From cute coffee stops to cool cocktail lounges, great brunch spots to burgers on a disused train, our guide to Collingwood has it all. Read on for our take on Melbourne’s most happening neighbourhood.
Often dubbed Melbourne’s Brooklyn, Collingwood is where you go for cool cafés, great restaurants and a happening neighbourhood that shows off the very best its city has to offer. The district’s distinctive blend of old and new, plus its steadfastly independent vibe, leaves it teeming with places to check out. Here’s our list of some of the best.
Nestled in a quiet little corner of Rupert Street, a large courtyard adorned with greenery awaits in Allpress Espresso Collingwood. Originally from New Zealand, Allpress now boasts cafés across the world, but this one, housed in a disused warehouse, is something of a flagship. With decor that’s equal parts industrial chic and lush green, speciality coffees are served up thanks to their own beans roasted on site – you can even watch the machines at work. Pull up a chair in this airy spot for a hearty breakfast and a great start to your day.
Insider’s Tip: Their studio upstairs is available for hire for exhibitions and events.
Best For: A casual, laidback start to the day.
Address: 80 Rupert St, Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia
Open From: Mon – Fri: 7am – 3pm; Sat: 8am – 2pm
Don’t be fooled by the name, Aunty Peg’s takes its coffee very seriously – so seriously, in fact, that they want you to take it straight up, without milk, to savour it in all its glory. Based around a tasting concept, their sleek bar gives you the option to try endless brews served up by truly expert baristas who make the very best of what the café’s three in-house roasting machines have to offer. With a store, plus plenty of events, this place definitely takes care of all your coffee needs.
Insider’s Tip: Check out their weekly cupping event on Saturdays at 10:30am, where staff showcase their newest blends and teach you the ropes on how to concoct the finest brew.
Best For: Coffee fans keen to learn more.
Address: 200 Wellington Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open From: 9am – 5pm
Ticking all the boxes for your quintessential neighbourhood spot, South of Johnston sports cosy decor, a good breakfast and great coffee in an environment that’s as friendly as it gets. Head here for homely touches and a truly welcoming vibe helped along by an orchard of fruit trees that line the entrance (feel free to pick!), plus art from local galleries that adorns the walls. On the menu, you’ll find classics taking in everything from pancakes to eggs and more, and in your cup, you’ll find a great Melbourne coffee. Factor in its sustainability credentials – there are 40 solar panels on the roof – and you have a spot doing good things for all in and around it.
Insider’s Tip: Bring your dogs along with you to enjoy the outdoors garden/orchard area.
Best For: Friendly, neighbourhood vibes.
Address: 46 Oxford Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: 7:30am – 5pm
This café looks and does good in equal measure. Brought to you by the social enterprise STREAT, whose mission is to provide hospitality training and, along with it, much-needed employment hopes to the homeless community in Melbourne, the striking, elegant spot is a must-visit for many reasons. Try its spacious garden, delicious, on-site roasted coffee, fresh-baked pastries and glorious, heritage setting in an old manor for just a few, and you’ll soon see why this is a feel-good coffee spot in every way.
Insider’s Tip: Word on the ‘STREAT’ has it that they have different scrumptious lunch specials every week – and they sell out quick!
Best For: A relaxing start to the day – there are even hammocks in the garden for those keen to have a cheeky lie in!
Address: 66 Cromwell Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Mon – Fri: 7:30am – 4pm; Sat – Sun: 8am – 4pm
This Italian-style eatery is essentially a deli, café and restaurant all in one – and the kind where you can grab a quick, yet delicious, meal with all the Italian flair you could wish for. With its Italy-inspired, relaxed decor, cosy outdoor tables and a delectable deli counter, it’s the perfect spot to head for a quick lunch of antipasti-style salads, paninis and more. Throw some detox juices and smoothies in the mix, and you’re set. Plus, if you’re in a real hurry, grab one of their superb quality takeaway meals to go.
Insider’s Tip: Catering services for all sort of events are available seven days a week.
Best For: Quick but filling meals.
Address: 304 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Mon – Fri: 8am – 10:30pm; Sat – Sun: 8am – 6pm
What’s on offer at Easey’s is more than tasty comfort food; it’s a one-of-a-kind dining experience that goes far off the beaten track with its setting of old train carriages adorned with graffiti, perched atop a building five storeys high. Take a seat on one of the restaurant’s train carriage seats and then go for broke with one of their delicious signature burgers or some fried chicken encrusted in Frosties cereal for an experience as delicious as it is different. Just remember to book in advance since it’s always packed and spaces are limited!
Insider’s Tip: Follow the official Instagram page for updates on offers, freebies, giveaways and more!
Best For: An alternative dining experience with the guarantee of quality.
Address: 48 Easey Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: 11am – 10pm
Lazerpig is as much a happening bar as it is a pizza parlour, serving up delicious, wood-fired delights made with a five-year-old sourdough culture against a background of DJs (on set from 6pm, Thursdays to Saturdays). Wash down your top-notch food with a selection of craft beers, Australian wines or cocktails, and you’ve got everything you need for a great night out.
Insider’s Tip: Get an absolute corker of a deal at lunchtime on Tuesdays to Fridays, with a 10-inch pizza/burger with a soft drink for a bargain price of AUD 15.
Best For: Big groups and celebrations eating in a fun and vibrant setting.
Address: 9-11 Peel Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Mon: 4 – 11pm; Tue – Wed & Sun: 12 – 11pm; Thu: 12pm – 12am; Fri – Sat: 12pm – 1am
New Orleans-inspired smokehouse Le Bon Ton gives you not just a taste of a classic, Southern-style night out, but a whole immersion in the theme. Grab lunch here by all means, but the venue is at its most atmospheric in the evenings when a moody, candlelit atmosphere envelops you and your richly flavoured Texan Angus beef briskets, Southern-style fried chicken and cheese-coated fries. There’s a barbeque in the courtyard, cocktails aplenty, beers on tap and plenty of characterful touches, making this a fun spot for a different night out.
Insider’s Tip: If you’re hard-pressed to make a choice, you can’t go wrong with the Southern Chef’s selection.
Best For: Special evening occasions.
Address: 51 Gipps Street Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: 12 – 10pm
Mr Wow’s Emporium is as approachable and fun as it sounds, with a wide selection of drinks on offer and world-class bartenders who can conjure up just about any concoction you might ask for. With relaxed decor topped off with industrial accents, this two-floor drinking hole is also home to a bocce pitch, and pool and ping pong tables, making it the perfect spot to head to after work for an evening of good vibes and great times.
Insider’s Tip: Free popcorn is available all evening if you’re interested (of course you are).
Best For: Fun and games for Friday night.
Address: 97B Smith St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia
Open from: Mon – Thu: 5pm – 1am; Fri – Sat: 5pm – 3am
For an evening of standout, classic cocktails, you can’t do better than The Everleigh. Ranked as one of the top 50 bars in the world, this elegant drinking den oozes old world glamour, with its long, marble bar, cosy leather booths and rustic decor of old-fashioned floorboards and glass cabinets filled with taxidermy and curiosities. What people really come here for, however, are the drinks. Expertly crafted, mixed with juice so fresh it’s squeezed right in front of you, and even poured over ice provided by the bar’s own company, lest someone else’s not quite make the cut, these are cocktails to satisfy even the most demanding of connoisseurs.
Insider’s Tip: Order bottled cocktails to your door via their delivery venture, the Everleigh Bottling Co.
Best for: A charming date equal parts swanky and snug.
Address: Level 1, 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065, Australia
Open from: 5pm – 1am
A prohibition-era inspired bar, casual restaurant and cocktail lounge all in one, The Noble Experiment delivers on all fronts. Decked out in 1920’s prohibition-era inspired decor, this three-floored, cosy spot serves up everything from a classic negroni to delicious pizzas, fine whisky to beers on tap. Head upstairs for a relaxed evening lounging in their huge, Chesterfield-style sofas, or down to their underground alcove for larger groups and themed parties.
Insider’s Tip: Try their Bathtub Gin (complete with a rubber duck) for something different!
Best for: A casual, flexible spot that ticks all the boxes.
Address: 284 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Tue – Thu: 4pm – 1am; Fri: 4pm – 3am; Sat: 12pm – 3am; Sun: 12pm – 12am
If you’re in the mood for a night out at the pub, but with the option to turn it up a notch if the mood so takes you, the Grace Darling Hotel ticks the boxes. Meet the city’s second-oldest watering hole, a locale steeped in vestiges of the past, thanks to its candlelit tables, galleon-adorned wallpaper and Victorian-era bluestone facade. Factor in microbrews on tap, hearty pub food (think Sunday roasts and steak night), plus a spot upstairs that has become a firm fixture on Melbourne’s gig circuit and you’ll find there are plenty of reasons to head to this old-timer.
Insider’s Tip: Don’t go thinking this one’s only for evenings – they do a great lunch special for just AUD 15.
Best for: A touch of vintage to go along with a lively night out.
Address: 114 Smith St, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Sun – Tue: 12 – 11pm; Wed – Sat: 12pm – 1am
The Ox Box Collingwood bills itself as the place to head for fitness without the frills. This CrossFit gym is all exposed brick walls, raw, industrial accents and hardcore classes designed to get hardcore results. Classes run throughout the day, there are various memberships on offer, and expert coaches are always on hand to make sure you’re out of excuses and in the moment in this much-hyped gym.
Insider’s Tip: Sign up for a free consultation to figure out what route you should take into the fitness world.
Best For: Crossfit enthusiasts looking for somewhere that’s worth the price.
Address: 75 Cromwell Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
As much a Melbourne institution as it is the place to head for a night out, The Tote is a legendary part of the city’s live music scene. A host to indie, punk, rock and heavy metal bands since the 1980s, head here to catch up-and-coming names and hang with the crowds, who flock here from Wednesday to Sunday nights. It’s a place drenched in rock history, hosting bands such as the White Stripes, Mudhoney, The Donnas and Hellacopters, and it continues to deliver.
Insider’s Tip: Check out the beer garden before sweating it out at the gig.
Best For: Live music.
Address: 71 Johnston Street Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Wed: 4pm – 1am; Thu – Sat: 4pm – 3am; Sun: 4pm – 11pm
The world’s longest-running contemporary circus company regales audiences of all ages with a variety of amazing physical feats and performers with their own streak of Aussie humour to boot. From tightrope walkers to rock operas, orchestras to acrobats, a grand evening is to be had there. Plus, there’s The Melba Spiegeltent right behind, which showcases a diverse group of acts ranging from standup comedy to live music – and you can even take part in workshops if you’re keen to pick up a few tricks yourself. If you’re into your arts and culture, Circus Oz is the place to be in Collingwood.
Insider’s Tip: Sign up as a mate of Circus Oz to get updates on what’s on.
Best For: Fans of theatre and performance arts.
Address: 50 Perry St, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open From: Check their website for showtime details
If you’re looking to shrug off the day’s stress, then this totally true-to-tradition Japanese bathhouse is the place for you. Decked out in simple, bamboo-adorned accents, Ofuroya offers the full Onsen-style experience to Melburnians with its various warm baths (there are separate areas for men and women), saunas and shiatsu massages on offer. Finish off your spa experience chilling out in your kimono whilst you sip a green tea in their tatami room, and you’ll find yourself reset and refreshed.
Insider’s Tip: Grab a sake, beer or green tea in the lounge after your warm bathing session.
Best For: An indulgent way to decompress.
Address: 59 Cromwell St, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open From: Mon – Fri: 11am – 9pm; Sat – Sun: 11am – 7pm
For the serious dog lovers around town, the famous Doghouse café delivers an experience as tantalising for pet owners as it is for their pampered pooches. Owners bring their dogs here for a morning spent sipping on a ‘puppacino’ before taking down a ‘pupcake,’ and pursuing their boutique stocked with organic pampering products and chic accessories. And that’s just the stuff for the dogs…
Insider’s Tip: Doghouse is also available for hire for any festivities, whether it’s an anniversary, a birthday, or you just decide your buddy deserves a good ol’ party.
Best For: Dogs!
Address: 195 Johnston Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066, Australia
Open from: Wed – Fri: 10am – 5pm; Sat – Sun: 9am – 5pm
Banner Photo Credit: IG: @visitmelbourne