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Itinerary

Food

Friday night

Start your weekend with classic Melbourne: in an unmarked, upstairs laneway bar. Soak up the sophistication at Japanese-influenced den of decadence Hihou before dinner. Just a short stroll away is a delicious concentration of excellent restaurants, on and around Flinders Lane. Try the celebrated Cumulus Inc., Supernormal or Pei Modern. Keep it Melbourne with a cheeky nightcap at Cumulus Up.

Saturday morning

Get up as early as you can to see the Queen Victoria Market at its bustling best. Join locals jostling for the best fresh produce in the aisles and queuing for brekky bratwurst and baked goods in the deli hall. Stock up on treats to take home, grab a brew from Market Lane Coffee and perch outside to enjoy the theatre of it all. On Therry Street, opposite the market, pick up culinary know-how in bound from at Books for Cooks.

Saturday afternoon

Take a lunchtime tour of one of Melbourne's famous eat streets. Explore the Vietnamese eateries and grocers on Victoria Street, Richmond, get a taste of la dolce vita in Lygon Street, Carlton, or take in the sights, sounds and aromas of Chinatown, along Little Bourke Street.

Or, take yourself to Fitzroy and Collingwood, the north's epicentre of fabulous dining. If you've an appetite, indulge over a long lunch at Saint Crispin or Easy Tiger.

Work it off strolling the boutiques and galleries on Smith and Gertrude streets, recharge with coffee at De Clieu or an amble through nearby Carlton Gardens.

Saturday night

The culinary capital of the north is the place for dinner tonight. Treat yourself to the degustation menu at Cutler & Co. or savour the six-course IDES experience. Cap it all off with a cocktail from the award-winning bartenders at The Everleigh or The Black Pearl, or head upstairs for a brew with a view at Naked in the Sky.

Sunday morning

Ease into Sunday morning with a late breakfast at The European on Spring Street. Follow your civilized start to the day with by some browsing at the Spring Street Grocer and Cheese Cellar, proof that not all grocers are made equal.

Sunday afternoon

Stroll across to Federation Square and watch the passers-by, explore the Australian artwork at the Ian Potter Centre, or meander along the Yarra River.

Stop for coffee and snacks at places you discover along the way – but leave room for dinner.

Sunday night

End your weekend of culinary indulgence with a big-ticket dinner. Book well ahead for three-hatted Vue de Monde, Attica or Flower Drum, or for dinner at Crown's Rosetta or The Atlantic.

Wherever you end up, linger over a delicious meal while you plan your return trip.  (So many menus, so little time…)

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Food & wine

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Shopping

The Spring Street Grocer

Venture into a world of gourmet groceries and fresh, organic produce along with a fancy made-to-order sandwich bar and an underground cheese cellar.

Restaurants

Cutler & Co.

You can't argue with two hats from The Age Good Food Guide and two stars from the Australian Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Guide.

Restaurants

Attica

Ben Shewry's Attica is officially Australia's best restaurant, now ranked 32nd on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list.

Restaurants

The European

Scramble for an adjective to describe Melbourne's stalwart wine bar and you'll end up settling on 'European', before you settle on one more glass.

Markets

Queen Victoria Market

Shop 'til you drop at this celebrated market to see buskers, find souvenirs and to marvel at the fresh produce and the treats in the Dairy Hall.

Restaurants

Flower Drum

Create a special occasion so you can head to Flower Drum for novel Cantonese fare that garnered two more hats in The Age Good Food Guide.

Restaurants

Rosetta Ristorante

Twist your fork around 16 kinds of handmade pasta and seasonal Italian specialties at Neil Perry's hatted Italian foray. This is la dolce vita.

Restaurants

The Atlantic

Unique oyster varieties are prepared with the gentlest touch, fitting for a restaurant with its own all-day Oyster Bar and Grill.

Restaurants

Cumulus Inc.

This loft-inspired restaurant, hatted by The Age Good Food Guide boasts a drinking bar, an eating bar and regular tables for serious eating.

Restaurants

Vue de monde

Climb to level 55 of Melbourne's Rialto tower and find out why Vue de monde consistently scores three hats from The Age Good Food Guide.

Bars

Cumulus Up

Kick back and sample the best of local and European wines in the designer interiors of this loft-style bar from the award-winning Cumulus Inc. team.

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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Bars

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Follow the aromas of freshly extracted single origin coffee beans down cobblestoned laneways and into laid-back coffee strips for that caffeine buzz.