Only a short stroll from the CBD, North Melbourne was built by locals, for locals. Subsequently it’s often overlooked by Melbournians, and travellers alike, for the busier haunts of Carlton, Fitzroy and Brunswick. But if a quainter suburb on the cusp of the city is what you’re looking for then we have some suggestions for you.
Breakfast/Brunch: The Roller Door Café + Foodstore.
When it comes to the first meal of the day, North Melbourne’s Errol and Queensberry Streets can have you bewildered by choice. Nonetheless, there is one café, a short stroll west, that deserves your attention: The Roller Door Café + Foodstore. And though the map will tell you it’s West Melbourne, it is less than a couple hundred metres from North Melbourne Train Station.
The Roller Door Café is a quaint space – situated in a tin shed and a backyard – that offers a wholesome menu packed with organic produce and a ‘whole lotta love’. From the Mixed Berry Smoothie ($6) to the Smashed Avocado ($12) or the Mr Beans ($16), your hunger and taste buds will be easily satisfied. The best value for money, though, has to be the $10 Ciabattas. With six options in the range, they are simply some of the tastiest sandwiches you will find.
Something Cultural: The Arts House
The Arts House provides all Melburnians with the opportunity to see what’s going on culturally in Melbourne. Their curated programs include performances, exhibitions, live art, installations, cultural events and multidisciplinary work. Arts House runs a number of forums, discussions, workshops and other events throughout the year in three North Melbourne locations: North Melbourne Town Hall, The Warehouse, and Meat Market.
To see what’s coming up visit their website
Coffee: Auction Rooms.
Any trip to North Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without a stop at Auction Rooms. Housed in the old WB Ellis Auction House on Errol St, Auction Rooms play the role of purveyors of specialty coffee seriously, but at the same time they like to have fun. Take a look at the menu, or ask to see what’s on offer, as blends do change daily and those working there do know what they’re talking about.
Dinner. Amiconi Italian Restaurant.
For over 50 years Amiconi has been serving up home-style Italian food to generations of families and North Melbourne locals. Located in an old barber saloon, this traditional Italian restaurant on Victoria St has seen many of its kind come and go but that doesn’t seem to be an option for them. With old and new customers always streaming through the door, Amiconi’s is brimming with life and is not going anywhere. Sit down at one of the tables inside, take a look around, and you’ll see why. And that’s before you’ve even tasted your entrée. The best Italian food in Melbourne wouldn’t be an outrageous claim, after all, it’s made the way Mamma used to make it. And you can’t ever argue with that.
Prudence on Victoria St is a haven for locals, whichever day of the week it is. Whether its windows are open or closed, the dim lighting and cosy feel tempts passers by to step inside and take a load off. However, it is the backyard beer garden or the rooms upstairs where the regulars go to hang out.
With rotating cocktails on special, a substantial wine list, numerous beers on tap, coffee, tea and hot chocolate on offer, Prudence has something for everyone. And if you’ve forgotten about dinner, don’t be afraid to ask for a menu from one of the neighbouring take-away joints and have your food delivered to where you drink. What’s not to love about that?