Fitzroy, and nearby Carlton, are an artist’s paradise. Some may call them creatives, others know them as ‘hipsters’ but regardless of the title, this area is known for its cool kid vibes and abundance of cafés and retro and local designer stores.
With Magic Johnston artist studios, the Fitzroy Artist Market and Rose St. Artists’ Markets, all held in the area, it really is a hub where creative people come to mingle with each other. This vibe is also reflected in the kind of places you can expect to visit on Smith, Brunswick, and Gertrude Streets. On Brunswick Street you’ll find Melbourne favourite Vegie Bar. Still crazy-popular after all these years, it offers vegan and vegetarian meals at reasonable prices. From your window seat nibbling on your vege’ burrito, you’ll be able to spot the Grub Street Bookstore (open late!), Shag (the best vintage wares in Melbourne) and Polyester Records, a mainstay in the Melbourne music scene, selling vintage and new vinyl and CDs.
A quick stroll down will find you at Marios dishing up delicious breaky and pasta. If Italian is your taste, Lygon Street in Carlton is a true Italian experience. There are Italian eateries, pasta and gelato as far as the eye can see. Tiamo and Tiamo II often have a line for dinner, but it’s worth the wait and you’ll feel like a real local. Directly across from your table full of bruschetta, you’ll spy the newly refurbished Brunetti’s, a late-night eatery with a dessert cabinet to rival the cafés of Rome.
That’s not to say Carlton is a pasta and gelato only zone, it’s also been bitten by the artist bug. Once you’ve been inspired by the artwork at hip spaces like Sutton Gallery, you can try your hand creating your own masterpiece at Crafternoon Café – a coffee shop where you can order crayons, glitter and other craft supplies to create with while you sip your latte.