Perch in a Brunswick Street bar and celebrate the way that sometimes the more things change, the more they stay the same in this inner northern enclave.
While inevitably undergoing inner-city gentrification, Fitzroy has retained its creative edge thanks to a great mix of art galleries, studios and specialist bookshops. Idiosyncratic bars pop up on Smith Street; Marios, Polyester and Brunswick Street Books still call Brunswick Street home; and Johnson Street continues to flaunt its Spanish heritage, especially during the November Hispanic Fiesta.
Meander through menus across Fitzroy's eat streets. It's all ooh-la-la at Brunswick Street's Madame Sousou, Bon Ap' and Shifty Chevre, and Latin lovin' on Johnston Street, where Los Amates has been resident since long before the Mexican wave. Meat-free Mondays make sense at Transformer, the Veggie Bar, Smith & Daughters and Grumpy's Green.
Get yourself to Gertrude Street for Andrew McConnell's menus at Cutler & Co., Ricky & Pinky and Marion, for all-in-the-name Belle's Hot Chicken, or for an early start at Birdman Eating and Archie's All Day. In the back streets, watch the market from Young Bloods Diner, bag a local roast at Industry Beans and plan a gin-and-jaffle supper at Bad Frankie.
Bar hopping on Brunswick Street
Hang around until evening to make merry in Brunswick Street's bars and pubs. Ring the doorbell for the privilege of classic cocktails at The Attic above The Black Pearl, listen to vinyl crackle at Black Cat, take in city skyline views at Naked in the Sky and Upside Rooftop Bar at 127 Brunswick, and up your spirits at Kodiak Club and Little Blood.
Prop up the bar alongside old-timers and bearded musos at Sullivans-style pubs like Labour In Vain, the Standard, the Napier, Union Club Hotel or Marquis of Lorne. For live music, head to the Workers Club and The Evelyn, or traipse around the corner to the Night Cat, the LuWow and the Old Bar on Johnston Street.
Browse quaint and quirky shops selling vintage wares and locally designed goodies. Try Vintage Sole, Somebuddy Loves You, Hunter Gatherer, in.cube8r, and museum-shop-without-the-museum, Third Drawer Down. Go designer Gorman, Alpha60 and bùl, or DIY at Johnston Street's Das T-Shirt Automat.
Rifle through records at Polyester, Vinyl Revival, Poison City Records and Gertrude Street's Northside Records. Do your one-stop independent design shopping on Saturdays and Sundays at the Rose Street Artists' Market.
Get snapping the local street art and commissioned murals, and check out studios, galleries and workshops like Brunswick Street Gallery, Alcaston Gallery, Sutton Gallery, Panelpop and Centre for Contemporary Photography.
East to Smith Street
Get your dancing shoes on and head to Smith Street. Pick up the appropriate footwear at the outlets along the strip, or at one of the growing number of stores stocking local designer wares. Check out the bands and DJs at Yah Yah's, Kent Street and Mr Wow's Emporium.
Out and about
Beyond the culinary and sartorial diversions, sunny days can be well spent at the outdoor Fitzroy Swimming Pool (complete with DJs on Sundays in summer) or barefoot with beers and friends further north at the Fitzroy Bowls Club.
How to get there
By tram: Number 11 from Collins Street or Number 86 from Bourke Street.
By bus: From the city take Route 200 towards Bulleen, 201 towards Doncaster or 207 towards Donvale.