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Published December 15th 2014
An Iconic Pub, Vegetarian Delight, Hot Thai & Stylish Tapas
Piles of great food in Brunswick St
Brunswick Street Fitzroy is now at least as popular as Lygon St Carlton was when I was a yuppie. But Brunswick Street has a totally different feel to the Italiano strip. It's vibrant, multicultural and full of surprises. This stretch of road is a bargain shoppers haven by day and entertaining at night. Live music venues indoors and on the streets, outlets and alternative shops make this appealing for all shoppers and diners. You can expect Brunswick Street to be full of those out for a good time at all times of the day.
Here's some noteworthy eateries to try out in Brunswick St.
299 Brunswick Street on the corner of Johnson Street, Fitzroy
Literally the corner pub
This is an iconic, historic pub in the heart of Fitzroy. It's right in the hub of Brunswick Street's shopping, dining and nightlife precinct. It is a great place to meet and sit by the fire, have a starter, relax for a hearty meal or drop in for a nightcap.
The various paint layers from many eras are revealed by renovators who have partially stripped back the exterior to the original brickwork. Inside some of the original features have been maintained with an open fireplace, ruby lamps and timberwork. More recent restoration and rejuvenation includes exposed ducts and multi-leveled dining area.
It's standing room only on Friday and Saturday nights. The Provincial hotel has a bar, a swish restaurant for those looking for a meal and function room facilities. So if you are in Fitzroy for shopping or dining (and why wouldn't you be?) drop by the Provincial. It's more than just a pretty facade.
Don Vincenzo Bar, Restaurant and Café – The best value tapas
301 Brunswick St Fitzroy
This is THE Moussaka!
This is an intimate cafe with attention to service and cheap, quality food. It can be quiet and homely, and the tapas menu is to die for. The waiting staff is a happy bunch. At one stage I noticed a waitress dancing behind the bar with a customer. The food, including desserts is made fresh on site.
Each tapas dish was only $6-$9. Five dishes between two people was more than enough. I'm not vegan but the vegan patties were a highlight for the night. These were a tasty combination of spiced lentils, chickpeas and served with a yummy avocado, tomato and red onion salsa. My favourite pick for the night was Moussaka topped with goats cheese. The sauce was absolutely delicious and the presentation photo worthy. It was a shame to cut into that Mossaka art. As a testament to the food, I would order every dish over again.
All desserts were very generous servings and great value for just $9. Beyond the taste, the food is presented exceptionally well and the service is most welcoming.
Don Vincenzo is cosy, interesting and competitive. There's art hanging on the walls (sometimes for sale) and the bar is extensive. The venue has outdoor seating and is available for private functions. They can tailor a package to suit your needs.
Unlike many of the larger, noisier, busier cafes you don't have to struggle to hear. Look out for Don Vincenzo it has ambience, taste and is great value.
The Vegi Bar – Infamous vegetarian food for mind, body and soul
380 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Vegetarian curry with fresh coriander and roti
It has been around for twenty years, even before vegetarian food was trendy. The Vegi Bar proves that healthy food doesn't have to be boring. This is the ultimate comfort food that's good for you.
You will need to arrive early because there's often a long wait but once seated the food arrives quickly. If you don't mind sharing at a communal table you might sneak in early. It's probably not an ideal location for a first date unless you want to be able to avoid tricky, private questions.
The Vegi Bar specializes in Raw Food (much more than just salads). For example: Raw San Chow Bow, Raw Pad Thai or Raw Taco and Raw Cheesecake. Have a look at the rather large daily specials board.
The Vegie bar has an extensive drinks list including cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, smoothies, ginger tonic, protein and spirulina drinks, lassies and quality coffee. A range of wine and beer are served including organic wine and gluten free beer available.
The outdoor courtyard and bar area is a great place to meet pre dinner all year round. The Vegie Bar caters for Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and the health conscious with large appetites.
This is a happy, buzzy place catering for vegetarian, vegan, gluten free diets. You would have to be fussy to be disappointed by the meal at the Vegie Bar.
Than Thai – Delicious, fresh Thai ingredients cooked as ordered
Near the corner of Brunswick and Johnson St, Fitzroy
Hot and spicy Tom Yum soup
The Thai Thani Restaurant is in an ideal location near the corner of Brunswick and Johnson St, Fitzroy. Without doubt this was the best Thai food I have ever eaten. I would say that nothing was prepared beforehand. Every course was delicious and I could have eaten more of it.
I need to make special mention of the curry puffs – they were to die for. Once again I thought I could have just ordered them. The dumplings were also exquisite.
The heat of the meals was a little on the hot side for me but the others really enjoyed it. However, the heat of the curry didn't stop me from having several serves.
I always consider it obligatory to order Pad Thai at a Thai restaurant. Again it was the best ever. They had lots of fresh ingredients and fried nuts. If you are a Thai food lover you must try Thai Thani.
Brunswick Street Fitzroy definitely needs to be on your food and shopping radar. The following Weekend Notes will help you have the best time while you are there.
For pram-friendly places in Brunswick Street click here.
For top 10 Brunswick Street cafes read this article.
For a bar with live music check out the Night Cat.
If you have time whip around the corner for some outlet shopping. Click here.
If you are still not convinced about why a walk down Brunswick Street will make you smile, go to this link.