Where to go and what to eat in ever-rocking Richmond.
By Ellie Schneider
A heady mix of cool cafés, Vietnamese eateries and a thriving live music scene, Richmond is as exciting as ever. Find culinary delights on every corner – tuck into a meat pie at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, dine at revered restaurants, then catch a gig at one of the inner city suburb's cool neighbourhood bars.
- Pick up bargains on Bridge Road
- Soak up the pre-footy atmosphere at a classic pub
- Taste global delicacies
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Top things to do in Richmond
Start with breakfast on Swan or Church Street
Along Swan and Church Streets sit some of Melbourne's most venerated cafés. At social enterprise café Feast of Merit, try seasonal dishes such as Middle Eastern crumpets with vanilla and cinnamon labneh and shakshouka with green eggs, tahini and za’atar. Top Paddock on Church Street has become an essential stop in Melbourne. Plates here artfully present dishes such as blueberry and ricotta hotcakes with berries and maple syrup and you can top it off with a mimosa or Bloody Mary. Up the road, get your caffeine fix at Pillar of Salt, which serves coffee made using a variety of methods – espresso, pour over, cold brew – with beans by Small Batch Roasting Co.
See sport at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
Melbourne is considered Australia’s sports capital and its venues have become legendary. The Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), known simply as “the G”, is home to international cricket, including the annual Boxing Day Test, and the Australian Football League (AFL) from March to September. The MCG was also the site of the 1956 Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Rug up, grab a meat pie and join thousands of roaring fans at a game during the AFL season, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget. On site you’ll also find the National Sports Museum housing Australia’s largest collection of sporting memorabilia, or you can join a tour and visit the inner sanctum of the MCG. Tours take around 75 minutes and include player change rooms, media centre and a walk on the arena.
Shop for bargains on Bridge Road
You’ll need good walking shoes to get through Bridge Road’s abundance of factory outlets and seconds stores. Browse a range of Australian and international designers, such as Gorman, Country Road and Witchery, which sit alongside enviable homeware and furniture stores. When those feet get weary stop at Fritz Gelato for a scoop of its award winning, Italian style ice-cream: think caramelised fig and roasted almond or white chocolate and wasabi.
Catch a live gig
The Corner Hotel on Swan Street is one of Melbourne’s most feted live music venues. It has hosted live music since the 1940s but has really come into its own in the last 20 years, playing host to some of the biggest names in the business including Mick Jagger and Elliott Smith. Today the venue has been updated with a spacious band room and pleasant rooftop bar. Head here early for drinks and tasty snacks such as fried chicken or warm pretzels with melted beer cheese.
Stay on for dinner
Still hungry? Richmond offers a diverse dining scene where restaurants headed up by big-name chefs sit alongside the no-frills eateries of little Saigon. Among the best are siblings Kong and Baby, both on Church Street, which are lauded for their cool, buzzing atmosphere and speedy service – though you’ll no doubt have to queue for a table. At Union House on Swan Street, chef Nicky Riemer serves a seasonal, Euro-inspired menu with dishes such as grilled flat iron beef blade steak with braised peppers, tarator, anchovies and pecorino or seared snapper fillet with spiced corn, barley, shiitakes, broadbeans and shallots. For sweets try the Earl Grey panna cotta with poached rhubarb. If you’re after something cheap and cheerful, Victoria Street is home to countless Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries and Asian grocers. Try I Love Pho for rice noodle soups and rice paper rolls.
How to get there
The best way to get to Richmond from Melbourne’s city centre is by train, which takes about 10 minutes. Alternatively you can catch tram 70 from Flinders Street and be on Richmond's Swan Street in 15 minutes.