Restaurants

  • The vibe is laid-back at this 160-year-old pub by the team behind The Royston. Bring your dog to the courtyard for cheeseburger spring rolls and the crowd-favourite kangaroo fillet with crisp potatoes.

  • A rustic Italian spot serving hefty, semolina-crusted pizzas. Play it straight with Napoletana or dial up the salt with pancetta, anchovy, capers and garlic. It’s near Victoria Park – a perfect place to bask in the sun with takeaway.

  • The follow-up to Cam’s Kiosk is an idyllic restaurant with its own kitchen garden, perfect for long lunches amid the backdrop of the Abbotsford Convent’s well-maintained grounds. Expect uncomplicated fare such as handmade pasta and roast chicken with celeriac puree.

  • A go-to for home-style Thai fare since 1996. Bring your crew and order familiar plates of pad see ew, Thai green curry and roti. Or beeline to the Isan section of the menu for dishes like larb and crying tiger (slow-cooked and grilled beef). Plus, family-recipe ice tea, chrysanthemum tea and coconut juice.

  • A budget-friendly stalwart that brims with local patrons and visitors most nights of the week. Squeeze into the cosy dining room for home-style salads, curries and hot pots. Pull a book off the communal shelf while you wait.

  • The Tanpapat family has been been serving Thai food for generations. They opened at this spacious Richmond warehouse in 2013, serving traditional dishes just as you’d find them in Thailand. Think boat noodles, punchy larb and pla rad prik (deep-fried barramundi with tamarind sauce).

  • This small, modestly decorated restaurant sits on a stretch of road best known for horrendous traffic. Yet the food is entirely legit. Go for the excellent, generously stacked tacos: with pork *al pastor* and charred pineapple; slow cooked beef; and deep-fried flathead with cabbage slaw and chipotle mayo. Wash it all down with a Mexican beer or a classic Margarita.

  • Abbotsford's premier Japanese soul food cafe.

Cafes

  • A grand chandelier and marbled walls give this tiny French patisserie an extra dose of opulence. That’s before you get to the Paris-inspired madeleines, baguettes, house-blended coffee, and a new take on the classic croissant.

  • Homey Japanese food and good coffee combine at this tiny corner cafe. Visit for tiny rolls stuffed with chicken sausage, teishoku (all-inclusive set meals, similar to bento boxes) and single-origin espresso drinks.

  • Visit this laidback cafe for its simple yet satisfying breakfasts (think a loaded ploughman’s lunch), consistently good coffee and cold-pressed juices. And follow it up with a stroll around the Abbotsford Convent.

  • This neighbourhood spot has an all-day cafe, diner, gallery space and courtyard with views of the Abbotsford Convent. It’ll take you right through your day, from your morning coffee to your late-night share plates and local lo-fi wines. As for food? Expect hearty veggie soups, charcuterie plates, mussels steeped in chilli and tomato sauce, and more.

  • Abbotsford's first serious cafe, and still one of its best. Come for its seriously good coffee all-day brunch staples, like loaded smashed avocado and an eggs Benny spinoff.

  • A sleek cafe, bakery and roastery, with big plans.

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  • Inside a cosy converted garage, this one-man roasting operation punches above its weight, with two espresso blends, rotating single-origins and a welcoming community vibe. Sit in at one of two benches with a vinyl soundtrack or grab your 'spro to go.

  • Quick and affordable sandwiches, plus bottomless filter coffee.

  • An artisan bakery cafe at the Abbotsford Convent.

  • The coffee wholesaler’s public face.

  • Indigenous plants alongside art, coffee and jaffles.

  • A cafe, organic grocer and dinner spot in one.

  • Relax with all-day brunch, Italian-inspired lunch or an Aperol spritz at this riverside hideout.

Bars

  • This cosy bar and eating house features stained-glass windows and archways, much like a cathedral. Its objects of worship? Elevated pub classics and steaks dressed with chimichurri.

  • This historic 19th-century public house has stepped into the 21st with a meat-free menu – featuring miso ramen and vego lasagne – and hyperlocal beers. Yet it’s a classic pub at heart, complete with fireplaces for cooler nights.

  • Take a trip back in time – to 1915 to be exact. This is one of few Melbourne pubs with a true heritage fit-out. But it’s kept up with the times where it counts. Be sure to book on weekends, or you’ll eat your parma standing.

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  • Named after a Tom Petty album – and rocking an appropriate soundtrack – Lulie’s Cali-inspired rooftop bar is all sun, stone and succulents. Head upstairs for zesty cocktails from a cactus-shaped dispenser and a riff on the Hungry Jack’s Whopper.

  • One of the friendliest, most relaxed bars in town.

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  • Open midday to midnight, this intimate bar has a surprisingly large beer garden. Walk through to find a 1.5 metric tonne smoker slowly tenderising beef brisket, pork shoulder, chicken wings and German-style smoked cheese kransky.

  • A South and Central American menu worth travelling for, natural wines on tap and room for 400 punters.

  • An Abbotsford taproom from one of Brisbane's most popular breweries. The team ships its most in-demand beers twice weekly, fresh from Brisbane. Pick one of 12 pours, then order some food from local favourites, including Rita's Cafeteria and Kelso's Sandwich Shoppe.

  • A quirky brewery bar with pizzas, free popcorn and an anything-goes spirit.

  • At this "mapped" bottle shop, a cartographer and a sommelier are cracking open wines you’ve never tried from under-represented regions around the world. Grab a bottle to go, or settle in with a glass and some charcuterie (or order in from a nearby restaurant).

  • Boogie beneath the disco ball at this snug, ’70s-style den upstairs at Bodriggy Brewing Co. It’s a trifecta of fluorescent cocktails, lively South American snacks and “high-end Australiana” vibes.

  • This Abbotsford bar, eatery and coffee takeaway window is a Johnston Street cure-all.

Shops

  • Opened in 1988, this is one of Melbourne's best – and most established – Asian supermarkets. Its range is extensive with aisles dedicated to tea, herbs and spices, shrimp skins, Japanese seaweed and duck eggs.

  • There’s a four-and-a-half-tonne tree, three types of axe and 12 targets for you and your friends to hurl hatchets at.

  • There’s nothing cheap or DIY about this refined record store.

  • Forget whatever you think about pre-loved furniture stores – this one is different.

  • Catch two jewellery makers in action, then order a custom piece.

  • Sophisticated womenswear that’s made to last.

  • Forward-thinking house and techno records from a veteran of the scene.