Cookie, 252 Swanston St, between Bourke and Lonsdale – a near epitome of Melbourne’s laid-back, effortlessly stylish eating and drinking scene. Good for a cocktail or a big feed, it’s in the heart of the city and has a great selection of contemporary Asian dishes.
Bimbo Deluxe, 367 Brunswick St, Fitzroy – Brunswick St is awash with cheap eats, but the Bimbo’s pizza is a local favourite. Super-cheap lunch-time offers attract a devoted following – you can sit at the window and watch the natives go by, or recline in one of the many dark corners.
Café Orange, 126 Chapel St, Windsor. One of the best cafes on this busy strip, Orange is a place to spend an afternoon, reading the papers and enjoying a fine coffee. The food options are great, the soundtrack impeccable and the beer garden irresistible.
The Melbourne Supper Club, 161 Spring St, opposite Parliament House, hidden behind a nondescript wooden door on Spring Street. In a city famous for its late night drinking options, the Melbourne Supper Club is the original and the best.
The Wesley Anne, 250 High St, Northcote. Jump on the 86 tram from Bourke St and wind up through Melbourne’s northern suburbs until you get to Northcote. The Wesley Anne is a renovated church with cruisey on-the-street drinking, in a great area for food.
Revolver, 229 Chapel St, Prahran. This place is an institution. It’s been there forever and is still kicking. During the day it’s a cruisey lounge bar, but by night it’s basically an all hours club. Less dodgy by the day, but definitely worth a look after hours if you’re up for a big one.