Visiting Melbourne for the Australian Open? Here is Part 2 of our tips on the best places to eat, drink and play.
Melbourne’s Bars, Restaurants and Cafes
Following on from Part One of Melbourne’s Neighbourhoods: A Snapshot of Where to Eat, Drink and Play here are some more areas that are worth visiting while in Melbourne.
South Melbourne and Albert Park
A short walk south from Southbank/ Crown Casino is the suburb of South Melbourne. This is a predominantly residential area with tree-lined streets and parks. It is also home to pubs that provide good to excellent quality food in traditional and comfortable settings. Clarendon Street is the main commercial street (it’s the same street as Spencer Street in the city, but the name changes). Most of the area’s pubs and restaurants are located here or close by.
GSG’s Faves in South Melbourne:
- The Wayside Inn – This might seem slightly out of the way but it’s worth it. If you love seafood, the share seafood platter is incredible value and super fresh.
- The Railway Hotel – Your classic authentic style Melbourne pub. Excellent steak night. Lovely beer garden.
- South Melbourne Trader – Great coffee, awesome range of herbal and other teas, snacks and food in a relaxed atmosphere.
- The Golden Gate. Nice local pub with $5 drink options from 4pm-6pm every day.
Apart from its pubs South Melbourne is also home to some of the top rated coffee places such as Dead Man Espresso (35 Market St) and St Ali (12-18 Yarra Place). It is also home to South Melbourne Market, which is a must for the famous South Melbourne Market Dim Sim.
At the southern end of South Melbourne is the neighbourhood of Albert Park. This contains the park that the area is named after, which is the location for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix. Within Albert Park, Bridport St contains a strip of restaurants and bars. Here you will find Andrew’s Burgers, which frequently tops polls for the best burger in Melbourne.
GSG Tip: During the week, especially Monday to Wednesday, a lot of Melbourne pubs have a “Steak Night” and/or a “Parma Night”. If you like a good steak or a chicken parmagiana you’ll love the food and the price. Have a look on eatdrinkcheap.com.au for what’s on when.
At the western end of the CBD is the Docklands precinct. This area contains a mix of apartment buildings, office blocks, shops and still more bars, restaurants and cafes. Most of the places to eat and drink are located around the docks and at Harbour Town, the main shopping centre.
You’re visiting Melbourne for the tennis, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t also go to the beach! Jump on a number 96 or 112 tram from the city and 15 minutes later you’ll be in the beachside neighbourhood of St Kilda. Take a stroll along the beachside promenade or visit Luna Park, a historic theme park, before heading to the restaurants and bars on Acland Street and Fitzroy Street. If you’re after something sweet there are some amazing cake shops on Acland St. On Sundays St Kilda hosts an art and craft market.
GSG’s Faves in St Kilda:
- Big Mouth – Totally funky cafe and restaurant.
- Chinta Blues – Totally sensational Malaysian food. Great prices.
Only a short walk to the east, Richmond is the nearest precinct to Melbourne Park. Richmond is well worth a visit on your way to or from the tennis to explore the streets of Victorian terrace houses, grab some refreshments or check out the shops.
For shops and places to eat and drink there are three main streets to know, Swan St, Bridge Road and Victoria Street. One of the main entrances to Melbourne Park is on Swan Street (also called Olympic Boulevard). When leaving the tennis centre on Swan Street walk to the left for about 10 minutes. One of the first pubs that you will reach is The Precinct and next is the Post Office Hotel, just past the Richmond railway station, which has a beer garden on the street.
GSG’s Faves in Richmond:
- Post Office Hotel – Cute pub type bar with nooks and crannies.
- The Precinct Hotel – Excellent for sports fans, loads of room to watch AO on big screens.
Bridge Road runs parallel to Swan Street and can be reached in a 10 minute walk to the north. Bridge Road is one of Melbourne’s main shopping streets, filled with boutiques and factory outlets along with cafes, restaurants and pubs where you can take a break from shopping or watch the world go by.
Melbourne’s Vietnamese community is centred around Victoria Street, a 10 minute walk north from Bridge Road. Victoria Street is famous for its Vietnamese restaurants.
Lygon Street, Carlton
Lygon Street is the place to go for pizza, pasta, gelato and coffee, basically anything Italian. This street is to the north of the CBD and home to Melbourne’s “Little Italy”. Lygon Street is only two blocks away from the Melbourne Museum and the Royal Exchange Building making it a convenient place for some refreshments.
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Running parallel to Lygon Street and situated a few blocks to the east is Brunswick Street. This is a lively centre, home to an interesting mix of restaurants, cafes and pubs, plus boutique and vintage clothing stores, galleries and specialty shops.
Check out Little Creatures Dining Hall.
On the other side of the river from Melbourne Park and not too far to the south east is the fashion and entertainment focused Chapel Street. For the fashionable this is the place to find boutiques featuring leading Australian designers.
There are some great options in this article on the 10 Best Rooftop Bars in Melbourne.
Believe it or not this is only a glimpse of all the great places in Melbourne. If you love using Apps to find local places near by, read about the Deck of Secrets App, the Coffee Review App and Yelp.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal