This past Summer I went to Australia to direct an ad campaign (see film page) for Carlton Crown Lager with the fine folks of Clemenger BBDO Melbourne. I spent a good amount of time in the city, but also saw much of the Victorian countryside whilst scouting and on production. I had the great pleasure of working with so many lovely people that became fast friends. In addition to being taken to my first Footy match (Go Bombers), I ate and drank well. Here is a list of places that I visited and would be more than happy to find myself in again.
Cherry Bar (Melbourne, CBD)
A very cool, proper rock and roll bar/venue on the cobble stoned and graffiti covered AC/DC Lane (named after the band).
Chin Chin (Melbourne, CBD)
Probably the best Southeast Asian food I’ve ever had and amazing cocktails.
Long Grain (CBD/Chinatown, Melbourne)
Fantastic Thai food.
The Grace Darling Hotel (Collingwood, Melbourne)
I ended up here on more than one occasion. The Grace Darling is a particularly cool bar/venue in one of my favorite neighborhoods of the city.
The Rooftop Bar (CBD/Chinatown, Melbourne)
A sort of hard-to-find outdoor rooftop oasis of a bar/cinema in the very unique Curtin House Building.
Journal Cafe (CBD, Melbourne)
On my first day in Melbourne, my producer took me out for a nice, quick lunch here. If in the CBD, this is a wonderful little spot to grab a snack or coffee. The cafe is adjoined to the city library.
Cookie (CBD/Chinatown, Melbourne)
Had great cocktails and yummy finger food before heading upstairs to The Rooftop Bar for more drinks. Also, in the Curtin House Building.
Joe’s Shoe Store (Northcote, Melbourne)
A really cool place to get drinks with a locals vibe in the hip neighborhood of Northcote.
Builders Arms Hotel (Fitzroy, Melbourne)
Fitzroy is another great neighborhood and is located just next to Collingwood. The Builder’s Arms Hotel is a modern bistro of the farm to table variety.
The Everleigh (Fitzroy, Melbourne)
The best cocktails I had in Melbourne. This place is quite special - a sort of modern take on a speakeasy with ornate Art Deco design and serious attention to detail (both the drinks and atmosphere).
The Cullen Hotel (Prahran, Melbourne)
This is the where I stayed when in Melbourne. The Cullen is a modern artsy hotel that doesn’t take itself too seriously - not too large, not too small. A rather nice place to stay really, and it’s just a few blocks from the main drag of Chapel Street. The hotel hosts two restaurants - a cafe/ restaurant called Gramercy Bistro and HuTong (really good Chinese food).
Tall Timber (Prahran, Melbourne)
This was the lovely little cafe up the block from where I was staying. I stopped in a few times for a really nice coffee and breakfast.
Great Britain Hotel (Richmond, Melbourne)
A good proper pub and venue in the neighborhood of Richmond.
Bull and Mouth Hotel (Horsham, Victoria)
To be honest, this is a tiny town in the middle of nowhere surrounded by lots of farm land. It was the closest place to our shooting location to stay and eat . My crew and I went two nights in a row. One night I had the lamb shank which was pretty darn good. The other night, I ate the largest steak I have ever seen in my life. I wouldn’t mind stumbling back to this hole-in-the-wall pub/restaurant.
The Buffalo Hotel (Myrtleford, Victoria)
There’s nothing remarkable to mention about this place other than the fact that it was the only place in this tiny farm country town to eat in.
The Dispensary (Bendigo, Victoria)
In the sleeply town of Bendigo, a few of my crew and I found this unexpected spot down a little alley way. They specialize in all kinds of imported beers and serve really nice farm to table fair.
Little Africa (Melbourne, North Melbourne)
Hands down the best Ethiopian food I’ve ever had. They deliver to the bar next door - Prudence.
Prudence (North Melbourne)
A homey bar with a gorgeous beer garden and rather hip energy about it, set in an old row home. You can get Ethiopian food delivered to you from Little Africa.