Living in Melbourne
An Insider's Guide to Things to do in Melbourne
Melbourne is Australia’s most European feeling city. With a cooler winter climate and stunning architecture born in the days of the Gold Rush, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Europe.
The love of food and coffee is evident here due to a large multicultural population. If you can’t find the style of food you want in Melbourne you aren’t looking hard enough!
Best Melbourne Restaurants, Cafes & Bars
- Walk around the city and see the laneways, (this usually includes a glass of wine and some tapas at Movida Next Door followed by dinner at Hophaus, overlooking the Yarra and Flinders Street station.
- Lucky Penny located on Chapel Street in South Yarra is famous for delicious waffles – perfect for the sweet tooth ! (Check out the sample picture below – yummo !)he Houptoun Tearooms is a Melbourne institution. They have been around since 1892 and serves High Tea ( as well as Breakfast / lunch)
- A favourite for meeting friends in town is Riverland which is located on the banks of the Yarra in the historic Federation Wharf vaults on the edge of Melbourne’s Federation Square. Great beer, excellent BBQ and the best views and atmosphere. It attracts a mixture of locals and tourists so it’s always vibrant.
- The Treehouse Lounge is a popular weekend breakfast / brunch stop in St Kilda (food pictured below – yum )
- Try Jim’s Greek Taverna, the oldest Greek restaurant in Melbourne and you can tell. There is no menu and no women to serve you (never has been and never will, it’s Greek!!). The food just comes as required and the lamb off the spit is spectacular.
- San Telmo is another laneway classic in Melbourne, a great Argentinian restaurant with an exposed kitchen (serving up south american ‘asado’ which is great for lovers of meat).
- Eau de Vie (Sydney has one too)
Malthouse Lane, CBD
Eau De Vie is a ‘secret bar’ and there are no signs out the front. Visitors will need to walk to the end of the lane and push open the wooden door with the brass handle. It is a classic venue with jazz music, dim lights and crystal glassware.The cocktail degustation is highly recommended where 5 dishes are served with matching cocktails in a private dining area. A great experience which runs over a few hours.
- Windsor – Full of cafes, Indie cloth stores and amazing hidden cocktail bars. Places change here weekly, some weeks there’s no queue, the next it’s a 40 minute wait for eggs!!! Something for everyone from Thai Food to Go, a Thai restaurant with an eclectic mix of Op-Shop tables and chairs, and the best green curry in Melbourne (BYO) to Woods of Windsor, serving the best of new Australian cuisine with a wine list to match.
- The surrounds have everything one would look for in fine dining in Melbourne; try Bistro Thierry and France Soir, both high French dining and institutions.
- Pacific House, a Chinese restaurant serving pots of tea from chipped teapots but the best Peking duck you have ever had.
- Fitzroy is the home of hipsters and anything design. You can spend a whole day walking through high end lighting, furniture and homewares. Mark Tuckey is a must, what his artisans do with wood is outstanding.
- A stunning 5 hours drive down the coast will take you to the site of the famous 12 Apostles (Although due to erosion there are no longer 12!) This drive takes in some magnificent coastal views and amazing small villages. Whether you get a sunny day or a cold and gusty one , the scenery is breathtaking and the experience amazing. The famous Bells Beach and Torquay are ideal to visit in the warmer summer days and Apollo Bay provides some beautiful views and a great place to stay. And if you like lighthouses there are no shortage along this amazing coastline.
- If wineries are more your thing, you won’t be disappointed around Melbourne. Grab a car and a driver and head north east to the Yarra Valley. Make sure you take a pack only the staples for lunch, as you can pick up extras on the way. First stop in Domaine Chandon, (the only Australian Winery founded by Moet & Chandon) have the tasting boards of their best wines and take a walk through the vineyard. Then onto Punt Road, they have started making ciders as well, you need at least 30 minutes here to try everything.
- Yarra Valley Dairy is just around the corner and here you can grab cheese, biscuits and bread. Back in the car and to Healesville, it’s a photo stop in the main street and a charcoal chicken from the local store, lunch is now done. Grab your basket, bottle opener, as you have remembered to grab at least one at Punt Road, a ticket to the Sanctuary and it’s off to see some natives. The Sanctuary is great, if you don’t like touching animals then stay in the car. It’s native Victorians in a three hour extravaganza, with a lunch on the way.
- If you like Penguins, and how could you not! The Phillip Island Nature Park is the home of the world famous Penguin Parade. See these amazing creatures come home from feeding and make their way up the hill to their nests. This is a definite to add to your list, whether young or old, you will remember this experience forever.
Events in Melbourne
- Melbourne is a cultural gem and a constant stop for some of the world’s most popular musicals and stage plays. Check out Melbourne’s most important events hereand keep up to date on the latest shows by clicking here.
Miscellaneous Good Stuff
- Melbourne is the most European of all Australian cities. It has four seasons in one day so you should always be prepared and pack a jumper and umbrella! It has amazing laneways full of restaurants and cafes and some of the country’s best shopping precincts. It may not have Sydney’s Harbour or Opera House however it has style and entertainment in abundance. There is a reason that there is an ongoing rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney – they are both amazing!
- Melbourne – 4 seasons in one day has never been so true.
Due to the geographic location, Melbourne weather can change dramatically and quickly.
This is however adds to the charm of the city. Nowhere else in Australia do you get to wear a stunning jacket and then strip down to a short sleeve shirt on the same day, and need them both ! Throw in the umbrella as well because there is a good chance you will need it before you get home.
Adopt the boy scout motto of “be prepared” and you will have no issues at all !Melbourne Summers allow you to enjoy the beachside lifestyle then as Autumn arrives the vast arrive of beautiful parks’ foliage change colour, allowing you to stroll through the European charm that only Melbourne can offer.Winter is perhaps the most beautiful time of all. The laneway cafes and restaurants are alive with some of the most amazing cuisine in the country. Spring then allows you to enjoy the parks again with new growth and the return of greenery.Statistically Melbourne gets less rain than either Brisbane or Sydney.More information is available by clickin here : Melbourne weather