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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

Fitzroy Town Hall Hotel

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

Panama Dining Room

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

Chotto

Squeeze into tiny, temporary Chotto to experience Japanese ryokan-style breakfast, Melbourne style.

Gelato Messina

Come and worship at the appropriately ornate spiritual home of gelato, Messina on Smith Street.

Girls and Boys

Vegan girls and boys, your takeaway dessert bar is here, specialising in vegan soft serve and gelato.

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 23 results

Black Cat

A lounge-room-style cafe by day, this cosy bar gets crowded with DJs and drinkers at night.

The Everleigh

Experience a night full of speakeasy charm, oh-so-knowledgeable barkeeps and impeccable cocktails.

Bar Liberty

'A place for everyone, to drink everything' is what the owners call it. Sounds good to us.

I Know A Place

You can′t go wrong with gourmet hot dogs, top-notch cocktails and your own secret courtyard.

The Black Pearl

If bar tending was an academic pursuit, The Black Pearl would be Harvard, Yale and Oxford combined.

Marion

Learn the stories of Fitzroy in Andrew McConnell's Gertrude Street wine bar for serious wine lovers.

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Shopping

Fitzroy

6 of 18 results

Tarlo & Graham

If you love eccentric antiques, vintage bits and industrial design, quench your curiosity here.

Spacecraft

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

Edgeley

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

The Signet Bureau

Admire this striking gallery space and the vibrant clothing and shoe designs that bring it to life.

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.

Double Monk

Step into the highest quality bespoke and ready to wear men's shoes this side of Jermyn Street.

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More things to do

Fitzroy

The Workers Club bandroom

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

The Old Bar

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

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.

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.

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