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.