Offering its unique spaces as a performance and entertainment venue, Howler is one of Brunswick’s premier spots for art displays and to see up-and-coming musicians. This is in addition to being an extraordinary bar and garden lounge, and, of course, one of Melbourne’s greatest burger joints. The variety of burgers is sure to knock your socks off; each one displaying flavours that hint at different cuisines from around the world. With all the art and music, quirky décor and brilliant bar food, you’ll just have to come back a couple more times to be sure that you’ve taken it all in.
Howler, 7-11 Dawson Street, Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9077 5572
Spotted Mallard is a three-in-one. It’s draught beer selection is constantly being updated with local and international beers, making it one of Brunswick’s top beer bars. It is also one of Brunswick’s premier performance venues for Melbourne’s music scene, with the stage being the main focal point among the cool, vintage décor. On top of that, Spotted Mallard offers a menu of classic bar snacks and larger meals, including their selection of burgers that show off seasonal flavours and the chefs’ artistic flair.
Spotted Mallard, 314 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9380 8818
Tom Phat uses its small space in a genius fashion in order to create such a remarkably relaxing atmosphere. The feature of the restaurant (apart from the food) is the gorgeous painted wall, stretching the length of the dining area, which depicts the beautiful Asian countryside. The kitchen offers a substantial breakfast menu of all your favourite breakfast foods, with an Asiatic twist. And, if you’re in for lunch or dinner, prepare to be amazed by the brilliant stir-fries and curries. Be warned though, that the food packs a punch, especially for those whose tongues are not used to strong spices.
Tom Phat Restaurant, 184 Sydney Rd, Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9381 2374
The Brunswick Mess Hall
The high ceiling, which is supported by dark wooden beams, and the indoor plants provide customers at The Brunswick Mess Hall with a refreshing, spacious setting to revel in the Asiatic cuisine that is splashed with a bit of Melbourne’s culture and feel. The name reflects neither the ambience nor the food, which is in reality refined and delicious and not at all a mess. Be sure to investigate the drinks menu as well, where you will be able to find an enormous selection of beers and cocktails just waiting to be discovered.
The Brunswick Mess Hall, 400 Sydney Rd, Melbourne VIC, Australia +61 3 9388 0297
Melbourne’s large Greek population is well represented by Hellenic Republic, which serves authentic Greek food fused with modern ideas. The décor pays homage to the flag of the Greek homeland by using white and blue among the austere wooden furnishings. The bar serves 16 different types of ouzo, a traditional Greek aperitif, which must be honoured before starting on the delicious, classic meals. However, if you’re in a group and feeling especially social, why not try one of the sharing menus that allow you to taste all the best seasonal Greek delights.
These aged Italian cooking traditions are brought all the way from southern Europe to Brunswick for your dining pleasure. 400 Gradi is named after the sweltering temperature to which their fierce wood-fire oven is turned, one of the special tricks they use to develop the pizza, which has gained them notoriety for being the best in Australia (and perhaps even the world). Chef Johnny’s family emigrated from Naples in the 1950s, and Johnny has made it his life’s work to bring the Neapolitan taste to Australia.
400 Gradi, 99 Lygon Street, East Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9380 2320
Rumi uses time-honoured Persian cooking techniques to create delicious food that is both affordable and plentiful. The ability to take away is available to customers, but why would you? The simplistic décor makes for a refreshing place to dine, and between that and the food, it’s less a restaurant, and more a work of art.
Rumi Restaurant, 116 Lygon st, East Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9388 8255
Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria
Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria’s provincial wooden décor and low-key atmosphere is the best place to come with a few friends for a few cervezas. But even if you weren’t hungry when you walked in, you’ll be hungry when your eyes drift to the blackboard behind the bar. Try the amazing tacos; at around $5 a pop you might struggle to choose which one to try, and end up getting one of each, but you won’t be complaining in the end, even if you need a hand getting out of your seat.
The Stonemill 347
The Stonemill 347 is a food and wine bar that serves up authentic Italian cuisine using the best seasonal ingredients and their signature fresh pasta, hand-made every morning. Owner Salvo’s vision was to create a space that would show the passion and talent for Italian cooking that exists in Melbourne, and he does so with authentic Italian food and local Australian wine, as well as many different wines imported all the way from Italy.
The complex flavours of Lebanon are brought to Brunswick thanks to Tiba’s Restaurant. The family owned restaurant serves authentic home-made Lebanese dips and salads and specialises in a range of grilled meats. The simple brick-walled décor leaves you to enjoy the authentic Lebanese tastes without distraction, or perhaps you prefer to savor the flavour elsewhere, which is entirely possible with Tiba’s take-away menu.
Tiba’s Restaurant, 504 Sydney Road, Brunswick VIC, Australia +61 3 9380 8425