Collingwood

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Collingwood BBM Live

Collingwood, Australia sits snugly next to its eccentric big brother Fitzroy, roughly 3km north-east of Melbourne’s CBD. It’s reputation for being the camp sibling of the two isn’t a result of misjudgement, because it holds the title of being the second largest gay village in Victoria. Gay or straight tendencies regardless, visiting Collingwood you will experience a vibrant district with an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars in Collingwood and hostels, hotels and shops that are sure to win your heart to ensure you return again and again.

To grab a morning coffee…

Proud Mary is the place for your caffeine fix, be it when you’re making your bleary-eyed commute at an unforgiving hour, or looking for a chilled cafe to sit for a mid-morning pit-stop amongst hipsters.

They know exactly how to treat a coffee bean in this place, you’ll find a variety of ever-changing pungent roasts and one of them is sure to delight so much you’ll end up there every time you’re in the vicinity of Oxford Street to sample the latest brew.

Food, glorious food…

In the boundaries of Smith Street, Hoddle Street, Alexandra Parade, and Victoria Parade, visiting Collingwood will present you with many pubs in Melbourne and restaurants in Melbourne, each with its flair and character in various cuisines from across the globe.

Cavallero on Smith Street prides itself on its seasonal dishes that induce the comforting satisfaction that comes from honest, wholesome food. Our selection off the menu would be as follows: Bubble and Squeak for breakfast (nostalgia for childhood days), a Collingwood food special meatball sandwich with fontina for lunch (makes for a rustic, meaty midday treat), and a rich sense of France for dinner in their Coq Au Vin. Best served with a glass of wine too, that is, the Coq Au Vin, not Bubble and Squeak; unless you’re employing the ‘Hair of the Dog’ approach to burying a hangover.

For gourmet delight on a budget, Huxtaburger operates a ‘hot beef, cold beer’ mantra that causes its beef patties to sell like hotcakes (well, hot burgers really). A takeout/sit-on-a-stool sort of burger joint it churns out no-nonsense fresh, American-style burgers, that are consistently praised for their bread-to-meat-to-cheese ratio, evidence that greatness lies in simplicity.

For Grecian cuisine, Jim will fix it! To substitute for the lack of a menu the staff at Jim’s Greek Tavern will bring you a delicious spread of traditional Greek food, so it’s important to have faith in their recommendations here. The calamari, kebabs, lamb chops, and grilled seafood are the closest way you’ll enjoy Greece without leaving Australian borders.

If still unsure where you want to take your rumbling stomach, we suggest you take a wander and maybe even just follow your gut instinct. For Middle Eastern mezze: Gigi Baba might be your calling. For Mexican: climb aboard the Taco Truck, and for a failsafe gastro-pub you may just be drawn into the Yorkshire Hotel, all while you build up an appetite for the best restaurants in Melbourne, while you take in the sites you can capture through visiting Melbourne.

Shopping by day…

Things to do in Melbourne begin down some of Collingwood’s best streets – as we mentioned before – are charmingly quirky by nature, and amongst the plentiful offerings of food, you’ll find plenty of odd, intriguing shops. Memorabilia on Smith Street is reminiscent of a loft or shed that is continually piled with unused antiques and knick-knacks, the sort of things that are one person’s clutter and another person’s treasure. Similarly, The Lost & Found Market will have you digging out spare bits of cash to purchase vintage furniture, clothes, and bikes that have been unearthed each week. Ideal for those of you who turn your nose up at high-street offerings and like a good bargain, you’ll be able to find it at Melbourne’s best shopping locations.

Drinking by evening…

While visiting Collingwood you must go to one of Melbourne’s best bars. Mr Wow’s Emporium, formerly known as Collingwood World is a perfect place to relax with your favourite tipple, offering classic and bespoke cocktails, fine wines, spirits, liqueurs, and Mr. Wow’s very own homemade bitters. An ambient open space, its quarter circle bar stands in one corner of the room in which long, wooden benches are set out with glowing candles. The large open windows, snooker tables, and moody lighting make this ideal for relaxed social occasions. If you’re scouting out a happy hour, whilst drinking in Melbourne get to The Gem Bar, an adored Collingwood pub that’ll get you drinking between 6 pm and 7 pm every Tuesday until Friday for less.

A bar called Sentido Funf has led us to stray a mere 10 metres outside of Collingwood, because it does in fact have the most fantastic beer garden you’ll ever stumble upon. A hidden gem of the bohemian suburbs, it appears small and nondescript upon entering but if you make your way down to the lusciously green, leafy vicinity of the heated beer garden and we guarantee you’ll be instantly sold.

Live music by night…

There are a couple of famed venues amongst Melbourne’s best night spots in Collingwood, that are notorious for having the rocking sound of guitars emanating from in between their walls. The Tote Hotel is just one of these infamous haunts, an original rock n’ roll venue with pitcher loads of zany characters and boozy cocktails. Ladies, this is not a place to trot along to in your heels, be prepared to let your hair down and get a bit sweaty as you dance the night away to pumped-up guitars.

Yah Yah’s is a famed venue for a brilliant night out, you’ll get up close and personal with Collingwood’s edgy, arty types who like a good drink and a good party. Bands regularly grace the stage over the weekend, before DJs take to the decks to spin rock, soul, garage, surf, exotica, 60s and 70s tunes.

For something a little more chill and downbeat, The Horn is an African café and music lounge on Johnstone Street that oozes Ethiopian culture. You’ll enjoy the cuisine and the selection of African beers, and from Thursday to Sunday the evenings are sessions of feel-good Jazz, Funk, and Hip Hop until 10 pm.

A place to kip…

Explorers and backpackers travelling around Melbourne, Collingwood can find a bed for the night in the Collingwood Backpackers hostel on Johnston Street for as little as $26 a night, although the small number of rooms available means its advisable you book in advance. They have modest, but comfortable dorms with various single.
And double-bed arrangements for lone travellers, couples, and groups alike. For something a little more upmarket, the Baden Powell Hotel has 11 modern rooms situated above its lively pub starting from a friendly $80 a night. The shops restaurants and bars of Collingwood are a mere shuffle away from the front door, plus you can make the most of having a quality menu of pub grub and an inviting beer garden a flight of stairs down from your bed!

Visit Collingwood…

…for an unpolished and vibrant patch of Melbourne that reeks of artistic soul and hedonism. An extra-strong magnet for creative folk and travellers from all over the world, this little rectangle of Victoria is sure to hold something that captures your heart.

By Alexandra Macleod

Check out things to do in Melbourne.

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