Laneways you’ve never heard of: Katherine Place

If you walked down this lane a few years ago, you’ll be amazed by its recent transformation. It’s gone from drab to green, and is now a destination rather than just a way to get from A to B. Discover why Katherine Place is suddenly so hot right now.

The lowdown

Running between Flinders Street and Flinders Lane in the CBD’s west end, Katherine Place was a somewhat soulless, modern lane. Until recently, that is. A handful of cool new shops started injecting a bit of interest a few years ago. Then everything changed when it became one of a handful of lanes transformed by the Green Your Laneway pilot program in 2017.

Mature trees were planted, as well as creeping figs that quickly began covering the bare archways. Food businesses were given planter pots and window boxes to add more life and colour. Then more, even cooler businesses started moving in, including a wine bar and the offshoot of a Hardware Street cafe favourite. Sure signs that this laneway’s ugly duckling days are over.

A large archway as part of a building leading into a laneway

Katherine Place

Thataboy

Whether you’re into ballsy reds, crisp whites, dusky rosés, sparkling or even cheeky dessert wines, Thataboy has something to pique your interest. There are craft beers and classic cocktails for non-wine types too, and everyone can keep things nice with cheese, charcuterie and snacks. Bonus! You can bring food in from this smart wine bar’s laneway neighbours, and there are monthly wine tastings too. Drop by for the next one on Thursday 13 June at 5pm.

T by LuxBite

Combining classic European technique with Asian-Australian pop culture, T by LuxBite make sweet treats that look and taste equally amazing. There are candy-coloured macarons in flavours like Early Grey and blackcurrent, and pandan and coconut. Celebration cakes and petite creations both ranging from exquisite to fun – like the Lolly Bag Cake. Heavenly pastries, especially croissants, including the Lava Salted Egg ‘Bo Lo Baau’. Don’t just read about it – go look, buy and bliss out!

Five and Dime Bagel

Want a bagel like the best you ever had in New York? Five and Dime Bagel has got it. American Zev Forman opened his original bagelry on Katherine Place in 2014 because he missed those circles of satisfaction from back home. Watch the traditional three-day process of long, cold fermentation, boiling then baking on wooden boards, while biting into the end result. Come back for a bialy (like a bagel but with an indentation rather than a hole) or New York deli-style sandwich.

Person holding half a bagel with corned beef, cheese and sauerkraut inside. Pickle and chips on the side of the plate.

Corned Beef Bagel. Photo by: Kate Shanasy via Five and Dime Bagels

Delhi Streets

Authentic Indian market food comes to the heart of Melbourne at Delhi Streets. You can’t go past the classic, good value thali plates. They’re loaded with curry, rice, naan, pappadum and pickles, from the $13 veg option to the fancy $16 goat or Maharajah special. You’ll have loose change leftover – but maybe not the tummy space – for a yummy Indian sweet or two.

Bibimbap

No prizes for guessing what’s on the menu here: nothing but that classic Korean dish of rice plus, plus, plus. Bibimbap does several takes, including the classic with bulgogi beef, and the Gym Snob with Korean barbecue chicken. Or choose your own adventure: a protein, like tofu or pork belly, and a sauce, such as spicy Red Devil. Maybe add an extra too, like boiled egg or kimchi.

Stand Up Cafe

For coffee on the go, Stand Up Cafe makes perfect sense. Options are streamlined, but every cup is made from quality Seven Seeds beans, and there are a few munchies too. While you’re there, pick up a handmade moisturising and exfoliating body scrub made from coffee grounds. There’s no room for waste here.

A large black building on a laneway with a colourful mural on the side

Stand Up cafe

The Hardware Societe

After a decade as one of Hardware Street’s most popular cafes, The Hardware Societe has opened another, larger venue on Katherine Place. So now you have a much better chance of getting a table, from breakfast through lunch. This big sister venue is also open through to dinner on Fridays, but there’s always nice drinkies on offer. Go on, get a Bellini with those weekend brunch baked eggs!