Hi, friends! I know it’s been a while since my last Melbourne post, but I’m back today with the 3rd installment of my 2 Weeks in Melbourne series. Be sure to check out Day 1-2 and Day 3-4 if you haven’t already!
On Day 5 and 6 of my trip, we stayed close(ish) to home (compared to Day 3-4) and spent some time in Melbourne City and around the St. Kilda/Brighton Area. I was SO ready to see the city (being the city girl that I am) and eat some good food!
We had a pretty late start to our day as we got home from our Great Ocean Road trip the night before and needed some rest. Our plan was to just spend the day roaming the city. The feel of the city is so interesting and I really enjoyed seeing the Victorian inspired architecture mixed in with the modern architecture.
Parking in the City
I feel like this is a rather important topic to talk about because we spent a lot of time figuring out where to park! Apparently it’s really expensive to park anywhere in the city, so many people take the train in. But, we decided to drive and ended up parking at Crown Melbourne (the casino).
At $21 for the entire day, the multi-level parking structure at Crown was our best option. Yeah, it’s that expensive to park in the city.
Pro tip: Join the Crown membership program on your first visit and you’ll get free parking that day! We did that. :) And it’s really easy to do – just go to any of the membership kiosks and tell them you want to sign up for a membership. Plus, you’ll get a $5 voucher to play at any table and another $5 voucher to play on slots (or pokies, as they’re called there). For every visit after that, you can get free parking if you earned 25 casino points or spent $50 at a restaurant, shop, etc. during your previous visit.
Crown Melbourne also has other parking options, which may be a better option if you don’t intend on staying in the city for the entire day:
Multi-Level Parking - Standard Rates:
Sunday - Thursday:
0-5 Hours - $6.00
5-7 Hours - $9.00
7-24 Hours - $17.00
Daily Maximum - $17.00
Friday and Saturday, entry between 11am - midnight: Flat Rate - $21.00
Event days, public holiday eves and public holidays - $21.00
Lost Ticket - $50.00
Basement Level Parking - Standard Rates
Sunday - Thursday:
0-6 Hours - $35.00
6-8 Hours - $40.00
8-24 Hours - $45.00
Daily Maximum - $45.00
Friday, Saturday and Sunday Flat Rate - $50.00
Event days, public holiday eves and public holidays - $50.00
Lost Ticket - $100.00
More information can be found here: https://www.crownmelbourne.com.au/general/parking/information
Lunch at Crowne - Margo's Café
By the time we parked, it was after lunch time and we were hungry! Rather than looking for somewhere to eat, we decided to just eat somewhere in the casino.
We stopped at Margo’s Café for just a quick bite because I was eager to see the city! I had the Open Souvlaki and Justin had the Fish & Chips. We also ordered the Chicken Tenders & Chips to share because the prices were so good, we couldn’t resist. Each of these plates cost only $7.99! And that’s in AUD, so it’s really good for an American with the current conversion rates. ;)
All of the dishes were delicious! Totally recommend this place if you’re looking for a good, quick bite to eat.
Margo’s Café Information:
Every day: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Until September 18, 2018 (does this mean they’re closing?!)
A warm meal for $15, which includes a seasonal dish, a drink, and 4 hours of free parking.
+61 3 9292 5777
Exploring the City
Justin showed me around some of the famous spots around the city before we met up with his friends for dinner and drinks. The coolest thing about Melbourne is all the tiny lanes in between the main roads. There are so many hidden gems hiding in those lanes!
One of the most well-known things about Melbourne is the crazy amount of street art there is. Hosier Lane, which is opposite of Federation Square is probably the biggest and most popular spot to admire the street art of Melbourne. Literally every single inch is covered with spray paint and it’s pretty amazing.
Be prepared for a lot of foot traffic through Hosier Lane. Probably every single tourist that visits Melbourne will stop by, even if it’s just for a quick peek. Also be prepared to be patient if you want a photo without anyone else in it! You will come across many rude people… The photos I got without anyone else in it took a lot of patience and sending angry glares at people.
This lane was named AC/DC Lane as a tribute to the Australian band (how many of you knew AC/DC is Australian?!). I read somewhere that much of the artwork is music-themed, but I didn’t really make that connection when I was there. Or, maybe my music history knowledge is lacking…? LOL.
Although not as big and popular as Hosier Lane, it’s definitely still worth a visit. And it’s nowhere near as crowded!
Other than the two graffiti-covered lanes, of course Justin took me around to see all of the other famous spots in Melbourne. Some memorable ones include Flinder’s Street Station, Federation Square, Centre Place, and around Yarra River.
Drinks at Father’s Office
Before dinner, we headed to Father’s Office for some drinks with Justin’s friends. This place seems like a very popular bar for after-work drinks! We grabbed a few pitchers (jugs) of beer and enjoyed the scenery on the balcony!
They have a pretty good happy hour menu:
Mon–Sat: 5-7 pm; 8-10 pm
Sun: from 11 am
$ 15 Beer Pitchers (Jugs)
Every day 5-7 pm:
$1 Buffalo Wings
$2 Arancini Balls
Father’s Office Information:
Mon – Thurs: 11 am – 1 am
Friday and Sat: 11 am – 3 am
249 Little Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
+61 3 9825 8999
Dinner at Joomak
We had Korean food for dinner! And it was noms. We had kalbi, bulgogi, spicy pork, spicy chicken, and kimchi pancake. All of it was delicious! Oh and of course, we had makgeolli. Can you even go to a Korean restaurant without having soju or makgeolli? I don’t think so!
While everything we ordered was amazing, the one thing I was disappointed about was that they didn’t serve japchae! Like what Korean restaurant doesn’t have japchae? I even asked the server for it directly, but nope.
Nonetheless, it was still a great dining experience and I would definitely go again. Highlight of the meal for me was the kimchi pancake.
The restaurant is so hard to find, though! It’s on the basement level of a building and there really isn’t a huge sign on the street. There is a tiny sign just above the stairs that goes down into the basement that isn’t visible at all from the street. They must have an extremely good reputation because it was pretty busy!
Mon: 5 pm - 1 am
Tue: 5 pm - 1 am
Wed: 5 pm - 3 am
Thu: 5 pm to 3 am
Fri: 5 pm - 5 am
Sat: 5 pm - 5 am
Basement 407-409 Swanston Street, CBD, Melbourne, VIC
+61 3 9663 7123
Drinks at Hopscotch
After dinner, Justin and I parted ways with his friends and decided to get more drinks at a bar named Hopscotch in Southbank (we like to drink). I REALLY enjoyed this bar. With 30 beers craft beers on tap, it’s like heaven! I could probably sit there all day just sampling every single one.
I probably would’ve enjoyed it even more during lunch/afternoon, because it was very crowded and noisy on a late Friday night. Definitely a trendy bar atmosphere with lots of nicely dressed people mingling and loud music during this time. We didn’t stay very long because we’re old, but I definitely would like to go to this bar again. Preferably when Justin and I can actually talk to each other without yelling.
It was really dark in there so I couldn't really get any good photos. :(
Monday – Sunday: 11:30am – late
2/4 Riverside Quay, Southbank VIC 3006, Australia
+61 3 9810 0099
Eastland Shopping Centre
Yum Cha (Dim Sum) at Golden Duck
On Saturday, we went out for lunch with Justin’s family and we had yum cha! Experiencing it in somewhere other than Hawaii was so interesting because the dishes offered were so different! Like a lot of cuisine in Hawaii, I think many Chinese restaurants have adapted to the Hawaii ways and have adjusted their menu to fit the “local taste” – which is smart from a business perspective, although it makes it less authentic.
Anywaysss, my favorite dish was actually a dessert! I know right, out of all the food, how could my favorite be a dessert? Because it was amazing! I don’t know the proper name of it, but it was like a mini bao with custard inside NOMSS. I really enjoyed the shrimp look fun too. Again, please forgive me for my lack of knowledge of proper Chinese food names LOL.
Golden Duck Information:
Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
Monday: 11 am - 10 pm
Tuesday: 11 am - 10 pm
Wednesday: 11 am - 10 pm
Thursday: 11 am - 10 pm
Friday: 11 am - 11 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 11 pm
175 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood VIC 3134
Level 3, Shop R01
Best shopping center entrance to use is South Entry z
Best area in structure to park is Gate 6
+61 3 9088 3959
The restaurant is located in a really nice shopping center so we walked around and did some shopping before heading back home.
Brighton Bathing Boxes
The Brighton Bathing Boxes are probably one of the most popular sights in Melbourne. Before meeting Justin, I barely knew anything about Australia, but I knew of this place! They are basically sheds that people store their beach stuff in LOL. But, I guess they’re pretty iconic since they’ve been there since the early 1900s.
I heard they are super expensive to purchase! Many of the owners decorate the inside really nicely and will use it more as a place to hang out and enjoy the beach, rather than a storage unit. A few of them were open and we actually got to see inside! Interesting article about them here: https://www.realestate.com.au/lifestyle/meet-the-owners-the-and-step-inside-brightons-bathing-boxes/
It wasn’t too crowded when we went, but it was also the beginning of winter so I’d expect it to be much more crowded during summer. Everyone wants to take a photo with the Australia box, though. I had to wait in a line for that! There will definitely be lots of people trying to get photos with the boxes, so if you want one all to yourself, be patient! Or give everyone your best bitch face.
Parking was fairly easy, but I do think we got lucky. We scored a spot in the lot right next to the bathing boxes, which are metered stalls. You have to pay a fee based on how long you intend to stay and leave that ticket on your dash. And parking isn’t crazy expensive either, we definitely didn’t pay more than a few dollars and we paid with just the change I had in my wallet!
St. Kilda Pier & Penguins
Just a short drive down the road from the Brighton Bathing Boxes, St. Kilda Pier is a popular spot to take a nice stroll, walk your dog, watch the sunset, and even to do some fishing! We don’t really have piers like this in Hawaii, so I really enjoyed taking a late afternoon/evening stroll down the pier. The view of the Melbourne skyline is also pretty amazing!
At the end of the pier, you can spot cute little penguins burrowed in between rocks. We were only able to see a few, probably because it was early winter at the time. I would definitely like to go back during the summer and see them all waddling in from the ocean! How cute would that be?!
This is a great website with tons of information about the penguins at St. Kilda: https://www.whentobewhere.com/travel-listing/st-kilda-little-penguins
Pier Rd, St Kilda VIC 3182, Australia
Dinner at Meat Me
After strolling around St. Kilda, we headed over to Oakleigh for dinner at Meat Me Souvlakeri Grill House. I LOVE Greek food. Like, REALLY LOVE. And living on Maui doesn’t really give me many options for Greek restaurants. So, Justin knew I definitely wanted to eat Greek food while I was in Melbourne.
Meat Me must be really popular because it was packed when we got there! They have two restaurant spaces across from each other, and we still had to wait about 15-20 minutes. Both restaurants are not very big, so you can expect to have to wait to be seated, especially if you have a big party. Luckily, with only two of us, they were able to squeeze us in. Literally SQUEEZE. We were very close to the couple sitting next to us.
None of that took away from how amazing the food was, though! I had the Lamb Gyros Plate and omg – absolutely to die for. The Gyros Plate is a lot of food and I was stuffed by the time I finished, but it was worth barely being able to walk out of the restaurant. I 100% recommend and would totally go back. It was definitely one of the highlight meals of my trip.
Meat Me Souvlakeri Information:
Monday to Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
24 Eaton Mall, Oakleigh 3166
+61 3 9568 5555
https://www.meatmesouvlakeri.com.au/ (Full menu on their website)
And that’s it for day 5 and 6 of my Melbourne trip! Many thanks to Justin for always taking photos of me, even when I’m unhappy with them and he has to take 50 million more. :)
Stay tuned for the next installment of my 2 Weeks in Melbourne series. Sneak peek: on day 7 and 8, we got our drink on at a winery and we played with koalas!
Thanks for reading and until next time!
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