For your pick of hip cafes, trendy new restaurants, and buzzing bars just a few minutes from the CBD, the Inner East is the place to be.

HIGHLIGHTS

The heart of the east is The Parade, its busy and vibrant restaurant strip.

Bustling café Argo on the Parade appeals to the younger crowd with a brunch menu that has many vegan options, and La Madeleine is a quaint French-style café with freshly-baked bread and a gorgeous selection of French sweet treats. For some great coffee you have to stop in to Tell Henry. At the west end of The Parade, this hipster hangout serves up single origin coffees in a converted garage.

Later in the day, you can grab a drink at one of the many fine establishments lining The Parade. Try a pint at The Colonist, or a glass of wine at the black marble bar of The Bath Hotel, and kick back in their beer garden for the afternoon.

Try out one of the newest restaurants popping up in the eastern suburbs. This new wave was led by Nordburger, a super trendy burger joint that serves really, really good milkshakes (make sure you try the salted caramel). If you’re after a sumptuous curry feast, book in at The Taste of Nepal. They’re serving up some seriously good Nepalese specialties, and if you’re feeling extravagant, why not give their 7-course banquet a try.

If retro vibes are more your thing, then you’ll want to check out The Sugar Shack Diner. Inspired by the American diners of the 50s, The Sugar Shack Diner dishes out loaded burgers, sodas, and other diner-style food, including an extensive vegan menu, and a ‘secret’ menu. The brave among you can even try their donut bacon cheeseburger, which is just what it sounds like.

For something a little different, it doesn’t get cooler than Norwood’s Brick + Mortar Creative. Aside from being a funky café that serves up coffee and a bevy of delicious toasties, it’s also a retail space for independent designers, selling goods from local creatives. It also holds workshops if you feel like trying your hand at a new skill, like photography or terrarium making.

COMMUNITY FACILITIES

Norwood Library is a space to escape the hustle and bustle of The Parade, and sit down with a book. Open Tuesday through Sunday, you’ll find free Wi-Fi, a section for language resources, and you can even join a book club, where you can meet new people, read a great new book, and discuss your thoughts with others in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether you love to lift weights, practice pilates, or relax with yoga, you’re spoiled for choice with plenty of each on offer on The Parade.

If you’re looking for a place to stretch your muscles and swim some laps, look no further than the Norwood Swimming Centre. If you’re after swimming lessons, the Norwood Swim School, also on The Parade, has classes for all ages.

The east is well-serviced for all your medical needs too, with the Kensington Road Medical Centre, Norwood Village Medical & Dental Centre, and the Beulah Park Medical Clinic all within walking distance of each other.

FREE & FRUGAL

For a bargain breakfast, head to Pavé Café. Housed in an historic building, you can get a plate of eggs on toast for $10, or if you’re feeling a little under the weather, a bacon, egg, and cheese roll for the same. With coffees starting at $3, it’s the perfect way to start the day.

If you’re craving something spicy, fill up at Café Saba. Grab a combination banh mi roll for just $8.50, or to really hit the spot and leave you feeling warm for the rest of the day, indulge in a large laksa bowl for only $13.

At the Norwood Hotel you can score an $11.90 lunch special during the week, and at the Kent Town Hotel you can pick up a pint for $6 during their happy hours.