The what's down here bit

Ready for fun that lasts from your morning coffee through to last call at Melbourne's best kept secrets? Head deep into the ever-changing heart of Melbourne and uncover a labrynth of coffee joints, vibrant art and bars slinging cocktails that are a rioutous concotion of colour and flavours.

Was that the distant thump of base from a rooftop or from within undiscerning brick walls? Those who are brave enough to move with the beat will be treated to a show like no other, because ordinary isn't part of Melbourne's vocabulary.

Check out our tips for having a blast in Melbourne's laneways. 

1. Evening eats

Hungry? Grab a menu, loosen your belt and slip into your seat - a feast awaits in Melbourne's laneways, home to some of the city's best grub. Authentic Mexican that'll make you break a sweat? Spicy Thai full of flavours you never knew existed? What about a spot of Spanish with tantalising tapas, and keep it coming?

You won't be disappointed at our favourite laneway haunts... Supernormal, Chin Chin and Tres a Cinco come to mind, alongside MoVida Next Door and Magic Mountain Saloon, to name a few.

2. Off-grid bars

Down a laneway, through the discreet door and pull up a seat at the bar. Hang out where mixologists are slinging creative cocktails that will light up your night alongside bar bites that will curb your cravings until well after dark.

Hit up the original '90s revival bar with a trip to the basement of Gin Palace, or sip a martini in a former bank vault at Beneath Driver Lane. Sip cocktails that require goggles in their preparation at Eau De Vie, embark on Chinese-themed fun at Double Happiness, or head to Trinket Bar for pizza and wine in classy surrounds.

 Union Electric, Melbourne, VictoriaImage: Union Electric Bar and Rooftop Gin Garden, Melbourne


3. All night jams

One nightly dose of decibels coming right up. Plug in the bass and turn up the volume in spaces big and small, from super grungy to classy beyond words, expect to get sticky and thoroughly soaked in sweat at one venue, or to sit back with free flowing champagne at the next.

Get moving to house, techno and disco at Section 8, or recline in glamour under the chandelier at Murmur where the mood is set by a revolving cast of talented pianists. Not your jam? How about traditional, fusion or latin jazz with a side of gypsy swing at Paris Cat?

Things are bound to get spicy as the music charges through your veins all night long.

4. Hole-in-the-wall breakkie joints

In bite-sized cafes and from coffee shops just big enough to poke your head into, you'll find rich, aromatic coffee and tasty morsels that will overwhelm your palate and beat through your veins long after you've swallowed the last bit. 

Think matcha lattes at Little Rogue, bagels at Jungle Juice and Euro-style coffee and breakkie at Traveller, as well as organic coffee from Dukes at Ross House and caffeine hits in an industrial warehouse cafe at Krimper.

Brick Lane Coffee, Melbourne, VictoriaImage: Brick Lane Coffee, Guildford Lane, Melbourne

Because nowhere does coffee like Melbourne, and there's nothing more Melbourne than laneway coffee joints known best by the locals.

5. Art attack

It's art, darling, and it's all around you. Look to the right, the left, even skyward, street and stencil art is literally coming out of the walls in famed streets, like Tattersalls and ACDC Lane in Melbourne's eclectic art hub.

Hosier Lane, Melbourne, VictoriaImage: Hosier Lane, outside MoVida, Melbourne

Want something more tangible to pocket and take home with you? Hit up a cute boutique or funky store for a Melbourne-esque purchase at Clementine's or Design A Space.