Incredible food, one-off shopping and a strong community spirit are at the heart of Footscray, a multicultural suburb in Melbourne's inner-west.
The area has recently attracted a boon of new openings, such as Pie Thief, an eatery with oddball items such as lasagne pie, created by an ex-chef from high-end Melbourne dining institution Supernormal. A not-to-miss Footscray experience is 8bit., which has been attracting customers for years with some of the best burgers in Melbourne. Another one-of-a-kind Footscray icon, Bad Love Club is a boozy late-night bakery where you can accompany your Peanut Butter Pie with a dessert cocktail.
If you're looking for respite from chain-store shopping, Footscray has got your back. Counterweight Vinyl & Espresso is a revelation, finally bringing together caffeinated pick-me-ups with racks of covetable and hard-to-find records, alongside cleaning supplies and spare parts for turntables. Perfect Splash is a pastel wonderland selling clothing, jewellery, ceramics, publications and homewares that are made in Melbourne.
A trip to Footscray is a sure-fire way to stumble upon a hot local arts event. Leading the pack is Footscray Community Arts Centre, a riverside space that puts on an unfailingly dynamic program of performances, workshops and exhibitions. For an experience you can take home with you, head to Footscray Market, a bustling indoor food market with 65 stores spanning everything from seafood to fresh produce to exotic spices.