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

Lamaro’s Hotel

Restaurant

Gastropub fare in plush surrounds.

Park Street Pasta & Wine

Restaurant

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

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Peko Peko

Restaurant

This playful Taiwanese-Japanese restaurant in South Melbourne (no relation to Fitzroy's Peko Peko) is a fun eatery that doesn't take itself or its delicious menu too seriously.

Tempura Hajime

Restaurant

This intimate restaurant – with a nondescript entrance under an office building – specialises in the Japanese tradition of tempura: a battering and frying technique that leads to surprisingly light and refreshing dishes.

Komeyui

Restaurant

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.

Bambu Asian Eating House

Restaurant

Take a break from market shopping with a hit list of filling dishes from across South East Asia.

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Cafes

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.

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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.

Wynyard

Cafe

Wholesome food, killer coffee and friendly neighbours, all down a single dead-end street.

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St Ali

Cafe

The busy headquarters of a growing coffee empire.

Bibelot

Cafe

A dessert boutique next to Chez Dré.

Nine Yards

Cafe

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.

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.

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Hats & Tatts

Bar

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

Eastern Road Larder

Bar

An expert-run tiny wine bar that doubles as a cafe and deli.

Shops

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.

Austro

Shop

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

Hagen’s Organic Butcher

Shop

The shop at South Melbourne Market also runs butchery classes.