mind.
Gerald's Bar is a well-liked restaurant and bar with a nostalgic, homey atmosphere thanks in part to its '70s decor. It has become so popular that the owners have opened a second location in San Sebastian, Spain.
The North Carlton alternative, on the other hand, charges a more reasonable $60 AUD for a set menu that changes with the seasons and features daily specials or an outstanding degustation menu paired with wine or beer. Make your reservations early.
The tacos and homemade guacamole at Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria in the cool suburb of Brunswick are out of this world.
Make sure to try the famous Sopa de Fideo if you're in the area during the winter (Mexican soup made with noodles). However, the watermelon margaritas are delicious any time of year.
Penny Young, Moonee Ponds
While at first glance the Moonee Ponds establishment may look like any other bottle-o (off-licence) in Australia, upon further inspection you will find a veritable treasury of excellent beer and cider, as well as some of the city's finest pizza.
Penny Young's pizzas, baked in an Italian oven, pair wonderfully with a bottle of wine or beer from the area.
Lezzet’s Anatolian Kitchen
While St. Kilda is widely known as Melbourne's closest beach suburb, locals will tell you that Lezzet's Anatolian Kitchen is more than worth the trip.
Delicious meze, a fragrant fusion of traditional Turkish and contemporary Australian flavours, can be found on the banquet menus and pairs wonderfully with one of the house specialities.
Amok Restaurant, located on Windsor's trendy Chapel Street, is the place to go for contemporary Cambodian cuisine. Veggies and fruits are purchased from nearby farmers' markets, and seafood is caught off the coast of Australia.
Chef Woody Chet won Most Outstanding Apprentice Chef at the Australian Culinary Federation's Fine Foods competition thanks to his aromatic dishes like Cambodian duck curry.
The Coolest Neighbourhoods in Melbourne
Cool and Melbourne go together like toasted sourdough and smashed avocado, graffiti art in a laneway, or a cold beer and a warm pie while watching a footy game at the MCG.
While Sydney is known for its beaches and pleasant climate, its southern neighbour is a cultural powerhouse in the fields of art, food, coffee, music, and sport.
Because of the wealth brought by the Gold Rush in the 1850s, much of Melbourne was constructed in the Victorian era style. Yet, the city is what it is today because of the influx of Europeans after World War II and the subsequent irresistible rise of the speciality coffee-swilling hipster in more recent decades. Moreover, Melbourne's cultural texture is a mosaic of colourful neighbourhoods.
Melbourne, Australia, is home to a wide variety of neighbourhoods, and these ten are some of the best.
In 2009, when Anthony Bourdain was in Melbourne filming an episode of No Reservations, he headed straight for Sydney Road in the neighbourhood of Brunswick. According to Bourdain, "during the postwar immigration boom, many immigrant families set up shop along this stretch of road just north of the city centre." The range and number of restaurants here have also expanded.
The foodie hero tucked into some Lebanese favourites like Town Hall Kebabs and A1 Bakery, but that was just the beginning of his exploration of what makes Brunswick Melbourne's hippest foodie destination.
There are a tonne of great restaurants in the area, such as Tom Phat, Rumi, Los Hermanos, 400 Gradi, Brunswick Mess Hall, and many more. In addition to its historical significance, the area's transformation from a working-class neighbourhood to a hipster haven is evidenced by the proliferation of trendy establishments like the Lost and Found Market, American Vintage, and Dejour jeans, as well as dive bars like the Howler, the Spotted Mallard, and Thunder Road Brewery.
Once known as Struggletown, it's a hodgepodge of a suburb, with its footy pubs, converted warehouses, social housing blocks, hipster bars, workers cottages, cashed-up tradies, Vietnamese restaurants, and hot yoga studios," journalist Jonathan Horn wrote as Richmond's football club swept towards a drought-breaking premiership in 2017.
Richmond is a city that lives and breathes football, with the massive Melbourne Cricket Ground regularly packed with 100,000 fans. But under the watchful eye of this venerated sporting cathedral is one of Melbourne's most diverse neighbourhoods, where you can enjoy a concert at the Corner Hotel, shop for vintage treasures on Bridge Road, eat a bowl of pho on Victoria Street, and sample brews from local favourites like Moon Dog, Mountain Goat, and Burnley Brewing.
With the explosion of restaurants along major thoroughfares like Bridge Road, Swan Street, and Church Street, Richmond has no shortage of dining options. Several different cuisines have contributed to the suburb's reputation for fine dining.
Places like the venerable I Love Dumplings, which has become something of a dumpling institution in Melbourne, the smokey Asian barbeque joint Kong, the elegant French bistro Noir, and the traditional Japanese izakaya Minamishima are just a few examples. Victoria Street is Melbourne's Little Saigon, where you can get authentic Vietnamese food quickly. When you're hungry at any time of the day or night, head to Richmond.
Turn of the twentieth century St. Kilda was to Melbourne what Coney Island was to New York City, complete with sea baths and the Luna Park amusement park that looked out over the sandy beach. However, the neighbourhood underwent the same rapid demographic shift as the rest of the city as a result of migration.
After the Espy and the Palais Theatre helped transform St. Kilda into a live music mecca in the 1960s and 1970s, backpacker bars and seaside pubs kept the party going in more recent times.
Few neighbourhoods can claim to have the mix of nightlife, cafés, lifestyle, and the beach at your doorstep, whose mural masterpieces can be seen all over Melbourne and on his Instagram.
Shivaun Plozza, a Melbourne native, wrote about a tram coming to an abrupt halt in the city's hipster northern suburbs in her critically acclaimed debut novel Frankie (2016). She wished that "no one inside took a tumble." Although, it is the 86, so it's probably packed with hipsters.
When they fall, their beards will cushion the impact. Fitzroy, Melbourne's first suburb in 1839, is more well-known today for the influx of fixie-riding, natural wine-drinking, Dejour jean-wearing residents who have settled there over the past two decades than it is for its historic significance.
Naked For Satan, Neighbourhood Wine, Miss Katie's Crab Shack, Black Pearl, Cutler and Co., and Belle's Hot Chicken are just a few of the many Fitzroy establishments that regularly appear on lists of the best restaurants and bars in Melbourne.
Fitzroy is a hip neighbourhood for foodies, with plenty of cafes, bars, and restaurants to choose from. Gertrude Street is a microcosm of Fitzroy as a whole; it was once a seedy area but is now frequented by a hip, creative crowd who enjoy the area's many trendy cafes, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.
You can get modern Australian cuisine at Cutler & Co, wine at Gertrude Street Enoteca, and a beer at the Builders Arms Hotel, or you can brunch at Breakfast Thieves or have afternoon tea at Archie's All Day. The wildly popular tapas rooftop bar Naked for Satan can be found on Brunswick Street, which is also worth checking out. If you want to explore more of Collingwood, you can do so by strolling down Smith Street (further into the neighbourhood) or Johnston Street.
Arriving in Australia from Sicily with nothing in his pocket, Franco Cozzo (of those legendary baroque furniture ads) quickly became the favourite son of the Footscray community.
The diversity of the neighborhood's restaurants—from the cannoli at T Cavallaro & Sons to the Vietnamese at Ph Hung Vuong Saigon and the unbeatable burgers at 8bit—make it a must-visit for foodies.
It's the hipster capital of Sydney's inner west. Extremely close proximity to the central business district. Attractive and reasonably priced housing stock; a diverse population and cuisine to match.
New York photographer Spencer Tunick compared Melbourne's premier shopping drag, Chapel Street, to the East Village, the Sunset Strip, and Haight-Ashbury all rolled into one juggernaut while planning a large-scale nude shoot there.
From Richmond in the north to St. Kilda in the south, Chapel Street in South Yarra is lined with upscale boutiques and cafes, making it a shopper's paradise.
The parade of avant-garde designers like Zimmermann, Gorman, and LIFEwithBIRD ensure that this area stays as hip as it always has been, despite the fact that it is the most posh on this list. The Prahran market and the vintage shops of Windsor also contribute to the attractiveness of these two neighbouring areas.
Melbourne residents are crazed about coffee. Of course, things didn't always be like this. In the early 1950s, Carlton's University Café imported Australia's first European coffee machine, laying the groundwork for the caffeine addiction that has since engulfed the city.
"Traditionally, Carlton has been the Italian centre of Melbourne, although this is less relevant these days," Ling says. However, Lygon Street still has many dining options, such as the newly renovated King & Godfree.
Carlton, like much of Melbourne, was established during the 1850s Gold Rush (as evidenced by the beautiful Carlton Gardens and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building), but it didn't become hip until after World War II, when Italian immigrants opened a string of eateries on Lygon Street, transforming it into Melbourne's Little Italy and permanently altering Australian cuisine.
Even though Carlton is just a small suburb, it packs quite a punch thanks to its significant Italian immigrant history and the delicious cuisine it introduced to the rest of the country. You can find some of the best gelati, pizza, pasta, and coffee in Melbourne on Lygon Street, the neighborhood's epicentre.
D.O.C. Espresso, 400 Gradi, and Brunetti, all located on Lygon Street, are highly regarded for their Bolognese sauce. There should be special recognition given to Toto's Pizza House, which opened in 1961 as Australia's first pizza restaurant. Olivomare, Tiamo, and Il Cantuccio are a few others that are also well worth your time. One of Australia's largest outdoor annual street festivals, Lygon Street Festa, is worth keeping an eye out for if you're looking for a good time.
Despite sharing a name with Australia's most reviled football team, Collingwood deserves your support. Located to the east of Fitzroy in Melbourne's hipster-friendly inner-north, this neighbourhood is where the locals have moved on from their flour mills. Live music venues like the Tote, the Bendigo, and the Gasometer are protected as breweries make way for unique restaurants and shops on fashionable Smith Street.
The Collingwood Magpies, the most popular Australian Football League team and a frequent target of jeers from supporters of opposing teams, are another fixture. Nathan Buckley, a former legendary player for the Magpies and now their coach, praised the team's "grit, old-fashioned, working-class feel" in an article. The lack of glamour and the spartan nature of the facilities appealed to me.
South Melbourne Market, located in this leafy neighbourhood, has been selling some of the city's freshest produce since the 1860s. South Melbourne is an area rich in history, with Victorian-era architecture and cafes like St. Ali and Chez Dre, as well as restaurants like Meatworksco and Claypots Evening Star and the Formula One Grand Prix race track in Albert Park on the lake's edge.
Flinders Street Station, Federation Square, Queen Victoria Market, Royal and Block Arcades, and the Eureka Centre across the Yarra River on Southbank are all located in Melbourne's central business district. It's not the lack of that which makes it cool, though.
The city's core is home to some of the best speciality coffee shops in the world, including Dukes, Brother Baba Budan, and Market Lane, as well as some of the best street art in the world adorning the walls of laneways like Hosier Caledonian, Union, and AC/DC.
According to Ling, who is responsible for a lot of this hue, "the CBD is known for its laneway culture, and it is a great place to explore and find new places tucked away off main streets." The Central Business District (CBD) has "shops, pubs, clubs, food, something for everyone," whether you're looking in the alleys or on the main streets.
The Central Business District of Melbourne is well-known, and its most infamous street, Flinders Lane, is frequented by thousands of hungry patrons every day. Despite the long waits, the food is delicious, and there are plenty of bars in the area to pass the time. Supernormal's creative fusion of Tokyo, Shanghai, Seoul, and Hong Kong cuisine is worth mentioning, and it's something you can enjoy over the course of multiple courses here.
The salted caramel and soft chocolate peanut butter parfait is a must-have. DoDee Padang, on Little Collins Street, and Kisume, on Flinders Lane, are two excellent restaurants serving traditional Thai and Japanese cuisine, respectively. Check out Om Nom Kitchen if you're in the mood for some delicious pastries.
A lot of the coolest people live in Melbourne. Ten restaurants located in the city's hip areas that you must visit. Incredibly delicious tacos and guacamole can be found at Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria. To complement their delicious pizza, the beer and cider at Lezzet's Anatolian Kitchen are top-notch. When it comes to art, cuisine, coffee, music, and sports, Melbourne is unrivalled.
European immigration after WWII and the subsequent rise of the speciality coffee-drinking hipster in the following decades shaped the city into what it is today. Richmond is a city that has made football a way of life. Major roads in the suburb, such as Bridge Road, Swan Street, and Church Street, are lined with numerous dining options. Population in St. Kilda changed just as rapidly as the rest of the city due to migration. When Melbourne was founded in 1835, Fitzroy was the first suburb to be established.
It has recently attracted a hipster population that rides fixies, drinks wine, and wears Dejour jeans. Gertrude Street epitomises Fitzroy life as a whole. In the 1850s, when gold was discovered in the area, Carlton, like the rest of Melbourne, was founded, but it wasn't until after World War II that it became trendy thanks to the arrival of Italian immigrants who opened a number of trendy restaurants on Lygon Street. Even though they share a name with Australia's most hated football team, Collingwood is a team that you should cheer for. The most recognisable name in Australian football is the Collingwood Magpies.
Since the 1860s, South Melbourne Market has provided the city with some of its freshest produce. There is a wide variety of restaurants, bars, and clubs in the CBD.
- Our area's cities have thrived throughout 2020 and 2021. In the face of adversity, people banded together to form communities, socialise, and produce goods.
- Now, as always, we present our annual ranking of the coolest neighbourhoods around the globe.
- There's more to the trendy Australian city of Melbourne than just its thriving food scene, which is responsible for attracting millions of visitors every year.
- Whether you're looking for a Michelin-starred meal or a street food experience worth shouting about, these are the restaurants in the city's hippest neighbourhoods that you can't miss.
- Ezard is a must-eat at any time you're in Melbourne.
- Wine from Around the Neighborhood
- In Melbourne's Fitzroy neighbourhood, you can find some reliable establishments, such as Neighbourhood Wine, amidst all the hipster cafes and bars.
- Hermanos Los
- There's no place like Los Hermanos for tacos and fresh guacamole. The amazing tacos at Brunswick's trendy Mexican restaurants are out of this world.
- Amok Restaurant on Windsor's hip Chapel Street serves modern Cambodian cuisine.
- In addition, Melbourne's cultural fabric is a patchwork of vibrant districts.
- There are many great neighbourhoods in Melbourne, Australia, but these ten stand out.
- When Anthony Bourdain came to Melbourne to film an episode of No Reservations in 2009, he immediately made his way to the neighbourhood of Brunswick and specifically to Sydney Road.
- Journalist Jonathan Horn described the area as "a hodgepodge of a suburb, with its footy pubs, converted warehouses, social housing blocks, hipster bars, workers cottages, cashed-up tradies, Vietnamese restaurants, and hot yoga studios" as Richmond's football club swept towards a drought-breaking premiership in 2017.
- Football is a way of life in Richmond, with the massive Melbourne Cricket Ground regularly hosting crowds of over 100,000 fervent fans.
- The suburb's reputation for fine dining can be attributed to the presence of restaurants serving a variety of cuisines.
- Fitzroy was Melbourne's first suburb in 1839, but these days it is better known for the hipsters, fixie riders, natural wine drinkers, and Dejour jean wearers who have moved there over the past two decades than for its historical significance.
- Many of Melbourne's best restaurants and bars can be found in the Fitzroy neighbourhood, including Naked For Satan, Neighbourhood Wine, Miss Katie's Crab Shack, Black Pearl, Cutler and Co., and Belle's Hot Chicken.
- Fitzroy is a popular area for those who enjoy eating out because of the abundance of cafes, bars, and restaurants in the area.
- The inner west of Sydney is where all the hipsters congregate.
- While scouting locations for a massive nude photo shoot in Melbourne, New York photographer Spencer Tunick likened Chapel Street to a hybrid of the East Village, the Sunset Strip, and Haight-Ashbury.
- It's no secret that coffee in Melbourne is a religion.
- Ling explains that while Carlton was once the epicentre of Melbourne's Italian community, that distinction is less important today.
- Carlton, like much of Melbourne, was founded during the 1850s Gold Rush (as evidenced by the lovely Carlton Gardens and the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building), but it didn't become trendy until after World War II, when a wave of Italian immigrants opened a series of eateries on Lygon Street, transforming it into Melbourne's Little Italy and irrevocably altering Australian cuisine.
- Although relatively small in size, Carlton packs quite a punch thanks to its rich Italian immigrant history and the delicious cuisine it introduced to the rest of the country.
- Lygon Street is the heart of the area, and it is home to some of the city's finest eateries and coffee shops.
- If you're in search of a good time in Australia, be on the lookout for Lygon Street Festa, one of the country's largest outdoor annual street festivals.
- Collingwood is deserving of your support despite sharing a name with Australia's most hated football team.
- Dukes, Brother Baba Budan, and Market Lane, three of the world's finest speciality coffee shops, can be found in the heart of the city, and Hosier Caledonian, Union, and AC/DC lanes are adorned with some of the finest street art in the world.
- Ling, who is largely to blame for this shade, claims that "the CBD is known for its laneway culture, and it is a great place to explore and find new places tucked away off main streets."
- Flinders Lane, the most notorious street in Melbourne's Central Business District, draws in thousands of hungry customers every day.
FAQs About Melbourne Restaurants
(drumroll, please) - it's Smith Street, Collingwood. This may be news to some but, with its vast range of food and dining options, funky bars, artisan outlets and vintage shops, it's easy to see why this once 'working class' area has become the number one must-see street on Time Out magazine's world hotlist.
But in a city like Melbourne, declaring one street as the 'coolest' might be a little contentious. To even out the playing field, we’ve rounded up some other close contenders for must-see streets in one of the world’s most liveable cities.
The best restaurants in Melbourne
- Flower Drum. Restaurants. Chinese.
- Poodle Bar & Bistro. Restaurants. French.
- Anchovy. Restaurants. Richmond.
- Gray and Gray. Restaurants. Northcote.
- Kazuki's. Restaurants. Japanese.
- Vue de Monde. Restaurants. Price 3 of 4.
- Minamishima. Restaurants. Richmond.
- Etta. Restaurants. Bistros.
There is no authentic Melbourne dish or cuisine. Rather, the city's food options are limitless because it is a multicultural melting pot. Food is a portal into a culture, and Melbourne's vibrant immigration history remains at the forefront of its culture partly because of its undeniably international cuisine.
Melbourne has certainly changed plenty since British settlers arrived in 1788. It is now home to more than 200 nationalities and, thus, a similar number of sources of culinary inspiration.
One of the longest-standing foodie institutions in Melbourne is Queen Victoria Market, on the north side of the CBD.
It has been open since the 1870s and gets nine million visitors each year. It is one of four major markets feeding the city.
People bustle to and fro inside the food halls, buying from the butchers, fishmongers, deli, and niche produce vendors.
All the meat in the meat hall comes from Australia, mostly from Victoria. Some families have worked there for four generations, and locals say the butchers know their orders so well they can recognise them.
Outside, crowds peruse the fresh produce stalls and meet in the middle to chow down on doughnuts.
The American Doughnut Kitchen trailer is parked up on Queen St, outside sheds H and I. It has been there since 1956, dishing out classic doughnuts with a dollop of red jelly in the centre.
For a tipple, taste some top Australian wines at DeWine. Their mulled wine is particularly heavenly on a winter's day.
The Coolest Neighbourhoods in Melbourne
- St Kilda.
- South Yarra.
- South Melbourne.
- Melbourne CBD.
Toorak held its position as the most expensive suburb in the city with a staggering median sale price of $5m, despite a 9.1 per cent drop in the previous quarter.