After starting our trip on a relaxing note at Palm Bay Island we ventured to Melbourne for some city action. We had heard of it’s amazing food and beverage scene, it’s many coffee shops and artsy culture and were ready to see it for ourselves. We knew that with 72 hours in Melbourne we had some ground to cover.
Where To Stay
We stayed at the Intercontinental Melbourne as it’s central location allowed us to walk pretty much anywhere. The building was really neat as the main space was a glass topped atrium with high ceilings. It’s gothic style facade mixed beautifully with its modern decor. The fitness center on the top floor provided a beautiful view of Melbourne while the room itself was spacious with a gorgeous white marble bathroom. If only I could have that at home!
Where To Eat
Where should I even begin….The first night we craved ramen and found this hole in the wall restaurant called Little Ramen Bar on Little Burke Street. The line was out the door and you ordered while still standing in line. Next to them was a Chinese dim sum place and they had the same concept with the line out the door. Needless to say we had to check out the dim sum place the following day and it was as amazing as the Little Ramen Shop. The food was so authentic and delicious – and affordable! – we would have gone there for every meal if we didn’t want to explore more of the city. I’d recommend going down the tiny alleys because chances are, you’ll find your new favorite restaurant. And don’t forget to grab a bite at the Southbank or Queen Victoria Food Market.
Where To Drink Coffee
Before arriving in Melbourne we had met several local people and ALL OF THEM told us that Melbourne is big into coffee. You really don’t know what that means until you walk down a few blocks and everywhere you go, there’s a coffee shop. My favorite coffee breakfast spot BY FAR was Higher Ground. We went there twice in three days, that’s how much we loved it. Not only is it located in a stunning old power station with 15m ceilings and arched windows, it also has some of the most delicate and unique flavors I’ve ever seen. The coffee is delicious but the whole place is a pure piece of art. The first time I got a ricotta hotcake that looked like a beautiful garden on my plate. The second time I got a deconstructed avocado toast with sourdough bread that I’m still dreaming about. The atmosphere is absolutely incredible and not pretentious at all. Here’s a few other places I’d recommend for coffee:
– Manchester Press: It’s down a small alley and has the best bagel menu I’ve ever seen. I opted for their muesli – I tried to eat a little healthy – but the bagels I saw looked incredible. Combined with a cappuccino and THEIR ORANGE JUICE, it was the perfect start to the day. I swear, they must whip their fresh pressed orange juice because it had the creamiest texture. SO GOOD.
– Brother Bada Budan: The Number 1 rated coffee shop on Trip Advisor and it’s as good as they say! It has hanging chairs from the ceiling and barely enough space to house a few tables. We got our second cup of the day there and it was amazing.
– Padre Coffee: With several locations we grabbed it at the Queen Victoria Food Market. Not only do they pride themselves on how they brew their coffee, they also sell their coffee for you to take home.
What To Do
Although you could visit the botanical garden or go to the zoo, we were there to eat, eat, and eat. First thing on our list? The Queen Victoria Market. We drank coffee, ordered fresh oysters from a seafood stand, drank a glass of wine (why not?) and strolled through the halls of delicious foods. We wanted to experience Melbourne from a local standpoint so we got to talking with sales people in stores, asking them were we should go. Melbourne is the largest tram city in the world (who knew?) and if you’re staying in the main part of the city, all trams are free! We walked all around the city, down to Federation Square, across the bridge to the Southbank through the shopping areas and also went a little off the beaten path to Brunswick Street. According to a local sales associate, Brunswick Street is more authentic Melbourne without the tourists. We went there to browse local Melbourne designer stores and grabbed dinner at Fitzroy Social.
Melbourne reminded me a lot of London as it feels really young, has such a wide representation of different cultures and is simply fun to be in. While it doesn’t get as much press as Sydney, I highly recommend going to Melbourne. I know I’m definitely going back.
72 hours later we were off the Melbourne trams and on our way to Sydney!