For a suburb so close to the city, North Melbourne is deceptively suburban. It’s spacious, tight-knit and much less developed than other pockets of the inner city. At most times of day finding a park on its wide streets is no hassle.

The broad, wedge-shaped area is bordered by Royal Park in the north and Queen Victoria Market in the south. At the height of Melbourne’s boom in the 1880s, it was the most densely populated part of the city, filled with blue-collar workers who favoured its ease-of-access to the factories in the city and out west.

Although the population has changed markedly since then, those early residents left their architectural footprints on the area. Closer to Parkville, stately Victorian and Edwardian-era terrace houses line the main streets. Approaching the city you’ll find intact weatherboard workers’ cottages, or simple stone constructions.

The proximity of the main strip, Errol Street, to the Queen Victoria Market has stymied the growth of food-retail in the suburb. Luckily, that’s translated to an upsurge in dining options in the area. And because only 40 per cent of North Melbourne’s population was born in Australia, those options are broad. Excellent Italian, Mexican and Vietnamese restaurants are all in close range of one another.

Restaurants

Pho Victoria

Restaurant

A quaint Vietnamese eatery where pho is the hot ticket.

5 Lire

Restaurant

Laura Notarfrancesco is honouring her Italian heritage the only way she knows how, and hungry North Melbourne locals are the winners.

Sosta Cucina

Restaurant

North Melbourne’s paragon of Italian fine dining.

Book a Table

El Sabor

Restaurant

A homey cantina by the team at El Cielo tortilleria.

Oskar Pizza

Restaurant

A relaxed, wallet-friendly pizzeria.

Cafes

Mörk Chocolate Brew House

Cafe

A bean-to-cup hot chocolate experience.

Market Lane in the Queen Vic Market Deli Hall

Cafe

Market Lane sets up in the bustling Deli Hall at Queen Vic.

Fandango

Cafe

Gentle pace, cosy atmosphere and quality staples.

Twenty & Six Espresso

Cafe

Home to some of Melbourne’s most creative breakfasts.

Book a Table

Elceed

Cafe

Like stepping into Grandma's kitchen, complete with 1970s courtyard.

Pocket Cafe

Cafe

A pocket-sized cafe with an easy-going attitude.

Bars

Joe Taylor

Bar

Take one look behind the bar and you’ll see these guys don’t mess around with cocktails.

Book a Table

The Town Hall Hotel, North Melbourne

Bar

A genuine old-school pub with heart.

Three Crowns

Bar

A down-to-earth pub with burgers, local beers and live music.

Book a Table

Shops

MAAP

Shop

Caffeinate while updating your cycle kit at this bike hub and cafe in a converted warehouse.

Kuura Tea Studio

Shop

Try and buy aged, fermented Chinese tea direct from Yunnan.

Martin Fella

Shop

A vintage fashion trove in North Melbourne.

Wingnut & Co.

Shop

Ceramics with an artistic sensibility.

Heartland Records

Shop

Metal and classic rock since 1992.