Artistic Inspiration

OVG Winter 2024 cover artist Jess Bonnily, AKA Troublemaker Melbourne, fills us in on some of her favourite places to eat and drink across inner-city Melbourne.

The Cornish Arms Hotel, Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria
One of Jess' favourite local northside haunts is The Cornish Arms Hotel in Brunswick.

Jess Bonnily arrived in Melbourne six years ago and soon fell in love with the pace of the city.

"Melbourne is always open and alive," she says. "It's a place where anything can happen and there is always something new to experience."

A resident of the Pentridge Prison redevelopment in the rapidly changing suburb of Coburg in the city's north, she spends a lot of time in the neighbourhood.

One of her top local recommendations is Mela Patisserie for its delicious baked goods. And when it's time for a drink, Jess likes a relaxed venue.

"My local is either The Cornish Arms or beneath the statue of David at the Moreland Hotel," she says, listing a couple of beloved Brunswick pubs.


One of Jess' favourite Melbourne restaurants was found by accident. "I love La Spaghettata on Lygon Street in Carlton," she says.

'Our first time at La Spaghettata, we had actually booked a table at the restaurant next door, but it's been the best mistake and a fave ever since.'

Another Italian was the scene for a treat. "Last year we went to Osteria Ilaria in the city for my birthday dinner on a Thursday evening. The food was unbelievable, and we had delicious mocktails. It was a good thing we didn't wait for Saturday night, because I ended up giving birth three weeks early that very night!"

Osteria Ilaria, Little Bourke St, Melbourne, Victoria

Osteria Ilaria on Little Bourke St, Melbourne.


There are a few places Jess likes to recommend to Melbourne visitors. The first is a Japanese restaurant in Brunswick. "The cat robot waiters at Matsumoto are a great talking point," she says.

For cheap eats, she makes a beeline for Laksa King in Flemington, a popular spot to slurp down a bowl of noodle soup.

Finally, Clement Coffee at South Melbourne Market is her favourite cafe for a delicious caffeine hit.