Melbourne’s hipster capital might be more famous for coffee, but Brunswick is home to a long list of vibrant eateries, too. Here are the top 10 restaurants in the neighbourhood.
Brunswick’s dining scene is as diverse as it is delicious, plating up everything from vegan Vietnamese to modern Australian with a Slovenian twist. Whether you’re hungry for a kebab or a curry, roast lamb or rice paper rolls, check out the 10 best places to grab a meal in Brunswick, Melbourne.
Brunswick’s Sydney Road is lined with dozens of Southeast Asian eateries, but Tom Phat stands out from the crowd. This lively bar and restaurant fuses typically Brunswick recycled furniture with old-school lucky cat figurines, as well as modern Australian flavours with classic Asian techniques. The result is some of Melbourne’s coolest street food, including an exciting Asian-inspired breakfast menu — don’t miss Uncle Ho’s Brekky for a big Vietnamese brunch.
Latin American eateries are the flavour of the month in Australia, but the owner of this taco joint has been cooking quality Mexican food since before it was cool. Bruno Carreto was born in Mexico and moved to Australia when he was seven years old, bringing the recipes of his homeland with him. Los Hermanos tacos are generous and inventive — pick and choose from the short and sweet menu of lamb, beef, chicken, fish and veggie options.
This Lygon Street favourite has forged a mighty reputation as one of Australia’s best Middle Eastern restaurants since it first opened its doors in 2006. Rumi is named after a 13th-century Persian poet but the menu is very contemporary — owners Joseph and Natalie Abboud pay homage to the traditions of Persia, Turkey and Lebanon with modern dishes like charcoal-barbecued king prawns, quail kebabs and slow-roasted lamb shoulder.
The team behind Tom Phat have ventured into Indian street food, opening this stylish subcontinental eatery on Mitchell Street in 2017. Bhang takes its name from an edible form of marijuana, but you won’t find any pot on the menu — only mountains of mouth-watering Indian cuisine, including a wide selection of vegan and vegetarian options and a stack of specialties out of the charcoal oven.
Serving doughnuts by day and fried chicken by night, Juanita Peaches is adored by Brunswick’s fast food fans. Sharing a simple space with All Day Donuts, Juanita is all about American diner dishes using free-range chook. The menu isn’t fancy, nor is the presentation — expect burgers, fried chicken and fries in red plastic baskets — but the flavours will make you weak at the knees.
Good Days plates up guilt-free Vietnamese — half the menu is vegan, the meat-based dishes use ethically-sourced protein and the prices are of great value. This small, stylish space on Sydney Road spoons out Brunswick’s best vegan pho with a shitake and kombu stock, as well as a punchy menu of rice paper rolls, fried chicken wings and cold-packed bowls of pho.
This sophisticated Sydney Road establishment serves Brunswick’s finest modern Australian cuisine. Named after the millionaire and his wife from Gilligan’s Island, Mr and Mrs Howell is an upmarket neighbourhood restaurant plating up contemporary dishes with a Slovenian twist, a nod to the heritage of head chef Mark Brozic. Graze on a shared plate of Tasmanian scallops or roast Flinders Island lamb and wash it down with a bottle of Slovenian Pinot Gris.
Plenty of places lay claim to the world’s best pizza, but this Lygon Street pizzeria has got the trophies to prove it. In recent years, 400 Gradi has picked up a string of awards for the best pizza in Australia, Oceania and even the world — order one of their signature margheritas to see if it stacks up to the slices in Napoli. Lygon Street is the epicentre of Italian food in Australia and 400 Gradi is a stand-out.
Occupying the heritage-listed Oddfellows Hall, this Sydney Road eatery is more glamorous than it sounds. The industrial-chic beer hall serves up plenty more than just great craft brews — the Asian-inspired menu is long and playful, with an array of curries, stir fries and banquets to choose from. This huge hall is also one of Melbourne’s hottest venues for parties, events and wedding receptions so book in advance, especially on weekends.
Welcome to a little slice of Greece in Brunswick East. Opened by celebrity chef George Calombaris in 2008, Hellenic Republic is a Lygon Street institution, providing the traditional taverna experience in one of Melbourne’s trendiest suburbs. The authentic Greek menu is made up of dishes that are designed to be shared — the ‘masa menu’ promises to feed diners the way George was fed at his yia yia’s house as a kid.