Chapel Street is a favourite Melbourne haunt for fashion lovers, making it not just a fantastic place to shop for a wardrobe refresh, but also a great spot to be inspired by some impressive street style. In addition to staple fashion stores, including Witchery and Top Shop, you’ll find chic Melbourne boutiques to keep you ahead of the game, no matter the season. Head a little further along Chapel Street to Prahran, where you’ll come across Gorman [248 Chapel Street, Prahran], a proudly Melbourne-born brand. Or, if you are looking to uncover some up-and-coming labels, stop in at Design A Space [142 Chapel Street, Windsor] which provides local independent designers with a platform to showcase and sell their colourful creations including clothing, footwear and accessories.
Love finding unique vintage fashion? Make your way to the Windsor end of this strip. Here you’ll find stores like Vintage Sole [153 Chapel Street, Windsor], an emporium of styles from almost every decade in a glossy boutique that’s far from your local Vinnies. Colourful shirts with loads of character will add quirk to any wardrobe, while classic vintage denim (including lines from Levi’s), await to be your next go-to. Chapel Street Bazaar [217 Chapel Street, Prahran] is another winner that offers not only preloved fashion but homewares, toys and curious collectables. Expect the unexpected, from obscure vinyls to vintage cameras, neon top hats to street signs of yesteryear.
The dining options on Chapel Street are both impressive and endless, with restaurants and cafes offering cuisines inspired by all corners of the continent. Start your day with a slight detour off the main drag at the Prahran Market [163 Commercial Road, South Yarra], with a coffee from Market Lane Coffee and a croissant from Q le Baker. For something a bit more substantial, head to Lucky Penny [481 Chapel Street, South Yarra] and test out its pulled pork benedict or classic smashed avo.
For lunch, head to A25 Pizzeria [720 Chapel Street, South Yarra] and enjoy delicious pasta or, you guessed it, pizza. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, take a squizz at its Crazy Pizza menu, which offers wacky topping combinations like those on the Hot Dog (fior di latte, tomato, frankfurts, chips, ketchup and mayonnaise). If it’s burgers you’re craving, Kung Fu Burger [355 Chapel Street, South Yarra] is a must. Unlike other Melbourne burger joints that focus on the American-style, here they’re prepared using Asian ingredients and Chinese cooking techniques. The burgers are stacked high, and come with fun names like the Gangnam Style — grass-fed beef, Korean mayo, Asian slaw and cheese — and the Thai Boxer featuring pulled pork, Thai chilli mayo, pineapple and slaw.
You’ll be spoiled for dinner options anywhere you stop along, but a crowd favourite is Tokyo Tina [66A Chapel Street, Windsor] which serves fresh and flavoursome Japanese food in a funky space, featuring manga-adorned walls and fairy lights dangling from the ceiling. Or, for a fancier affair, check out the award-winning Highline at the Railway Hotel [29 Chapel Street, Windsor] where the philosophy is paddock to plate. Enjoy its degustation featuring Oak Valley lamb with garlic and lemon myrtle stock and, for dessert, goat yoghurt, fennel, plum juice and honeycomb.
If you consider yourself a cocktail connoisseur, Chapel Street bars will have you wanting more. On the grungier Windsor end of the strip, you’ll find the aptly named Woods of Windsor [108 Chapel Street, Windsor]. Unlike many of the glittering bars that line Chapel, here it’s all about the speakeasy, underground vibes. Some of the coolest mixologists in Melbourne stand behind this bar — often sporting beards and button-ups — who’ll surprise you with their expertise and friendliness as they concoct your drink of choice.
For a modern bar with a hint of decadence Lover [60 Chapel Street, Windsor] is calling your name. It’s sparkling and chic, complete with chandeliers hanging overhead. Go for the Uncommon Espresso, made of vodka, coffee liqueur, pineapple syrup, chocolate bitters and toasted coconut foam.
Fancy catching a flick? Step back in time and settle in for an evening at The Astor Theatre [1 Chapel Street, St Kilda]. It’s the last single-screen cinema of its kind in Melbourne and the venue still holds the charm and grandeur of the 1930s when it first opened. But don’t be fooled, the technology is state-of-the-art, and its sessions include a solid mix of classics and new releases. For entertainment of the live variety, head to Chapel off Chapel [12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran] where a diverse range of musical talent takes to the stage of this former church. A wide range of performances take place here, from cabaret to jazz, folk to musical theatre for kids.
The Chapel Street Precinct is well serviced by public transport, making for the perfect day trip during your stay in Melbourne. From the city, take the Sandringham, Frankston or Pakenham train line to South Yarra Station then walk five minutes along Toorak Road to Chapel Street. This will get you close to the start of the strip and allow you to jump on the 78 tram the runs along most of this street. Alternatively, from the city take tram 72 to stop 31 [Chapel Street].