“What’s a hipster?” we hear you ask. Nope, just joking, nobody needs to ask that – even if you don’t have an Oxford Dictionary definition of these oddly-dressed individuals, you’ve probably heard the term thrown around, normally in the vicinity of heavily-bearded men with vintage shirts and man-buns. Hipsters are also known for their love of craft beers, hideously-expensive coffee and charred pineapple mojitos – yep, they’re those guys at the bar.
“Wait,” you’re probably thinking. “This is starting to sound a lot like a description of Melbourne’s CBD.” Uh, you’re so right! Melbourne is pretty much the birthplace of the Aussie hipster, and, as you cruise through the city’s upscale bars and retro pubs, you’re probably going to run into a few of them.
So, to avoid being out-hipstered by Australia’s coolest individuals, we’re going to show you how to navigate Melbourne like an OG hipster. Slap on a fedora, pull up those overalls, and let’s get started.
Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Arguably Melbourne’s hipster hub, Brunswick Street in Fitzroy is home to high-end boutiques next to vintage stores where alternative, ink-covered blokes mingle with trendy, suited businessmen. This bohemian epicentre stretches between Victoria Street to Alexandria Parade, and it’s easy to spend a full day here sipping three-quarter almond milk lattes or buying a rare Bob Dylan biography.
To get the full hipster experience, we recommend dining at Vegie Bar, a restaurant that will satisfy every tastebud (unless you’re a carnivore), and checking out the latest indie records at Polyester.
Curtin House Rooftop Bar
One of the best ways to see the Melbourne skyline is to have a drink at a rooftop bar. There are many to choose from, but we can’t go past Curtin House. The bar comes alive in the evening, becoming a hipster hangout where drinks, dancing, and burgers flow together.
If you want to do it like a true trendy local, visit anytime between December to April when Rooftop Bar gets turned into a pop-up cinema. Enjoy an art film against the city sunset while sipping a cocktail and tick this off your bucket list.
National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)
We know that an appreciation for the arts is synonymous with being a hipster, so this recommendation is a no-brainer.
One of the oldest public art galleries in Australia, the NGV plays host to some of the world’s most exquisite art pieces, as well as staging contemporary exhibitions like the Jean Paul Gaultier and Salvador Dali retrospectives.
Remember to drop into the design store for NGV editions and collectables – they’ll be great conversation starters and elevate your coolness.
Supper Inn, Chinatown
Melbourne is known for its vibrant nightlife (sorry, Sydney) but what do you do after you’ve been drinking and dancing all night? You get some Asian food! While there’s plenty of choices for late-night dining, nothing beats yummy Chinese cuisine. Supper Inn opens till 2:30 a.m. every night and nocturnal visitors like bartenders, DJs and, yes, hipsters fill up on congee, noodles and crisp-skinned chicken. When a publication like Concrete Playground, the go-to guide for many hipsters, includes this restaurant in their top ten list of late night restaurants, you can be sure it’s worth checking out.
So, put on your skinny jeans and chambray shirt, find those Melbourne holiday deals and live it up like a hipster.