Melbourne was voted the most liveable city in the world for the third time running. As a Melbournite this is something I am proud of. I love living in Melbourne, the city has so much to offer. The city is filled with an array of restaurants and bars that will keep you busy every night of the week. Ranging from shopping, sightseeing, restaurants and bars, this is an all inclusive guide to 12 of Melbourne’s best from a Melbournite:
1. Bimbo’s Deluxe
If you ask a Melbournite the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Bimbo’s Deluxe I guarantee they will say ‘$4 pizzas!’ That’s right, $4 pizzas! Bimbo’s Deluxe is a must when visiting Melbourne. Located on the Corner of Brunswick Street and Rose Street, Fitzroy; their selection of budget friendly gourmet pizzas cannot be missed. My personal favourite is the Agnello, packed full with tomato, mozzarella, lamb, rocket, pine-nuts, parmesan and surprisingly sultanas. There is no need to book, it is first come first served so make sure you get there early. But not too worry, if you can’t get a table straight away there is a gorgeous terrace covered in tea light candles and downstairs a number of couches to chill and have a cheap feed and drink with mates.
2. Suzuki Night Markets
Every summer I look forward to the sun, the warmer weather and flocking to the beach any chance I can get; however as soon as that sun comes out I know it is nearly time for the Queen Victoria Suzuki Night Markets. Now in its 16th year, the open air markets are filled with stalls selling everything from fresh paella and sangria to scented soaps and handmade jewellery. The 2013/2014 season will commence on Wednesday 6th November 2013 and run until 26th February 2014 and can be found at Queen Victoria Market located at Corner Queen and Therry Streets, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000. If you are in Melbourne from November- February do not miss it!
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3. Camberwell Market
For all you lovers of anything vintage, Camberwell market runs every Sunday except Christmas day and New Years from 7am-12.30pm. Only second hand goods and hand crafter goods are allowed to be sold. If you can get up early on a Sunday, make sure to make your way down to Station Street, Camberwell and snatch yourself a bargain.
4. Mamasita Restaurant
Mamasita’s is one of Melbourne’s hottest restaurants. Located in the Melbourne CBD, the Mexican restaurant encourages sharing so get together a group of friends, share a meal and enjoy the 150+ varieties of tequila and mezcal Mamasita’s proudly offers. The Mamasita Menu is 100% Gluten Free which is an added bonus. The restaurant only takes bookings for parties of 8-10. If you are not in a group of 8+ it is a walk in basis only so make sure you arrive nice and early to guarantee yourself a seat. Open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, you can find Mamasita’s at Level 1/11 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000.
5. Lenko Boutique
Nestled in one of Melbourne’s finest streets; Lenko is a gorgeous boutique that you must visit. The store is littered with colourful accessories that will brighten any outfit and their ranges of animal sweaters that they release every year are adorable and will keep you warm during the colder months. Make sure to check out their online store at ilovelenko.com or visit them at Cathedral Arcade, Corner Flinders Lane & Swanston St, Melbourne 3000.
6. The Corner Hotel
Hosting some of today’s biggest acts from Australia and around the globe, The Corner Hotel is the perfect music venue. With one of Melbourne’s most renowned rooftop beer gardens, you can get there early and head to the bar for a bite to eat and beer before the show. Located at 57 Swan Street, Richmond, it is easily accessible by public transport. You can purchase tickets online from their website or from their Box office located at the venue.
7. 1000 Steps Kokoda Track Memorial
Located in the Dandenong Ranges National Park at Mt Dandenong, the 1000 steps Kokoda Track Memorial Walk is a piece of history that shouldn’t be missed. The steps were originally made from trunks of tree ferns however were replaced by concrete steps in 1950 to make the walk easier. There are 14 plaques along the walk to represent the similarity of the first 100 metres of the Kokoda Track in Papa New Guinea. Grab your trainers and a bottle of water and enjoy a day outdoors while seamlessly enjoying a piece of history.
Location: Dandenong Ranges National Park Upper Ferntree Gully Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3156. (Melways Map 74 H4)
8. Mr Wow’s Emporium
Labelling themselves as ‘Purveyors of fine drinks, good times and bocce’… Mr Wow’s Emporium is a bar not to be missed when visiting Melbourne. With an indoor bocce pit, ping pong tables and free popcorn, Mr Wow’s is a great place to hang out with friends, enjoy a few drinks and a round of bocce. Easily accessible by tram Mr Wow’s Emporium is located at 97b Smith Street, Fitzroy and is open Tuesday- Saturday 5pm-1am and Sunday 4pm-late.
9. Trophy Wife Nail Art
Here’s one for the ladies. Chelsea Bagan is a freelance nail artist from Melbourne. Working on Bridge Road in Melbourne’s East, Chelsea’s talent and precision is a force to be reckoned with. Her gorgeous cherry blossom design is to die for; this woman knows how to make art on a nail. With a book in tow, and collaboration with Australian made nail polish Kester Black, a visit to Trophy Wife Nail salon is a must when in Melbourne ladies.
10. D.O.C Carlton Restaurant
Apart of the D.O.C group, D.O.C Carlton located on Faraday Street, Carlton has quickly become a favourite amongst Melbournites (definitely my favourite spot to eat). Bringing a slice of Italy to Melbourne, their genius combinations and mouth-watering desserts will put a smile on your face. Make sure to take a walk around the corner to Lygon Street and check out D.O.C Espresso which specialises in Pastas and their D.O.C Delicatessen where you can get the freshest prosciutto and an amazing selection of cheeses. I highly recommend the Pizza San Daniele, it is to die for and the sweet pizza with Belgian white chocolate is a must!
11. Centre Place & Degraves Street
Centre Place & Degraves Street can be found right in the middle of the CBD, a stone throw away from each other. They showcase what Melbourne is all about… coffee, street art and a relaxed vibe. Just a few steps from Flinders Street station you are sure to see a photographer snapping away, a flock of University students and a whole lot of hipsters. It isn’t strange for an up and coming local talent to be busking in Centre Place so make sure to stop and have a listen. Grab yourself a sandwich from B3 Café Patisserie at Centre Place, a latte from Degraves Espresso, take a seat and immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Melbourne city.
12. St Kilda Festival
The free nine day event is held in February ever year along the St Kilda foreshore. Showcasing local musical talent as well as an array of food and drink, the St Kilda Festival brings thousands of people to the foreshore every year. Bars, shops and restaurants across St Kilda get into the spirit opening their doors to the neighbourhood. The festival runs all week long however the main event is held on Sunday 9 February where the streets are flooded with people from near and far all enjoying the free event. In 2014 the festival returns from Saturday 1-Sunday 9 February.