Melbourne Wanderings 2023

We’ve recently returned from a weekend family get together in Melbourne and as per usual it was a head spinning few days of discovering trendy places to shop, relax, eat and drink, packed into just a few short days.

And no visit to Melbourne would be complete without being on the lookout for street art and the city and suburbs is full of it. It’s impossible not to notice a whole heap of ugly graffiti tags and there’s barely a surface left untouched, but there are plenty of skilful art pieces to find too.

Here’s a few places we found on our latest visit to the areas of Brunswick, Fitzroy and surrounds.

Il Caretto Restaurant

This traditional homestyle Italian restaurant is on Nicholson Street, where on one side of the road you’re in Fitzroy North and the other (Il Caretto side) is Carlton North.

The walls are lined with photos of the owner with a who’s who of celebrities including Sophia Loren and Pavarotti, which gives you plenty to look at while you’re waiting for your food. Not that it took long, our table of 10 were all served and happily tucking into the food and wine within a short time of ordering.

The traditional food was excellent, and the prices extremely good. A definite cheap and cheerful one to visit.

 Bodriggy Brewpub

A typical hipster Melbourne setting for this brewpub, we had an evening in this old mechanic shop and warehouse in Abbotsford. As well as their own brews which include lagers, IPA, stout, dark ales and more, they have wines, ciders and cocktails on the drinks menu.

The food choices are Latin American themed which snacks and meals including tacos, guacamole, tortillas and more, all with a big kick of spices.

It had a relaxed party atmosphere with a DJ cranking tunes all night and keeping the dance floor busy. The only problem is that the later the night gets, the harder it becomes to hear any conversations.

Wolfhound on Brunswick

At the northern end of Brunswick Street in Fitzroy we found this bright and comfortable café which did a fantastic brunch during the day and becomes a bar in the evenings. It’s dog friendly and there are different spaces to sit including lounge area, booths and an outdoor courtyard.

The food was a real winner and every tea order comes with its own little tea for one beautiful teapot. We loved this space and the food.

Rose Street Artists Market

One place we always like to visit and never seem to come away empty handed from, is the Rose Street Makers Market in Fitzroy.

There’s always an interesting array of artists, designers, crafters, and plant stalls to browse and the range includes jewellery, clothing, stationery, ceramics and all sorts of gift wares. I couldn’t go past the stallholder ‘I Am Someone’ and the eye-catching display of block mounted photos that make great display pieces for the home.

This charity program was founded by Steve Argent and his purpose was to create an organisation that gets donor’s money directly to where it is most effective. The charity works with local communities, village elders, teacher and local government organisations in Africa to support vulnerable children. It helps with empowering the local villages in providing funds for education, nutritional and medical care.

A terrific win/win to purchase great looking home décor pieces and help others at the same time. This market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm, and some of the products can also be bought online.

Make sure to take a wander in the alleyways behind the market where you’ll find whole lanes filled with street art.

Edinburgh Gardens

If you’re in need of a break from all the hustle and bustle take a breather in this great park in Fitzroy North. It’s a real drawcard for the locals to relax and chill out in this leafy green park, complete with playground, skate bowl and loads of shady spaces to throw a picnic rug and enjoy.

It’s a great place to people watch, and dog watch, and it’s one place in the busy suburbs where you can feel a sense of space in its 24 hectares.

Brunswick & Fitzroy

We stayed in the suburb of Brunswick and Sydney Road is the main shopping / dining / eating strip in town so we spent time wandering the road and finding all sorts of eclectic shops and spaces. In our wanderings there of course was plenty of mural spotting and architecture to grab our attention.

A couple of venues we passed in our travels looked like they needed further investigation so we ventured inside to check them out, but they will have to get more of a taste test on another visit.

El Camino Cantina – Fitzroy

This looks like a fun destination for all Tex-Mex fans, complete with party sombreros and an array of Margaritas to choose from. There are a few of these restaurants around Australia, but this one in Fitzroy is in a brightly lit neon warehouse that sits 400 people.

It had a different feel to the usual dark and moody Melbourne food venues we’ve become used to, so for a bit of fun it could be one we’ll check out next time.

The Lamb and Flag Café – Brunswick

On a warm and sunny morning in Brunswick the outdoor seating and mural attracted us to stop at this café for a great coffee and gourmet toasties for brunch.

The Lamb and Flag café is run by volunteers of the Christ Church of Brunswick parish and they are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from mornings to around 3ish. It’s a lovely spot to stop a while and enjoy some friendly banter with the volunteers and being a social enterprise, any profits made are put back into the community and the church precinct.

4 Pines Brewery – Brunswick

This was another fortuitous find that will have to wait for another visit to the area. What an amazing complex this is though, tucked behind the Brunswick Mess Hall, you venture down a hallway and this unbelievable scene opens up.

This brewery venue holds 450 patrons and as well as beer tastings they rotate food vendor trucks in the yard, which is just off Sydney Road. The brewery is dog friendly in the spacious covered beer garden which is surrounded with murals painted by local artists.

Street Art

As with all of our visits to Melbourne I’m always amazed at the extent and scale of the urban art, some I will seek out and others that are randomly found in our walks, tram or Uber rides.  Unfortunately I can’t always remember where I found them, but here are a few examples.

Hopefully you can discover and enjoy some of these venues too, next time you visit Melbourne



7 thoughts on “Melbourne Wanderings 2023

  1. Wow, just look at all that amazing street art. It’s no surprise that visitors travel to Melbourne to experience the cobbled bluestone lanes covered in an ever-changing array of works. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

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