Collingwood is only on the other side of Smith Street from Fitzroy, but the two suburbs feel quite different. Where Fitzroy is mostly quaint terrace houses, Collingwood has long been a hub for light industry – mechanics, sheet-metal fabricators, commercial drycleaners and the like. Gradually, though, these businesses are moving out and their spacious tenancies are being put to new uses.

Converted warehouses now hold coffee roasters such as Proud Mary and Acoffee; bars including Rupert on Rupert and Stomping Ground; and retailers such as Lululemon. As in most parts of inner Melbourne, developers have turned many other sites into apartment blocks.

This hasn’t changed things too much – yet. Schoolhouse Studios, a collective of 90-plus artists in another warehouse on Rupert Street, is upholding Collingwood’s freewheeling, alternative spirit. Ditto for Backwoods Gallery on Easey Street, which works mainly with local street artists.

Collingwood is also home to the Tote and the Gasometer, two of Melbourne’s most important live music venues, and the Peel, one of the city’s most famous gay pubs.


  • Head here for sturdy pies filled with mac’n’cheese, confit duck, bacon and eggs, and lasagne by acclaimed chef Raymond Capaldi.

  • At this playful Latin American diner, you can watch the chefs prep pinchos and anticuchos (Peruvian skewers) by the open kitchen. Or, slide into a booth for woodfired dry-aged steak, Grapefruit Margaritas and maximalist vibes.

  • After more than 40 years, this classic Greek spot still brims with diners most nights. It stays true to tradition with pan-fried saganaki, house-made Greek dips, lamb sliced from the gyro and hot plates of charcoal-cooked seafood.

  • Three Gerald’s Bar alums run this wine bar, which is bursting with personality. Its ever-changing menu includes a daily staff meal, as well as drinks like the Cookie Monster cocktail and “Butter Beer” served warm.

  • A cafe by day and izakaya by night. Mornings are for bowls of salmon- or Wagyu-topped rice with an umami-rich broth. And in the evenings, sake cocktails and snacky bites like mirin-dressed oysters come out.

  • Acclaimed chef Scott Pickett returns to his roots at this swish bistro. With its caviar service, playful spins on Gallic staples and a dining room that recalls Paris in the 1930s, this place is a spirited entry to the genre.


  • Melbourne isn’t short on sandwich shops. But there are few doing it quite like Stef and Diana Condello. Come for classic Italian sandwiches, including a house-roasted porchetta number with crackling.

  • Behind a red roller door, this bakery doubles down on the pastries found at the nearby Falco flagship. Find bagels, loaves and more alongside its wildly popular sandwiches and peanut-butter-miso cookies.

  • “Cibi” is Japanese for “little one”. But this cafe, homewares and furniture store is not so little. It's in a light-filled warehouse with a spacious, homey kitchen, there are traditional breakfasts and takeaway lunches. Plus, a grocer with produce and pantry goods to take home.

  • Sit on a milk crate and enjoy caramel-filled Argentinian pastries, updated escargot and slow-fermented bread.

  • The New Zealand coffee company has expanded with its first Melbourne roastery and cafe in Collingwood.

  • Proud Mary represents Melbourne coffee in a way that few roasters do. Its bright flagship cafe just off Smith Street was a trailblazer when it opened in 2009, offering then-novel extraction methods (V60, Aeropress, cold drip) for its blends and single origins – all roasted a block away at Aunty Peg's. Whether you’re feeling intrepid or sticking to the usual, there’s a brew here for you.


  • The Gaso is one of the city's best rock’n’roll pubs. Its cosy, red-brick front bar belies the size of the band room out back, where you can catch the cream of the city’s musical crop from the dance floor, or the upstairs mezzanine beneath a retractable roof.

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  • Despite the modern refurb, this charming all-day boozer feels like it’s been around forever. Park yourself in the sunny, plant-filled atrium or nab a spot out front for pub-style breakfasts and upmarket parmas. The knockout-style pool competitions here are a midweek spectacle.

  • In an old furniture warehouse, you’ll find sour-coffee ales and beer that mimics wine. Plus, a schmick Southeast Asian restaurant (and beer garden) next door with kangaroo tartare, twice-fried chicken wings and more.

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  • There’s beer, and then there’s award-winning India Pale Ale served straight from the tank. Here, you’ll get the latter.

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  • A one-man operation punching above its weight.

  • Nearly every style you can imagine is available at this convivial beer hall, and they're all made right there.


  • This jeweller specialises in ethical handmade designs. Book a session with its master jeweller to create one-of-a-kind pieces that work with your personal style – and last a lifetime.

  • Trade your own clothes and accessories for cash or in-store credit at this chic, second-hand shop. Or buy something that’s old to someone else but new to you. You won’t find fast fashion on the racks here – just pre-loved, sustainably sourced vintage and designer threads from your local community.

  • Vintage furniture, imported directly from Europe.

  • A cosy vintage store in a century-old building, where the owner handpicks stock from across Europe, the US and Australia. Expect high-quality pieces including ’70s leather jackets, maxi dresses and the odd piece of mid-century furniture.

  • A take on an old-school Aussie bakery by a team of hospo veterans who know what makes a great venue tick. One of the owners happens to be an incredible baker, who's turning out rustic sourdough loaves, standout pies and a mighty fine fleet of sangas. To drink, there's espresso or filter coffee made using beans roasted in-house.

  • A vintage treasure trove inspired by the Biba boutiques of ’60s and ’70s London. Sift through pre-loved and reworked vintage from the ’20s to Y2K, as well as dead stock and more contemporary pieces. Plus, hordes of jewellery, bags and shoes.