If you’re talking about restaurants in the sense of places that take bookings and offer table service, Brunswick is surprisingly light on. What it does have is a wealth of affordable pubs, falafel joints and other casual eateries that suit the local population of students, musicians and artists. Even on a cold weeknight in winter, expect to find these relaxed restaurants filled with good people and good vibes. If you're looking for somewhere on Lygon Street, check out our guide to the Best Restaurants in Brunswick East.

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Best Bars in Brunswick

Small Axe Deli

From the team behind Small Axe Kitchen, this spot has a seven-metre terrazzo bar and floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Italian cold cuts, cheeses, pickles and take-home meals such as gluten-free lasagne.

1/625 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Bhang

From the owners of Tom Phat, Bhang serves Indian street food in the north.

1/2A Mitchell Street, Brunswick

Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria

Half restaurant, half bar and always a party. Owner Bruno Carreto was born in Mexico and did a stint in a taqueria there before opening Los Hermanos. As you'd expect, the tacos and gorditas are the real deal. Don't forget to choose a tequila or mezcal from the blackboard.

339 Victoria Street, Brunswick
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Juanita Peaches

Some of the best fried chicken in town.

12 Edward Street, Brunswick

Good Days

Vegan-friendly Vietnamese. Yes, it exists.

165 Sydney Road, Brunswick
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Brunswick Mess Hall

A mix of business – from boutique beers to summer punch and Asian cuisine served Spanish-style.

400 Sydney Road, Brunswick
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Union Hotel - Brunswick

A simple backstreet boozer that harks back to the pubs of old.

109 Union Street, Brunswick

The Cornish Arms

This pub is renowned for two reasons. One: it's got one of the most vegan-friendly menus in Melbourne – meaning meat-eaters and herbivores alike can enjoy whatever pub classic they feel like. Two: its sunny and expansive rooftop bar is surely one of the best in Brunswick. With its great view of the skyline, it definitely has the best view.

163A Sydney Road, Brunswick

Miss Moses

It’s beer, sandwiches and 1960s Americana at this laid-back spot.

581 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Very Good Falafel

Family-grown chickpeas. Fluffy Israeli pita. Warm hummus. House-made pickles. Home run.

629 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Tom Phat

All-day dining at this Thai-infused cafe on Sydney Road.

182-184 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Ollie’s Pizza Parlour

Pizzas that fall somewhere between Neapolitan and New York-style. Pull up for spicy, garlicky clam pies (with chowder-like cream); zhooshed-up Hawaiians; cheesy, anchovy-topped savoury doughnuts; boozy gelati; and natural wine.

133 Sydney Road, Brunswick

A1 Bakery

An affordable Middle-Eastern bakery, cafe and grocer.

643-645 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Waxflower

Blending elements of Melbourne cafe, European wine bar and Tokyo-style “listening bar”, this buzzing spot hosts vinyl-only DJs five nights a week, with no cover charges. It’s one of the best places in town to hear recorded music.

153 Weston Street, Brunswick

Small Time Pizza

New York-style pizzas served by the slice (or whole), cut from 55-centimetre pies. Small Time also doubles as a music hub, helping small artists make the big time. Find a homey front bar and rooftop, plus live music and a recording studio.

271-273 Albert Street, Brunswick
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