Pay your respects to hipsters of yore who settled Northcote with the requisite cafes, bars and boutiques, and to the fortunes of town planning that afforded Ruckers Hill its unparalleled city views.

Northside culture

There's a decidedly arty vibe around Northcote, whether you're wandering the Westgarth strip or heading up Ruckers Hill to High Street.

Check out the latest exhibitions at indie galleries, catch a flick at the 1920s Westgarth Cinema, and see in your tomorrows with a night of high-profile and emerging bands at Northcote Social Club or anything-goes acts at Open Studio and 303.

Shopping the strips

It's hard not to open your wallet in Northcote's emporia. I Dream a Highway can outfit you head to toe, while Obus fulfils the cool quota with locally designed fashion. The Aquarium will see you fixed for vintage threads and Brown & Bunting with pre-loved tomes. Grandfather's Axe will sell you a Scandinavian seat to look the part, while Pop & Scott will ensure your plants look equally sharp.

Three square meals

You've got every meal covered in Northcote, and the chances of a cracking night out with some top tunes are high.

Get brunching at Barry, Bicycle Thieves, Tinker and Penny Farthing. Sweeten up between meals with Il Melograno gelato. Dinner is a cinch thanks to Pizza Meine Liebe, Primo, Estelle Bistro and the Curry Cafe. Digestifs await at Wesley Anne, Buck Mulligan's, Bar Nonno and Joe's Shoe Store.

All that eating, drinking and being arty playing havoc with your waistline? Get out for some laps at Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre or pace with purpose at All Nations and Batman Parks.

Welcome to Thornbury

High Street cool spreads north into once-understated Thornbury. Meet the neighbours at Welcome to Thornbury over food-truck fuelled feasts and beer-garden afternoons. Trawl the menu of local and international craft beers at Carwyn Cellars, and fill up with perfectly al dente pasta and a glass of vino at Umberto Espresso Bar or Joanie's Baretto. Catch a gig at the art deco Thornbury Theatre or an independent flick at the Thornbury Picture House.

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