Fondly referred to as the B.EAST to the locals, Brunswick East in Melbourne’s northern precincts has elements of Brunswick’s traditional Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern culture, mixed in with the corner hotels, pubs and live music venues the north is famous for. Some new eateries, bars, galleries and retail boutiques make the tram ride up Lygon Street a worthy one.
A new bistro that has quickly become a neighbourhood favourite for it’s simple but well-considered Australian menu with influences from The Mediterranean, Middle East, Greek and Asian. Its produce driven menu includes eggplant schnitzel, soft polenta and globe artichoke, Flinders Island lamb, goat’s cheese and fig, and King George whiting, cannellini bean and seaweed butter. An inviting wine bar is perfect for a spontaneous dinner and offers carefully curated cocktails, beers, ciders and a great range of wines by the glass or bottle. 60 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Vic 3057 +61 (03) 9448 8233
The Pie Shop
Chef Matt Wilkinson’s newest venture with Chef Steve Rogers – taking the place of Hams & Bacon next to the ever popular Pope Joan cafe, kitchen garden and event space. Inspired by Australia’s traditional love of the good old meat pie, the pies are inspired by typical Aussies growing up the the seventies and eighties such as The Bruce, (spag bol) The Allen (chunky beef) and The Shazza (cauli and cheese). Sweet pies include strawberry balsamic and honey and buttermilk. The outlet also promises “good ol’ fashioned sides of chips, dim sims, softies and more.” 75 Nicholson Street, East Brunswick VIC 3057, (next door to Pope Joan)
On arrival in the colourful and pleasantly cluttered space, customers are shown to a mosaic table and offered a range of dishes of the day to share for bigger groups, or one plate including a bit of everything from the kitchen that day. This normally includes fried halloumi, potato fritters or crisps, humous, grain salad, cous cous, baba ganoush, beetroot dip, a slice of sourdough. It feels healthy, it tastes divine. The half and half coffee is served with a cube of Turkish delight and the vats of colourful spices, ornamental tea sets and tangine pots complete the Moroccan experience. Diners should take a slice of vegan cherry slice or gluten free chocolate brownie with them to savour at home later. 313 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057, +61 (03) 9387 6805
Also known as Monsieur Truffle, the chocolate makers, and by those in the know as serving up some of the best hot chocolate going. The ambience is rustic warehouse style with big windows allowing diners to view the chocolate making at work next door. The breakfast menu offers local, seasonal inclusions with skara charred thick bacon and free range eggs from South Gippsland. Lunch and dinner is also available with menu items such as the corn beef hash with poached egg, salted beef brisket bagel and roast eggplant and tahini. 351 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057, +61 (03) 9381 5575
Authentic Italian handmade pasta and warm hospitality a plenty at this cosy bistro. Diners travel far and wide to sample owner Salvo’s home town regional specialty of fluffy potato or pumpkin gnocchi. The restaurant has also become a favourite for in-the-know locals for its Linguine al Cartoccio – Linguine with fresh seafood, chilli & garlic, baked in parchment paper. 347 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, VIC 3057, +61 (03) 9387 1921
A friendly new neighbourhood bar in Brunswick East which uses the same winning formula as its sister bar, Joe’s Shoestring, in nearby Northcote. Uncle Joes offers a quality drinks menu with local tap beers, a substantive but curated wine menu, and all the cocktails including a cracking Negroni. Vibe is cool but friendly with stools at the window and around the bar, perfect for solo patrons, and cosy booths and an outdoor bit for bigger groups. Next to popular middle eastern woodfired pizza joint, Mankoushe, where hungry customers can order their dinner. 325 Lygon street, Brunswick East VIC 3057, +61 (03) 9380 5637.
Brunswick East Wine Store and Bar
An independent wine store with more than 1000 bottles of wine and a great selection of beers and ciders by husband and wife team, local Brunswick residents, Tim and Erin. Whether its a cool-climate shiraz, a full-bodied chardonnay, or a locally brewed IPA – there is something for every palate and dinner table. The bar offers customers a chance to try a glass of anything on the shelves or in the fridge of their choice, the first four reds and whites chosen on the Sunday by customers will be poured for the rest of the week to other customers – and then it all starts again the next Sunday. Cured meats, pickled seafood and cheeses will accompany the wine. 472 Lygon Street, Brunswick East VIC 3057 +61 (03) 9384 0875
A wine bar, cellar door, event space, and urban winery where people get to make their own wine. This new concept is a perfect addition to Lygon Street offering locals a chance to get involved and visitors a chance to dry an ultra local drop. The ‘noisy bits’ happen at each of the major parts of the winemaking process throughout the year – stomping, pressing and bottling – with each of these processes being turned into an event with food trucks, drinks and a DJ. 249 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057 +61 (03) 8394 2772
PLAY / SHOP
An absolute hidden gem of the north, this community environmental park is a not for profit sustainability and education centre, organic food and goods market, business events venue, cafe, adventure playground for kids, nursery, chook farm, music festival venue and more. The centre is located on the banks of the Merri Creek, the Merri Table organic cafe offers a delicious range of breakfast and lunch items including vegan and gluten free. The grounds are spacious and inviting for a walk, shop or play. Stewart St & Roberts St, Brunswick East VIC 3057, +61 (03) 9389 0100
Brunswick Bowls Club
Offering barefoot bowls for locals and visitors including a locals cup and a barefoot bowls tournament on Thursdays for beginners. The BBC has a great selection of beers on tap and good tunes in the background – including live music during the summer months on Sunday afternoons. The BBC provides a welcoming and fun atmosphere to have a bit of friendly competition with friends or family. 104 –106 Victoria Street, Brunswick, Vic, 3057 +61 (03) 9380 1808
A friendly little local design shop where the ‘local’ is the operative word. Homewares, lighting, fashion and shoes, jewellery, books, toys, stationery – has all been carefully curated by owner, designer and marketeer, Alistair MacKinnon. As well as his own label – Otto & Spike, plus the Boroughs own label of local Brunswick makers, the shop showcases Emily Green, High Horse, Moby Duck and more. 345 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne, VIC 3057 Australia, +61 (03) 9388 1618