It doesn’t matter how many times you walk a particular street in Melbourne, you will always discover something new, whether it’s a little laneway coming off it you missed before or a store with a hidden entrance; there is something waiting behind every corner here. A month isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of it, but we’ve been here long enough to develop some favourites. So here are some of our top picks of hidden gems that will stick in our minds for a long time to come; leaving out the most talked about, most popular tourist things – because everyone knows’s how amazing Victoria State Library is.
” With the roaring fire and urban Decor, we were easily enticed inside away from the winter’s grip”
Donutopia – South Yarra (more locations coming soon though!)
Move over Krispy Kreme, Donutoptia is here. This little gem can be found on Chappel Street in South Yarra – one of the best suburbs for shopping, and as it turns out, for Donuts too! I’ll admit from the offset though, I have only eaten at this place once (so far – there’s time yet); but we did get a good selection of doughnuts, so you know – experts. I had walked past this place twice a day for the best part of 3 weeks, and every time we promised ourselves to go in but never did… those who know me will know the self-restraint this will have taken! Their fresh Nutella Donuts smelled and looked amazing, and there was always people inside. Let me tell you, these Donuts were amazing and definitely worth the wait, my only regret is not getting more! Personally, for me, their filled doughnuts are better than their regular circular ones with fancy toppings; because who doesn’t love biting into a yummy doughnut and having to catch the filling before it falls onto your knee…. The staff here are great too and happy to help if you’re struggling to choose.
The Attik – South Yarra
This is by far one of our most unexpected nights out we’ve had since we’ve been here and the cheapest! We found this place almost by accident, and struggled to point it out the following day without google! Hidden behind a small doorway, The Attik is a small bar venue tucked upstairs away from the rush of Chappel Street. What makes it special though is what happens here on a Thursday night, say goodbye to the quiet bar and hello to a busy comedy club. Settle into an evening of free entertainment with free popcorn and cheap beer (they have a food menu too if you’re hungry). With around 6 – 10 acts each night there’s bound to be a joke or two you’ll appreciate, and we repeat – Free popcorn!!
Quinti coffee shop – Hawthorn
Melbourne isn’t short of coffee shops, in fact, it’s one of the thing’s this city is famous for. Even outside the main city, you’ll never be short of a place to top up on caffeine, but if you’re looking for good honest coffee the way the Italians make it then hop on a train (Belgrave line) and head over to Hawthorn. Tucked away here is Quinti, a cafe restaurant ran by an Italian family. Dec stumbled upon this place whilst I was at interviews and says it almost the best coffee he’s ever had. Jackamo, the owner, is super friendly and happy to help with directions, or even just to chat – and his little girl is adorable. You can tell he cares a lot about his customers, and not just the $$$ earned off a cup of coffee. If you’re a trained barista looking for a job, you’ll certainly not struggle in this city.
Cafe Piccante – Fitzroy
Wondering where Dec had his best ever coffee? This is the place! In the hipster town of Fitzroy, you’ll be spoilt for choice with cool/unique places to sit and escape from the city, but with its roaring fire and urban decor Piccante lured us in from the winter: We weren’t disappointed. Dec say’s their coffee is amazing, and I personally can vouch for the atmosphere; not to mention their breakfast menu has something for everyone. Looking for suggestions? Try their green eggs and bacon!
Chappel Street – South Yarra
This is a really popular street, but surprisingly until we stayed there we’d not heard of it. So if you’re like us, this one’s for you! Chappel Street is apparently the place to be, in one of the most desirable suburbs of Melbourne (South Yarra) and apparently, we were lucky to find cheap accommodation to stay right by it for 3 weeks (possibly because it’s winter – I imagine in summer prices will rocket). Chappel Street goes on for miles and has everything you could want all on this one long stretch. Hungry? You’ll not be spoilt for choice. Want to shop? Lot’s to choose from in all price brackets. Need to do the weekly food shop? Great, there’s a Coles, 7Eleven and a Woolies here as well as smaller convenience stores. It’s a great street to just explore too with an abundance of street art on the walls (remember to look up too! you’ll be surprised who’s watching you) and performers dotted around. If you’re wanting to get here from the city, hop on the Frankston/Cranbourne line from any City Loop Station straight to South Yarra Station.
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