Brunswick has had the tag of being the "new Fitzroy" for sometime now but thankfully it hasn't eventuated. I say this because Sydney Road, which is the main road in Brunswick, has not developed into the tourist trap that Brunswick Street in Fitzroy has become.
Well enough puffing and promoting let's talk brass tacks. A weekend walk between Brunswick Road (stay with me) and Albion Street along Brunswick's Sydney Road will offer you cheap eats, delicious coffee, good reads, bargain second hand and vintage shopping and an insight into the predominately Lebanese and Turkish cultures and communities that make Brunswick home.
The Green Refectory (#115 Sydney Rd) is shabby chic with outdoor seating and yummy cheap eats. But don't get coffee yet, in my opinion it's not their strong suit. Snack and have a fresh juice instead to prime for adventure. Further up you'll find Empire Cafe (#295). This place is straight out of the grungy 90's with graffiti and ramshackle decor to boot. But don't be fooled the food is great plus they have many vegan options great coffee and a full bar for Bloody Marys to quell last night's indiscretions.
Keep going and you'll come across a the conventional Brunswick Floor Mill (#337). This family friendly cafe/restaurant offers huge, cheap, fast meals and good coffee. They also have a great range of baked breads and pastries.
For coffee excellence go to Ray's Cafe on 332 Victoria Street just off Sydney Road. This is the epitome of Melbourne cafe culture cool. Great coffee and a unique menu coupled with a chilled interior, this is a great place to spread out the broadsheet and stay a while.
As well as grabbing something to eat and drink, you'll want to do some shopping. A Melbourne institution when is comes to secondhand and vintage clothing, Savers also has new special discounts each day. 20% for students, half price seniors, 30% for spending over $60. It's dangerous.
Further up Sydney Road is Hot Price. This store has everything. This is not an understatement. Quality arts supplies, homewares, linen, bric-a-brac, you name it they got it. Yes it's mostly cheapish stuff from China but trust me there is something in there you'll want to buy.
Of course there's plenty more to do, but once you're full and have bags through of thrifted goods you'll be pretty content with a day in Brunswick.