Just north of Melbourne’s CBD, is Lygon Street, the main street in the city’s old Italian quarter.
Still referred to by some as ‘little Italy’, Lygon Street was once the epicenter of Melbourne’s café culture and more than part way responsible for the city’s enduring caffeine obsession. Victorian terraces still line the street and several Italian restaurants continue to beckon passers-by to eat and drink at their street-side tables.
As you walk along Lygon Street you get a sense of its diversity: Italian-influenced restaurants, cafes, cake shops and gelati bars still dominate the scene but you will also discover a whole swathe of mainstream and boutique clothing stores, one of Melbourne’s best independent bookstores (Readings Books & Music); La Mama Theatre and Cinema Nova, Melbourne’s largest and most treasured arthouse cinema.
Faraday Street intersects Lygon Street at its northern end and it’s here that you’ll find Brunetti’s, a long-standing Carlton institution that serves the best cakes and gelato in town.