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, Mexican and Americana: eat it all up at Cibi, Chalawan, Son in Law, Hotel Jesus and the Robert Burns.

Bar hoppers, you're never far from a tipple. Check out the pubs or revel till all hours at Le Bon Ton. Hopsters, this is your hood: take your drinking boots to Stomping Ground brewery and beer hall, or meander down to The Craft and Co., a brewery, distillery and winery in one.

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. Pastry perfection from uber-boulanger Gontran Cherrier is the ideal complement.

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 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; 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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