Richmond is a suburb lying to the east of Melbourne's City Centre. The suburb is interesting because of its varied demographics, discount shopping, and cheap food and drink.
North Richmond, centred on Victoria Street, is also known as Little Saigon or Little Vietnam for its huge Vietnamese community, and its numerous Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries and Asian grocers. Increasingly, there are also restaurants offering food of other ethnic groups, such as Thai and Korean.
South Richmond is well known for its low price fashion - along Bridge Road - and other wholesale outlets, mostly found along Swan Street.
Lying just to the east of the City Centre, Richmond can be easily accessed by tram, train and road. As far as public transport is concerned, Richmond lies within Zone 1 of Melbourne's two fare zone structure. See Melbourne | Get around section on explanation of the zone system and fares.
The easiest way to get to Richmond as all main roads in the suburb, namely Victoria, Bridge, Swan and Church are served by trams.
- Victoria Street in North Richmond is served by trams 24 and 109. Tram 24 can be caught along La Trobe Street while tram 109 can be caught along Collins Street in the City Centre.
- Bridge Road is served by trams 48 and 75. Both can be caught along Flinders Street in the City Centre.
- Swan Street in the southern part of Richmond is served by tram 70 which can also be caught along Flinders Street in the City Centre.
- Church Street is the main north-south road in Richmond and is served by tram 78 and 79. Both trams start at the intersection between Victoria Street and Church Street in North Richmond and travel southwards along Church Street which then becomes Chapel Street, with tram 78 ending at Prahran and tram 79 continuing a little further to St Kilda. They do not go into the City Centre.
Trains may be faster but they do not bring you to the heart of Richmond, mostly skirting the western edge of the suburb. The exception is in the southern part of Richmond where trains on the Belgrave, Lilydale and Glen Waverly lines run parallel to Swan Street, which is served by Richmond (all trains stop here), East Richmond (which most trains skip) and Burnley stations (also skipped by many trains).
North Richmond is served by North Richmond station which is accessed from Victoria Street, whereas Bridge Road can be reached from West Richmond station. While the stations are on both the Epping and Hurstbridge lines, only the Epping trains stop at both stations.
Bridge Road, Richmond is most well known for its abundance of clothing factory outlets, which makes it a popular tourist attraction. There are also many stores of up-and-coming local fashion designers.
Bridge Road has all the high street shops, plus designer stores and many, many outlet shops where you can pick up many a bargain.
Victoria Street in North Richmond is virtually synonymous with Vietnamese food. Head here for the best pho (rice noodle soup with beef or chicken), com tam (pork ribs with broken rice) and other delicious dishes.
- Van Van Vietnamese Restaurant, 160 Victoria Street. Tel: 61-3-94277068. Complete menu with everything you could want from Vietnamese food. Most popular are the noodles and rice dishes. Individual dishes start at $8.
- Pho Dzung, 208 Victoria Street, Tel: +61-3-94270292. Strictly for noodle lovers because they do not serve anything else. But rest assured, the pho dac biet (special beef noodle soup, complete with tripe and other innards) and others on offer are excellent.
- Quan 88 88 Victoria St, tidy and simple - try the chilli eggplant stuffed prawns - Delicious!
- Hunchbax, Cnr Victoria and Church Street - quality theatre restaurant littered with performers of NIDA-esque talent and a dinner menu to rival Melbourne's best 5 star restaurants. Best experienced in the company of a bogan Grandmother or pregnant teen from the outer suburbs.
It is said that Richmond has a pub on every corner and it very nearly does! There are heaps of fantastic places, something for every taste and budget. Here are a few the locals like:
- All Nations Hotel, 64 Lennox St. Can be a bit hard to find, (head south off Vic St or north from Bridge Road), but well worth the effort. Fabulous bar menu, friendly staff, cosy snug bar and airy beer garden. The sort of pub where everyone knows your name. Open til 11pm every night.
- Collection Bridge Road. Cocktail bar with an impressive selection of drinks and has Sunday afternoon jazz sessions. Not much room outside but the drinks are tasty.
- The Corner Hotel Swan St. Deep grungey hole of Richmond with band room and fabulous rooftop bar. If the band is worth seeing, they will play at the Corner.
- 9T4. 94 Swan St. Place to go once the Corner across the road serves last drinks. Smallish but heaps of atmosphere and bands on weekends.
- Terminus Victoria St, technically Abbotsford and a wee way away from everything else but a ‘must' drink location. Grungey, retro, with a bistro, pool room plus an enormous beer and rooftop garden, the Termi is the essential final stop on any Richmond pub crawl.
- 7 grams, 505 Church Street, Richmond, tel 9429 8505. For a ‘best in show' coffee (check out the shelves housing their trophies, including the 2006 Pure Latte Art winner and 2007 Barista of the Year finalist). Despite these grand accolades, the cafe itself is unpretentious, with an understated decor and a row of black-topped, chrome-legged stools along a mirror bar. It's an all Greek family affair, with the three Haralambopoulos brothers running the cafe.