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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 Bon Ap', and Latin lovin' on Johnston Street, where the Spanish Club hosts cultural events, vinos y tapas. Meat-free Mondays make sense at Transformer, the Veggie Bar and Smith & Daughters.

Get yourself to Gertrude Street for Andrew McConnell's menus at Cutler & Co., Ricky & Pinky and Marion, for all-in-the-name Belles 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 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.

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Restaurants & cafes

Fitzroy

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Charcoal Lane

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

Young Bloods Diner

Take a break from browsing the Rose Street Artist Markets with breakfast, coffee or rooftop cocktail.

Bon Ap'

Pop into breezy Bon Ap' to get your fix of traditional French fare without the white tablecloths.

Naked in the Sky

Sample the Basque region's famous comfort food on the terrace of this popular Fitzroy restaurant.

Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel

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

Smith & Daughters

It's only at the end of a meal at Smith & Daughters that you realise no meat has passed your lips.

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Bars & pubs

Fitzroy

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The Catfish

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

Pixel Alley

Grab a drink, dust off your Donkey King high score and prepare to blow it to bits at Pixel Alley.

Bad Frankie

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

Union Club Hotel

Even before Offspring, this great local pub knew how to pull a crowd: with good food and booze.

Night Cat

Slip on your dancing shoes and boogie the night away at The Night Cat to hip hop and funk tunes.

The Stone Hotel

You can practically taste unpretentious old Fitzroy as soon as you enter The Stone Hotel.

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Shopping

Fitzroy

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Das T-Shirt Automat

Say what you want to say on a T-shirt, hoodie or tote bag at this candy striped Fitzroy T-shirtery.

Smart Alec Hatters

Join the ranks of discerning gentlemen who know that a jaunty outfit is not complete without a hat.

Spacecraft

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

Northside Records

Head northside for LPs, CDs, DVDs, books, DJ equipment and phonic rarities especially imported.

Poison City Records

Part record store, part skate shop – Poison City Records is sacred ground for the local punk scene.

Kinki Gerlinki

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

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More things to do

Fitzroy

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The Workers Club bandroom

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

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

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

Yah Yah's

This ramshackle boudoir venue and bar in Fitzroy is a champion of garage rock, soul and rockabilly.

Sutton Gallery

Admire photography, installations and painting in this contemporary Brunswick Street art space.

The Evelyn

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

Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club

Sunny out? Round up your friends and head to Fitzroy Bowls Club for a session out on the green.