Follow the fun to Footscray, the ever-changing neighbourhood that's a fascinating balance of a growing arts scene and a hotbed of international cultures and delicious cuisines.
Once a centre for southern European migrants, these days Footscray is home to Chinese, Vietnamese, and increasingly, North African immigrants and their gastronomic traditions. Slurp a bowl of pho at a Vietnamese noodle house, get a masala dosa near Victoria University, tuck into traditional Ethiopian injera flat bread at Nicholson Street Mall.
Brunch crowd, make your way to Rudimentary, Small Graces and Footscray Milking Station. For one of Melbourne's best steaks, stop at the Station Hotel; for burgers and barbecue, 8bit and Up in Smoke. Follow up with a craft brew at Hop Nation or a tidy tipple at Back Alley Sally's, Mr West, Bar Josephine or Trouble in Dreams.
Spice up your life
Locate those exotic spices and ingredients at the bustling Footscray Market. Fresh fish, fruit and veg, a plentiful array of shops and sellers pack out this local favourite.
Pay your respects to the Golden Heavenly Queen of Mazu at the Heavenly Queen Temple off Hopkins Street, the biggest Chinese temple in Australia.
Chances are you'll find yourself in Footscray on the trail of a highly anticipated arts event. The local arts scene is led by the dynamic Footscray Community Arts Centre, situated on the banks of the Maribyrnong River. The precinct features theatre performances, workshops, a bar, cafe and gallery spaces.
Further upriver, opposite Flemington Racecourse, Footscray Park is the newest venue for the annual St Jerome's Laneway Festival, boasting international music acts and local performers.
Other exciting and innovative arts organisations call Footscray home. Catch a performance by Footscray's experimental theatre company Snuff Puppets at the Footscray Drill Hall, and explore contemporary art at Trocadero Art Space.
Big games and fireworks
Cheer on the legendary 'Dogs', the Western Bulldogs Australian Football League team, at a training session at the state-of-the-art Whitten Oval. See the fireworks at Chinese New Year and the Tet Lunar Year Festival, a colourful Vietnamese celebration featuring dancing dragons, live music and food stalls.
Things to do
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