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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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Smith & Daughters

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

Charcoal Lane

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

Chotto

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

Cutler & Co.

The restaurant is stunning, the contemporary cuisine faultless and the wine well matched.

Industry Beans

Wet your whistle with Industry Beans' bumper menu of house-roasted coffee, house teas and juices.

127 Brunswick

Eat your way to the top at this five-level dining destination complete with izakaya and rooftop bar.

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Bars & pubs

Fitzroy

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Black Cat

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

Marion

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

The Catfish

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

Bad Frankie

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

The Everleigh

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

Pixel Alley

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

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Shopping

Fitzroy

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Pickings and Parry

Stock up on traditional working men's attire and book your turn on the original barber's chairs.

Third Drawer Down

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

Sutton Gallery

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

Double Monk

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

Kinki Gerlinki

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

Smart Alec Hatters

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

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More things to do

Fitzroy

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The Evelyn

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

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 hip hop acts.

Yah Yah's

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

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

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

Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club

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