Brunswick and Coburg are major destinations in the inner and middle north of Melbourne. They both fall within the City of Moreland, which also covers other suburbs including Fawkner, Pascoe Vale and Glenroy. Brunswick is famous among Melburnians and visitors alike for its unique hipster vibe and amazing bar and café scene. The spine of the area is Sydney Road, a happening place both during the day and night. The area is not to be confused with Brunswick St, a popular place for eating out in Fitzroy in Melbourne's inner north.
Get in and around
Brunswick and Coburg are easily reached from Melbourne's City Centre by both train and tram. The 19 tram to North Coburg traverses Sydney Rd, from Elizabeth St in the City, and services the busiest parts of both Brunswick and Coburg. The 96 tram (from Bourke St) travels along Nicholson St in the east to East Brunswick, stopping at a few popular cafés and attractions. Trams 1 and 8 follow Lygon St (from Swanston St) before continuing onto the Nicholson St extension in East Coburg and Moreland Station respectively. Tram 55 (from William St) travels through mostly residential areas in the west towards its West Coburg terminus.
The Upfield railway line also has a few of stations in Brunswick and Coburg, although operates to a 20 minute frequency, compared to the 6-10 minute frequency of the 19 tram which it parallels.
Fairly regular buses traverse the east-west streets of Brunswick and Coburg, connecting the tram lines and creating a public transport grid. A map showing the Moreland area's trains, trams and buses can be viewed here.
See and Do
- 1 Christ Church Brunswick, 8 Glenlyon Road, Brunswick, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Main Sunday service 10AM. Church is open daily from around 7am to around 6pm.
- 2 Brunswick Town Hall and Counihan Gallery, Corner Sydney Road and Dawson Street, Brunswick, ☎ . Library: Mon - Thu 10am - 8pm, Fri 10am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 4pm, Sun 1pm - 5pm. Gallery: Wed-Sat 11am - 5pm and Sun 1pm - 5pm. The historic Brunswick Town Hall contains a branch of the Moreland City library, and the Counihan Gallery, a contemporary art space.
- 3 CERES Community Environment Park, Corner Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East (Take the Number 96 tram to East Brunswick from the city (from Bourke St, travelling up Nicholson St) to the intersection of Stewart and Nicholson Streets, which is the last stop. CERES is about a 2 minute walk from the tram stop. Turn right down Stewart St – CERES’ main entrance will be right in front of you, as Stewart St turns the corner and becomes Roberts St.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Park open during daylight hours, check website for hours of different sections. CERES is a place for community-based learning and action for environmental benefit, social justice, economic satisfaction, cultural enrichment and spiritual nurturing. Some of its facilities include an organic grocery open 9-5 every day with free live music on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, a permaculture nursery and an organic cafe. There's a visitor centre and regular workshops, a nature play area and an energy park displaying ways of harnessing natural power. There's much more: download CERES' "Chook" app from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or visit their website for much more info. No entry fee, donations accepted.
- 4 [dead link] Holy Trinity Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Corner of Nicholson Street and Glenlyon Road, Brunswick East, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Beautiful modern church with a large knotwork cross facing Nicholson Street
- 5 Street Art, Corner of Moreland Road and Holmes Street, Brunswick East. Melbourne is full of great street art and graffiti. Just one example is on the side of Worthy Apparel on Moreland Road as the number 8 tram turns left from Holmes Street. Go for a wander or ride the trams around and keep your eyes open for more great aerosol art.
- 6 Loreto John York Park, 73 Holmes Street, Brunswick. If you've grabbed some cheap takeaway food and want to watch the trams sail by, or maybe if you have some children who need to let off some steam, this small park might be the perfect place. Named after the first Maltese-Australian to serve as Mayor of any Australian city, this park has a playground and an accessible water fountain. Free.
- 1 RetroStar Vintage warehouse, 33-37 Stewart Street, Brunswick, ☎ . RetroStar Vintage has a warehouse sale about once a month, where every item is $10. Follow the News page on their website, or their Facebook page, for details of upcoming sales. $10 an item.
There are some great places for eating in Brunswick and Brunswick East
- 1 A1 Bakery, 645 Sydney Rd Brunswick, ☎ . Sun - Wed 7am - 7pm, Thu - Sat 7am - 9pm. A Sydney Road classic, this place offers all sorts of Lebanese bakery products with pizzas for as little as $2. Cheese pies with halloumi, spinach and feta triangles, felafel or kafta wraps, platters from $6 - $12, Ready to eat snacks from $1.50 - $12.
- 2 [dead link] Moroccan Deli-cacy, 313 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia (Catch the 1 or 8 tram to stop 124 (Victoria St/Lygon St) and walk 150m south to the corner of Lygon and Ann Streets.), ☎ . 9am-5pm Tue-Sun, lunch bar closes at 3pm. Once a run-down nut shop, Moroccan Deli-cacy is now a bright cheerful deli selling vegetarian Moroccan lunches for $13. You can also buy raw and roasted nuts, cheap dry legumes, and other kitchen basics. Well worth the tram ride into the ungentrified parts of inner-northern Melbourne. $13.
- 3 Rumi, 116 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 6pm-10pm Mon-Sun. Seriously great middle eastern food. Menu changes frequently so difficult to recommend specific dishes. Mains about $10-$20 per plate.
- 4 Small Block Cafe, 130 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, ☎ . 7.30AM - 4.30PM, 7 days. Fantastic place for breakfast. The bircher museli is excellent. The breakfast plate with homemade hashbrown and feta cheese is sublime. Be prepared to wait for a table on the weekends. But worth the wait. Big breakfast $19, Bircher muesli $9.50.
- 5 Kake di Hatti, 128 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 5pm-10.30pm every day. Tasty South Indian Restaurant located on Lygon St. The food is excellent and excellent for your wallet. Mains start from $12 and it's BYO (99 cents corkage per person, and there is also a small wine shop across from the restaurant which does nice local wines as well) Main courses $12-$13.
- 6 Cornish Arms, 163A Sydney Road, Brunswick, ☎ . Weekends kitchen open midday-9.30pm. Mon-Fri Lunch 12-3, snacks and pizza 3-5.30, dinner 5.30-9.30pm.. Pub with vegan-friendly tap beers and a vegan restaurant
- 7 The Green Refectory, 115 Sydney Road, Brunswick, ☎ . 7AM - 8PM weekdays, 7AM - 7PM weekends. Easy to miss, but better you don't, The Green Refectory serves great value homemade food, and quality Illy coffee to accompany it. I'm a fan of the gourmet salads, especially the tangy couscous salad with pumpkin, snow peas and heaps of mint, and eye off the homemade muffins, famous for their large and irregularly shape, for later. The crowd is eclectic mix of the Brunswick artsy crowd, university students and young professionals pushing prams. I head to the outdoor area for a bit of space and it feels like I've stepped in someone's backyard, complete with garage at the back and outdoor toilet. Despite its non attendance in 'Signage 101' (look for the 'Illy' coffee sign that juts out from the front windows), the difficulty of locating this place hasn't affected its popularity at all Big breakfast $16.50, Bircher Muesli $9.
- 8 Sugardough, 163 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tue - Fri 7.30am - 5pm, Sat 7.30am - 4pm, Sun 8am - 4pm. Closed Monday.. Quaint and lovely cafe. Another place that does a great breakfast. Egg and bacon panini or breakfast pie to start the day off, pies, panini and tarts for lunch and dinner. Cakes for dessert and a range of specialty bread to eat at home, including an olive sourdough loaf, and spelt bread. Mostly between $5 and $10.
- 9 [dead link] Tiba's Restaurant, 504 Sydney Road, Brunswick, ☎ . Wed - Mon 8am - 10pm, closed Tuesdays. Tiba's Quality Lebanese food at very cheap prices. You can order a Shwarma plate for $14.80, and you will get rice, salad, bread, dips and meat. Again, this restaurant has large servings. They also have very nice Baklava and do great coffee. The front end of the restaurant is for take-aways, as they also do kebabs. The restaurant is alcohol free, however you can do take away on the food if you really need a beer. They are closed Tuesdays. Minimum EFTPOS is $20.
See also the organic cafe at CERES Community Environment Park in the See and Do section
The Alderman - 134 Lygon Street, +61 3 9380 9003. Low key, comfortable and cosy bar. Just like Fitzroy bars used to be like. Small courtyard in the back. Food from Rumi (next door) can be ordered and delivered to the Alderman.
- 1 The Brunswick Green, 313 Sydney Road, Brunswick, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Tue - Thu 4pm - midnight, Fri 3pm - 1am, Sat 2pm - 1am, Sun 2pm - 11pm, Mon closed. The best beer garden in Brunswick (and possibly Melbourne), with live music outside on Sunday afternoon. The best place to spend a summers afternoon. Most wine $8.50 a glass, chips $8 a bowl.
See also the Cornish Arms in the Eat section.