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Perch in a Brunswick Street bar and celebrate the way that sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same in this inner northern enclave.

While inevitably undergoing inner-city gentrification, Fitzroy has retained its creative edge thanks to a great mix of art galleries, studios and specialist bookshops. Idiosyncratic bars pop up on Smith Street; Marios, Polyester and Brunswick Street Books still call Brunswick Street home; and Johnson Street continues to flaunt its Spanish heritage, especially during the November Hispanic Fiesta.

Eat streets

Meander through menus across Fitzroy's eat streets. It's all ooh-la-la at Brunswick Street's Madame Sousou, Bon Ap' and Shifty Chevre, and Latin lovin' on Johnston Street, where Los Amates has been resident since long before the Mexican wave. Meat-free Mondays make sense at Transformer, the Veggie Bar, Smith & Daughters and Grumpy's Green.

Get yourself to Gertrude Street for Andrew McConnell's menus at Cutler & Co., Ricky & Pinky and Marion, for all-in-the-name Belle's Hot Chicken, or for an early start at Birdman Eating and Archie's All Day. In the back streets, watch the market from Young Bloods Diner, bag a local roast at Industry Beans and plan a gin-and-jaffle supper at Bad Frankie.

Bar hopping on Brunswick Street

Hang around until evening to make merry in Brunswick Street's bars and pubs. Ring the doorbell for the privilege of classic cocktails at The Attic above The Black Pearl, listen to vinyl crackle at Black Cat, take in city skyline views at Naked in the Sky and Upside Rooftop Bar at 127 Brunswick, and up your spirits at Kodiak Club and Little Blood.

Prop up the bar alongside old-timers and bearded musos at Sullivans-style pubs like Labour In Vain, the Standard, the Napier, Union Club Hotel or Marquis of Lorne. For live music, head to the Workers Club and The Evelyn, or traipse around the corner to the Night Cat, the LuWow and the Old Bar on Johnston Street.

Fossicking Fitzroy

Browse quaint and quirky shops selling vintage wares and locally designed goodies. Try Vintage Sole, Somebuddy Loves You, Hunter Gatherer, in.cube8r, and museum-shop-without-the-museum, Third Drawer Down. Go designer Gorman, Alpha60 and bùl, or DIY at Johnston Street's Das T-Shirt Automat.

Rifle through records at Polyester, Vinyl Revival, Poison City Records and Gertrude Street's Northside Records. Do your one-stop independent design shopping on Saturdays and Sundays at the Rose Street Artists' Market.

Tour d'Art

Get snapping the local street art and commissioned murals, and check out studios, galleries and workshops like Brunswick Street Gallery, Alcaston Gallery, Sutton Gallery, Panelpop and Centre for Contemporary Photography.

East to Smith Street

Get your dancing shoes on and head to Smith Street. Pick up the appropriate footwear at the outlets along the strip, or at one of the growing number of stores stocking local designer wares. Check out the bands and DJs at Yah Yah's, Kent Street and Mr Wow's Emporium.

Out and about

Beyond the culinary and sartorial diversions, sunny days can be well spent at the outdoor Fitzroy Swimming Pool (complete with DJs on Sundays in summer) or barefoot with beers and friends further north at the Fitzroy Bowls Club.

How to get there

By tram: Number 11 from Collins Street or Number 86 from Bourke Street.
By bus: From the city take Route 200 towards Bulleen, 201 towards Doncaster or 207 towards Donvale.

Destinations

Gertrude Street

Take the amount of time you've allotted to hang out on Gertrude Street, and double it to get to grips with this microcosm of Fitzroy's best bits.

Offspring locations

Offspring locations

Make like an awkward obstetrician and let your dramas play out in Fitzroy, Offspring-style. Get set to steal scenes in the show's cafes, bars and pubs.

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Restaurants & cafes

Fitzroy

6 of 34 results

Panama Dining Room

Uncover a cavernous space with a classy menu, grand views, a crammed bar and even a ping-pong comp.

Stagger Lee's

Settle in at Stagger Lee's on Brunswick Street for a breakfast that'll get you through to dinner.

Charcoal Lane

Savour a full tummy plus the buzz of supporting a worthy social initiative.

Po' Boy Quarter

Be amazed by the things that can be stuffed into a hunk of bread at Smith Street's Po’ Boy Quarter.

Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel

Become a regular in Fitzroy's laidback dining room to feast on perfectly executed European classics.

Smith Street Alimentari

Pop into Smith Street Alimentari for lunch specials and 'pronto' take home meals for the family.

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Bars & pubs

Fitzroy

6 of 24 results

Mr Wow's Emporium

Say wow' at Mr Wow's Emporium's sweet cocktails, pool table, bocce pitch, ping pong and bangin' DJs.

The Workers Club

Hard day at work? The two bars, hearty kitchen and rockin' roster of live music will fix your ills.

The LuWow

Head to The LuWow and step into another world. Think bongo drums, tikis, bones and hula girls.

The Catfish

Great booze, great food and great tunes is the aim of many bars, but the Catfish gets it spot on.

Kent Street Bar and Cafe

Friendly, relaxed and popular with the local hippies – this is the best of old time Smith Street.

Bad Frankie

Fitzroy's Bad Frankie is a true blue bar offering Australian boutique spirits and gourmet jaffles.

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Shopping

Fitzroy

6 of 19 results

Third Drawer Down

Browse the drawers for artful oddities you won't find anywhere else at amazingly affordable prices.

Edgeley

Peruse the biannual collections, buy off the rack or commission custom pieces from Alice Edgeley.

Polyester Records

Snap up new releases from new blood and indie classics at this much-revered record store.

Spacecraft

Pick up everything from bed linens and light furnishings to hand bags and vivid decorative prints.

Kinki Gerlinki

Dress up in playful understated elegant-vintage style from quintessentially quirky Melbourne designers.

Rose Street Artists Market

Meet and greet a sizeable line-up of Melbourne's emerging artists at this quiet Fitzroy institution.

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More things to do

Fitzroy

6 of 8 results

Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi

Ancient iconography and techniques, like dot painting, are what many of us most commonly associate...

in.cube8r gallery

in. cube8r® is a fun, interactive hand-made gallery in the heart of Fitzroy, Melbourne. It are open...

The Old Bar

Catch everything from snotty punk and country twang to acoustic jangles at this popular local haunt.

The Workers Club bandroom

A favourite with the indie arts crowd, catch shows by up-and-coming indie, electro and folk acts.

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

Join the hordes of lap swimmers and laid-back locals at this 50-metre heated outdoor pool in Fitzroy.

The Evelyn

Hear indie, metal and hip hop at this Fitzroy fave, pumping out live music since the nineties.

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