Ah, Coburg. Famed for its density of kitschy bridal stores and Middle Eastern take-out shops, the sprawling, creek-side ‘hood’ is frequently overlooked due to its perceived lack of viable entertainment options, and revered for the cheap rent and geographic proximity to other, “cooler” places.
While Coburg is, admittedly, a bit less ‘sexy’ than its innermost counterparts, the wave of students, artists and globe-trotters calling the ‘burg home stands as testimonial to the allure of the outer North; makes it a perfect place to waste the day away. Here’s how it’s done.
The Post Office Hotel (231 Sydney Road)
Let’s be honest, for some, Coburg is a bit of a hike, and by the time you clamber out of bed and onto the appropriate mode(s) of public transport, you’re going to be in need of a proper feed. First stop, by our experience, should be nowhere other than the Post Office Hotel. Snuggle into a warm, wood paneled corner, grab a cup of locally roasted Padre coffee, and sink your teeth into a homely menu of tum grumblin’ fare – at a very decent price, no less. We rate the chorizo with sweet sherry, mushroom & butter beans on chargrilled ciabatta – or a good old fashioned, no frills eggs benny for the sore of head.
Crank It Up
Coffee from Two Monks (350 Sydney Road)
If one steamin’ cuppa joe just isn’t enough to kick start your frontal lobe, meander along the main drag until you reach Two Monks: a quiet coffee shop and brunch spot on corner of Sydney Road and Harding Street. Hang around if you can (it’s highly recommended), but for the purposes of this column, grab yourself a take-away cup and head along to…
The Merri Creek Trail (Everywhere, kind of)
Oh alright. So it’s a bit presumptuous to claim the entire Merri Creek trail as something exclusive to Coburg. But, if weather permits, grab yourself a picnic rug from one of the many local op-shops and settle in for a spell of sweet, sweet nature. Seasoned northerners will know that CERES is only a short walk away, but with a bubbling stream, some ghostly gums and a few colourful characters on the bike track to keep you entertained, we recommend that you linger a little longer on the Coburg side of life.
Feed Me Twice
Little Deer Tracks (44 O’Hea Street)
Nestled slyly in a suburban side street, Little Deer Tracks (n’awww) is an absolutely cracking choice for lunch – if you can fit it in, that is. Dime-a-dozen Northside vegetarians will dig the creative selection of meat-free fare, and locals rave over the old school customer service and cozy vibe that make you feel like you’re on the receiving end of a big ole’ hug. Great coffee too, (but you’ve already had two cups this morning…don’t overexert yourself).
Score Somethin’ Sweet
Coburg Trash and Treasure (Coburg Drive-In, Newlands Road)
Nothing beats a bargain, and the Trash and Treasure Market has provided locals with the opportunity to breathe new life into mountains of pre-loved paraphernalia every Sunday, for thirty-six years. Entry’s a dollar! So get your rummaging face on, and prepare to stuff the bag/basket/car with an amalgamation of exquisite jewelry, art, clothing, parts, goods and technology, before heading off to go..
Half Moon Café, (Coburg Market, 13 Victoria Street)
Open every day until 5pm, Half Moon has earned itself a whopping 93% on Urbanspoon, and is the home of some of the freshest falafels and incredible portion sizes in the whole of the Northern ‘burbs. It’s right near the Coburg Marketplace, so have a chat with the owners of the area’s most populated produce stores, and pick up a bag of goodies that will put your nanna’s veggie patch to shame. Then…
Coburg Drive-In (Newlands Road)
If you’re still able to move after stuffing yourself to Monty Python-esque proportions all day, trundle back up Newlands Road for an evening at the drive in. It’s part of a chain, so you’ll get pick to from all the new release, blockbustery sort of stuff. Let’s be honest, you’re all just going to snuggle and make out anyway, so it doesn’t really matter what you see (or, don’t see).
Woodlands Hotel (84 Sydney Road)
Once the credits roll and you’ve peeled your face off the face of your beloved, it’s time to ditch the car and head out for a beverage. The Woodlands Hotel sports an intimidatingly comprehensive beer, wine and cocktail list, so fire up the debit card and spend some time “researching” the latest in micro-brewed, local and international bevvies from the best names in the business. Sydney Road has cabs and trams a-plenty, so be responsible! And, if you still don’t dig the vibe after a day like today, you’re doing it wrong.