I’ve lived in Melbourne for more than 4 months and have found out a thing or two about this city. I’ve discovered my favorite non-touristy places to explore with friends, relax with a book, or have sunday brunch. I’ve found some great neighborhood spots to grab a quick meal or an afternoon coffee. I’ve discovered which parks are quietest, the best climbing walls for good workout, and the best bars for a night out.
Here are my favorite non-touristy places to eat and things to do in Melbourne – like a local!
Places To Eat
Lentil As Anything In Abbotsford Convent
This open and colorful space is a pay-what-you-feel restaurant. The suggested donation is 12$ but you can pay 20$ or nothing, whatever is in your budget. Lentil As Anything ise committed to feeding and connecting the community, and encouraging environmental sustainability. They allow people of all socio-economic groups to enjoy the food and space regardless of whether or not they can afford the food. Eating here is an opportunity to pay it forward, benefit the local community, and eat a truly delicious & nutritious meal.
Queen Victoria Market
After living in Melbourne for 4 months Queen Vic Market has become my favorite place to buy fruits and veggies. Its a bustling (and sometimes overwhelming!) market full of great deals on fresh produce, coffees, meats, cheeses, pastries, nuts, and even flowers.
Enjoy Weekend Brunch At White Mojo
There are countless aesthetically pleasing restaurants to have brunch in Melbourne. This is one of the best! The Big Breakfast plate is my go-to but anything you order here will be delicious and worthy of a few instagram photos. Get here before 10am to skip the line.
Grab A Coffee & Pastry At Auction Rooms
This place has is lovely, plant-filled environment for breakfast, lunch or a quick coffee if you’re passing through. With delicious and creative mains from salmon poke bowls to coconut chia pudding, Auction Rooms is a Melbourne brunch classic.
Check Out Babka Bakery
Babka is a quaint Eastern European bakery that has been in Fitzroy for many years. Go here for reasonably-priced food and coffee and plenty of freshly baked bread and pastries in a home-y atmosphere.
7$ Lunches At B3 Cafe
This hole-in-the-wall cafe is my go-to for lunch when I’m looking for something cheap, filling & delicious. B3 is by far the best lunch deal in Melbourne CBD. They have fresh baguette sandwiches like chicken Waldorf, eggplant schnitzel, and roast beef. They’re priced 7$ for a whole and 5$ for half – that’s cheaper than Subway!
Chill Out At Green Refectory Cafe
This place has delicious all day breakfast, vegan and gluten free options, and yummy homemade pastries and cakes. The narrow courtyard in the back is a great place to relax with friends or read a good book.
Have Some Fun At Marché Board Game Cafe
Marché is a great spot to bring a group of friends for a meal, a drink, and fun times. Their boardgames will bring you back to your childhood 🙂 If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, try out one of their karaoke rooms!
Taste Artisanal Ice Cream At Gelato Compà In Fitzroy
Compà is a gourmet ice cream delight. They have gluten-free and vegan options, and eclectic flavours like coconut with raspberry jam, orange infused ricotta, and white chocolate banana blonde. Oh, and they give you chopped nuts and chocolate sauce on your ice cream for free!
Brunch At Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters
Brunch At Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters is one of my favorite things to do in Melbourne. There are many rooms (with pretty plants) where you can sit and enjoy a coffee, a meal, or do laptop work at the counter.
Places To Visit
State Library Of Victoria
Although not too unusual a spot to visit, the state library is one of the few quiet locations in CBD. I come here to study on weekdays or relax and enjoy a coffee. The main room is a beautiful architectural masterpiece that shouldn’t be missed.
Stroll Through A Plant Nursery In Fitzroy
Fitzroy Plant Nursery is a mecca of greenery. Even if you don’t buy anything it’s really fun to stroll through the aisles and shelves of herbs, flowers, and colorful plant pots. Afterwards check out the many cafés, eateries, and op-shops also on Brunswick Street.
South Melbourne Market
South Melbourne Market is the more local version of CBD’s Queen Vic Market. Located in Port Phillip, they have cheap pricing on local specialties, fresh produce, seafood, fashion items, and art pieces.
The Grub Street Bookshop
Grub Street has served local second-hand book lovers and visitors for over 40 years. This local gem specializes in Australian art, literature and Aboriginal history. They have selected book recommendations on the shelves to help you choose the perfect book to suit your interests.
Things To Do
Read A Book In Flagstaff Gardens
Flagstaff Gardens is right near CBD and the perfect place to escape Melbourne’s concrete jungle. On weekends and afternoons the lawn is filled with locals and tourists sunbathing, having lunch, meeting friends, and taking a reprieve from the busy city.
Have Some Fun At North Walls Climbing Gym
North Walls is an awesome climbing spot feel like a local and get a great workout. Climbing is a sport for all fitness levels that builds both strength and endurance. You don’t need to know how to climb before you go, just bring a friend, rent gear you need and you’re good to go!
Enjoy A Picnic In Edinburgh Gardens
Edinburgh Gardens is over 24 hectares of greenery located in the heart of North Fitzroy. It’s a beautiful and open green space to have lunch with friends or relax in the grass. They also have sporting facilities including a skate bowl, dog park, playgrounds for kids, and basketball courts.
Grab A Drink At Asian Beer Cafe (ABC)
This is a fun and lively spot for a night out. It’s located inside Melbourne Central, the only part of the mall that’s open past 7pm. It’s a busy spot on weekends with affordable beer, an energetic atmosphere and music that will make you want to dance!
See The Sunset At St. Kilda Pier
Located a 20 minute bike or tram ride outside CBD, St. Kilda combines hipster city outskirts with sandy beaches. St Kilda Pier is one of my favorite spots to bike and watch the sunset with friends. Once it gets dark, there’s a spot at the end of the pier where tourists congregate to watch baby penguins waddle onto the shore. It’s one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen!
I hope you get a chance to experience these favorite non-touristy things to do in Melbourne.
Have you been to any of these great hang outs? Did I miss any of your favorites?