Discover Melbourne’s Other Sides
 
Get out of the CBD to discover the secrets of nearby precincts ¬– ones where the entertainment, attractions and great dining are guaranteed.
 
It’s parallel neighbour, Gertrude Street, gets all the attention, but Fitzroy’s Johnston Street is having a moment. As the sun sinks, head north to find great restaurants and bars. The latest is Bar Liberty [234 Johnston Street], run by former Attica and Rockwell & Sons alumnus. Drop in for wines by small producers, bottled cocktails and amazing bar snacks, including the already famous GLT – it’s like a BLT with the bacon replaced by fried chicken skin. Crack claws with your hands at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack at the Rochester Hotel [202 Johnston Street], or try out the smart new Sicilian diner on the block Mr Ottorino [122 Johnston Street]. Later on stop for a drink at George’s Bar [120 Johnston Street], based on Seinfeld character George Costanza, or catch a band at The Old Bar [74–76 Johnston Street]. 
 
It wasn’t too long ago that the inner-east was thought of as a place where families moved to raise kids, but Hawthorn has an upmarket, artistic side too. Drop into the Hawthorn Arts Centre [360 Burwood Road] and visit the Town Hall Gallery to see The Traveller: Experiencing Movement, Time and Place, an exhibition featuring 45 works by top Australian artists. Alternatively, explore your own artistic side at Creative Commune’s classes (also in the Arts Centre) covering everything from illustration to making terrariums. See an art-house movie at the refurbished historic Lido Cinemas [675 Glenferrie Road], before dropping into contemporary Italian restaurant Sagra [256–258 Glenferrie Road] and heading up to its rooftop bar for a cocktail.
 
Located in the inner west, Yarraville’s star is on a rapid rise. The Art Deco Sun Theatre [8 Ballarat Street] is probably the area’s best-known landmark, but there’s plenty else happening from classes at The Pilates & Yoga Shed [110 Somerville Road] to comedy nights and live music at the Yarraville Club [135 Stephen Street]. Grab an exotic bite at Bopha Devi [27 Ballarat Street], a popular local eatery serving Cambodian cuisine. Earlier in the day, though, diners flock to cafe Cobb Lane [13 Anderson Street], where chef Matt Forbes, who’s worked at renowned international restaurants including Noma and Waterside Inn, is making amazing pastries and donuts, as well as a small menu of British-inspired dishes.
 
Right on the bay, Port Melbourne has plenty to offer. Get a team together to solve the puzzle and make your great escape at Exitus [23 Salmon Street], one of Melbourne’s popular escape room venues. Take a stroll through Westgate Park [Todd Road] with its great bird watching and views of the bay and city skylines, before relaxing with a glass of wine at chic bar Harry & Frankie [317 Bay Street] or an icy beer at Colonial Brewing Co [89 Bertie Street].

Discover Melbourne’s Other Sides

Get out of the CBD to discover the secrets of nearby precincts – ones where the entertainment, attractions and great dining are guaranteed.
 

It’s parallel neighbour, Gertrude Street, gets all the attention, but Fitzroy’s Johnston Street is having a moment. As the sun sinks, head north to find great restaurants and bars. The latest is Bar Liberty [234 Johnston Street], run by former Attica and Rockwell & Sons alumnus. Drop in for wines by small producers, bottled cocktails and amazing bar snacks, including the already famous GLT – it’s like a BLT with the bacon replaced by fried chicken skin. Crack claws with your hands at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack at the Rochester Hotel [202 Johnston Street], or try out the smart new Sicilian diner on the block Mr Ottorino [122 Johnston Street]. Later on stop for a drink at George’s Bar [120 Johnston Street], based on Seinfeld character George Costanza, or catch a band at The Old Bar [74–76 Johnston Street]. 

It wasn’t too long ago that the inner-east was thought of as a place where families moved to raise kids, but Hawthorn has an upmarket, artistic side too. Drop into the Hawthorn Arts Centre [360 Burwood Road] and visit the Town Hall Gallery to see The Traveller: Experiencing Movement, Time and Place, an exhibition featuring 45 works by top Australian artists. Alternatively, explore your own artistic side at Creative Commune’s classes (also in the Arts Centre) covering everything from illustration to making terrariums. See an art-house movie at the refurbished historic Lido Cinemas [675 Glenferrie Road], before dropping into contemporary Italian restaurant Sagra [256–258 Glenferrie Road] and heading up to its rooftop bar for a cocktail.

Located in the inner west, Yarraville’s star is on a rapid rise. The Art Deco Sun Theatre [8 Ballarat Street] is probably the area’s best-known landmark, but there’s plenty else happening from classes at The Pilates & Yoga Shed [110 Somerville Road] to comedy nights and live music at the Yarraville Club [135 Stephen Street]. Grab an exotic bite at Bopha Devi [27 Ballarat Street], a popular local eatery serving Cambodian cuisine. Earlier in the day, though, diners flock to cafe Cobb Lane [13 Anderson Street], where chef Matt Forbes, who’s worked at renowned international restaurants including Noma and Waterside Inn, is making amazing pastries and donuts, as well as a small menu of British-inspired dishes.

Right on the bay, Port Melbourne has plenty to offer. Get a team together to solve the puzzle and make your great escape at Exitus [23 Salmon Street], one of Melbourne’s popular escape room venues. Take a stroll through Westgate Park [Todd Road] with its great bird watching and views of the bay and city skylines, before relaxing with a glass of wine at chic bar Harry & Frankie [317 Bay Street] or an icy beer at Colonial Brewing Co [89 Bertie Street].

Check out more of Melbourne's wonderful neighbourhoods.

Image credit: Josie Withers Photography