Sometimes it seems all anyone does in Brunswick is hop from one new cafe to another, switching to bars toward evening and working up an appetite.

Eating and drinking

Pull up a wood crate or designer chair and join the locals. Choose from stalwarts and newcomers among the ever-growing population of bars, restaurants and cafes on Lygon Street, Sydney Road and Nicholson Street.

Serious caffeine hits and brunches draw crowds of locals to Code Black Coffee, Small Block, Pope Joan, A Minor Place and Wide Open Road. Later in the day, hustle for a table at Lygon Street favourites Bar Idda, Etta, Rumi and Hellenic Republic. Beyond Lygon Street, Tom Phat, Los Hermanos and I Carusi are worth the wander.

Late night delights

Sundowners turn into nightcaps at Bouvier, Mi Corazon, The Alderman, the Cornish Arms and the Brunswick Green. Try a local brew at Temple Brewing Co., Thunder Road Brewery or The Alehouse Project. Live acts and DJs will see you and your best moves meet at the Spotted Mallard, Howler and the Retreat Hotel, while The Jazzlab plays host to a toe-tappin' line-up.

Shopping and arts

Like every good inner city suburb there's an indie sensibility about the arts scene in Brunswick.

See into Brunswick's creative heart at gallery Tinning Street Presents and at Brunswick Mechanics Institute, a multi-arts space with a program of theatre, film, music and workshops.

The lines between commerce and art blur at Brunswick Bound, The Boroughs, Mr Kitly and Monk House Design. You'll find fine design, arty books, music and film, exhibition pieces for purchase, and curated fashion. 

Everything old is new again at Lost & Found Market. Allow plenty of time to lose yourself among the stalls of vintage furniture and clothing, and shelves of bric-a-brac.

East meets north

See signs of Brunswick's migration history on Sydney Road: a veritable atlas of Mediterranean shops and Arabic eateries. Stock up on pasta and porcini at Mediterranean Wholesalers and stuff yourself silly at Middle Eastern bakeries like A1. Taste modern eastern flavours at hotspots like Rumi, Mankoushé, Mama Manoush and Moroccan Deli-cacy.

Getting active

Start with a dip at Brunswick City Baths, then follow the signs to CERES Community Environment Park. There you can grab a coffee, and shop organic veggies and potted plants. Brush up on sustainable living, pick up permaculture tips, visit the bike workshop and listen out for bellbirds along Merri Creek.

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