Even we need a break sometimes. Don’t worry we’re not leaving, we’re just (temporarily) taking a break from our European city guides to tell you all about Australia’s second city, Melbourne. It’s raw, it’s arty and avant garde, it’s foodie and it’s sports crazy. Melbourne was ‘hipster’ before the word was ever attached to bearded 20-something year olds. It’s 16.000km from Berlin but has the same vibe. And if you plan on going we have some amazing Melbourne hot spot tips for you as one of our Amstel House staff members just returned!
WHERE TO STAY
Home at the Mansion
No doubt. Home at the Mansion is one of the most genuine and friendliest places in town. It is small (only 16 rooms) and is located within a heritage building next to Brunswick Street, minutes away from all the hot spots in town.
The Greenhouse Backpacker
Brilliantly located in Flinders Lane, The Greenhouse Backpacker is another great choice. Weekly pub crawls and walking tours ensure you’ll easily meet fellow travellers while getting to know the city’s hidden gems.
Hotel Ovolo Laneways
If your budget allows it and you’re on a romantic city trip, consider the Fashion Week favourite, Hotel Ovolo Laneways. If not for the clean, comfy rooms and great location, they have the most delicious free flow of candy at the reception!! Free candy!
WHERE TO WAKE UP // COFFEE
Wide Open Road
Wide Open Road offers a comfortable and inspiring space in which to enjoy our coffee and re-fuel with some great tasting food and house-baked goods.
Barry’s menu features a range of inspiring dishes that go above and beyond the average café fare – think confit prawn sub with wasabi kewpie & pickled kohlrabi. Also delicious-and-nutritious dishes like acai chia pudding. Of course, their coffee is insane.
Long Street Coffee is passionate about good food, great coffee, and helping young refugees. They offer young refugees hospitality traineeships. A life-changing opportunity for the young people they work with, enabling them to gain vital skills, familiarize themselves with Australian workplace culture, and secure ongoing employment.
De Clieu is the hottest cafe on the Gertrude Street strip. It’s cute, and their menu is filled with delicious stuff.
WHERE TO EAT
Walk don’t Run
Slow, fresh, passionate food. You taste it in every bite! Everything about Walk Don’t Run is to die for. It’s a bit out of the way , but so so worth it. Have a stroll in the neighborhood and make it a little getaway adventure in the city. Perfect for lunch!
Another absolute favorite for lunch is Rustica Canteen by baker, Brenton Lang. Fresh breakfast and lunch dishes all taste delicious and Rustica’s sour dough bread and pastries is a reason in itself to swing by this place.
Bold colors define this nifty little place called Phamily Kitchen serving Vietnames delicacies like Pho soups and rice rolls.
A huge loft like space inside a 19th century power station make this a very cool place for dinner. The people behind Higher Ground have an extraordinary track record in the Melbourne restaurant scene.
Juanita makes quite possibly the best burger you will ever eat. Icing on the proverbial desert cake is the fact that they also happen to sell the best donuts in town. Ow and did we mention you’ll find the nicest peeps in Melbourne working here? If they’d be any sweeter you’d have to hurry off to your dentist straight after dinner. Ow, the overload of donuts might also do that trick…
WHERE TO SHOP
Check out Flinders Lane and Brunswick Street for small designer and arty shops. Like ‘Craft’ (31 Flinders Lane), one of Victoria’s oldest arts organisations dedicated to championing aspirational making and ideas through exhibitions and retail programs. Third Drawer Down is a fun design studio and shop to visit as well.
A special mention for one of Melbourne’s best kept secrets. For tourists that is. Imagine a place where you can purchase tailor-made denim for under $50. It exists and its name is Dejours Jeans. Begin by choosing your waist size and preferred cut. There are over 10 different cuts for men and women including high, mid and low waist, skinny, straight and boyfriend cuts. Then you decide how you want it altered. The storeowner Nam Huynh customises your denim on the spot if you go on a quieter day, or at worst you leave them overnight. And the result? Jeans that fit perfectly!
Download a handy map of Melbourne with these and more Melbourne hot spots!