There's always something new to discover in Melbourne's hive of bustling, creative laneways, with their covert boutiques, famed restaurants and hole-in-the-wall cafes and bars.

Bar finds

Give 'Mainstreet' a miss and head down alleyways to find walls covered with stencil work, lightboxes and sculptures that point you to the door of quirky bars. Check out Bar Americano in Presgrave Place, Section 8 in Tattersalls Lane, Croft Institute in Croft Alley and Cherry Bar in ACDC Lane. Find addresses that reveal themselves to be velvety jazz clubs and flashy wine bars, or bare-bone student hangouts and dimly-lit hideaways.

Old favourites

Tried and true laneway Meyers Place still hosts the old-school, no-fuss Italian amico Waiters Restaurant, while the Pellegrini's welcome to Crossley Street is an institution.

Hardware Lane, Degraves Street and Centre Place are vying to feed you and ensure you look the part.

Visual arts

On the off chance that a tiny laneway isn't hiding boozy dens or caffeine lairs, you're likely to find an ever-changing outdoor gallery of street art. Check out the murals, paste-ups and stencils in the laneways off Flinders Lane between Russell Street and Swanston Street. Don't miss Hosier Lane.

Somerset preening

Menfolk who care about the cut of their jib should make their way to Somerset Place for a tidy haircut, beard grooming or close shave at Captains of Industry. Then kick back with a coffee from The Little Mule Cafe, opposite.

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