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.


  • Take a seat at the stone counter for a 10-course sushi degustation, or order fish-skin crackling, miso-marinated black cod, and savoury steamed custard topped with foie gras à la carte.

  • The humble pickle is the protagonist of every dish here. Try the juicy, double-decker burgers packed with all the trimmings and tart house-made pickles. No visit is complete without a side of Nashville chicken wings and a pickle juice-spiked cocktail.

  • Lamaro’s is a love letter to long lunches and refined pub dinners. A woodfired grill lends Lamaro’s steaks their smokiness and char, while the rest of the menu blends classic pub fare with Southeast Asian and French flavours.

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

    Book a Table
  • Housed within a 19th-century building, this spot freshly extrudes pasta shapes such as macaroni and penne in-house – an expensive process rarely seen in restaurant kitchens. Try them in the cosy dining room, or pull up at the al fresco terrace on warm Melbourne days.

    Book a Table
  • 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.

    Book a Table


  • Right next to Chez Dre, this dessert boutique is in the business of knockout petits gâteaux, macarons, biscuits and house-made gelato (with chocolate taps at the ready). It’s cakes and tarts also pull their own, especially the lemon meringue number.

  • Your go-to coffee spot when you're doing the shopping.

  • 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 for a morning meal.

  • A spot from the team behind some of the city’s biggest cafe hits. They’re making brunches with damper, Vegemite, Kakadu plums, wattle-seed bacon and Milo mascarpone.

  • This daytime hangout from the team behind north-side favourite Florian offers fresh sandwiches, nourishing salads, a next-level mushroom congee, and a no-fuss takeaway menu.

  • This cheery cafe offers up a playful brunch menu, grab-and-go pastries and hot coffee from Dukes. Its creative brunches might include Reuben sangas (with an unexpected combo of kangaroo pastrami and pineapple sauerkraut) or cured salmon mille-feuille on a New York-style bagel.


  • Nano-brewed, hand-bottled beer inspired by America’s West Coast. Sample one (or a tasting paddle) of Westside's core beers, including an American pale ale, an amber ale and a red IPA. Plus, go for bar snacks and pizzas loaded with toppings.

  • Visit this no-fuss Euro wine bar, where you can choose from over 3,500 wines right from the neighbouring Prince Wine Store. A large marble bar shows the daily seafood special, which you can enjoy alongside simple yet elevated pasta and moreish charcuterie.

    Book a Table
  • 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.

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

    Book a Table


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

  • A South Melbourne Market staple since it first opened. It's 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.

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

  • A temple to Scandinavian living.

  • 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.

  • The shop at South Melbourne Market also runs butchery classes.