Brunswick is an inner city suburb of Melbourne, 4 kilometers from the central business district. Its boundaries were drawn in 1830. Ten allotments were mapped out either side of Sydney Road, the main thoroughfare, and sold for auction. They extended to Merri Creek in the east and Moonee Ponds Creek in the west. Brunswick was a refreshment stop for diggers during the Gold Rush of the 1850s and in the early 20th century became a textile manufacturing hub. After World War II, many Italian and Greek immigrants settled in the area and more recently the area has attracted new arrivals from the Middle East. Brunswick is now an eclectic, bohemian mix of cultures, students from the nearby University of Melbourne, and artists.
1.Brunswick City Baths
Part of the Active Moreland aquatic and leisure center in Brunswick is housed in a building that was built in 1914. It is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The fitness complex has a 50 meter heated outdoor swimming pool and a 20 meter heated pool indoors. The cardio room, with stationary bicycles, treadmills and rowing machines, overlooks the indoor pool. There is also a full gym and an outdoor training zone. For children, there is a splash pool and play area. Fitness classes, personal training sessions and child minding services are on offer.
14 Dawson Street, Brunswick, Phone: 93-81-18-40
Opposite the Brunswick City Baths, in a car park, near the train tracks is an urban forest retreat. Howler bar and restaurant is situated in a converted wool shed. The huge open plan, double-story space is decorated primarily with greenery which contrasts superbly with the exposed brick. The beer list is eclectic and the menu is simple. Small plates and burgers are standard fare. There is a dedicated performance area and an excellent sound system, which are used for theater productions, stand up comedy, live music evenings and DJ sessions. Weekly events include Trivia Tuesdays, Jazz Sundays and Nerd Nites.
7 - 11 Dawson Street Brunswick, Phone: 03-90-77-55-72
3.Round & Round Records
This small shop on Sydney Road, sells new and second-hand vinyl records. The owner, Jeff Wybrow, sells 7 inch, 10 inch and long-playing records in all music genres but specializes in krautrock, Italian prog, psych and jazz. He stocks classic titles and the more obscure ones. A hand-written note, reviewing the music and sharing facts about the artist, is attached to each record. The custom-made wooden racks and colorful artwork create the appropriate ambiance. The shop is open 7 days a week.
556 Sydney Rd (near cnr of Blyth St), Brunswick VIC 3056, Phone:+61-3-93-80-50-95
4.The Spotted Mallard
© The Spotted Mallard
The Spotted Mallard is a live music venue, up a flight of stairs in a building overlooking historic Sydney Road. The stage is set for nightly music events. Wednesdays are open mic nights. The restaurant and bar are popular with late night diners. The sprawling dining hall can seat 300 people and has an art deco feel. Pop-up kitchens serve pub food and shared meals. The cuisine is diverse and includes cajun and creole dishes. Beverages include craft beers, wines, cocktails and coffee. There are plans to expand, with a tapas bar downstairs and an outdoor beer garden.
314 Sydney Road, Brunswick Vic 3056, Phone: 03-93-80-88-18
5.Thunder Road Brewery
Fresh ales are produced and sold on site at the Thunder Road Brewery. A rotating selection of more than 100 complex and unique, hand-crafted beers are on tap. These include regular, seasonal and experimental brews. Fruity flavors such as berry, coconut and citrus have been introduced with great success. Wines, spirits and ciders are also on offer, as is street food to match. The kitchen opens at 5 pm and snacks such as tasting paddles, sliders and baskets are popular. Regular events include Sunday Trivia, Beer and Burger Nights and the Puppy Pub Crawl, when dogs are welcome and receive treats.
130 Barkly Street, Brunswick 3056, Phone: 03-93-85-53-25
6.Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School
Savour is a school and retail outlet. They hold regular confectionery classes, using the highest quality ingredients, the best equipment and the latest techniques. They cater for all skill levels. Introductory classes help participants to understand the making of chocolate from the 'bean to the bar' and how to start their own business. More advanced classes include how to make pralines, gateaux, petit fours and macaroons. International guest chocolatiers and pastry chefs join Savour's own staff to provide the training. Online classes are also available. The online shop sells ingredients, equipment and gift packages for special occasions or everyday consumption.
22 Wilson Avenue, Brunswick Vic 3056, Phone: +61-3-93-80-97-77
7.CERES Community Environment Park
CERES is an acronym for the Center for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies. It is a non-profit, community business operating on a 4.5 ha site, close to the Merri Creek, which was once a desolate wasteland after being used as a quarry and landfill dump. A number of urban agriculture projects and social enterprises operate from the premises. There is a community kitchen, a bushfood nursery, a subscription-based fair food exchange and an organic online supermarket. The center runs education and training workshops and has an outreach to schools in Melbourne and the surrounding rural areas.
C/o Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Phone: +61-3-93-89-01-00
There are four Hellenic Republic locations in the Melbourne area, offering authentic Greek cuisine. Patrons can choose to dine on site, order take-outs or request delivery. Children eat free from Mondays to Wednesdays. The shared meals range from 'Simply Greek' to an 'Hellenic Feast'. Family packs, meze platters and souvlakis are popular take-away options. Ouzo can be ordered by the glass or the bottle. Other beverages include wine, beers, spirits, cocktails, liqueurs, ciders and non-alcoholic drinks. The restaurant is open in the evenings 7 days a week and for lunch on weekends.
434 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Victoria 3056, Phone: +61-3-93-89-01-00
9.Tinning Street Presents
© Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
In the back lanes of Brunswick, a space has been created for artistic expression. Artists from all disciplines and stages of their career showcase their work in this mid-century red and yellow brick building. The exhibition rooms are blank canvases with polished cement floors, white walls and large windows for natural light. Paintings, pottery, photographs and other media are displayed in groups or with the focus on single artists. The concept is a cross between a purely commercial art gallery and a community project, in that the costs of promotion are shared. Artists can hire studios and workshops are conducted on site.
Lot 5/29 Tinning Street, Brunswick VIC 3056
, Michigan beaches
© Tom Phat
This restaurant that serves authentic south east Asian cuisine was established in 2004, before Sydney Road was trendy. Brunswick has changed substantially since then but Tom Phat has remained popular. Their ethos is to support local business by working with suppliers from the area. The bar and eatery has a modern interior with a vibrant atmosphere. The concrete walls, huge windows looking onto Sydney Road, and the oriental accents all add to the ambiance. They serve breakfast which is unusual for Asian restaurants. Their signature cocktails also come in a non-alcoholic 'mocktail' form. Vegetarians will find a range of options on the menu.
182-184 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Victoria 3056, Phone: 03-93-81-23-74
11.Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria
© Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria
'The Brothers' restaurant specializes in Mexican cuisine, specifically tacos. These come with a range of fillings, including lamb, beef, chicken, fish, mushrooms and vegetables. Their tacos are sold at a baseline price and their sauces are legendary. A house specialty is cactus salad, one of the many vegetarian dishes on offer. The bar list includes extensive selections of tequilas and imported beers. The taqueria is in a quiet, semi-industrial area. The dining area is small and narrow and fills up quickly. It is a place where you are encouraged to eat with your hands.
339 Victoria St, Brunswick, Phone: +61-3-99-39-36-61
Rumi was opened in 2006 in Lygon Street, the center of Italian cuisine in Brunswick. Rumi offers something different. They serve modern, Middle Eastern foods with a focus on the eastern Mediterranean dishes from Persia, Turkey and Lebanon. The walls are colorful with large Arabic scripts for décor. The restaurant is open 7 days a week from 6 -10 pm. Diners can choose to enjoy their meals on site or to order takeouts. Rumi has two sister eateries in the Melbourne area. Moor's Head is a pizza restaurant and Bar Saracen also serves Middle Eastern food.
116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, 3037, Phone: 03-93-88-82-55
Bhang is the Indian name of an edible marijuana which is not available at the restaurant. Bhang was launched by the owners of Tom Phat, an Asian restaurant, situated a few minutes' walk away. It is housed in a converted former warehouse, with exposed bricks and views of the kitchen. The menu is divided into four categories of Indian street food – curries, charcoal-cooked oven dishes, vegetarian meals and desserts. The main dishes are served with flat breads, pickles and chutneys. Patrons are encouraged to order more spices. Drinks include tap beer, mulled wine, spritzes and cocktails.
1 / 2A Mitchell Street, Brunswick, VIC— 3056, Phone: 03-93-83-24-88
© 400 Gradi
Johnny, the owner of 400 Gradi, got into the pizza restaurant business at the age of 12 when he needed money for new sneakers. By the age of 15, he was entrenched. He dropped out of university because he constantly daydreamed about better ways to make pizzas. He traveled extensively throughout Italy, researching his passion. He now owns seven restaurants and his Neapolitan pizzas have been accredited as authentic by the AVPN, the world authority. 400 Gradi means 400 degrees, the temperature at which the traditional Neapolitan pizza needs to be cooked. Zero Gradi is the spinoff ice cream parlor next door which serves Italian gelato.
99 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057, Phone: 03-93-80-23-20
15.Brunswick Mess Hall
© Brunswick Mess Hall
Thai food is the specialty of this restaurant, which is situated in a former Masonic Hall. The venue's large rooms with vaulted ceilings have been transformed by an abundance of greenery into dining areas with names like Jungle Room, Cheetah Room and Panda Room. These lend themselves to themed parties and other special occasions. The Great Hall seats 200 people and is an ideal venue for weddings. The Little Mess is a beer garden. Beverages include punch, cocktails, Victorian wines and more than 50 types of beer. Regular events are scheduled, such as Karaoke evenings and 'Mate or Date' dinners.
400 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Vic, 3056, Phone: 03-93-88-02-97
15 Best Things to Do in Brunswick – Victoria, Australia
- Brunswick City Baths, Photo: travnikovstudio/stock.adobe.com
- Howler, Photo: Howler
- Round & Round Records, Photo: AboutLife/stock.adobe.com
- The Spotted Mallard, Photo: The Spotted Mallard
- Thunder Road Brewery, Photo: Drazen/stock.adobe.com
- Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School, Photo: Dusko/stock.adobe.com
- CERES Community Environment Park, Photo: lucaar/stock.adobe.com
- Hellenic Republic, Photo: babsi_w/stock.adobe.com
- Tinning Street Presents, Photo: Africa Studio/stock.adobe.com
- Tom Phat, Photo: Tom Phat
- Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria, Photo: Los Hermanos Mexican Taqueria
- Rumi, Photo: Rumi
- Bhang, Photo: Bhang
- 400 Gradi, Photo: 400 Gradi
- Brunswick Mess Hall, Photo: Brunswick Mess Hall
- Cover Photo: DANE/stock.adobe.com