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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.

Eat streets

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.

Fossicking Fitzroy

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.

Tour d'Art

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.

Destinations

Gertrude Street

Take the amount of time you've allotted to hang out on Gertrude Street, and double it to get to grips with this microcosm of Fitzroy's best bits.

Offspring locations

Offspring locations

Make like an awkward obstetrician and let your dramas play out in Fitzroy, Offspring-style. Get set to steal scenes in the show's cafes, bars and pubs.

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Restaurants & cafes

Fitzroy

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Industry Beans

Wet your whistle with Industry Beans' bumper menu of house-roasted coffee, house teas and juices.

Cutler & Co.

The restaurant is stunning, the contemporary cuisine faultless and the wine well matched.

Los Amates

Accept responsibility for piling warm tortillas high with a range of well-executed taco fillings.

Smith & Daughters

It's only at the end of a meal at Smith & Daughters that you realise no meat has passed your lips.

Ladro

Taste the magic that is a Ladro pizza at the perennially popular pizzeria's original location.

Hammer & Tong

One of Melbourne's much adored cafes, Hammer & Tong is a award winning cafe brought to you by a ex...

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Bars & pubs

Fitzroy

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The Standard

Some things never change. Enjoy a summer brew in the leafy beer garden of this old Fitzroy fave.

The Workers Club

Hard day at work? The two bars, hearty kitchen and rockin' roster of live music will fix your ills.

Little Blood Tequila Bar

Step inside this sombraro-clad Mexican saloon and sample Melbourne's best range of tequila.

Kodiak Club

Accompany American classics like Buffalo Wings, BBQ ribs and poutine with a huge menu of cocktails.

Bar Liberty

'A place for everyone, to drink everything' is what the owners call it. Sounds good to us.

Union Club Hotel

Even before Offspring, this great local pub knew how to pull a crowd: with good food and booze.

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Shopping

Fitzroy

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ESS Laboratory

Expect unorthodox cuts, unexpected cuts and forms, and unisex outfits of rare beauty from this duo.

Spacecraft

Pick up everything from bed linens and light furnishings to hand bags and vivid decorative prints.

Vinyl Revival

Vinyl Revival are a record and hifi store on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.

Rose Street Artists Market

Meet and greet a sizeable line-up of Melbourne's emerging artists at this quiet Fitzroy institution.

Das T-Shirt Automat

Say what you want to say on a T-shirt, hoodie or tote bag at this candy striped Fitzroy T-shirtery.

Poison City Records

Part record store, part skate shop – Poison City Records is sacred ground for the local punk scene.

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More things to do

Fitzroy

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Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi

Ancient iconography and techniques, like dot painting, are what many of us most commonly associate...

The Evelyn

Hear indie, metal and hip hop at this Fitzroy fave, pumping out live music since the nineties.

Fitzroy Victoria Bowls Club

Sunny out? Round up your friends and head to Fitzroy Bowls Club for a session out on the green.

The Workers Club bandroom

A favourite with the indie arts crowd, catch shows by up-and-coming indie, electro and folk acts.

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

Join the hordes of lap swimmers and laid-back locals at this 50-metre heated outdoor pool in Fitzroy.

The Old Bar

Catch everything from snotty punk and country twang to acoustic jangles at this popular local haunt.

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