Friends of Mine is a self-confessed arty, laid-back place. They pride themselves on using produce that is organic, free-range and locally sourced wherever possible. Whether you come for an all-day breakfast, pancakes or a heartier lunch dish, you’ll be well looked after. Book yourself in for their delightful High Tea — served every last Sunday of the month — and be spoiled with a glass of bubbly and a scrumptious selection of savory and sweet treats.
Cutting right through the district, Bridge Road is renowned for its shopping opportunities. Clothes fanatics can find great bargains and hidden treasures in the many factory outlets and smaller boutiques selling everything from clothes and shoes to accessories and vintage fashion. It’s also a great place to come for furniture, with a number of home furnishing stores offering a real chance to find that one-of-a-kind item for your living room.
Melbourne is home to some of the best street art in the world, having lent its public walls to many local artists and internationally known muralists. Head along the train tracks around Richmond Station and turn into the small streets branching off of Swan Street where you will discover stunning murals and intricately designed graffiti in bold colors.
Whether you’re a budget eater or fine diner with deeper pockets, the venues on Victoria Street offer delicious and authentic Vietnamese cuisine made from fresh produce. If you’re new to Victoria Street, begin your culinary journey at Pho Hung Vuong 2. Don’t be fooled by the casual appearance, the flavors are delicious and the portions are very generous.
If you’re not content with eating authentic Vietnamese food but want to learn to cook the dishes in the comfort of your own home, head to Otao Kitchen on Victoria Road. Learn to cook quick meals that are delicious and healthy in classes of 5-12 people. Not only do participants prepare the food themselves but they also get together at the end of every class to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Choose from different classes, such as ‘Hoi An Beach Food’ or ‘Taste of Vietnam.’ Alternatively, join the Saturday Food Tour to learn how to prepare classic dishes right after a tour around the markets to show you where to buy the best fresh produce and essential pantry ingredients.
Nestled in a converted warehouse in North Richmond, the Mountain Goat Brewery released its first ale in 1997. While Mountain Goat ales are available throughout Victoria state, the brewery itself is open to the public twice a week. All the regulars are available on tap for sampling, as are one-off batches and food. There are free brewery tours too.
Sports are a major part of the social fabric of Victoria and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) is right at the forefront of the action. With a capacity of just over 100,000, the MCG is the largest stadium in the Southern hemisphere and the 10th largest in the world. The stadium plays host to Australian football in the winter and cricket games in the summer as well as other sports, such as soccer or rugby, and even major rock concerts.
Located just across from the Richmond train station, The Owl and Cat Theatre is a quirky and creative establishment that specializes in indie performances and takes pride in its support of emerging artists. First opened as an art gallery, founder Jason Cavanagh later added music and theater to the repertoire. There are regular events and classes such as the monthly Jazz Jam and movie script readings. Evening performances rotate regularly and visitors can head for a drink at the bar before and after the shows.
Although live music has been on the menu since the 1940s, Corner Hotel has earned a reputation for being a first-class rock music venue. The origins of the pub go further back still. It was first licensed in 1871 when, thanks to its proximity to Richmond Railway Station, the pub soon attracted a steady following. Aside from cheering on local bands and internationally renowned musicians, visitors of the Corner Hotel can enjoy good home-cooked pub food and a variety of drinks either in the relaxing front bar or on the pub’s rooftop beer garden, where they can marvel at the city’s skyline.
Bar Economico is the brainchild of Matthew Bax, the genius behind Melbourne’s iconic cocktail bar Der Raum. Bar Economico serves some of the best rum cocktails in the city. The exact selection is on rotation, but you’ll still be able to choose from 15 different cocktails per night as well as other premium spirits plus a small selection of beer, wine and ciders.