Collingwood is only on the other side of Smith Street from Fitzroy, but the two suburbs feel quite different. Where Fitzroy is mostly quaint terrace houses, Collingwood has long been a hub for light industry – mechanics, sheet-metal fabricators, commercial drycleaners and the like. Gradually, though, these businesses are moving out and their spacious tenancies are being put to new uses.

Converted warehouses now hold coffee roasters such as Proud Mary and Acoffee; bars including Rupert on Rupert and Stomping Ground; and retailers such as Lululemon. As in most parts of inner Melbourne, developers have turned many other sites into apartment blocks.

This hasn’t changed things too much – yet. Schoolhouse Studios, a collective of 90-plus artists in another warehouse on Rupert Street, is upholding Collingwood’s freewheeling, alternative spirit. Ditto for Backwoods Gallery on Easey Street, which works mainly with local street artists.

Collingwood is also home to the Tote and the Gasometer, two of Melbourne’s most important live music venues, and the Peel, one of the city’s most famous gay pubs.

Restaurants

Ides

Restaurant

An acclaimed, set menu only fine-diner featuring punchy, technique-driven dishes.

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The Horn African Cafe & Restaurant

Restaurant

Authentic Ethiopian cuisine and live music make this a stand-out venue.

Lupo

Restaurant

Spanner crab lasagne and cappelletti with hare and mustard fruits are among the highlights at this untraditional Italian diner.

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Easey's

Restaurant

Fancy a no-nonsense burger for breakfast, served five storeys up, inside a train carriage? This is the place for you.

Chotto Motto

Restaurant

Gyoza, katsu sandos, a beer vending machine and miso-caramel soft serve.

Good Gnocchi

Restaurant

Good Gnocchi’s a carb-y beacon of hope in Collingwood. You’ll get good gnocchi, garlic bread and a smile. No more, no less.

Cafes

Terror Twilight

Cafe

All-day breakfasts and “feel-good” food.

Cibi

Cafe

“Cibi” is Japanese for “little one”. But this cafe and homewares store is not so little anymore.

Aunty Peg’s

Cafe

Proud Mary's vast roasting house is also an excellent place to sample the product and learn more about how it's made.

Smith Street Alimentari

Cafe

An Italian-ish cafe and food store with excellent takeaway options.

Cromwell STREAT

Cafe

The social initiative has come a long way from its coffee-cart origins.

Plug Nickel

Cafe

Less a cafe, and more a flying pitstop for first-class coffee and simple food.

Bars

Molly Rose

Bar

In an old furniture warehouse, you'll find sour-coffee ales and beer that mimics wine.

Stomping Ground Brewing Co.

Bar

Nearly every style you can imagine is available at this convivial beer hall, and they're all made right there.

Above Board

Bar

Finding this secretive, 16-seat cocktail bar is half the fun.

The Incubator

Bar

There’s beer, and then there’s award-winning India Pale Ale served straight from the tank. Here, you’ll get the latter.

The Moon

Bar

A wine bar and shop from the guys behind The Alps and Toorak Cellars.

Rupert on Rupert

Bar

A verdant greenhouse bar with plenty of natural light.

Shops

Harvest Index

Shop

A Japanese tea-house recreated in the streets of Collingwood.

Piccolina Gelateria Collingwood

Shop

Sit at the bar with a cone – or a granita – and watch pastry chefs prepare gelato.

Clunes Outdoors

Shop

A cosy camping store for outdoor adventurers where everything is tested by the team inside.

The Plant Society

Shop

A plant store within cafe Mina-no-ie that comes with advice, and coffee.

BeerMash Cellars

Shop

Grab a growler to go, or sit in and take advantage of the huge range of draught, canned and bottled beers.

Lightly

Shop

Made in Melbourne and highly coveted design objects, home wares and lighting.