neighbourhoods

100 secret spots in Melbourne that you need to know about

Have you been to Misty's Diner in Reservoir? Photo: @MistysDiner/Instagram.

Have you been to Misty's Diner in Reservoir? Photo: @MistysDiner/Instagram.

Want to discover the best bits of Melbourne that you won’t see in the brochures?

We asked Melburnians for the hidden secret of their suburbs. They were reluctant at first. After all, once you tell people about a secret it doesn’t stay that way for long, but we got the goss in the end.

 

Either way, now that we’ve let you in on the secret, be cool okay guys?

Oh, and if we missed your suburb, let us know your secret on Facebook.

1. Abbotsford

Killiney Kopitiam
Shop 3/409 Victoria Street

“Killiney Kopitiam in Victoria Street – styled after Singapore’s hawker centres – is as authentic as, well, the ultimate Mee Pok Dah,  which is a dish as rare as hen’s teeth in Melbourne. Pile on the kaya toast, mee rebus and durian pancake [only for the brave] and the menu becomes an addiction. Owner Terry and his staff are great; and if you speak Hokkien, you’re practically family already.”

A photo posted by Killiney Kopitiam Lygon-MELB (@killineylygon) on

2. Aberfeldie

Afton Street Reserve

Afton Street

“So it’s lovely weather for ducks. Why not discover our feathered friends at the Afton Street Reserve where wetlands alongside the Maribyrnong River provide a haven for ducks and other bird species.”

3. Alphington

Darebin Parklands

Separation Street

“When I was a kid my family used to pick bucketfuls of mulberries from an old orchard here every summer. The parklands are a utopia of peace and nature in a busy world.”

4. Ascot Vale

Scoozi

136 Union Road

“Amazing pizza! Do you need anything more than that? OK, the chef, Phillip, is also an artist. He makes pizza art. Pretty epic.”

A photo posted by Scooziascotvale (@scooziascotvale) on

 

5. Ashwood

Hyde n Seek

6 Yertchuk Avenue

“Hyde n Seek cafe is a hidden gem tucked away in an otherwise quiet suburban area. Apart from its obvious quirks, Hyde n Seek is the essential that any local has to try. Great coffee, good friendly service and nice food!”

A photo posted by hyde n seek Melb. (@hydenseekcafe) on

 

6. Balaclava

Saigon Street Eats

249 Carlisle Street

“Fresh and healthy Vietnamese food. And cheap! If you don’t live in Balaclava, chances are you don’t know this place exists. You’re welcome.”

A photo posted by saigonstreeteats (@saigon_street_eats) on

 

7. Bentleigh

Pasta Fresca

171 Centre Road 

“It’d be easy to drive straight past Pasta Fresca, which sits in a humble strip of suburban shops on busy Centre Road. You’d be missing out, though. This traditional, no-frills pasta shop has been churning out what hipsters would call ‘artisanal’ fresh, take-home pasta, including gnocchi, arrancini, fettucini, cannelloni, tortellini plus homemade sauces, for decades before it became cool. This unpretentious family business will take you back to a simpler time, and help you serve up some of the best fresh pasta you’ll taste in Melbourne.”

8. Black Rock

Cerberus shipwreck

Beach Road

“Black Rock’s Half Moon Bay is located in a picturesque cove, perfect for rock-hopping, floating around the pier, or grabbing fish’n’chips to eat on the beach. But the real highlight is the half-submerged wreck of HMVS Cerberus, which sits less than 200 metres from the shore. Operational from 1871-1924, the Heritage-Victoria-protected ship is now popular among swimmers, snorkellers and sightseers.”

9. Blackburn

Sissys Chocolates

7 Canterbury Road

“If you’ve ever watched Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory or Juliette Binoche in Chocolat and had the urge to become a chocolatier, you can basically live your dream without quitting your day job here. Plus you get to take home a box of handmade chocolates and truffles.”

Make a stunning box of chocolates at Sissys. Photo: Siobhan Calafiore

Make a stunning box of chocolates at Sissys. Photo: Siobhan Calafiore

10. Blackburn South

Honey Thief Bakery

140 Canterbury Road

“Award-winning breads that include dark rye, fruit, spelt load (100 per cent spelt flour) and its champion trophy-winning Country Loaf. Those with a sweet tooth are also spoilt for choice – my picks are the signature bee sting and the Nutella doughnuts. Whatever you get, it’s guaranteed to melt in your mouth and leave you wishing you had left with more.”

Rising star: Christian Blackman in the new store locals are talking about. Photo: Michael Rayner

Rising star: Christian Blackman in the new store locals are talking about. Photo: Michael Rayner

11. Brunswick

Prince mural

4 Florence Street

“Brunswick is full of hidden gems, but the ever-changing urban street art scene is a must-see. This Prince mural is a prime example. It popped up recently on Florence Street. So cool. So Brunswick.”

12. Brunswick East

Pope Joan

77-79 Nicholson Street

“Pope Joan’s vegetable tart has delicate blonde casing filled with creamy seasonal veg (pumpkin now), chunks of haloumi cheese, a side of grain salad with juicy currants and golden fried onions, plus an egg on top – it’s the pick of the bunch for brunch.”

13. Brunswick West

Lolo and Wren

484 Albion Street

“Lolo and Wren is the ultimate inner-north foodie spot. The cafe’s hero dish in my opinion is the Ploughman’s Brunch: black pudding scotch eggs, bacon, pickles, salad & shaved cheddar cheese. It’s totally worth travelling away from the usual Sydney Road hangouts to try this tasty offering.”

A photo posted by Brendan Bale (@brendi_b) on

14. Bulleen

Heide Museum of Modern Art

7 Templestowe Road

“I love going to Heide in Bulleen to sit, walk and relax in the gardens. I draw, take photos and play with my kids. Seeing the work of some of Australia’s best artists and sculptors in the gorgeous surrounds of Heide’s gardens near the Yarra River – what could be better?”

A video posted by Heide Museum of Modern Art (@heidemoma) on

15. Bundoora

Gresswell Forest

Greenwood Drive

“There is seriously a 70-hectare nature reserve plonked between a bunch of houses. The houses have sprouted up around it now so it just feels so random. You can be transported to another world, walking among nature and wildlife and then you can be back in suburbia within minutes.”

16. Burnley

SisterWorks

393 Swan Street

“SisterWorks, a non-profit that helps migrant and refugee women network, improve their English and develop income sources, has their headquarters at 393 Swan Street. The women do training there but there’s also a shop on the ground floor selling their handicrafts – unique jewellery, toys and artwork – so you can support a great cause and buy a gift or treat yourself.”

17. Camberwell

Tasmanian Grocer

825 Burke Road

“We all know Melbourne is the food capital of the country – but Tassie just may be the same for produce. All your Tassie favourites are at this awesome little store run by ex-pats from the Apple Isle. Cape Grim Beef, Flinders Island lamb and olive oil made by the owners.”

A photo posted by #tasmaniangrocer (@tasmanian_grocer) on

18. Carlton

Readings Bookstore

309 Lygon Street

“OK, so I know Readings isn’t like a massive secret, but it just won best bookstore in the whole world and I don’t think everyone knows that! They do community outreach programs and help Aussie authors. Totally worth checking out.”

19. Caroline Springs

Caroline Thai

9/218-222 Caroline Springs Boulevard

“One of the best Thai restaurants, outside of Thailand, which is always packed to the rafters (only not like the TV show). Try the Choo Chee fish – you wont be disappointed!”

20. Cheltenham

Bad Shepherd Brewing Co

386 Reserve Road

“A new kid on Victoria’s very healthy craft beer scene, this place is already booming with locals but is worth the trip from further afield if you’re a beer appreciator. With everything from IPA to Lager and seasonal flavoured beers like Raspberry Wheat Ale and Hazelnut Brown plus three guest taps on rotation, there’s always something new to try, and don’t forget to soak it up with some American-style smoked meats and other old-fashioned comfort food.”

A video posted by Bad Shepherd Brewing Co. (@bad_shepherd) on

 

21. Cheltenham

Indian Burrp

6/1291-1293 Nepean Highway

“Delicious Indian fare that’s quite different from the standard offerings, with helpful, knowledgeable staff. The menu encompasses cuisine from all around the sub-continent so there are lots of dishes to try alongside old favourites such as chicken tikka.”

A photo posted by Indian Burrp (@indianburrp) on

 

22. Coburg

Melbourne Kebab Station

451 Sydney Road

“Coburg’s worst-kept secret, and Melbourne’s best kebabs. No competition. Delicious meat, so tender it falls off the skewer. Your choice of dips. Fragrant rice that soaks up the juices. Fresh tabouleh. And generous heapings of some simply divine bread, served piping hot.”

23. Coburg North

Coburg Drive-in

155 Newlands Road

“Like most drive-ins, Coburg North’s is like a step back to a simpler time (1950s anyone?). It still amazes me how many people say: what? there’s an actual drive-in still around? Positioned in the middle of an industrial estate, by day it’s an asphalt wasteland, by night a wonderland of film on three massive screens. It also hosts Food Trucks so you can dine before your movie, and a weekly Sunday Trash and Treasure Market.”

Coburg Drive In. Photo supplied.

Coburg Drive In. Photo supplied.

24. Collingwood

Collingwood Children’s Farm

18 St Heliers Street

“The Collingwood Children’s Farm is a great way for inner-city kids to get up close and personal with animals. It’s also a great place for adults to enjoy what’s on offer. There are regular events including the farmers’ market, which sells some of the best organic food to be found. Not a huge secret but it’s always a surprise when people say they haven’t heard of it.”

25. Docklands

Library at the Dock

107 Victoria Harbour Promenade

“The State Library is undeniably grand, City Library is conveniently located in the heart of Flinders Lane, but you’ll still fall in love with Library at the Dock. It’s got incredible waterfront views and is Australia’s first six-star Green Star-rated public building, having been made from engineered timber and reclaimed hardwood. There are plenty of comfy chairs to snuggle up in with a book, as well as spots to study. There’s a cafe and gallery space inside, or you can always take a break from the books, pop out for a stroll and pick up a coffee and cake from Seven Seeds’ Hortus.”

26. Doncaster

Kobe Teppanyaki

Shop 6-7, 261-265 Blackburn Road

“The website says authentic sashimi, tempura and sushi but it’s so much more than this. Enthusiastic staff make this an experience to remember.  You know how you see movies where the chefs are chopping and flicking and throwing food every which way. It’s like that, except you get to eat the amazing food as well.”

27. Doncaster East

Charlie Oscar Espresso Barber

4 Mitchell Street

“My barber recently opened a coffee shop [which is inside the barber shop] called Charlie Oscar Espresso Barber. He does a mean coffee, one of my favourites.”

A photo posted by Charlie Oscar Espresso Barber (@charlieoscarespressobarber) on

 

28. Elsternwick

Rippon Lea Gardens

Hotham Street

“Elsternwick is a pretty quiet area. I’m a Tassie boy so I like a bit of peace and quiet, which I can get at home. Or I’ll go for a jog with headphones with my dog, Hendrix, at the beautiful Rippon Lea Gardens. I just go there and chill out if I want to get away from it all.”

A photo posted by Sam Wood (@samjameswood) on

 

29. Eltham

Montsalvat

7 Hillcrest Avenue

“A former artists’ colony that plays host to amazing art exhibitions and concerts. Montsalvat also has classes and art prizes on offer.”

30. Elwood

Johnny’s Elwood Bodega

159 Ormond Road

“Elwood is awash with good cafes, but Johnny’s Elwood Bodega brings something a little different – as a New York-style milk bar with the best coffee around (at least on the Ormond Road strip). And until now it still hasn’t been listed online, so good luck finding the address! Several locals have let me in on Elwood’s little caffeinated secret.”

31. Essendon

Ginger Annie

914 Mt Alexander Road

“If it’s good enough for My Kitchen Rules winners Tasia and Gracia, it’s good enough for me. I hung out with the dynamic duo at Ginger Annie recently. They have fused Asian and celebrity for great modern Asian food.”

32. Essendon Fields

Starward whisky distillery

181 Larkin Street

“Essendon Fields is so random. If you’re driving past you might not even know it’s there. But that’s what makes the whisky distillery so cool. It’s tucked away in an old aircraft hangar. Essendon Fields is only going to get bigger, so there’s a chance to enjoy this place before it becomes too popular!”

After the Starward Whisky masterclass, try one of the whisky cocktails. Photo: Supplied.

After the Starward Whisky masterclass, try one of the whisky cocktails. Photo: Supplied.

33. Fairfield

Splinter & Callous

160 Perry Street

“Apart from having an awesome name, this place is pretty unique. Where else can you get hands-on with wood and metal for a bit of entertainment? It’s like being back in woodwork in high school but without the detention after class.”

34. Fairfield

Yarra Bend Road

Victorian Indigenous Nurseries Co-operative

“Green thumbs with a love of Australian flora – this is like going back to the source. VINC propagates and sells only plants that are indigenous to Melbourne. Plant a few in your garden and provide a habitat for beautiful honeyeaters, frogs and lizards that have been living here since long before Melbourne was even a thing.”

35. Fitzroy

Offspring walking tour

“Melbourne is pretty Offspring-crazy. I think we love seeing our ‘hood on the telly. This Offspring walking tour is totally ‘unofficial’ but that’s what makes it cooler. The second one is coming up in June. RIP Patrick.”

Offspring's John Waters (Darcy Proudman), Asher Keddie (Nina Proudman), Rick Davies (Jimmy Proudman), Kat Stewart (Billie Proudman) and Linda Cropper (Geraldine Proudman). Photo: Andrew Maccoll.

Offspring’s John Waters (Darcy Proudman), Asher Keddie (Nina Proudman), Rick Davies (Jimmy Proudman), Kat Stewart (Billie Proudman) and Linda Cropper (Geraldine Proudman). Photo: Andrew Maccoll.

36. Fitzroy North

Me & Julio

171 Miller Street

“For a long time I was convinced my local cafe was called ‘Hot and Cold Drinks’ because it was written on the window in an old-school stencil. Apparently it’s actually called Me & Julio … something to do with it being down by the schoolyard.”

37. Flemington

New Somali Kitchen

284 Racecourse Road

“The racecourse is the Melbourne Cup star and tends to take all the focus in Flemington but this area has plenty to offer, especially in the form of multicultural eateries, like the New Somali Kitchen.”

38. Footscray

Katarina Zrinksi Restaurant

72 Whitehall Street

“This is arguably one of Melbourne’s best-kept food secrets. Katarina Zrinski Restaurant in Footscray has authentic and truly delicious Croatian dishes. The Sarma is a true fave.”

39. Gardenvale

Amitie Textiles

103A Gardenvale Road

“Quilting and craft veterans love Amitie for its range of beautiful printed fabrics and haberdashery. Absolute beginners can start their quilting quest here as the store offers workshops and classes, along with books and patterns to create your own masterpiece.”

40. Gembrook

Kurth Kiln

Beenak Road and Soldiers Road

“It’s known for its iconic, historic (and gigantic) kiln, which was used during World War II to produce coal. The area is a national park and there are places to camp, picnic and walk – great place for the outdoorsy types.”

41. Gisborne

Baringo

283 Station Road

“OK, so it’s a 40-minute drive from the city, but located at the bottom of the Macedon Ranges, this gorgeous spot is worth the drive. The setting is something, but then there’s the food. See if you can get a designated driver though, as you’ll also want to try all of the wines!”

42. Glenroy

Glenroy Kebab House

796 Pascoe Vale Road

“People travel from near and far to visit Glenroy’s famous Kebab House, which is close to the Glenroy train station. While there are many arguments over who makes the most authentic and best kebabs in Melbourne, Glenroy is a definite winner to the many locals who eat there.”

43. Hampton

Beautiful Delicious

470 Hampton Street

“This cake shop is in the heart of the Hampton strip, with window displays that have the locals salivating.”

44. Hawthorn

Theodora’s Beauty Boutique

84 Burwood Road

“Hidden behind Three Blind Mice hair salon, Theodora works her magic. Eyebrows are her specialty, and she can turn even the scariest pair (trust me, this has happened to me) into something Audrey Hepburn would be proud of.”

45. Heidelberg West

Kooinda Brewery

28 Culverlands Street

“Heidelberg West cops a bad rap, but the times they are a-changing. The Kooinda Brewery has a bar, and comfy mismatching couches. When we went, there was a food tuck and a dude on the guitar. Definitely a hidden gem.”

46. Hughesdale

Temperance Society

127 Kangaroo Road

“A suburban surprise that feels like you’re walking into the beautifully decorated new home of a trendy friend who enjoys listening to laid-back funktronica.”

47. Ivanhoe

Chocolatier

244 Waterdale Road

“This hidden gem is the best place for any serious chocoholic to visit. The gourmet Australian-made chocolates are actually made in a factory in Heidelberg West just down the road. A great place to pick up a unique gift for yourself or for someone special.”

48. Ivanhoe East

Fairy Hills Ice-Cream

41 Lower Hiedelberg Road

“This is the coolest ice-creamery around. It’s easy to miss, but it’s worth going out of your way.”

49. Keilor East

Rose Creek Winery

2 Craig Street

“This place is located in the middle of suburbia! A vineyard and olive trees among houses. So cool! The Siciliano family has called this a little piece of Tuscany in Keilor East since 1985. They have special open days and you can make cellar-door appointments.”

50. Kensington

Cafe 1565

3 Gower Street

“Named after the year gelati was invented, Cafe 1565 is an inventive venue with such delights as prickly pear sorbet and nougat gelati. Bliss.”

rosewater, raspberry & rose petal gelati. Photo: Sue Hewitt

Cafe 1565’s rosewater, raspberry & rose petal gelati. Photo: Sue Hewitt

51. Kew

Skinny Dog Hotel

155 High Street

“Very much your traditional pub. Kew locals know Skinny Dog will deliver good pub food, sport on the big screen, a pool table and trivia on a Monday. What’s more, their beer garden is relaxing, with heaps of room to sit, drink and catch some rays.”

 

52. Laverton

Laverton Market

8-18 Leakes Road

“It’s Melbourne’s biggest new and second-hand market with hundreds of stalls every weekend. Well worth a visit for those who have never been.”

A photo posted by Kylie Dam (@kyliedam) on

 

53. Malvern

Quality Records Plus

269 Glenferrie Road

“Tucked away in Malvern, this unassuming shop mightn’t have the shambolic charm of Greville Records or Prahran’s Licorice Pie, but its selection is top-notch and very reasonably priced. I can’t count the bargains I’ve found on its shelves.”

54. Maribyrnong

Chifley Drive and Rowing Club walking track

“For a relaxing walk, or for a more rigorous run, the Chifley Drive and Rowing Club walking track is the perfect place to visit. You can take a walk past the Angler’s Tavern and even stop for a coffee, lunch or a harder drink at Gary Mehigan’s cafe The Boathouse.”

55. McKinnon

Amarillo Plus

181 McKinnon Road

“If you’re in need of a last-minute gift for a kid’s birthday, want to treat yourself or give your lounge room a quick update, this is the place. Amarillo Plus has all kinds of quirky items for the younger set and also stocks beautiful homewares and accessories, many of them locally made.”

56. Melbourne

Spring Street Grocer Cheese Cellar

157 Spring Street

“You’ve queued for a lick of Gelateria Primavera’s famous sorbets and ice-creams at the front of the shop, you’ve bought some fancy pickles and perhaps a sandwich or two from the grocer inside, but have you ventured down the mysterious winding staircase? It’s there you’ll find the Spring Street Grocer Cheese Cellar, which houses some of the best cheeses you can buy in Melbourne. They run regular cheese and wine tastings.”

57. Mitcham

Street Dance Studios

25 Enterprise Way

“When you think Mitcham, you think hip hop, right? Street Dance Studios is run by hip hop crew Superhoodz, who were semi-finalists on Australia’s Got Talent. And one of the owners has worked with the likes of Kelly Rowland.”

Superhoodz Crew from Australia's Got Talent. Photo: Em Burchett (Supplied)

Superhoodz Crew from Australia’s Got Talent. Photo: Em Burchett (Supplied)

58. Moonee Ponds

Dumpling House

2a Everage Street

“Puckle Street might be Dame Edna Everage’s favourite street, but down a side street named after her you’ll find the cheap and cheerful Dumpling House.”

59. Mount Dandenong

William Ricketts Sanctuary

1402 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Mount Dandenong

“A truly amazing sculpture park in the heart of the Dandenongs named after a famous explorer. See the amazing work and clay sculptures of indigenous Australians in gorgeous bush surrounds.”

60. Mount Waverley

Waverley Cinema

Blackburn Road

“You can see flicks for as little as $6 at this family-run cinema, depending on the time of screening and how long the film has been out. The screens and theatres themselves are a bit smaller than at the big chains but with even the most expensive movie at only $10, you won’t feel guilty about splurging on choc-tops and popcorn.”

61. Mulgrave

The Last Piece

7/2 Stadium Circuit

“In the grounds of the former VFL park, this cafe is loved by locals who stop for coffees and meals after gym sessions. If you’re a Hawthorn fan, it’s worth stopping in as you’re highly likely to run into the players in between their training on the oval just a few metres away.”

62. Murrumbeena

Oasis Bakery

993 North Road

“It’s hard to believe that some locals still haven’t heard of Oasis. The cafe at the front offers all kinds of Middle Eastern delights for meals or snacks (with cakes and slices from $2, it’s one of the cheapest places to grab a coffee and sweet treat), while the shop stocks edible staples and delicacies from all over the world including teas, herbs, spices, deli goods, nuts and dips. Plus, their lamb shawarmas are winners – literally.”

Oasis Bakery's lamb shawarma. Photo: Carmen Zammit.

Oasis Bakery’s lamb shawarma. Photo: Carmen Zammit.

63. Narre Warren

Lysterfield Lake

Reservoir Road

“Lysterfield Lake is great for enjoying the outdoors – there are bike tracks, you can walk around the lake or just have a picnic or barbecue. Early in the morning or at dusk you might see kangaroos along the path around the lake, and in summer the lake is the perfect option for people who don’t want to drive all the way to the coast to swim in open water.”

64. Newport

The Substation

1 Market Street

”Sitting alongside the railway track, The Substation originally generated electricity for Melbourne in the early 1900s. Now, it’s powered by contemporary art, and is one of the city’s newest, most progressive arts and gallery spaces. It’s worth a visit just to marvel at the building itself, with its imposing exterior and beautifully cavernous interiors that retain many remnants of its industrial past.”

65. Niddrie

The Model Car Shop

194 Keilor Road

“This strip is one of the best in the west for food, wine and retail. But for model car fanatics, (yes, we’re out there), The Model Car Shop is heaven. They’ve got a beaut Lamborghini for a great price, though a little on the small side.”

Holden HQ panel van. Photo: Darren Howe

Holden HQ panel van at the Model Car Shop. Photo: Darren Howe

66. North Melbourne

Beatrix cafe

668 Queensberry Street

“This tiny cafe on Queensberry Street serves up some of Melbourne’s best baked goods. Try the potato brioche doughnuts or a Calamity Jane (a high-end Wagon Wheel).”

67. Northcote

Ruckers Hill

212 High Street

“Aussie band Husky sings a love song about missing home named after it, I’m pretty sure Christos Tsiolkas set a teenage house party here in The Slap, and I know someone who was proposed to here. Every time the 86 tram trundles up or down this little slope between Westgarth and Northcote with the specky views over red slate rooftops to our shiny sparkling city, you get to love Melbourne just a little bit more.”

68. Nunawading

Flavours of Mekong

156 Springvale Road

“The menu showcases a mix of flavours from along the Mekong River, including Vietnamese, Thai and Chinese, but whatever you choose you can’t go wrong. My favourite dish is a tie between the signature Mekong chilli prawns and the soft-shell crab –  both seriously good! You won’t find a better hidden gem than this little restaurant in Nunawading!”

Pandan Chicken, Sugarcane Prawns, Yam Sam Grob and Salt and Pepper Softshell Crab. Photo: Siobhan Calafiore

Pandan Chicken, Sugarcane Prawns, Yam Sam Grob and Salt and Pepper Softshell Crab. Photo: Siobhan Calafiore

69. Panton Hill

Panton Hill Winery

145 Manuka Road

“Located in the beautiful Yarra Valley, Panton Hill Winery is one of the many that wine aficionados can visit to enjoy the range any time of year. There’s also rustic-style Italian food to match your wines.”

70. Point Cook

Hopheads

2/13 Adelphi Boulevard

“Smack dab in the middle of this up-and-coming suburb is a pub/bottlo that’s already made the grade. A fine selection of beers on tap is complemented by a ridiculously comprehensive stock of bottled beer from Australia and abroad. Whatever your tipple, you’ll find it here – and if you’re not sure, ask Adrian for a recommendation.”

71. Port Melbourne

About Life

120 Bay Street

“About Life has just opened in Port Melbourne. And it’s awesome! Anyone with allergies, or a health obsession, this is the place for you. Think green smoothies and dairy-free chocolate. There’s a cafe on-site and freshly cooked food ready to go. It was packed when we went in last time – the secret is getting out fast!”

 

72. Preston

Dexter

456 High Street

“If you like meat, this is the place to be. Opened about a year ago in Preston’s booming south end, this uber-cool restaurant does some of the best pulled pork and beef brisket around. What’s more – they do a meat doughnut (seriously, it sounds weird but it’s so good) and the ever-popular pickleback shot.”

73. Princes Hill

Naughty Boy

499-501 Lygon Street

“The problem with Naughty Boy shakes is that they taste so good and look so amazing that they basically aren’t a secret any more. Still, those on the other side of town may not know about them yet, and let’s face it – they’re worth the drive.”

6. Naughty Boy SO

 

74. Reservoir

Misty’s Diner

765 Gilbert Road

“Just after the tram terminates on Gilbert Road sits an unassuming diner called Misty’s. But it’s anything but! Inside you’ll find authentic American fare brought from the states by Misty herself. The jalapeno poppers are a true taste of the states, and you can get yourself some Reese’s Pieces for the ride home.”

75. Richmond

Saint Urban

213 Swan Street

“We love just sitting at the bar, grazing on great food (the cauliflower panna cotta and their sheep’s milk haloumi with wild peppered figs are among our favourites) and, of course, having a few cheeky negronis.”

76. Scoresby

Caribbean Market

1280 Ferntree Gully Road

“Many a Melburnian has grabbed a bargain at the Caribbean Market at the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges. It has become an institution for stallholders. The market is now held weekly. There’s heaps of stalls, food on offer and, of course, the Caribbean Gardens and Rollerama nearby.”

77. Seddon

Seddon Deadly Sins

148 Victoria Street

“When you think of best brunch spots, little old Seddon doesn’t really leap to mind. But Seddon Deadly Sins is a must-try. If you don’t come for the food, at least give props to the awesome name.”

78. South Melbourne

A hidden park

Park Street and Emerald Hill Place

“Find the corner of Park Street and Emerald Hill Place. Emerald Hill Place is an unassuming little alley, but it opens up to reveal a beautiful hidden park. There are seats aplenty, shade under whispering trees, and a ping-pong table. If you swing by after 2pm, you’re guaranteed glorious silence, an oasis of calm amid the bustle of South Melbourne.”

79. South Yarra

Smak Food House

6c Daly Street

“Smak is the newbie in South Yarra so it’s definitely still a bit of a secret. They serve up healthy food – there’s even a cauliflower tortilla on the menu. Everything they use is sourced locally. Something all Melburnians can get behind.”

80. Spotswood

Two Birds Brewing

136 Hall Street

“It’s pretty amazing that the world’s best beer is brewed in Spotswood. They just won this massive award. I think heaps of people know about the beer but they don’t know it’s located in the inner west, and that you can tour the brewery!”

81. St Kilda

Matcha Mylkbar

72 Acland Street

“Melbourne is going through an identity crisis. Do we love doughnuts and freakshakes, or are we all about that green smoothie life? Matcha Mylkbar is definitely part of the latter. It’s been open for only a couple of months so it’s still a new kid on the block. There’s a vegan egg! Finding out what on earth that is, is definitely worth your time.”

82. St Kilda East

The Little Veggie Patch

2a Brighton Road

“Green thumbs rejoice! These guys help you grow food, regardless of skill and, importantly, regardless of how much space you have at home. Perfect for us inner-city types.”

83. Strathmore

Napier Park

Corner of Napier Street and Woodland Street

“One for the history and nature buffs; Napier Park tells the story about wealthy landowner Theodore Napier who created this park in 1920. It has giant red gums, which give you a glimpse into what the area was like before European settlement.”

84. Strathmore Heights

Gusto Bakery

285 Napier Street

“I know this is going to be a contentious point with some people, but wanna know where to get the best vanilla slice? Gusto Bakery has an award-winning snot block to die for.”

85. Taylors Lakes

Cafe Greco

Watergardens, 399 Melton Highway

“Watergardens Shopping Centre has grown over the past decade or so to include some great shopping and some hidden-away outdoor eateries including Cafe Greco. Recommend!”

86. Templestowe Lower

Pop Sushi

325 Manningham Road

“This was my family’s go-to place for sushi when I was a kid. The sushi is always fresh and tasty with plenty of variety but don’t go past the California rolls, which are an absolute standout. I haven’t lived in the area for many years but if I’m ever around I’ll always pick up sushi for the whole family. It’s hands-down the best sushi I’ve ever tasted.”

87. Thomastown

Mick’s Place

91 Victoria Drive

“Remember when Nutella doughnuts weren’t a thing? Mick’s Place is the reason they are everywhere now but for some reason people don’t know where this place is! They’ve got more than 20,000 Facebook likes and 25,000 on Instagram – not bad for a little convenience store in Thommo. Do yourself a favour, as Molly would say.”

88. Thornbury

Pallino Bar

790 High Street

“This is truly one of those bars where everybody knows your name. Or at least they know mine, cause I’m in there drinking Aperol Spritzes more often than I care to admit. The staff make the effort to have a chat, bring you bar snacks and basically show you a good time. One of the funnest parts is the mini bocci court out the back (Pallino means “litttle balls” in Italian) where you can have a game on a Wednesday afternoon – or ‘Pallino ball Wednesday’.”

89. Toorak

Gewurzhaus

543 Malvern Road

“If you’re looking to brush up on your culinary skills, this is the place to be. Eat, learn and eat! Winning!”

90. Travancore

Ken Street Flowers

1 Kent Street

“The Kent Street florist sells booze too. So if you’re really in the bad books, you can take home flowers and wine to smoothe things over. Oh, and for coffee, it’s a showdown in this ‘burb between So & So and Phat Milk.”

91. Tullamarine

Melbourne Airport lookout

Cnr Sunbury Road and Oaklands Road

“You know that scene in Wayne’s World when Wayne and Garth go bananas as a plane flies over their head? This is like that, sort of. It’s become a bit of a hub in recent years with ice-cream trucks and what not. A bit of fun for the kids or a first-date spot!”

waynes world

 

92. Vermont

Via Matta

602 Canterbury Road

“The pasta, sauces, pizzas, even the desserts, are all made from scratch with fresh quality ingredients and a good dose of love and care. Italian is a popular cuisine and you’ll find it everywhere, but this restaurant goes above and beyond.”

93. Warburton

Redwood Forest

Cement Creek Road

“Hidden off Cement Creek Road is a glade of California redwoods planted almost a century ago. There’s something eerie and mystical about these titans of nature – they’re planted in an orderly manner, one that makes it very easy to walk past a tree, turn around, and find that all your fellow visitors have disappeared completely. The effect is more calming than anything else, a reminder of human insignificance compared with nature’s majesty. Absolutely worth a visit. Keep an eye out for sculptures made from fallen branches – they only add to the magic.” 

 

94. Warrandyte

Indian Affair

35 Drysdale Road

“Delicious and authentic Indian food that will silence any cravings. You will probably want to grab a few things and share. Just make sure you leave enough room for the butter chicken, which is really, really, really good! The freshly made naan is another must.”

95. Werribee

Werribee Open Range Zoo

K Road, off Princes Freeway

“It’s a slice of Africa west of Melbourne – the Werribee Open Range Zoo! Safari tours are on offer and you can see gorillas, hippos and a meerkat or two. The best secret at the zoo? Kids under 16 can go for free on the weekends.”

96. Westmeadows

The Biggest Lolly Shop in the World

247 Mickleham Road

“So. Many. Lollies. If you are ever having a party, or if a day ending in ‘y’ is coming up, then this is the place to go. Buy in bulk, and when you get to the counter make up a story about the big event you have that weekend, when deep down you know you are going to eat all the sherbet bombs and licorice bullets yourself … on your couch … in your tracksuit pants … alone.”

97. Wheelers Hill

Chumanchu

860 Ferntree Gully Road

“Take in some culture via an exhibition at the Monash Gallery of Art or browse in the gallery shop, then enjoy coffee, cake, all-day breakfast or lunch at Chumanchu. There are Asian options as well as more standard cafe fare, and if you’re feeling energetic Jells Park is just down the road for a post-meal walk.”

98. Williamstown

Williamstown Wetlands

“So you’re a twitcher, OK bird-watcher. Shh, your secret is safe. The Williamstown wetlands have bird hides, so you don’t freak the birds out.”

99. Windsor

Mr Miyagi

99 Chapel Street

“Windsor is fast becoming the south side’s epicentre for cool. Mr Miyagi is right up there. It’s soooo good. And it’s nice to see a foodie joint kicking goals in among all the burgers! It’s not exactly a secret south of the river, but north-siders seem to have no idea about it. Must be the Yarra River divide.”

100. Yarraville

Sun Theatre

8 Ballarat Street

“When Quentin Tarantino makes a point to visit a Melbourne cinema, you know it must be pretty special. Opened in 1938, the Sun Theatre has stayed true to its art deco aesthetic and always has a great selection of mainstream, independent and classic films screening. Don’t forget to grab yourself one of their hand-dipped choc-tops.”

Live

Perfect bomber jacket

Perfect bomber jacket

Janice Breen Burns
6 fun yoga types

6 fun yoga types

Melissa Heagney
Pimp my sofa

Pimp my sofa

Miranda Tay
Porsche Uber X rides

Porsche Uber X rides

Chris Kerr - Digital Content Editor
Bowie tribute watch

Bowie tribute watch

Chris Kerr - Digital Content Editor