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Melbourne: Top Places To Avoid

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by Joy (subscribe)
“Creativity Is Intelligence Having Fun.” – Albert Einstein
Published January 10th 2013
Avoid if you care about your time and safety
Lygon Street (Image by chensiyuan via Wikimedia Commons)

Cited as the most liveable city in the world, Melbourne is indubitably a delightful place for living, shopping and enjoying life in general. At Weekendnotes, we endeavour to bring to our avid readers all the enchanting and amazing places to visit and wonderful things to do in Melbourne. However, since nothing is perfect, like many other places in the world, Melbourne has some areas and places that are worth side-stepping. These places are simply pretentious, overrated and can be potentially dangerous.

This article lists four such examples of places which should be avoided if possible.

1. Lygon Street, Carlton
Lygon Street, long hailed as the foodie haven of Melbourne, is one of the most overhyped and overrated places in Melbourne. Finding a good restaurant or an eatery is no longer an easy as pie mission. Reminiscent of the bygone era, you still get some delectable selections like Brunetti, famous for cakes and coffee. However, in general, the food is pretty average and the restaurants are nothing fancy. You would be better off to gallop off to Richmond (Café Bangkok is worth checking out), Windsor (Ayatana is a marvellous example), Melbourne CBD, Docklands, Collingwood and Hawthorn (Omah's Malaysian is a wonderful example) to catch a tasty bite.

2. Bridge Road, Richmond
Considered as shopaholic's dream come true, Bridge Road in Richmond is often described as the ultimate destination for fashionistas. But a trip up and down this road will make you abreast of the real situation, as you will soon discover that fashion labels are sparse and discounts are few and far between. You would be better off by gracing the red carpet of the major shopping centres like Chadstone, Highpoint, Southland, Northland and various DFOs to bag some real fashion labels and genuinely enticing bargains.

3. St Kilda on a Sunday
As the closest beach to Melbourne CBD, St Kilda brings a sigh of relief to the city dwellers and is a major tourist attraction. However on weekends, especially on Sundays, St Kilda can easily transform into a circus with cars honking madly looking for a park or just to get out of the way and people shuffling around vainly seeking out a place to sit and/or eat. To add to the woe, St Kilda also houses Melbourne's only theme park, Luna Park, augmenting the chaos. If the beach is what your heart is hankering after, then it would be more viable to consider Elwood, Brighton or Chelsea beach, to name a few. If good food is what is on your mind, then Collingwood (SHU restaurant is a good example), Chinatown (Empress of China and Super Inn are worth checking out) and the streets of Melbourne CBD (Seamstress Bar & Restaurant is a delightful example), as well Docklands (Waterside Oriental Bistro is a good example) are excellent places to savour some delicious delicacies. However, take a mental note that on weekdays, St Kilda can be an enthralling place for taking a relaxing stroll or enjoying some good food.

4. King Street, Melbourne CBD
King Street in Melbourne CBD is infamous for its seedy Gentleman's clubs. Usually quite safe at day time, King Street is not the best choice for some night-time strolling. Without painting the picture too black, King Street is known as a breeding ground for trouble with shifty characters taking over the streets as night falls. Travelling in groups, staying under the street lights and avoiding if possible are sensible precautions to be adopted at night time in the vicinity of King Street.

Like all reviews this article has been written based on personal experience and therefore, has been penned at the risk of being quite subjective.

Please feel free to share your experience and stories regarding other annoying or appalling places in Melbourne.
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Why? To make better use of your time
Your Comment
Thanks for telling it like it is.
by l3ilani (score: 1|11) 2498 days ago
What a useful collection of tips Joya, and I particularly liked your positive contribution by suggesting restaurants.
by Dave Walsh (score: 4|11306) 2690 days ago
It takes courage to 'blacklist' and you are to be commended, as I find (as one who searches the City as a relative newcommer) myself in complete agreement with your observations, even just days ago driving down Bridge Street seeing so many - now empty - shops, once trendy, now on back heels.
by rgcop (score: 1|32) 2700 days ago
Thank you! This is most insightful! As a newcomer to Melbourne we usually take our guests to Lygon St and St Kilda but of late these places do seem way commercialized and no longer have that local feel about it. Thank you for all your recommendations as I now have new places to take our guests to!
by Padmalove (score: 1|34) 2699 days ago
Thanks heaps for your true tips in tme for the holiday season! SO right about Lygon St...thought it was just me! Just wondering if Chadstone can be a bit frightening tho'!
by p.bro (score: 1|18) 2700 days ago
I agree with you completely! Lygon Street, Bridge Road and St Kilda are so overrated. I never knew that King Street was seedy, I'll have to keep that in mind. Thanks for the article :)
by moniq (score: 0|7) 2699 days ago
Born and bread in Melbourne, I agree with all of the above, this however has happened over time, Lygon St used to be the food capital of Melbourne, however all the old Italian traditions have faded and that generation has died off, its sad. I am finding that the CBD Melbourne has a lot to offer, and in regards to the suburbs or close proximity its generally word of mouth these days, thats how I get my information.
by nexhi (score: 0|7) 2698 days ago
A bit harsh to the entire Lygon Street in Carlton. As a Melbourne expat, stumbling upon this area was a welcomed experience.
by astei (score: 0|4) 2700 days ago
Wow... I actually love walking or bicycle riding around St Kilda in Summer... in fact the St Kilda festival is on soon... Sunday 10th Feb will be amazing for live music! Lygon Street I'd recommend Toto's Pizza and Ti Amo before or after an arthouse movie at the Cinema Nova. Bridge Road has new designer labels, and there is Dimmey's (for the moment) in Swan St, Richmond. I would probably avoid King Street... unless going to VCAT at 55 King St, to object against inappropriate development :)
by annal (score: 2|192) 2700 days ago
Although many of your points are true, the places mentioned in your article are also iconic Melbourne and while the craziness of St Kilda on a weekend may be overwhelming for some, I personally love the atmosphere and it would be sad to hear someone had avoided this area as a result of reading something like the above.
by Karly Gniel (score: 0|5) 2695 days ago
I disagree with your comments regarding Lygon St and King St.
by katev (score: 0|3) 2700 days ago
Melton :P
by Sue Stevenson (score: 2|569) 2297 days ago
In response to requests from readers, I have compiled a brief list of restaurants in and around Melbourne that are worth checking out:

1. Melbourne CBD
The Press Club
Number 8

2. Richmond
Vlado's Charcoal Grill
The Hungarian
Friends of Mine

3. Hawthorn
Pizza Religion
High Tech Burrito Australia

4. Collingwood
Trippy Taco
Yorkshire Hotel

I note that the above list is a recommendation only and may not cater to everyone’s personal preferences and dietary requirements. More information on these restaurants and other good restaurants can be found on Weekenednotes and google.
by Joy (score: 3|1910) 2699 days ago
been to the river bank ( I don't know what place it was exactly) earlier toniht like 7pm and i was approaced with some of the homeless. There were couple of them walking towards me and asked if I had cigarette, I said I didn't have and asked if I had some silvers. I tried to reach on my purse and see if I had few cents.
The woman went up and walk closer to me, and i don't know what she was trying to do, maybe grab and steal something. I am not being accusive but that wasmy gut feel that something is going to happen not right
by geram (score: 0|2) 1524 days ago
Good information
by mjlmc (score: 0|2) 1797 days ago
Slandering the whole of Lygon street? Please! Whilst the Italian thing is done over and over again, there are plenty of other standout restaurants on that street. Something about don't judge a book by it's cover?
by barny (score: 1|29) 2582 days ago
I find this Article a bit pessimistic... All the sites mention are good but like everything there are some bad points, but wouldn't go that far as avoiding those spots... they are still fan to visit them...
by jay (score: 0|2) 2701 days ago
I agree with some of your comments, especially pertaining to Lygon St and Bridge Rd. I do have a gripe however about the majority of your alternative places to eat. I am allergic to MSG and the majority of places you mention are "asian". Don't get me wrong, I love "asian" food, but it is not worth the risk to me. MSG aka flavour enhancer 621 or e621 occurs mostly in soy sauces, fish sauces or seasonings (ingredients restaurants buy in bulk and cheaply). It seems the more yummy and authentic the food (chef's not necessarily speaking english) the more likely it is to have MSG :( Technically it is banned in Australia, however it still occurs in things as common as barbecue shapes!
So, getting back to my point, what constitutes a 'dangerous place' is subjective. Highly annoying and falsely advertised, that's another story!
by jodie (score: 0|2) 2700 days ago
Generally agree with the observations but interesting approach that every alternative you offer to Italian and beach districts is Asian cuisine.
by jason (score: 0|2) 2700 days ago
True about Lygon St! Is Chaddie a tad scary at times as well & a long walk for a sparse bargain? Anita
by p.bro (score: 1|18) 2700 days ago
Needed to be said, well written article
by tinne0 (score: 0|2) 1356 days ago
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