The reason I recommend this is that it enabled me to take advantage of the seniors' reductions in the museums and places of interest. This saved me some money in what is quite an expensive city. I also did not have to take my passport out with me.
South Yarra’s newest laneway destination Outpost, is part of the cult specialty coffee group St Ali. Fantastic coffee, gourmet sandwiches and meals and yummy cakes. All of their food is sourced from local Victorian suppliers.
9 Yarra St, South Yarra
+61 3 9827 8588
Nearest station: South Yarra
Woodapple is in Hampton and gets its name from a strange Sri Lankan fruit of the same name (the fruit being hard skinned like a coconut but with an inner pulp like apple and berry pie filling according to our host)
So Woodapple serves Sri Lankan cuisine and does so superbly. There is a reasonable list of entrees but for mains the best choice is the hoppers (bowlshaped rice flour pancakes) filled with your choice of whatever curries are on the constantly changing menus. These are fantastic and come with some amazing chutneys. The coconut roti (bread) is also great. One thing we noticed is that vegetarians are well catered for with a surprisingly good choice of authentic dishes. The service was good, done by the either the lady owner and/or the chef.
Best of all, the prices are very nice and there is no corkage if you bring your own drinks.
427 Hampton St
ph 9598 7800
Woodapple is in the setback Hampton Village area of Hampton st shops and is about 200m north of Hampton station. Parking out front is free.
Google map: tinyurl.com/yfufnkk
A small town nestled at the base of the Strezlecki ranges , Yarragon has a range of speciality shops covering arts and antiques, bookshops and places to taste the local cheeses and wares. We stayed at the Yarragon motel, a small neat and tidy place just off the main highway (it was cheap accommodation too.)
about 130km SE of Melbourne on the Princes Hwy
Google map: tinyurl.com/pf36vv
What does one say about a restaurant that hands you a drinks list when you arrive... with 68 different vodkas on it? And when you turn the page over there is a list of vodka cocktails... more than 25 of them!
The food menu (after you have finished looking through the vodkas) is very European-based with a Polish flavour. Borsch? Yes, it's on the menu. Goulash? Of course! Bratwurst and sauerkraut is included as expected. Come with an empty stomach as the servings are large. The service is cheery, the entertainment fun (a trio dressed as gypsies playing a violin, a piano accordion... and, of all things, a cello!) and if you really want to make a night of it, there is always the theatre next door.
Prices are reasonable and despite the alcohol, 'After the Tears' is kid-friendly. My grandkids loved their meals.
9B Gordon St, Elsternwick
(entrance thru the Classic theatre )
Phone(03) 9523 0969
Across the road from Elsternwick railway station (don't drink and drive, catch a train instead)
Google map: tinyurl.com/qpadfm
Strange name... nice restaurant. The Wet Fish is a small intimate place that serves excellent mezze, tapas, great Turkish food and other Mediterranean fare. Seafood is a speciality. The range of Turkish dips and bread is rather nice. Also nice too are the prices, this is a cheap eating experience. The service is excellent.
427 Hampton St
(in Hampton Village)
ph 9533 1666
free parking out front
Google map: tinyurl.com/qy5zl8
Great for lunch. Go to the deli section, order a pie, sandwich, coffee etc. They have Greek, Italian, Vietnamese - you name it. Then find a seat in the alley out back and they will bring it to you. It is a sunny spot if the weather is fine. Afterwards you could stock up on bargain souvenirs to take back home. There is often some kind of street theatre going on too. It is a lively, vibrant place and definitely should be included on a visit to Melbourne.
Another nice little find in my local neighbourhood... Sarands presents a Mediterranean-based menu of seafood or meat dishes. The restaurant itself is light and airy (with an upstairs private dining area for functions), service is pleasant, the wine list small but well chosen and the (mains) servings huge. The prices are reasonable too. Coffee is excellent.
532 Hampton St, Hampton
3188 Vic (200m south of South Rd)
Ph 9598 8944
Google map: tinyurl.com/rxul2v
It's a two hour hike to this little bit of Thai splendour a couple of hours from Melbourne. A forested swamp meets the sea in a golden crescent of sand hemmed in by mountains. Granite headlands keep the warm, clear waters nice and calm; continue on to Refuge Cove (2hrs) for a more exclusive swim before a long walk out.
wilson's prom national park
Tucked up in the ranges overlooking Melbourne is a series of small villages, most with little restaurants, cafes and bistros. At the small village of Olinda is 'the Cuckoo' restaurant probably one of the best known and famous for its Bavarian (German) based entertainment and food.
It's been there for about 50 years and thrives with families going there for a great night out.
The food? A huge variety of seafood, meats, side dishes, hot and cold. The freshly made pancakes are a favourite for desert, with cream of course!
The music and entertainment? Bavarian with something for all the family.
508 Mount Dandenong Tourist Road, Olinda Victoria
phone: +61-3-9751 1003
Fax: +61-3-9751 2229
Melbourne is a very liveable and visitable city with great cafes, shopping and history. On a recent visit, I found one of the best things I did was take a pod tour of Melbourne's Laneways.
I used a free podcast from Talk'N Tours which was great but there are others available.
I got to see street art, quirky shops and a good bit of the central city sights as I wound my way along the back streets and through alleyways I otherwise wouldn't have.
Station: Starts at Flinders St Station
The best Chinese food in Melbourne. Simple surroundings, so the decor isn't great but the service is fast! Been there 21 years and I have it on good authority from a chef friend that lots of chefs in Melbourne go there to eat. Beware of the queue but if it's out as far as the door you won't be waiting more than 20 minutes.
15 Celestial Avenue (Chinatown)
Tel: 9663 4753
Poci's is a typical bustling noisy Italian place full of kids and families enjoying the great food from the list of daily specials, a la carte menu or the menu for kids.
The servings are typically huge, the service prompt and cheery, all at reasonable prices. Enjoy!
417 Hampton St Hampton,
Tel: (03) 9598-7477
Fax: (03) 9521-0893
a few hundred metres north of
A superb 'genuine' Italian coffee shop - in Melbourne – where you can get homemade biscuits, cakes, sweets and confectionery to go with your coffee, and for the kids - gelati. This little cafè has become a fave with the local Hamptonites. The name Amaretto? From the Italian liqueur.
565 Hampton St, Hampton, Victoria 3188;
What’s ACMI? It’s the Australian Centre for the Moving Image,
and it’s different. Want to know the history of Australian TV?
Sick of standard Hollywood output? Interested in animation?
ACMI has it all.
Federation Square, Flinders St (opposite Flinders St Station);
tel: 8663 2200; www.acmi.net.au
At the top of Rialto Towers, Melbourne's tallest building (and the tallest office building in the Southern Hemisphere), is an observation deck. The 360° view is simply amazing. You can see up to 70kms on a clear day.
525 Collins St; Walking distance from Flinders St or Spencer St station. Parking for cars underneath Rialto Towers;
A bright and lively family run restaurant situated at the beach end of Hampton St, Pelagos offers traditional greek food and a great atmosphere (with lively greek music playing in the background). Great for families and others wanting a proper greek feed, Pelagos is a must visit. Note: take-away is also available!
265 Hampton St (beach end)
Hampton, VIC 3188
Tel: (03) 9598-3332
Take two to three days to travel the Great Ocean Road - turn off the beaten track and find wild koalas in the trees. Also, head the opposite direction out of Melbourne and drive down the Mornington Peninsula then across to Wilson’s Promontory for some spectacular camping, bush walks and beaches. At the main campsite on Wilson’s Promontory you will have wombats snuffling around your tent at night. It's one of the most beautiful and unknown places in Australia.
The Nunnery is a lovely, well-kept old building which - you guessed it - used to be a nunnery and now caters for backpackers of both sexes. Located on the edge of the CBD opposite the Imax theatre and Royal Exhibition Buildings and grounds, it's just a stroll away from town or the uber-cool shops and cafes of Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Private rooms are also available and the rates are great. The tram stops right outside and they also have a special deal going with the next-door pub on budget meals called Hail Marys. Hallelujah!
116 Nicholson St, Fitzroy; tel: 61 3 9419 8637; www.nunnery.com.au
Soul Mama is located in one of the best spots for dining in Melbourne, upstairs in the renovated sea baths at St Kilda. There’s no real menu, the line up for your meal is different, the view from the toilets is worth a million dollars and the restaurant is vegetarian only.
You choose the size of the meal you want: little, small, medium or large. The little dish consists of dips and bread. The small/medium/large meals are made up of your choice of 20 or so hot or cold vegetarian dishes. You also have a choice of wines, beers and soft drinks and, for the health conscious, variety of freshly made juices.
If you manage to get through your main course, then amazing deserts await. Some look strange but they all taste terrific.
Soul Mama is bright, kid friendly and best of all, the meals are priced relatively cheap. Underground car parking is also available for patrons.
St Kilda sea baths, Jacka Blvd, St Kilda; tel: 9593 6470
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