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Peel back the inner-city onion that is Collingwood and discover layers of local history, infamous characters, quirky creativity and effortless charm.

Compulsory merriment

It's mandatory to have a good time around Collingwood and your attempts are made easy by increasing numbers of bars and restaurants, making it consistently one of Melbourne's top dining and bar-hopping 'burbs. 

Serious food fans, book in for a long lunch at Saint Crispin or try the six-course IDES experience. Burger aficionados, make tracks to oh-so-Melbourne Easeys; pizza fans, Lazerpig is the answer. Culinary globetrotters, take flight with Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish and Americana: eat it all up at Easy Tiger, Wabi Sabi Salon, Cibi and the Robert Burns.

Bar hoppers, you're never far from a tipple. Check out the pubs, Bill's Bar (by the Huxta-crew) or revel till all hours at Le Bon Ton.

Club caffeine, it's close to impossible to get a bad coffee around Smith Street. Get your cup o' Joe from Proud Mary, Everyday Coffee, Cibi or Aunty Peg's.

Musical nights

Don't let a night out in Collingwood end without seeing a band at The Tote. You can also hear live music at the Grace Darling and The Gem.

Arts and activity

Collingwood has long led the way when it comes to supporting artist initiatives and small galleries. Take a walking tour around the 'hood and make sure you call into Lamington Drive, 69 Smith Street, Compound Interest and guerrilla operation Backwoods Gallery. Serious art aficionados, don't miss Australian Galleries and Ochre.  

Shopping Collingwood style

Even shopping in Collingwood is interesting. There are factory outlets flanking Smith Street; specialty stores like Tokyo Bike, a tiny independent bike shop and Loose Leaf, experts in greenery and flowers.  Find Japanese curios at Cibi; art and design books, trinkets and collectables at Happy Valley; clothes and classes at Thread Den; or clothes and coffee at The Social Studio.

Pay attention to the neighbourhood architecture to get a sense of Melbourne's history. Check out the dramatic Collingwood Town Hall, as well as the imposing corner pubs and the largely preserved nineteenth century dwellings, shops and factories.

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Things to do

Collingwood

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Art galleries

Lamington Drive

Expect to see some eclectic art and design at this exceptional gallery space in Collingwood, run by the creative crew at the Jacky Winter Group.

Fashion

The Social Studio

Few things make you feel better than frocking up in glad rags that have been made with a conscience, so where better to shop than The Social Studio?

Live music

Tote

The spiritual home of punk and indie-rock bands, there's no better place in Melbourne to catch a band than in the sweaty bandroom at the Tote.

Shopping

Loose Leaf

Fresh and seasonal is the order of the day in this jungle wonderland, created by Charlie Lawler and Wona Bae. Grab an exotic plant or join a class.

Art galleries

Compound Interest Centre for Applied Arts

This Collingwood creative hub serves as a gallery, cafe, bar, speakeasy cinema and printing press, and houses a bespoke framer and independent bookshop.

Art galleries

Backwoods Gallery

The art is certainly not backwards at Backwoods, where intriguing international and local street art is brought inside by people who totally get it.

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Food & wine

Collingwood

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Restaurants

The Grace Darling Hotel

Make yourself cosy at your local away from home, where the ales and gourmet pub fare are reliably comforting and the music is as loud as you like it.

Restaurants

Son in Law

There's everything to like about a restaurant inspired by the complex and delicate relationship between a Thai husband and his mother-in-law.

Restaurants

Saint Crispin

Make an ordinary night a special occasion at Smith Street's Saint Crispin, much-lauded winner of two hats from The Age Good Food Guide.

Restaurants

The Gem Bar & Dining

Step into the wild west via your local pub and chow down on Texan-style barbecue and pub classics, prop up the front bar and catch a weekend gig.

Restaurants

Smith Street Alimentari

Head down to Smith Street's friendly neighbourhood deli. Choose from ready-made meals, lunch specials and kitchen essentials to eat in or take away.

Cafes

Bedford St

Coin a phrase for Bedford Street, a place that opens early for breakfast and is still shakin' cocktails at midnight – and doing it all with aplomb.

Restaurants

Bistro K

Do Korean differently at Bistro K. This Korean eatery takes classic flavours (think kim chi and Korean BBQ) and adds a modern fine dining touch.

Restaurants

Teriyaki Anarchy Sake

Stop in for a crisp beer and yakitori (chicken skewers) at Collingwood's own Japanese teriyaki den. Tempt fate with a 'Bloody Hugo Hates Me' cocktail.

Cafes

Everyday Coffee

Get a different coffee everyday from the local coffee experts who have compiled a list of frequently updated beans to suit your method of extraction.

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