When someone says “it’s very Melbourne” you know exactly what they mean. It’s innovative, it’s intellectual, it’s cool, and it’s about two weeks off being mercilessly mocked on an episode of Portlandia.
Melburnians live under the paradox of being aware of their own tendency to hipsterdom, while being willing to abandon any care of what people think about that when it comes to finding the best cold-drip, single-origin long black. Here we have collected the top ten most “Melbourne” things that are almost too Melbourne to even exist, but too awesome not to.[related_articles]31917[/related_articles]
#1 Eating Your Way To Happiness At The Serotonin Dealer
What: Usually when you set out to eat your feelings, those feelings tend to bear uncanny resemblance to a packet of Tim Tams. Emily Arundel has set out to change all that with her shiny new Serotonin Dealer cafe.[related_articles]841,5353[/related_articles]
They’ve worked with a nutritionist, a dietician and a noted food scientist to build a menu designed to do two things; tickle your tastebuds and make your serotonin receptors freak out. This is all so you can get happy in the healthiest way possible.
Where: 52 Madden Grove, Burnley
#2 The Single Origin Hot Chocolate Cafe
What: This Melbourne micro-brewer has made a break away from coffee and beer in favour of a sweeter addiction. Mörk Chocolate, after several years of supplying local cafes, has opened a concept store and hot chocolate brew-house. Partners Josefin Zernell and Kiril Shaginov make a swag of different specialty hot chocolates on site, including a Campfire Chocolate filled with smoke, chocolate, smoked salt and house-made toasted marshmallow that will haunt your dreams.
Where: 150 Errol Street, North Melbourne
#3 A Dream Space For The Distinguished Gent
What: Captains of Industry is an unbearably cool concept space overlooking Elizabeth Street that marries made-to-measure tailoring, a cobbler, a barber shop and a café and a bar. Whitewash walls and heavy wooden furniture, it smells like leather and whisky. They say when Wes Andersen isn’t filming he lives here in the back of an empty draw. Maybe.
Where: Level 1, 2 Somerset Place, Melbourne
#4 A Vegan Deli (Trust Us)
What: A corner store and New York-style deli by the team behind Smith & Daughters. A vegan corner store and New York-style deli. I can hear your eyes rolling from here, but knock it off. The food is gourmet grade and the selection is mind-blowing; pastrami, lasagne, pasta, turkey, buffalo mozzarella, pretzels, Vegemite-and-cheese scrolls, sticky buns, doughnuts, tarts, pain au chocolate and the pinnacle of vegan baking: croissants that taste like croissants.[related_articles]60905,57997[/related_articles]
You’ll go the first time because it’s ridiculous and every time thereafter because it’s ridiculously good.
Where: 111 Moor Street, Fitzroy
#5 A Cheese Dungeon
What: Down a hidden, winding staircase right in the centre of the business end of Melbourne, there is a dungeon. In that dungeon there are wonders and riches worth more than gold. While the folk at the Spring St Grocer tend towards the words “cellar” over “dungeon”, and “cheese” over “riches”, that’s pure semantics.[related_articles]6253[/related_articles]
Our dungeon-master Mark told us about his extensive and rigorous training in the art of cheese and walked us through the internationally sourced cheeses. He went on to explain their seasons and how they’re aged on-site so to be sold at the point of optimal ripeness. It smells phenomenal.
Where: 157 Spring Street Grocer, Spring Street
#6 A Whisky Bar With Wisdom
What: The uncomfortable truth of doing anything in Melbourne is that it doesn’t count if you can’t school someone else on it. One does not simply drink whisky. What, you think whisky is just about taste and enjoyment? Heathen. Luckily all the bar staff at whisky school and bar Whisky & Alement are here to help, serving knowledge bombs like beer nuts with every single malt.
Sit at the bar and find over four hundred bottles of whisky staring back at you. We suggest you try a triple nip panel to kick things off.
Where: 270 Russell Street, Melbourne
Explore our guide to the real Melbourne to find out more about the hipster city.[qantas_widget code=MEL]Check out Qantas flights to Melbourne.[/qantas_widget]
(Main image: Spring St Grocer)
Alice Williams was one of the original creators of and long-time editor for Melbourne print magazine, SPOOK. She now lives at Junkee Media, but looks better on Twitter @awildwilliams Her opinions are those of her employers and are definitely not her own.