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Peel back the inner-city onion that is Collingwood and discover layers of local history, infamous characters, quirky creativity and effortless charm.

Compulsory merriment

It's mandatory to have a good time around Collingwood and your attempts are made easy by increasing numbers of bars and restaurants, making it consistently one of Melbourne's top dining and bar-hopping 'burbs. 

Serious food fans, book in for a long lunch at Saint Crispin or try the six-course IDES experience. Burger aficionados, make tracks to oh-so-Melbourne Easeys; pizza fans, Lazerpig is the answer. Culinary globetrotters, take flight with Japanese, Korean, Thai, Spanish and Americana: eat it all up at Easy Tiger, Wabi Sabi Salon, Cibi and the Robert Burns.

Bar hoppers, you're never far from a tipple. Check out the pubs, Bill's Bar (by the Huxta-crew) or revel till all hours at Le Bon Ton.

Club caffeine, it's close to impossible to get a bad coffee around Smith Street. Get your cup o' Joe from Proud Mary, Everyday Coffee, Cibi or Aunty Peg's.

Musical nights

Don't let a night out in Collingwood end without seeing a band at The Tote. You can also hear live music at the Grace Darling and The Gem.

Arts and activity

Collingwood has long led the way when it comes to supporting artist initiatives and small galleries. Take a walking tour around the 'hood and make sure you call into Lamington Drive, 69 Smith Street, Compound Interest and guerrilla operation Backwoods Gallery. Serious art aficionados, don't miss Australian Galleries and Ochre.  

Shopping Collingwood style

Even shopping in Collingwood is interesting. There are factory outlets flanking Smith Street; specialty stores like Tokyo Bike, a tiny independent bike shop and Loose Leaf, experts in greenery and flowers.  Find Japanese curios at Cibi; art and design books, trinkets and collectables at Happy Valley; clothes and classes at Thread Den; or clothes and coffee at The Social Studio.

Pay attention to the neighbourhood architecture to get a sense of Melbourne's history. Check out the dramatic Collingwood Town Hall, as well as the imposing corner pubs and the largely preserved nineteenth century dwellings, shops and factories.

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Things to do

Collingwood

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Fashion

The Social Studio

Few things make you feel better than frocking up in glad rags that have been made with a conscience, so where better to shop than The Social Studio?

Art galleries

Lamington Drive

Expect to see some eclectic art and design at this exceptional gallery space in Collingwood, run by the creative crew at the Jacky Winter Group.

Art galleries

Compound Interest Centre for Applied Arts

This Collingwood creative hub serves as a gallery, cafe, bar, speakeasy cinema and printing press, and houses a bespoke framer and independent bookshop.

Fashion

Thread Den Collingwood

When the apocalypse finally comes, your mastery of Microsoft Excel may no longer be enough to keep clothes on your back. Luckily, Thread Den holds...

Art galleries

Backwoods Gallery

The art is certainly not backwards at Backwoods, where intriguing international and local street art is brought inside by people who totally get it.

Shopping

Loose Leaf

Fresh and seasonal is the order of the day in this jungle wonderland, created by Charlie Lawler and Wona Bae. Grab an exotic plant or join a class.

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Food & wine

Collingwood

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Restaurants

Le Bon Ton

Let the good times roll is an exhortation that's hard to resist, especially when Deep South specialties, all-night oysters and absinth are involved.

Restaurants

Hotel Jesus

Say "amen" for Hotel Jesus, the in-your-face, no-holds-barred Mexican taqueria and "Taco Wey" joint from the folk who brought Mexican to Melbourne.

Restaurants

Bistro K

Do Korean differently at Bistro K. This Korean eatery takes classic flavours (think kim chi and Korean BBQ) and adds a modern fine dining touch.

Restaurants

The Craft & Co

Incorporating an eatery, cafe, bar, micro-brewery, distillery, winery, cheese and meat rooms, coffee roaster and store, there's always something to...

Restaurants

Smith Street Alimentari

Head down to Smith Street's friendly neighbourhood deli. Choose from ready-made meals, lunch specials and kitchen essentials to eat in or take away.

Restaurants

Teriyaki Anarchy Sake

Stop in for a crisp beer and yakitori (chicken skewers) at Collingwood's own Japanese teriyaki den. Tempt fate with a 'Bloody Hugo Hates Me' cocktail.

Bars

Bill's Bar

When your drinking whim turns from beer to top-shelf liquor, head out back at Huxtaburger to speakeasy-style Bill's Bar, brought to you by the Huxtacrew.

Restaurants

Robert Burns Hotel

See why the Robert Burns Hotel is a Smith Street institution. Sample the tasty tapas at the bar or settle in for a long, sangria-fuelled lunch.

Restaurants

IDES

Be sure you don't miss out on this experimental six-course degustation menu, The Age Good Food Guide doesn't give out hats to just anyone.

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