Things to do in Melbourne and Perth.
October 23, 2012 6:32 PM   Subscribe

I will soon be visiting Melbourne and Perth. Please tell me about your favourite hangouts and gin joints!

I'm Australian, but have been living in London for the past few years. I've previously lived in both Perth and Melbourne—but it's a while since I visited, so I'd love some recommendations.

I'm especially interested hearing about your favourite:

- bars
- record shops
- dumpling houses and yum cha joints
- inexpensive noms
- cultural funtimes
- live indie music venues
- weird/spooky business

To give you a sense of what I enjoy, here are some things I already have planned:

- Lygon Street trip including Cinema Nova, Readings Bookshop and cake at Brunetti's
- Fed Square and film at ACMI
- hand roll sushi from Bourke Street mall
- snacks from Queen Victoria Market
- stroll through Botanical Gardens
- movie at the Astor and/or Westgarth cinema
- dumplings in Chinatown
- record shopping in Prahran
- general Brunswick Street perambulation
- indie gigs at the gasometer and John Curtin Ballroom

- fish and chips at cicerello's
- some sort of boat trip
- dada records

Thanking you in advance!
posted by hot soup girl to Travel & Transportation around Australia (11 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'll add more later if I get time, but for now I'll say that you should add Gertrude and Smith streets to your Brunswick street perambulation. Do this both during the day and at night, some of my favourite drinking establishments are on Gertrude st and there plenty of interest happening at all times. If you haven't seen them for a few years you might notice more than a few changes.

And while you are in the area head to both the Labour in Vain and The Union and have a beer for me in each of them. I'm missing them a bit.
posted by deadwax at 6:51 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Damned if I know where it is, but in some Melbourne laneway or other is a place called the Gin Palace. It is indeed a Gin Palace.
posted by snorkmaiden at 7:16 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Huh, Rockingham, really? Ok, then. Anyway. Do a night tour at the Fremantle Prison. It's where they used to house convicts 200 years ago up until fairly recently. Creepiest. Place. Ever.
posted by Jubey at 7:23 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: I've been to Gin Palace once while visiting Melbourne for work. It's a good cocktail bar, and has a bit of a Mad Men - 60's feel. Lots of velvet and subdued lighting and comfortable seating.

On Gertrude St., there's The Everleigh, which is more of a Prohibition style cocktail joint. Seating isn't quite as comfy but the drinks there are superb. I've gone there every chance that I've had.

Queen Vic Market is fine for snacks, though for sit-down food\food stall stuff, I've tended to prefer South Melbourne.

If you're going for dumplings, you need to try a dim sim, which is an Australian Chinese invention.

Your list is missing coffee, and I'm not sure if it's just that having lived there you already take it for granted. However, my sense is that Melbourne is -ridiculously- into their coffee and just got really good rather recently with some new groups like Seven Seeds popping up. On Gertrude, I'm a fan of getting a leisurely breakfast with espresso at De Clieu, but if you go to South Melbourne, then St. Ali isn't far and is also a good place to hit up. If you're in the CBD, then a good place for a cup is Brother Baba Budan. Also worth, checking out 1000 Pound Bend for shows or events nearby.
posted by bl1nk at 7:26 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: PERTH: I went over to Rottnest Island a few weekends ago - just for the day, took bikes and rode around the island, had a late lunch at the pub and then ferried home. It was a perfect day.

You wanna check out some of the new small bars that are opening up around William St . If you've been away in London, you'll want to see all these changes in Perth - message me and we can hang out! I live in Northbridge area. Breakfast at Sayers Sister is a delight, on Lake St. Bar 399 on William St serves unbelievable cocktails, or I love Venn on Queen St - a gallery, a cafe, a snug night bar. A new favourite hangout for me is The Mechanics Institute above Flipside on William St.

Sunset in Safety Bay is really nice for lunch, but I am loving the Naked Fig, Wild Fig etc group of cafes along the coast - there's The Pickled Fig on beach at North Coogee/South Fremantle which is lovely. (nb: PERTH PRICES SUCK! Everything is expensive here now.)
posted by honey-barbara at 7:54 PM on October 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Your list is missing fantastic, cheap Vietnamese food on Victoria St, Richmond (I don't have a favourite - they are all my favourites). I've been out of Melbourne for 3 years and this is one of the things I miss most.

Maybe a ghost tour of Melbourne if you want spooky stuff? I always wanted to do this but never got around to it.
posted by Shal at 8:49 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: Perth bars! This is where I'm a viking! Helvetica, the whiskey bar, is fantastic (closed Mondays). The Hula Bula tiki room is a lot of fun. Tiger Tiger cofffee/wine bar in the city is great, but it closes a bit early. The Cheeky Sparrow in Wolf Lane is fun, but too busy on a Friday. Up in Northbridge there's a tequila bar, but I forget the name (maybe La Cholita)? And over in Subiaco there's a great little jazz bar/art store named Juanita's.
posted by barnacles at 10:55 PM on October 23, 2012

Best answer: In Perth, you must do Hula Bula.
posted by MT at 5:40 AM on October 24, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks everyone; some great tips here, and also reminders to do some things (Rottnest and the Fremantle Prison) that I've not done in a very, very long time.

I used to cater parties and wedding receptions at Freo Prison in the 90s, but never actually went on a tour. Perhaps it's time.
posted by hot soup girl at 7:32 AM on October 25, 2012

Northside records on Gertrude st next to triply tacos, there's another good record shop on Gertrude st cnr of George St, opposite that awesome brunch spot De Clieu

In Perth, Dada records (in the city) is the best IMO. I think 78s moved a long time ago not sure where as I'm
In melb now. In Fremantle there's Mills records, there's a few others down Freo like the record finder, last time I went there they had some really old kooky stuff but it was way overpriced.

I recommend going to checkout South Fremantle / South Tce for brunch or a walk too.

Dumplings - you have to go to Hu Tong dumpling bar in Market Lane, Melbourne. It's reviewed as the temple of Jiaozi, you have to try the xiao long bao w soap on the inside! Worth queing for!

I can send some good bars / music venues for Melbourne seperately, but short on time now!
posted by Under the Sea at 4:24 PM on November 19, 2012

Soap! Ha! I mean Soup!! Sorry!
posted by Under the Sea at 4:25 PM on November 19, 2012

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