A quick* one and a half hour flight from Sydney and, *bam*, we were in Melbourne for a long weekend of drinking coffee and camping on rooftops!
*Ahem... The flight would have been quick if we weren't delayed in the airport for over two hours :/
Before heading to Melbourne I was told what a great city it is from a food & drink and cultural standpoint. Having spoken to friends, we were armed with lists of recommendations of places to eat, drink and, of course, do yoga.
I had, at one point, debated living in Melbourne instead of Sydney as people had told me how similar Melbs is to London with a great coffee culture (sold!) and endless things to do. As I lived in London for 7 years, I fancied a change so swapping like for like didn't sound too appealing to be honest... no matter how much I love coffee. Spoiler: Sydney coffee is just as good!
The similarities between London and Melbourne are definitely there and it is city break through and through, although you can go to beach if you fancy travelling a little further. I was also told of a dog friendly beach so if we had been there a little longer I would have headed there to stalk some pups!
There are some amazing streets and places to visit in Melbourne away from the main CBD district (don't spend much time there as it just feels like Canary Wharf!) but we still managed to visit some great places in Central as well as hidden gems a little further afield.
There were SO many places for wonderful vegan food and top notch coffee. I think my body was 90% caffeine by the end of my stay in Melbourne.
Food & Drink
Our Melbourne agenda was to to sample as much food and beverages as possible. No interest in sight-seeing, unless edible.
Here is a list together of my favourite places (click names for links):
- ST ALi - located on Yarra place. We tried the ST ALi Coffee Tasting Experience ($20) where you get to sample 6 coffees. Highly recommend this place - my top coffee place of the weekend! Really friendly staff and the food was delicious too.
- Hash Speciality Coffee - located on Hardware Street. Famed for their fairy floss drinks. I had a Fairy Floss Matcha Latte and a cold brew - both were delicious.
- White Mojo - located on Hardware Street. Nice little spot to sit outside, I had a black latte (made with black sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds).
- Matcha Mylkbar - located on Ackland St., St Kilda - BEST VEGAN FOOD EVER. I died and went to plant-based heaven, drinking all the rainbow lattes and eating vegan eggs and matcha pancakes. Click HERE to read my full blogpost on MMB.
- Vegie Bar - located on Brunswick Street. So good we went here twice over the weekend! Located a short walk from Power Living where we did yoga, so it was a wonderful spot for brunch. Their Korean Steamed Slider is LIFE, as is their Tofu Zinger Burger.
- Higher Ground - located on Little Bourke Street. Not quite a cafe, not quite a restaurant, we hit this place up for weekend brunch. A wait time of about an hour but we sat outside with a coffee while we waited. Not a huge vegan selection (everything seemed to have hidden cheese in it!), but lovely interiors and the drinks were amazing.
- Industry Beans - located on Rose Street, Fitzroy. Great little coffee spot where you can sit outdoors.
- Tokyo Tina - located on Chapel Street, Windsor. Japanese street food in a lively and fun spot with a great cocktail menu. We went here for dinner and it was so good. Only downfall was there was no vegan dessert option.
- Supernormal - located on Flinders Lane. Slightly fancier than the other eateries we visited but this Pan-Asian restaurant is a must! Be prepared to wait for about an hour. There wasn't a huge choice of vegan options on the menu... BUT when we were seated the waiter told us about ALL their vegan options (lots!). There was a great selection and the food was absolutely amazing.
- Yo Chi - located on Carlisle Street. Build your own frozen yoghurt! Really well labeled vegan options too. I went for the chocolate one and loaded it up with raspberry coulis, peanut butter and melted dark chocolate. Pay as you weigh (is that a phrase I just made up?!). We walked here after Vegie Bar and it was perfect for a sunny day.
We went to Power Living In Fitzroy and did a really fun (and oooooh so sweaty!) heated Level 2 class with Duncan Parviainen. There was lots of studios recommended to me (including Humming Puppy) but as we were only there for a short amount of time and already members of Power Living it made sense to go there. Plus Duncan was a teacher that was recommended to me :)
We did a mixture of Air BnB and Hotel, and ended our trip staying at St Jerome's Hotel rooftop for a night of glamping. We got so lucky with the weather as it was a beautiful sunny day when we checked in to the campsite. (Side note: Melbourne weather is scatty and we experienced every season in a day! Pack brollies, warm clothes and sun wear!).
Located in Melbourne's CBD district, St Jerome's offers luxury camping in the heart of Melbourne. They have 21 canvas bell tents onsite and you get a complimentary stocked esky with beer and cider when you arrive! The rooftop area has a bar (you get a free happy hour cocktail) and they also deliver Messina ice-cream (they have the best vegan sorbet!).
The bathrooms were stocked with toiletries and there was never a queue, thanks to a system where 2-3 tents share each one. Our tent was so comfy (the pillows were the dream!), had such a good night sleep and awoke to a lovely delivered breakfast.