More than anywhere else in Melbourne, Fitzroy is a melting pot of bohemian ideals and hipster identity, a place where you can find great coffee, copious street art and quirky shopping options. This is the first in a series of ‘day tours’ around Melbourne suburbs, and a challenge to see and do as much on a small budget as possible.
10AM – Beans and Bagels, 121 Johnson Street
There’s no use starting out on an empty stomach, so we head to Beans and Bagels – they have a wonderful array of breakfast deals, which include coffee. I go for the $13.30 eggs benedict (the cheapest anywhere).
11AM – Rose Street Artist Market
Heading north up Brunswick Street, we turn into the street-art bedecked Rose Street, famous for its weekend markets. It’s full of local crafters, and includes loads of handmade items including jewellery, art, and clothing. Great for gifts, but also fun for a browse, too.
12PM- Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy is a hive of artistic activity, and as a result there are many places around town where you can get your fix of contemporary art. The BSC is one of the better known venues. Comprised of eight unique galleries, there’s likely something here that will interest you.
1PM – Bimbo Deluxe, 376 Brunswick Street
Easily identified by the creepy baby on the outside, Bimbo’s is two parts dark, cosy cave to one part quirky rooftop bar. They are known for their extensive menu of $4 pizzas – I tried a dessert pizza with honey and mascapone, and my companion a lamb and rocket one. Both were delicious. The $4 pizzas are available Monday – Friday 12 – 4pm, Monday – Thursday 7 – 11pm, Friday and Saturday 7 – 9pm, and all day Sunday. They also brew their own beer and infused vodka!
2.30pm – Clear It, 188 – 192 (Women’s) and 210 (Men’s) Brunswick Street
Clear It is a hub for fashionistas of all stripes, especially fans of Dangerfield and Alannah Hill. I have found dresses for $10 in here, accessories for $5 and fabric aplenty. If you’re handy with a needle and thread this place is a goldmine. There are men’s and women’s outlets just up the road from one another.
3.30pm – Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George St., Fitzroy
We popped into the gallery to see the ‘True Self’ exhibition by David Rosetzky. The exhibition was a thought-provoking exploration of how photography can reveal inner truth. The gallery is always worth a look, and hosts an array of local and international artists.
4.30pm – Abbotsford Convent, St. Helier’s Rd, Abbotsford
OK, we may have cheated a little, but the Convent is just too good to pass up on a trip to the area. We walked around for a bit, having a peek in the galleries and popping into the Collingwood Children’s Farm next door just before closing. We were lucky enough to see a baby goat just an hour after its birth! Afterwards we popped into Lentil as Anything for dinner.
Lentil’s has come a long way in the 13 years since its inception, with live music, a wide selection of tasty vegetarian fare and plenty of art by locals on the wall. There’s also a cute little bar next door at which to indulge in a beverage or two.
It goes without saying that the street art scene is huge in Fitzroy. I have included a gallery below to inspire you to go and see the area for yourselves. The works really brighten up the streetscape.