Pay your respects to hipsters of yore who settled Northcote with the requisite cafes, bars and boutiques, and to the fortunes of town planning that afforded Ruckers Hill its unparalleled city views.

Northside culture

There's a decidedly arty vibe around Northcote, whether you're wandering the Westgarth strip or heading up Ruckers Hill to High Street.

Check out the latest exhibitions at indie galleries, catch a flick at the 1920s Westgarth Cinema, and see in your tomorrows with a night of high-profile and emerging bands at Northcote Social Club, revamped Northcote Theatre, Croxton Bandroom, or anything-goes acts at Open Studio and 303.

Shopping the strips

It's hard not to open your wallet in Northcote's boutiques. I Dream a Highway and Green Horse can outfit you head to toe, and Obus fulfils the cool quota with locally designed fashion.

Before March offers slow and sustainable style with a contemporary edge, Anna Cordell gets creative with custom suiting and ready-to-wear designs, while Pop & Scott ensure your indoor plant game is equally sharp.

Three square meals

You've got every meal covered in Northcote, and the chances of a cracking night out with some top tunes are high.

Get brunching at Bicycle Thieves, Tinker and Field Black. Sweeten up with pastries at All are Welcome, and grab a pie to-go at Baketico. Dinner is a cinch thanks to Ethiopian faves Mesob, Israeli quick-eats spot Tahina, stalwarts Pizza Meine Liebe and Curry Cafe, as well as Scott Pickett's hatted Estelle. Digestifs await at Wesley Anne, Buck Mulligan's, Bar Nonno and Joe's Shoe Store.

Welcome to Thornbury

High Street cool spreads north into once-understated Thornbury. Meet the neighbours at Welcome to Thornbury over food-truck fuelled feasts and beer-garden afternoons. Trawl the menu of local and international craft beers at Carwyn Cellars.

Greet the 'hood's Italian side with perfectly al dente pasta and a glass of vino at Umberto Espresso Bar, Va Penne, Thornbury Espresso and Joanie's Baretto. Fun 1800 Lasagne is stealing hearts these days. Catch a gig at the art deco Thornbury Theatre or an independent flick at the Thornbury Picture House.

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