Some people are Northside through and through, while others are die-hard Southside fans. Where do you fit in? Either way, we think both sides of our fair city have a lot to offer in the eating and drinking department. While Fitzroy is known for Brunswick Street and many killer restaurants, this guide takes us a little further north, into North Fitzroy.
There is a little more space between venues, but there is a lot of greatness to be found. We’ve done the hard work for you, so now all you need to do is add these places to your list. Some newer than others, but all worth that extra tram stop.
Pinotta – For the Italian lovers everywhere.
Pinotta, tucked into the busy section of St Georges Road is easily missed if you’re not looking for it. There’s no big signage, nothing dramatic, but it’s there. And it’s worth hunting out. Why? Because the food is the kind of food you find on the backstreets of Italy on that European holiday, but it’s right here in Melbourne. Beef carpaccio is served with artichokes and Parmigiano-Reggiano, lamb shoulder ragu is placed on a bed of fluffy gnocchi, while whole yellow belly flounder is dished simply with fresh oregano and lemon. You see? Beautiful simplicity. A stunning European red wine sits perfectly on the table too.
32 Best Street Fitzroy North
Moroccan Soup Bar – For the hungry vegetarian in all of us.
Moroccan Soup Bar is infamous for being busy, having waitlists before no-booking restaurants were really a thing here in Melbourne. But like all good dinner seekers know, it’s about going early, putting your name down, and having a drink down the road, right? Problem solved. It’s worth the wait as plates will be piled high with traditional dips, soups, and a chickpea and pitta bread bake that will make you want to line up again tomorrow night. You’ll finish the night with small sweet treats and serious coffee. Just as you should.
Moroccan Soup Bar
183 St Georges Road, North Fitzroy
Horn Please – For a different trip to India.
Horn Please is a new take on the Indian restaurant. Not the same vibe you’ll find from your local joint and they have a bit of fun with the menu as well. Street food is mixed in with curries, some more traditional than others, and thank goodness for naan from the tandoor oven. You might bite down on Papdi Chaat – India’s version on nachos, or maybe something more familiar like the Butter Chicken made with free range chicken marinated in yoghurt, ginger, tomato, and fenugreek. Either way, you’ll be pleased you did.
167 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Dench Bakers – For a warm loaf of artisan sourdough.
There is nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning and that’s the exact aroma you’ll be filled with as you walk into Dench Bakers’ Fitzroy North Café on Scotchmer Street. The café is rustic, heavy on the relaxed woods and chilled atmosphere. Cakes, pastries, and breads are piled high behind the counter, while dishes of corn fritters with crisp Kaiserfleish, avocado, poached egg, and sour cream fill the busy tables. We’re fans of eating in and taking bread away for later. It’s also a wonderful spot during any holiday where eating is encouraged. Easter and Christmas always see the counter piled high with festive treats just asking to be enjoyed. They also do killer gluten free loaves for those in need.
109 Scotchmer Street, Fitzroy North
Terminus Hotel – For the craft beer enthusiast.
The Terminus Hotel, on Queens Parade is straddling the line between Fiztroy North and Clifton Hill, but its address allows it to be in our guide. This pub is all about the craft beer. They’ve got 16 beers on tap, a fridge stocked with bottles of both local and international brews, and pride themselves on being able to offer some really limited release beers. The taps might include Mountain Goat Rare Breed Surefoot Stout, the Nomad Brewing Co Long Trip Saison, and the South East Brewing Company Golden Axe Cider. Taste your way through the offering with the staff to ensure you’ve settled on a good one. The beers will go nicely with the range of steaks, burgers, and mains on offer in the dining room and the sunshine in the beer garden.
The Terminus Hotel
492 Queens Parade, North Fitzroy
North Fitzroy Social – For hot coffee and warm sandwiches.
Sometimes you just want a coffee and a panini, are we right? Well, the North Fitzroy Social Café & Panini Bar tend to agree. Their Five Senses Coffee is served up next to their nine paninis like the breakfast panini of gypsy ham, fried egg, swish cheese, and tomato relish, or the vegetable #1 of wilted spinach, char-grilled pumpkin, artichoke, and Fontina cheese. They’ve also got a full breakfast and lunch menu for those who don’t like their food in the form of toasted sandwiches. You can even go healthy with the porridge of quinoa, oats, stewed apricots, pistachios, cranberries, milk, yoghurt, and honey.
North Fitzroy Social
189 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North
Queen Margaret – For a really good pizza.
These guys dish up a good Italian menu, done the right way. Crisp pizza bases, cured meats and cheeses, salads overflowing with fior di latte. Really, what could be better? The pizza menu sees three margheritas, the QM of tomato, fior de latte, and basil, up to the QM III that goes heavy on the cheese with mozzarella and Parmigiano. For something with more vegetables go for the broccolini with mozzarella, chilli, parmesan, tomato, spinach, and Taleggio, or for more meat, head to the No 17 of pork sausage, mozzarella, pancetta, spinach, and tomato.
356 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Neighbourhood Wine Bar – For a cosy wine with friends.
By the name, you already hope this one is going to be a nice neighbourhood watering hole. And you’d be right. The fun part of the story? The space was once used for questionable business, fit with secret storage areas, secret doors, and excellent vantage points of the front door incase unexpected law enforcing visitors were to arrive. But the shifty days of this venue are over and now they are solely about serving up seasonal, simple, rustic eats with a wine list to match. Maybe enjoy some smoked duck and brandy parfait with pickled cherries, and grilled sourdough, matched to a class of the 2014 Jamsheed Haren ‘Le Blanc Plonk’ Riesling from Upper Goulburn? We just might.
Neighbourhood Wine Bar
1 Reid Street, Fitzroy North