We all love Brunswick Street. It is the epitome of everything inner north and a yuppie’s dream. It is a cultural and social mecca and the focal point of what is widely regarded as one of the coolest places on earth: Fitzroy. Even Vogue says so.
Brunswick Street doesn’t need much introduction, so without further ado here is our A to Z guide to everything Brunswick Street…
A – Art
There’s no denying that Brunswick Street is one of Melbourne’s trendiest and artistic areas. Brunswick Street Gallery and Sutton Gallery hold exhibitions that feature paintings, local Australian and international artists, and contemporary art. Or just explore the street for impressive graffiti and street art pieces. The colourful memorial graffiti Dedicated to Adriano is only a street away (Johnston Street), which is beautifully captivating and hard to miss.
B – Beards
One cannot walk down Brunswick Street without spotting the many hundreds of individual hairs on a grown man’s face. The facial hair population has been estimated to remain steadily in fashion in Brunswick Street since the 1800s. Goatees, pencils, lumberjacks, you name it – this street has it all.
C – Coffee
It’s no lie that Melbourne coffee is the best in the world – as proven by popular opinion. Brunswick Street famously delivers the goods, whether you need that wakeup call or that hit of delicious, creamy-bitter goodness to help you get through the day. Check out Stagger Lees, Sir Charles, Gutz Café, Atomica Café, and more to grab your fix.
D – Dogs
Without them, Brunswick Street couldn’t possibly be as perfect as it is today. There is a diverse culture of dogs, ranging from every kind of Bulldog you can think of to Kelpies, Great Danes, Malteses and Labs. You’ll find these masterpieces of nature waddling down the street or relaxing outside any café or bar, begging to be pet.
E – Eat
Whether you’re searching for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, morning or afternoon tea, or simply just want to eat because you have nothing better to do, Brunswick Street is your hotspot to eat. A range of cafes, bars, restaurants, ice-cream and fast food shops fill the street, specialising in cheap and expensive, meat and vegan, sweet and savoury, there’s food for even the pickiest eaters. As well as this, you can find food from all over the world: whether you’re a fan of Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Italian, American and many more international-inspired cuisines.
F – Fashion
For lovers of vintage, trendy and hipster fashion, Brunswick Street is your go-to destination to show off your coolest threads. Pinafores, denim jackets, platform shoes; there’s no shame in busting out in your coolest op shop clothes. Think fashion ends with clothing? Not here. Expect to see crazy hair colours, piercings, jewellery, makeup – no such thing as boring or mundane. Be sure to check out the alternative clothing shops also, including Fairy Floss, Ministry of Style, American Vintage Clothing Co, and loads more.
G – Gentrification
For those who don’t know, this is the process in which deteriorating buildings and houses are renovated to be revived to further appeal to popular taste. Brunswick Street is no exception to this – architecture that keeps up with the urban trend whilst maintaining the vintage aesthetic. The high value of the properties along this street proves that gentrification works.
H – Hipster
You can’t possibly deny this one. Brunswick Street may possibly hold the largest ‘hipster’ population in Melbourne. How can you tell? Architecture, shops, fashion, makeup, even just the general atmosphere of the street speaks of a hipster trend. Slip on some glasses (that are obviously too big for you) and overalls and head down to one of Brunswick Street’s many cafes to read a classic novel.
I – Instagram
Instagram has recently become one of the most popular apps for photo blogging, and with Brunswick Street’s undeniable ‘coolness’, it’s no wonder there are hundreds of snaps, whether that be coffee, clothes, buildings, or music with #BrunswickStreet. Don’t know who to follow? Check out gnfoodieadventures to inspire your next brunch trip down Brunswick Street and of course, chuck us a follow: innercirclemagazine
J – Jazz (Uptown Jazz Café)
To get the line-up of local and well-known jazz musicians, Brunswick Street is the place to be. Check out Uptown Jazz Café for nightly music Wed-Sat, 8:30-11pm and a fantastic Japanese dinner. Talents that have played here include Bernie Mcgann, Allan Browne, Dale Barlow, and many more.
K – Knit
Over the past few years, knitwear has become a must for winter, whether it be scarves, gloves, beanies, socks, and of course, jumpers. Brunswick Street is no stranger to people wearing knitwear year-round. Whether you go for old-school, op shop jumpers (hit up Sacred Heart Mission Op Shop and Clara Fox for cheap second-hand items) or for fresh, soft knits, head to Nique or Clear iT. Or, if you’re looking for a creative hobby, why not pick up Learn to Knit, Love to Knit by Anna Wilkinson, available at The Brunswick Street Bookstore.
L – Live Music
Brunswick Street is the art capital of Melbourne (some can argue), so it’s no surprise that it has held some fantastic, emerging local talents, including Uncle Bobby Pup Tentacle and Gordi. For more upcoming gigs check out: Bar Open, The Evelyn Hotel or The Workers Club
M – Market
Located on the corner of Brunswick Street and Victoria Parade, The Brunswick Street Market runs monthly in the warmer seasons from 11am-3pm. Here you can shop for wardrobe clear-outs, jewellery, antiques, arts and craft, you never know what you’ll find. Have too much trash that can be turned into another man’s treasure? You can book to be a stall holder and earn some extra cash. You also don’t want to miss the fantastic weekly Rose St. Artists Market, just off of Brunswick St, where those in-the-know find Melbourne’s best art and design talent.
N – Nightlife
Nightlife is thriving down Brunswick Street. Whether you’re out to party hard, have a beer with your mates after work, or just grab a bite to eat, Brunswick Street is where to be. From Glamorama to Black Cat to Bimbo Deluxe to The Kodiak Club to Laundry Bar just off Brunswick St., and more, the list is endless!
O – Organic
For lovers of clean, organic food, Brunswick Street delivers the goods. The Vegetable Connection is a go-to small fruit and veggie store that also sells beans, rice, pasta and meats. Although not all of them, most of the meat, dairy and pantry items are organic, allowing you to buy a whole meal within a single transaction. Can’t be bothered cooking? Pop into Yong Green Food for fresh, organic meals. If you’re willing to step out of Brunswick Street, it’s a no-brainer to check out Organic Wholefoods Fitzroy on Smith Street.
P – Pubs
Nothing better than a pint of lager with the boys (or girls, hey – no discrimination!) on a Thursday night. Brunswick Street, like many Australian streets, is no stranger to booze…wonderful booze, and it’s a go-to destination for cheap dinners, cheap drinks, live music and drunken socialisation. For a pub-crawl you probably won’t remember, head to The Provinical Hotel, Royal Derby Hotel, Labour in Vain.
Q – Q on Brunswick
How can you possibly be trendy on Brunswick Street if you ignore doing your hair? Q on Brunswick Street offers specialised hair colourists and hairdressers that pride themselves in listening to whatever desires you have to achieve your dream hairstyle.
R – Rustica Sourdough Bakery
Rustica has got to be one of Brunswick Street’s most outstanding cafés. Not too expensive, delicious coffee, impressive dish layout, but overall, and most importantly, the taste of the food here is utterly scrumptious. Their blend of sweet and savory dishes will please everyone. If not you don’t want to stay, stop buy to pick up a loaf of fresh bread or a treat in the window. You will not be disappointed!
S – Sport
Whether you’re a watcher or player, Brunswick Street has its dose of sporting fans. The Brunswick Street oval was home to the Fitzroy Football Club in the VFA from 1897 up until 1966. It is now used for cricket, soccer and football games. If you’d rather be watching the game on T.V. with a frothy glass of beer, check out Brunswick Street’s many pubs and bars.
T – Traveller
Regardless of where you’re from, travelling to Brunswick Street is a worthy experience for those wanting to discover Melbourne’s trendier aesthetic. For those planning to stay, there are many Airbnb places and hotels on offer, including The Royal Derby Hotel and Melbourne Metropole Central. For a hostel, check out Tram Stop 14 Backpackers.
Unsure of what to do whilst you’re here? Keep reading this list!
U – Unique
Original, trendy, vintage, cool, hipster, however you distinguish Brunswick Street, there’s not denying that it’s not unique. The fashion, the people, the architecture, the history, the whole aesthetic that makes Brunswick Street Brunswick Street proves that it truly is different from any other street in Melbourne.
V – Vegetarian/Vegan
Accommodating to non-meat and dairy eaters, Brunswick Street has a wide variety of restaurants, cafes and grocery stores suited to vegetarian and vegan eaters. Vegie Bar is probably most well-known in this respect, specialising in vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes that are so utterly delicious that anyone can eat here without a screwed up face. Also check out Yong Green Food, Madame K’s Vegetarian, Smith and Daughters, and many more. For those against animal testing, check out the Cruelty Free Shop which specialised in selling vegan foods and cruelty free products.
W – Welcoming
The inner north has a gained a recent reputation for being slightly snobby and closed-doors when it comes to outsiders. Whether this is because of the relatively recent gentrification of the area, or because of the perceived snobiness of our local hipster population, the truth is the people of Brunswick St. are very welcoming and eager to learn more about you. No matter what you look like, who you are, where you are from, how you dress, what you eat, what you listen to or anything in between, you can not only find your niche on Brunswick street, but everyone is keen to hear your story, learn more about you and welcome you into their circle. The mixed communities and abundance of happy tourists in the area is testament to this.
X – XO
No, not as in Beyoncé, but as in kisses and hugs! Because Brunswick Street is the best place to meet up, whether it’s with family, friends, or your hot new date 😉
Y – Youth
Brunswick Street is a hotspot among young adults, and how could deny such with the fantastic food, entertainment and convenient location? Many uni students, travellers, young workers and new couples seek to not only explore the area, but rather live in it. With the city only a short tram or bus ride away, Brunswick Street is one of Melbourne’s most popular areas among young adults.
Z – Zone
Again, no one can complain about the convenience of Brunswick Street’s zone. A stone’s throw from the CBD, Fitzroy Gardens, Carlton Gardens, Edinburgh Gardens, the social hubs of Smith St, Lygon St and many more desirable parts of the Inner North. With buses, trams and taxis regularly passing through (and Victoria station not too far), no matter where you live, there’s always a way to get to Brunswick Street.
Feature Image Credit: Julian Frees