Salty sea air, beautiful architecture and a relaxed bohemian feel. There's no other suburb in Melbourne quite like it.

There’s something about a beachside suburb that cultivates a special atmosphere. Perhaps it’s the open water views, or the diversity of a metropolis on the edge of the ocean. But ever since the railway was built in 1857, people have been flocking to St Kilda.

In summer the beachfront is magnetic; locals and visitors walk, ride, scooter and cycle along the waterfront. Architectural relics such as the Palais Theatre and Luna Park abut contemporary designs such as the Stokehouse in a melding of old and new.

A handful of health-focused cafes sate the good intentions of an early summer morning, though there’s nothing more pleasing than sinking an icy beer over a late lunch of fish and chips along the water’s edge. The suburb has an abundance of bars and pubs pairing food with drink, from wine and cheese, to tacos and mojitos, and burgers with beers. And with locals and tourists alike winding up and down Acland Street of a warm summer evening, the atmosphere can easily turn to party vibes on a weekend – even as the foreshore remains a laid-back oasis.

Restaurants

Supernormal Canteen

Restaurant

The cool younger sibling to chef Andrew McConnell’s CBD restaurant. Make the trip out for the share-friendly pan-Asian dishes, stick around for the Japanese desserts.

Fitzrovia

Restaurant

All-day dining backed by two decades of cooking experience.

Mya Tiger

Restaurant

This Cantonese resturant up the stairs at Melbourne’s iconic Esplanade Hotel has incredible views and Chinese cuisine classics.

Lau’s Family Kitchen

Restaurant

High quality, home-style Cantonese food.

Prince Dining Room

Restaurant

Mediterranean-skewed dining and a space full of modern flourishes.

Cafe Di Stasio

Restaurant

The word institution gets thrown around a lot, but Ronnie di Stasio's elegant Italian diner has well and truly earned the accolade.

Cafes

Black Star Pastry

Cafe

The Sydney bakery has opened a temporary St Kilda shop, serving “Australia’s most Instagrammed dessert”, as well as new savoury pastries such as a ratatouille danish and an asparagus and ‘nduja number with a spicy kick.

Sister of Soul

Cafe

Vegetarian for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Wood Frog Bakery

Cafe

Bagels and bread are just the beginning.

Baker D. Chirico

Cafe

A solid contender for the title of best bread in Melbourne.

Miss Jackson

Cafe

A slick but laid-back cafe, removed from the busy Fitzroy Street but still close to the action.

Harper's Kitchen

Cafe

A cosy community cafe in St Kilda that has local support...for good reason.

Bars

The Espy

Bar

After a profound redevelopment, this legendary seaside pub is going strong, offering the live music, drinks, food, good times and views it always has, albeit in far more polished fashion.

Ghost of Alfred Felton

Bar

A swish cocktail bar on the uupermost level of the the Esplanade Hotel. Say hi to the concierge for permission to come up for champagne, whisky and old-world atmosphere.

Bar Di Stasio

Bar

A polished bar by the team behind right next door Café Di Stasio.

Freddie Wimpoles

Bar

The reincarnation of Fitzroy Street’s famous George Hotel is complete.

Misery Guts

Bar

A quirky yet serious bar filled with second-hand furniture.

The Nelson Rum Bar

Bar

An impressively designed haunt welcoming locals, rascals and the like.

Shops

Piccolina Gelateria St Kilda

Shop

There’s fruity granita, all-natural gelato and a chocolate fountain at this beachside gelateria.

La Formaggeria

Shop

A specialty grocery store in St Kilda, boasts healthy produce and the suburb’s first micro cheese lab.

The Little Veggie Patch Co

Shop

A patch of Eden for the aspiring kitchen gardener.

Meatsmith St Kilda

Shop

As upmarket as butchers come.

Scout House

Shop

Custom-made Australian furniture and vintage pieces from Europe.

Prime

Shop

Classic sneakers and sportswear since 1997.