I don’t know about you guys, but when I have out-of-town mates come to visit, I’m always a bit stumped as to how best to entertain them. ‘Show me the sights!’ they cry. ‘All the cool places!’ they plead.
But beyond 25 brunch spots, a leisurely stroll down Flinders Lane, followed by dinner at a restaurant that requires the obligatory two-hour wait, it can be hard to know how to truly show off this glorious scoundrel of a city to our interloper friends. So we’ve put together an extensive list which is sure to impress your visitors.
You’ll want to kick off your little Melbourne showcase with the best of the best, and you really can’t go wrong with brunch at Industry Beans in Fitzroy.
You’re barely a stone’s throw from the Rose Street Artist’s Market, so you’d best take them to explore that little gem, bursting with jewellery, vintage pieces, homewares and fashion from emerging designers. This will do wonders for your Melbourne cred.
Continue on to Brunswick Street. We’d be crazy to dictate exactly where you need to stop by along this iconic stretch, but we’re not above calling out a few of our favourites:
Drop in at N2 Extreme Gelato where ice-cream meets science. Marvel at the crazy flavours on offer in this chemistry lab setting and don’t be afraid to sample something strange from their weekly specials.
Poke your head in at Flowers Vasette to have as sticky-beak at some truly gorgeous floristry.
Check out Maven & Kit for some quirky homewares that you won’t find at just any old place.
After all this walking, you’d be forgiven for craving a froffie, and Little Creatures Brewery will fix you up in a flash. Hot tip: their doughnuts are pretty ace too.
There’s a ton of interesting and quirky retailers peddling unique books, music, homewares and clothing on Brunswick Street, so take your time. Wander, explore, and don’t be afraid to deviate in to side streets.
You’ll eventually hit Gertrude Street. We insist you check out The Standard Store, Megan Park, Alistair Trung Fitzroy, Obus and Dogstar for some quality Melbourne threads that you’ll hang on to for an eternity.
If your travels take you right the way along Gertrude to Langridge, it’d be rude not to turn in to Oxford and have a quiet little sit-down at South of Johnston – one of our favourite café haunts on the north-side.
It’s nearing dinner time and there’s a good chance that your guests don’t quite ‘get’ the queuing thing, so best to avoid that.
Head for a drink at [Stoke] Bar + Kitchen, a pretty schmick addition to Melbourne’s CBD scene with its suave bar and dark wood, but without the price-tag.
Stroll along Flinders Lane to The Mill House and settle in for the evening. The atmosphere is fantastic and if you get your timing right, there’s often some cracking live acts.
Day two dawns and it’s the south-side’s time to shine. Start your morning with brunch at The Stables for a little bit of country glam close to the city. The café menu is deeeelish, and you can also order a picnic hamper and enjoy it in the gardens.
Jump in the car and head along Beach Road, following the coast. It’s super cheesy, but who doesn’t love the mandatory photo in front of the Brighton Beach Boxes? You can loll around on the sand if the weather is being kind, just don’t try and sell it as a good beach if your guests are from Sydney or Perth.
When you’re back on the road, head on to Black Rock and settle in at Ebenezer Coffee and Wine Bar for your drink of choice.
Now waddle home and congratulate yourself for showing your out-of-town mates a rollicking good time.