Melbourne Pocket Precincts Extract

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The Perfect Melbourne Day

23 Sep 2019 | Cherry Cai

Melbourne is one of those cities whose charms just creep up on you as you spend time wandering through its many laneways and drink your fill of its coffee. We definitely have a soft spot for Melbourne here at Hardie Grant Travel. In this extract of Melbourne Pocket Precincts by Dale Campisi and Brady Michaels, we take you through a perfect Melbourne day, exploring its many facets, from coffee, to shops, to exhibitions, and of course some of the best food around.

A Perfect Melbourne Day

The perfect day in Melbourne is like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, but you can bet there’ll be coffee, trams, laneways, lots of looking and maybe even getting lost.

We’d start our day with a coffee and croissant at Dukes Coffee Roasters on Flinders Lane (the queue tells you it’s worth the wait). Then head for Hamer Lawn; find the stairs behind the sculpture Forward Surge and wind your way around Hamer Hall for an uninterrupted view of the city skyline.

Next stop: the Melbourne Arts Precinct. The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) is the star attraction, and you’ll be wowed by contemporary art at Buxton Contemporary and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Don’t forget to make a mix-tape souvenir at the Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Now for the laneways. Enter the labyrinth at Degraves Street opposite Flinders Street Station. We love to lunch at casual Italian Journal Canteen on Flinders Lane – always at the window to catch the moment that busy Centre Place blazes with midday sunshine. Then weave your way past musicians and magicians, through Centreway and across Collins Street and admire the cakes in the window of Hopetoun Tea Rooms in the ornate Block Arcade. Need an umbrella, scarf or gardening tools? Go see Mr Wares. Eau de toilette? Head to Paint ’n Powder in the Royal Arcade.

Spend your afternoon wandering the State Library of Victoria’s free exhibitions and magnificent domed reading room, and visit Curtin House – for books at Metropolis, fashion at P.A.M., or a sunset spritz at Rooftop Bar.

For dinner, it’s a pita and a bag of beans at Miznon on Hardware Lane or Chinatown for Tsingtao beer, dumplings and century eggs. Then explore the newest laneway bars or our old favourite Meyers Place Bar, relocated to Crossley Street. Cap it off with unexpected gelato flavours: avocado, lime and coriander at Spring St Grocer.

As an alternative, take the 86 tram north to Northcote for food trucks at Welcome to Thornbury; south to Prahran for a really late night at Revolver Upstairs; east to Richmond for beers at Mountain Goat Brewery or The Corner Hotel; or a train west to Footscray for fragrant flavours at Pho Hung Vuong and the laid-back vibe at Back Alley Sally’s.

Where To Find Your Perfect Melbourne Day Locations

Dukes Coffee Roasters
247 Flinders La, Melbourne VIC 3000

Hamer Hall
100 St Kilda St, Southbank VIC 3004

- Hamer Hall Lawn
- Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne

The National Gallery of Victora
180 St Kilda St, Melbourne VIC 3006

Buxton Contemporary
Cnr Southbank Boulevard &, Dodds St, Southbank VIC 3006

Australian Centre for Contemporary Art
111 Sturt St, Southbank VIC 3006

Degraves Street
Degraves Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

Journal Canteen
253 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Centre Place
Centre Place, Melbourne VIC 3000

Centreway Arcade, Melbourne VIC 3000

Block Arcade
282 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000

- Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Shop 1 and 2
- Mr Wares
Shop 22

The Royal Arcade
331/339 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

- Paint n Powder

State Library of Victoria
328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Curtin House
252 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000

- Metropolis
- P.A.M.
- Rooftop Bar

59 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

map of the perfect in melbourne


Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Meyers Place Bar
7/24 Crossley St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Spring St Grocer
157 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Welcome To Thornbury
520 High St, Northcote VIC 3070

Revolver Upstairs
229 Chapel St, Prahran VIC 3181

Mountain Goat Brewery
80 North St, Richmond VIC 3121

The Corner Hotel
57 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121

Pho Hung Vuong
128 Hopkins St, Footscray VIC 3011

Back Alley Sally's
4 Yewers St, Footscray VIC 3011