Fitzroy

Fitzroy was Melbourne's first suburb, and is bordered by Victoria St/Parade, Nicholson St, Smith St, and Alexandra Parade. The heart of Fitzroy can be found in Brunswick Street, which is one of Melbourne's major retail, eating, and entertainment strips. Fitzroy is inhabited by a wide variety of ethnicities and socio-economic groups.

Fitzroy is characterised by a fairly tightly-spaced rectangular grid of medium-sized and narrow streets with numerous back lanes. There are many one-way streets. Fitzroy is Melbourne's smallest suburb in terms of area, being approximately 100 Ha.

Fitzroy takes its name from Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, the Governor of New South Wales from 1846-1855.

Get in

Fitzroy lies immediately to the north-east of Melbourne's City Centre and can be easily reached by tram, road and even on foot.

By tram

  • Tram 86 runs along Gertrude Street (the main east-west thoroughfare in the area) and Smith Street. In the City Centre, it can be caught along Bourke Street. The two end stations for this line are the Telstra Dome in the Docklands, and RMIT Bundoora campus.
  • Tram 96. This tram does not bring you into the heart of Fitzroy but runs along Nicholson Street, the weastern border of the suburb. It is useful for the Nunnery backpackers. In the City Centre, catch it along Bourke Street. The tram runs between St Kilda and West Brunswick.
  • Tram 112 runs along Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. It can be caught along Collins Street in the City Centre. The tram runs between Fitzroy Street in St Kilda and West Preston in the northern suburbs.

By road

Fitzroy can be easily reached from the City Centre via Nicholson Street, which connects to Spring Street in the eastern edge of the CBD, or Victoria Parade, which forms the southern border of the area. Gertrude Street runs off Nicholson Street while Smith and Brunswick Streets run off Victoria Parade.

In the northern part of Fitzroy, both Brunswick Street and Smith Street intersect with Alexander Parade which leads on to the Eastern Freeway.

Fitzroy Attractions

  • Brunswick St, Smith St and Gertrude St. When the bohemian lifestyles left Carlton, they went to Fitzroy (however, they have since moved out to Northcote and Brunswick). Brunswick St has a mixture of eclectic and interesting shops, clothes and food. If street art is your thing, the surrounding alleyways and backstreets are also interesting as there is an ever-changing array of graffiti, stencils, stickers etc on show. In recent times, locals bemoaning the gradual gentrification of Brunswick St have transferred their attentions to parallel Smith St, and nearby Gertrude St, where the artistic charm, vintage clothing stores and great cafes are still at their scruffy best.

Do

  • Melbourne Fringe Festival, +61 3 9660 9600 (info@melbournefringe.com.au). Melbourne Fringe is an umbrella organization that aims to support and display the artwork of local, innovative artists. Every year, they feature independent, contemporary artists in the Fringe Festival that spans from the streets of Brunswick to the sands of local beaches. Tickets starts at 10AUD with some free events.
  • Fitzroy Gardens and Conservatory. Conservatory is open daily 9AM-5PM (5:30PM daylight savings). Features a cafe and a conservatory amidst a lush garden setting.
  • Centre for Contemporary Photography, 404 George St, +61 3 9417 1549 (info@ccp.org.au). W-Sa 11AM-6PM. Daily night projections after dark. One of Australia's premier venues for displaying contemporary photographic works.

Buy

  • Little Salon, 71 Gertrude St, 61-3 9419 7123 (littlesalon@netspace.net.au). Tu-Sa 11AM-6PM,. Little Salon is a small boutique specializes in retailing local designer accessories, housewares, and clothing.
  • Fat 52, 209 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. With a reputation for Australian Avant-garde and contemporary fashion and design, Fat 52 delivers unique clothes that have the fashionistas clamouring over. Labels include Antipodium, April77, Beat Poet, Chronicles of Never, Criola, Fat, Friedrich Gray and Hem and Haw.
  • Kleins Perfumery, 313 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 9416 1221. Home to all things that look and smell desirable, Kleins Perfumery stocks more than 60 fragrance and cosmetic brands. An assault on the senses in the very best way.

Eat

Fitzroy is a well-known cafe precinct of Melbourne. The majority are concentrated around Brunswick Street, although many are starting to spill over to Smith Street, where you will see more ethnic food amongst the neighbouring streets.Napier street runs parallel to Brunswick Street and contains a series of friendly residential pubs.

  • Babka, 258 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 9416 0091. The all day breakfast menu is great, but you may also be tempted by the Russian blintzes filled with cottage cheese and served with a citrus sauce.
  • Atomica, 268 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 9417 4255. Renowed for blending the perfect roast, Atomica is mecca for coffee lovers looking for their caffeine high. Cakes and pastries are made inhouse and are the perfect accompanient to a smooth flat white.
  • Vegie Bar, 380 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 9417 6935. Specialising in organic, vegan and gluten-free meals, Veggie Bar offers healthy food in generous servings with a price range that doesn't break the bank. Serving food so tasty that even hardened meat eaters will be impressed.
  • Trampoline, 381 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9415 8689. Enormous variety of mouthwatering ice cream and gelato flavors.
  • Bimbos, 376 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 94198600. Hard to miss, with a giant baby stuck to its roof. Bimbos serves $4 gourmet pizzas from Sunday to Thursday and has an outstanding range of chilled infused vodkas made on the premises.
  • Joes Garage, 366 Brunswick St, Fitzroy. An all time favourite which is always busy due to huge meals and cheapish prices.
  • Napier Hotel, 210 Napier St, Fitzroy, 9419 4240. The Napier is a great local pub with a laidback atmospher and an outdoor seating area. Try the steak sandwich for a satisfying meal.
  • Marios, 303 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, 9417 3343. 20 years old, with white tablecloths and old fashioned waiters, Marios is still serving good Italian-Australian cuisine and satisfying coffee.

Drink

  • Doctor Java, 87a Smith Street (Take 86 Bundoora RMIT tram to Smith and Gertrude Streets), (03) 9416 1431. M-Sa 8:30AM-5:30PM, Su 10AM-5:30PM. Family run cafe with excellent coffee. Ask Tim about his coffee art!
  • Atomica Cafe, 268 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, +61 3 9417 4255. Atomica has seats on the footpath if the upbeat music is too much for your coffee buz, and where on a warm sunny day, it is an ideal spot to mix it with the Brunswick Street crowd.

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