South Melbourne is never more alive than on weekends, as shoppers from surrounding suburbs flock to the market.

South Melbourne is one of city’s most vibrant corridors of food, drink and activity. It’s home to the bustling South Melbourne Market, and blossoms in the warmer seasons as the tight-knit community opens its doors and spills onto the streets between Southbank and the grassy expanses of Albert Park.

The area’s solid cafe contingent keeps the al fresco strips humming during the day. As the sun lowers and hours stretch into evening, bars and restaurants come to life. Enjoy some mussels with one of the pilsners Claypots Evening Star keeps on tap, or walk a few blocks away for snacks and wine at Bellotta before an opulent dinner at Lûmé.

Restaurants

Park Street Pasta & Wine

Restaurant

Fresh, handmade pasta rolled from the best possible ingredients is the draw at this intimate osteria.

Saul’s Drive-Through

Restaurant

Pull in to this pop-up drive through for New York-style sangas, custard-filled choux puffs and well-made coffee by a Melbourne sandwich heavyweight.

Half Acre

Restaurant

This multifaceted space couples the drop-in spirit of a pub with the food of a more polished eatery.

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Marko

Restaurant

A bright, plant-based eatery doing comforting takeaway classics. Try fluffy falafel pitas, spicy corn ribs and crispy cauliflower burgers by a top Melbourne chef, plus lo-fi vino and yuzu cocktails.

Woods Yard

Restaurant

Wood-fire sourdough pizza is the star at this wine bar, which pours natural wine, wild brews and coffee. Plus, grab sourdough rolls for lunch loaded with fillings such as mortadella, or a fancy omelette on the weekend.

Lamaro’s Hotel

Restaurant

Gastropub fare in plush surrounds.

Cafes

Bricklane Bagels

Cafe

New York-style open bagels in a cosy setting inspired by the bagel shops of East London. Despite the overseas influences, you’ll feel instantly at home thanks to the eclectic vintage decor and Melbourne-roasted coffee.

Market Lane Coffee South Melbourne

Cafe

Cafe number six for one of the city’s favourite coffee roasters.

The Left-Handed Chef

Cafe

Israeli share platters and pita pockets (and yes, the chef is left-handed).

Proper & Son

Cafe

Meals fresh from South Melbourne Market.

The Kettle Black

Cafe

This is one of the cafes responsible for elevating chef-prepared breakfasts and brunches to the same level of respect as lunches and dinners. And, even after changing hands a few years back, it's still one of the best places in town or a morning meal.

KUU Cafe

Cafe

Kuu's owners are a Japanese couple with a love for Melbourne, so you'll see influences from both places on display here. They shows up in the design, which is clean and minimalistic. They also appear on the menu, where traditional dishes are often given a local spin. There's a great range of salads and sandos to take away, too.

Bars

Mr Brownie

Bar

This pub has a bar on each eclectic level including one on the roof with city views – with more than 1000 beers, pét-nat on tap, and curry chips, vindaloo pies, samosa burgers and butter chicken-stuffed rolls on the menu.

James

Bar

This stylish Clarendon Street wine bar pours top-notch Coravin drops made for pairing with fried-chicken bao, kingfish sashimi, and tempura eggplant in miso custard.

Westside Ale Works

Bar

Nano-brewed, hand-bottled beer inspired by America’s West Coast.

The Albion

Bar

City views from a rooftop bar and a 5am licence.

Hats & Tatts

Bar

A down-and-dirty frat house with a fine-tuned booze library.

Bellota Wine Bar

Bar

A quintessentially European dining and drinking experience.

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Shops

Austro

Shop

An Austrian-inspired bakery serving pretzels, sachertorte and unmissable croissants.

Agathé Pâtisserie

Shop

Agathe's market stall has been a South Melbourne Market staple since it opened. Understandable – the crowd-pleasing roster of French treats here, including some stellar croissants, are baked by an owner who attended Paris's most prestigious baking and patisserie school.

Vincent Design

Shop

A temple to Scandinavian living.

Cannoleria by That’s Amore

Shop

A tiny cannoli shop inside South Melbourne Market serving delicate tubes of golden pastry filled with That’s Amore ricotta in traditional flavours and some that are more adventurous.

Made In Japan

Shop

Beautiful ceramic tableware, direct from the Land of the Rising Sun.

Magnum + Queens

Shop

700 bottles of wine selected in part by a former sommelier. You're in good hands.