Restaurants

Tahina

Restaurant

Vegetarian Israeli street food, served fast.

Va Penne

Restaurant

To find this dimly lit Italian bar and eatery, look out for a flashing red neon hand in the window. Inside, you’ll find old-school breadbaskets (loaded with carbs to salsa-verde-doused burrata); garlicky spaghetti vongole swimming in oil; a cocktail list centred around Vermouth; and more.

Estelle

Restaurant

“A touch of innovation without being scary or confronting” is how owner-chef Scott Pickett describes the menu here, and he’s bang-on.

Le Lee

Restaurant

Enter for hand-rolled layered leek and cheese pastries, vegetarian moussaka and clay pots filled with slow-cooked meat. When the dishes arrive, they’ll be spread out across the table, because everything is for sharing.

Curry Cafe

Restaurant

One of the best curry spots in town. There's also a location in Flemington.

300 Grams

Restaurant

This compact 25-seater flips beef and plant-based cheeseburgers, and serves southern fried chicken and vegan Cocowhip sundaes.

Cafes

Shoku Iku

Cafe

This organic cafe serves an entirely vegan and raw menu. Chef-owner Yoko Inoue's cooking showcases the benefits of macrobiotic and organic raw food. Although most of the menu takes its cues from Japan, Inoue often just cooks what she feels, so dishes such as beetroot spaghetti and raw lasagne are common.

Il Melograno

Cafe

At this gelato shop, owned by a Sicilian native, the gelato is classically made, but many of the flavours are anything but. Past scoops have involved chocolate and rosemary, and pear and elderflower. It also doubles as a cafe, serving Italian breakfasts and lunches.

Bicycle Thieves

Cafe

A vast light-filled eatery from the crews who brought us first-rate cafes Bawa and Sloane Ranger.

Field Black

Cafe

This cafe with a hidden kids’ area welcomes dogs and serves breakfast gnocchi and sticky-date hotcakes.

Barry

Cafe

A bright cafe with healthy on the mind.

Sookie La La

Cafe

A retro-inspired lunch spot.

Bars

Gray and Gray

Bar

This wine bar from the owner of All Are Welcome is in a former lawyer’s office. Step behind the original gold-leaf signage and vertical blinds for left-of-centre wines and Russian and Georgian dishes. You might get breads with “various fats”, beetroot-stained dill pickles, flaky puff-pastry pie or a lofty 10-layer honey cake.

Oh Loretta!

Bar

This is a welcoming place – that’s thanks to the design: with its plump, comfy couches, carefree decor; sharehouse-esque fairy-lit courtyard and huge light-bringing windows. The food is just as accessible – it’s a changeable affair that might involve pumpkin with burrata one night, or a barbequed carrot showered with shards of crunchy chicken skin the next. The Victorian-leaning wine list and punchy cocktails are equally crowd-pleasing.

Welcome to Thornbury

Bar

Six food trucks, 35 beer taps and 699 of your closest friends.

Joe's Shoe Store

Bar

The ideal place for a couple of quiet pints.

Wesley Anne

Bar

A 19th-century church turned barnyard style bar with music always playing, in Northcote.

Kitty Somerset

Bar

A tasteful venue for a relaxing drink on the edge of Northcote.

Shops

Obus

Shop

Melbourne-designed practical and travel-friendly garments.

Cuppa Turca

Shop

Dondurma is a type of stretchy, Turkish ice-cream. And it’s pretty hard to find in Melbourne. Cuppa Turca specialises in the stuff. If you want a break from gelato but still want to scratch that sweet, frozen itch, this is your pick. Plus there’s colourful Turkish delights and shatteringly crisp baklava.

Zsa's

Shop

A light-filled all-day European bistro, bar and deli stocking fresh pasta, fancy tinned fish and other staples.

Recycled Lane

Shop

Lovingly handmade, unique pieces that shy away from mass production runs and favour a little bit of personal history

Northcote Bakeshop

Shop

Freshly baked sourdough, single origin coffee and Nancy Wilson on the record player.

Brown & Bunting

Shop

A second-hand bookstore with a new feel.