A quietly humble, cosy beachside suburb, Williamstown has plenty to offer for those who take the time to look. We're taking a fiercely local approach, so here are all the reasons you need to make a trip to the West this weekend.
The name is not an exaggeration. Rustic and casual, Crowded House is the quintessential local cafe tucked on bustling Ferguson Street. The family-friendly space includes a summery, barebones outdoor garden for warmer weather. Make a beeline for the baked eggs over spicy tomato, eggplant and red capsicum braise with fetta and crusty herbed toast.
New York Minute
An American-style diner, New York Minute serves gourmet burgers using only the freshest local ingredients. The options (and there are many) include the Rockefeller Wagyu Beef Burger, NYC Deli Brisket Burger and the Philly Cheese Steak. We’ll take one of everything, thanks.
In a playfully laidback interior, Tick Tock is serving some of the more affordable, fresh brunch in Williamstown. Think sweet potato and pumpkin fritters with bacon (YAS), grilled asparagus, smashed avo, tomato, onion, spinach salad, a poached egg and tomato relish. Hot drinks come complimentary with adorkable, wide-eyed owl art, so we think this decision is pretty straightforward.
The Kiosk d’Asporto
Kiosks may not have the strongest rep in Melbourne (I’m looking at you, Flinders Street), but suspend your suspicion and head over to this pint-sized takeaway joint. A sandy waddle away from Williamstown beach, The Kiosk d’Asporto serves fresh, flavoursome salad, pillow-soft pastry and crispy fish and chips.
Carter Smith Devlin & Co
Waffles with house made Nutella, vanilla blancmange and coffee syrup? You had us at waffle. For hash-lovers, the dedicated dish here comes with triple smoked ham, poached eggs, chives and hollandaise. And we haven’t even glanced at the lunch menu yet...
Mascalzone Pizzeria Osteria Artigiana
Take the time to drop into Williamstown’s new local Italian joint while you're in the hood. Boasting homemade fettuccine with smoked pancetta, eggs, pecorino and parmigiano reggiano and rich, crispy pizzas, this is the ideal post-swim dining spot overlooking the ocean.
Set to open in June this year, George Calombaris’s highly anticipated Hellenic Hotel will take over the old Hobson’s Bay Hotel venue. A Greek-style tavern and hearty pub food with a Greek twist is promised to make a delicious appearance.
The local Spanish go-to, featuring gorgeously vibrant paella, kick-ass tapas and cocktails, El Burro has all the ingredients for an exceptional night out. Think chorizo with a honey glaze and goats cheese, confit pork belly with cracking and pear chutney, or fried popcorn chicken seasoned with paprika, lime and parsley—paired with awesome cocktails. Prepare to not share.
Williamstown Farmers’ Market
Running on the second Sunday of every month, the Williamstown Farmers’ Market transforms Nelson Place into an emporium of affordable, fresh produce.
Melbourne Frock Swap
Held once a month in Williamstown, the Melbourne Frock Swap is a local market celebrating everything vintage and second-hand. Unwanted leftover stock can be donated to the Red Cross—that way no one has to drag their hot pink bubble jacket home for the third month in a row.
Stocking some of the best local and international designers in one cosy interior, Amyst Boutique sells a little bit of everything. With fashion, lifestyle and homewares on offer, there’s almost no chance of your bank account walking away without any damage.
For smart, casual menswear, Brixton Pound stocks a range of labels including Fred Perry, Bellroy and Happy Socks. You can’t have a bad Monday if you’re wearing Happy Socks, so we figure they’re worth the minor investment.
Do some wandering
And if all else fails, window-shop along Nelson Place, Douglas Parade or Ferguson Street.
The highlight of any Williamstown visit, brave Melbourne’s bipolar weather at Williamstown Beach. Peaceful, serene and CLEAN (thankyouverymuch St Kilda), Williamstown is home to one of the best beaches in Melbourne.
An ancient Australian Navy ship that speaks to the suburb’s maritime history, the HMAS Castlemaine is the perfect backdrop for a spot of wandering after lunch.
Established fitness studio KX Pilates offers high-intensity Pilates workout sessions that will have you set for the day (or the week, if you’re like us). These bright, open studios fill up fast, so head online to book if you’re eying the beginner spots.
If you’re the type of person who works best with a touch of peer pressure, Together Fit is the perfect group fitness-training centre for you! Featuring a variety of classes for any fitness level, treat yourself to a wholefood snack or fresh organic smoothie post-workout.
Looking for more westside brunches? Check out Melbourne's Best Western Suburb Cafes!
Image credit: El Burro, @playboimouth via Instagram