South Melbourne is one of Melbourne’s most vibrant hubs for food, drink and activity. Locals are spoiled for choice between the beloved South Melbourne Market, nearby beach and relaxed street-side café scene. Just minutes away from the CBD, it boasts an enviable location – with the Arts Precinct, National Galleries, Federation Square and Southbank all a stone’s throw away. Lucky South Melbourne residents enjoy a slice of city life without the hustle and bustle – making it an inner-city suburb that’s hard to ignore.
There’s no question that South Melbourne is a foodie’s paradise. South Melbourne Market is the area’s beating heart, and a favourite amongst locals and day-trippers alike. Its walls are full of traders who proudly offer their wares, including world-class produce, street food, vibrant fashion and eclectic stalls bursting with personality. When the day stretches into a balmy summer evening, bars and restaurants open their doors to the Night Market crowd, and infectious live music offers dancing under the stars. When you pop in to visit, don’t forget to try the famous dim sims.
Without a doubt, the high quality pastries are what sets Austro apart. The Austrian-inspired bakery and café can literally be smelt down the street, as cloves and coffee and spiced apple strudel greet your senses. Founded by Sally Roxon and her partner Christian, it offers toffee-topped donuts stuffed with elderflower custard, pretzels to pair with your morning eggs and its infamous Bee Sting cake. Here’s a local tip: aim for a seat by the street-facing window tables, where you’ll bath in natural light as you watch the world walk by – all with a pastry in hand of course.
The coffee addicts are well catered for too, with aficionados making a pilgrimage to Aucuba Coffee. Owner Mark Knapp is a barrister, roaster and qualified Q-grader – lingo for accredited coffee cupper – making him a passionate advocate for a good cup of joe. Beans are roasted in-house, and drinks are poured using an impressive array of equipment. Its bustling café is a testament to the power of a simple cup of coffee to bring people together.
Walk down fashionable Coventry Street to discover an abundance of homewares and designer shops. Local entrepreneur Anthony Darcy is a local staple with three specialty stores, including homewares store Pomegranate – jam packed with artisan treasures – and women’s lifestyle store Mr Darcy nestled around the corner.
Mitchell Mc.Cabe Menswear provides high quality apparel for the men, and proudly celebrates the area’s fashion history. Its name is a nod to the store’s Scottish founders, Henry Mitchell and Steward McCabe, who opened the store in 1901. Despite multiple owners and incarnations, it’s still housed in that same heritage building in Clarendon Street as the year it was founded.
South Melbourne is one of the city’s most picturesque suburbs, with wide leafy streets home to well-preserved heritage buildings and Victorian era streetscapes. Residents enjoy some of the city’s best vistas on offer, with many homes boasting views of the Yarra River and city skyline. While it may be second nature to many locals, there is nothing like watching Melbourne light up at night. This suburb is truly one to remember.