Some folks may know Crossley Street (unofficially) as Pellegrini’s corner – home of Melbourne coffee institution Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar. But wander down Crossley Street toward Little Bourke and you’ll enter a world of unique retail shops, cafes and restaurants.
Starting life as Romeo Lane back the 1850s, Crossley Street gained notoriety as one of Melbourne’s earliest ‘red light’ districts. Local lore has it that an opium den was one of the street’s ‘attractions’.
In 1876, Romeo Lane was renamed Crossley Street in recognition of the original residence and slaughter yard of butcher William Crossley.
Today, the street is home to some Melbourne’s finest artisans and restaurants.
Look out for the neon red pretzel along Crossley Street. One of Melbourne’s most beautiful boutique designers sits behind the baby-blue doorframe. Designed by Lucy Folk, custom-made cabinet handles and metallic plates create a bright, open space despite its small size. Browse through delicate corn chip or pretzel necklaces.
Cocktails that run through the colours of the rainbow are hidden at Romeo Lane that inhabits the venue that was once Von Haus. An elegant menu of drinks and share-style tapas is served on deep timber. Cosy up on an intimate table with specials including burrata (fresh Italian cheese), wild board salami and the ‘champs fizz’ after dinner.
Expect plenty of ginger at Gingerboy. Inspired by vibrant, hawker-style markets, Gingerboy has positioned itself as a go-to dining destination on Melbourne’s laneway map. If it’s your first time, indulge in the banquet with barramundi dumplings swimmingly in yellow curry.
Be warned: you’re about to enter jewellery heaven. Bright, impeccably clean walls act as the platform at Gallery Funaki to showcase the finest European, Australian and New Zealand makers. Leading their field, Gallery Funaki host solo and curated group exhibitions throughout the year.
Madam Virtue & Co.
Madam Virtue & Co. specialises in limited edition pieces, handpicked from overseas for their style, originality and quality. This divine store is a collection of beautifully rare and archival high-end fashion. Authentic Chanel handbags sit beside Alexander McQueen gowns, and the team offer a bespoke haute couture service.
The Paperback Bookshop
On the corner of Bourke Street and Crossley Street The Paperback Bookshop is proudly old-school. An independent bookstore stocking fiction, non-fiction and travel books, pick up a few paperbacks for bedtime reading.
Designed and made in Melbourne, Blonde Venus showcases designs by Marietta Marlow. Garments are crafted from carefully selected vintage and imported cloths to create contemporary, classically cut pieces.
A traditional Italian restaurant tucked into Crossley Street, find classics including crumbled veal and oxtail at Becco. Al dente, rich ravioli and pillow-soft gnocchi are also foodie-approved choices.