Food is not just a means to live in Melbourne... food represents culture, tradition and lifeblood. As the unofficial food capital of Australia, Melbourne has thousands of eateries, which highlight a melting pot of ethnicities. Restaurants, cafes, pubs, clubs and bars abound; tucked away down alleyways, soaring high into the air, fronting onto the water, and lit up for all to see.
Lygon Street in Carlton is Melbourne’s most renowned dining precinct, with the biggest selection of Italian restaurants and cafes on offer anywhere in Australia and a prominent alfresco dining culture.
Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street best reflects the city's soul; accommodating for the affluent and the thrifty, and alternative and the mainstream alike, showcasing organic cafes and unpretentious restaurants and a vibrant outdoor dining scene.
Situated in the trendy suburb of St Kilda, Acland Street is home to funky bars, outstanding restaurants and world-famous patisseries and delicatessen, drawing huge crowds every night of the week.
The hip inner city retail strip of Chapel Street in South Yarra is a favourite haunt for tapas fiends and those who like to relax with a wine.
Southbank sparkles at night, alive with a number of modern Australian fine dining and causal dining restaurants, which enjoy the reflection of the city’s lights on the Yarra.
Dating back to the gold rush days of the 1850s, Melbourne’s Chinatown is one of the city’s longest established dining precincts, radiating character and tradition with dozens of restaurants serving up cuisines from all over the Asian continent.
As the birthplace of several iconic Australian fashion labels, and the home of a diverse array of premier international brands, Melbourne is renowned as one of Australia’s leading shopping destination. Boutique, flagship and department stores dot the city centre’s and fringe suburbs’ laneways and arcades, spoiling shopping enthusiasts with a huge number of retail opportunities and indulgences.
Collins Street is the city’s most famous shopping street, lined with high-end international names. Little Collins Street highlights celebrated Australian labels and famous Melbourne designers.
Offering the city’s most sophisticated and contemporary retail experience, GPO showcases some of Australia and the world’s finest fashion and luxury wares. The state of the art QV centre is also an exciting downtown retail space, boasting an innovative mix of fashion, dining, homewares and furniture.
Once the centre of the city’s rag trade, Flinders Lane has evolved into an atmospheric shopping destination, brimming with hip independent labels and eclectic boutiques. Recognised as Melbourne’s shopping heartland, Bourke Street Mall plays home to Australia’s most renowned department stores. Swanston Street is also a local institution, laden with over 300 stores.
Just outside of the city centre, sits Richmond, one of Melbourne’s most desirable addresses and leading shopping destinations. Known for its outlet shopping, Bridge Road should be a must-visit on any shopper’s itinerary, hosting reputable names at discounted prices. While Chapel Street exists as one of Australia’s most vibrant and successful commercial areas, oozing quintessential Melbournian culture with much talked-about labels.
Melbourne is also home to a collective of inspired markets, including the city’s longest running cultural icons: The Prahran Market, The Queen Victoria Market and The South Melbourne Market – all are worth a half day adventure.