Melbourne/Brunswick and Coburg
Brunswick and Coburg are major destinations in the inner and middle north of Melbourne. They both fall within the City of Moreland, which also covers other suburbs including Fawkner, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. Brunswick is famous among Melburnians and visitors alike for its unique hipster vibe and amazing bar and café scene. The spine of the area is Sydney Road, a happening place both during the day and night. The area is not to be confused with Brunswick St, a popular place for eating out in Fitzroy in Melbourne's inner north.
Get in and around
Brunswick and Coburg are easily reached from Melbourne's City Centre by both train and tram. The 19 tram to North Coburg traverses Sydney Rd, from Elizabeth St in the City, and services the busiest parts of both Brunswick and Coburg. The 96 tram (from Bourke St) travels along Nicholson St in the east to East Brunswick, stopping at a few popular cafés and attractions. Trams 1 and 8 follow Lygon St (from Swanston St) before continuing onto the Nicholson St extension in East Coburg and Moreland Station respectively. Tram 55 (from William St) travels through mostly residential areas in the west towards its West Coburg terminus.
The Upfield railway line also has a few of stations in Brunswick and Coburg, although operates to a 20 minute frequency, compared to the 6-10 minute frequency of the 19 tram which it parallels.
Fairly regular buses traverse the east-west streets of Brunswick and Coburg, connecting the tram lines and creating a public transport grid. A map showing the Moreland area's trains, trams and buses can be viewed here.
See and Do
- CERES Community Environment Park.
- Christ Church Brunswick.
- Brunswick Town Hall and Counihan Gallery.
There are some great places for eating in Brunswick and East Brunswick.
Piazza 51 - 51 Sydney Road, Brunswick, +61 3 9380 9555. Large range of pizza, pasta and other Italian dishes available. Cash only and licenced. Italian staff.
Rumi - 132 Lygon St +61 3 9388 8255. Seriously great middle eastern food. Menu changes frequently so difficult to recommend specific dishes. Mains are approx $10 - $20.
Small Block - 130 Lygon St +61 3 9381 2244. Fantastic place for breakfast. The bircher museli is excellent. The breakfast plate with homemade hashbrown and feta cheese is sublime. Be prepared to wait for a table on the weekends. But worth the wait.
Sugardough - 163 Lygon St +61 3 9380 4060. Quaint and lovely cafe. Another place that does a great breakfast.
Kake Di Hatti 128 Lygon St Brunswick (03)9387 7771. Tasty South Indian Restaurant located on Lygon St. The food is excellent and excellent for your wallet. Mains start from $9 and it's BYO (There is also a small wine shop across from the restaurant which does nice local wines as well) Kake Di Hatti is closed on Mondays.
Warwick Thai 400 Sydney Rd Brunswick (03)9381 2111. Call to see if they are open, as they tend to have long periods of closure. Warwick Thai has fabulous Thai food; I recommend their Chicken Skewers. Mains start around $10.50 however keep in mind, the servings are huge. If you decide to go, don't go very hungry, as sometimes the service can be slow, especially on the weekends and holidays. BYO wine and beer.
Tibas 504 Sydney Rd Brunswick (03)9380 8425. Quality Lebanese food at very cheap prices. You can order a Shwarma plate for $10, and you will get rice, salad, bread, dips and meat. Again, this restaurant has large servings. They also have very nice Baklava and do great coffee. The front end of the restaurant is for take-aways, as they also do kebabs. The restaurant in alcohol free, however you can do take away on the food if you really need a beer. They are closed Tuesdays.
A1 Bakery, 645 Sydney Rd Brunswick. A Sydney Road classic, this place offers all sorts of Lebanese bakery products with pizzas for as little as $2.
The Alderman - 134 Lygon Street, +61 3 9380 9003. Low key, comfortable and cosy bar. Just like Fitzroy bars used to be like. Smal courtyard in the back. Food from Rumi (next door) can be ordered and delivered to the Alderman.
Easy to miss, but better you don't, The Green Refectory, (115 Sydney Road, Brunswick, tel (03) 9387 1150), serves great value homemade food, and quality Illy coffee to accompany it. I'm a fan of the gourmet salads, especially the tangy couscous salad with pumpkin, snow peas and heaps of mint, and eye off the homemade muffins, famous for their large and irregularly shape, for later. The crowd is eclectic mix of the Brunswick artsy crowd, university students and young professionals pushing prams. I head to the outdoor area for a bit of space and it feels like I've stepped in someone's backyard, complete with garage at the back and outdoor toilet. Despite its non attendance in 'Signage 101' (look for the 'Illy' coffee sign that juts out from the front windows), the difficulty of locating this place hasn't affected its popularity at all.
- Bar Etiquette, 408 Sydney Rd Brunswick. A comfortable bar where anything goes. For a small sized bar there is plenty of room with an outdoor area and secluded rooms upstairs. Food can be brought in from outside, and there is also a happy hour between 5 and 9 everyday where jugs are $10.
- The Brunswick Green, 313 Sydney Road. The best beer garden in Brunswick (and possibly Melbourne), with live music outside on Sunday afternoon. The best place to spend a summers afternoon.