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Melbourne laneways: a guide to Degraves Street

Degraves Street is an iconic Melbourne laneway, loved equally by tourists and locals alike. Take some time out to explore its tiny shops, hole-in-the-wall cafes and Euro-style restaurants.

A city laneway lit up at night

Degraves Street

Why is it called Degraves Street?

The street is named after pioneering merchants William and Charles Degraves, who built a steam-driven flour mill on the site in 1851. The Degraves underpass Campbell Arcade was built in 1955, connecting Flinders Street station to the laneway. You can still take a quick detour into its underground to this day. Head down and discover off-beat shops like Wax Museum Records and the teeny tiny Cup of Truth.

Coffee and treats

For a return to childhood, pick up a tasty morsel from Little Cupcakes. The tiny teddy topped treats are almost too cute to eat. And there’s certainly no shortage of coffee along Degraves Street. Degraves Espresso, one of the longest-serving cafes in the laneway, is a sure bet. Tulip Coffee is a classic hole-in-the-wall, artfully decked out in pale pink, with a few tiny tables. Take your coffee and a croissant to go.

Laneway shopping

Quirky shoe fiends Fluevog are open for trade in their funky corner shop, fitted out with neon signs and eclectic designs. The latest collab features chic winter boots by Anna Sui, with comfy insoles made from 20% recycled materials. You can even grab a vegan ‘leather’ pair and tread around on 100% recycled rubber soles.

Home to handmade Victorian produce and products, everything in Clementine’s is charmingly local. Snap a pic with the orange Vespa on your way out to make your visit even more iconic. Then get crafty when you pick up vintage-style leather journals and stationery at Il Papiro. Only one customer can head in at a time though, which must make this the most exclusive stationery store in town.

Another shop to add to the hit-list is jeweller Sine Qua Non, which has reopened for two customers at a time. Or call ahead for your own private shopping session! And last but not least, Melbourne’s own Crumpler is open daily from 10am – 4pm. If you’re keen to get out and explore your own backyard in the next few months, kit yourself out with bags from this local brand before heading off.

An orange scooter outside a store

Clementine’s

Dine-in delights

The Quarter on Degraves is a classic laneway spot that’s had a little refurb during the downtime. Get cosy under the warming heaters for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The fairy floss topped sticky date is first on our sweet tooth agenda. If you’re looking for a hearty meal, head to Metro Burgers. This hole-in-the-wall cafe has a vintage, American diner-style interior and classic burgs for every taste. They’ve reopened with some very appetizing specials too – including a six buck meal combo!

Having a casual meal out at Xpressomondo is as easy as booking through google – the poached eggs on silky eggplant looks real good right now. RMB and Il Tempo are back and trading too. Give them a call to line up a spectacular meal.

Want more? Head around the corner.

Take a stroll to rediscover the quirks of Flinders Street. Neon signed City Hatters is worth a look whether you’re mad on hats or not. Its been lighting up beneath the Flinders Street Station clocks since 1910. Then once you’ve worked up an appetite, stop for a meal at family-run Indian restaurant Flora. Now open for walk-ins, you can tuck into one of many combos from the daily specials board. Or take the road less travelled to chic, cafe fuelled Flinders lane. There you’ll find lofty coffee at Journal, virtuous treats from Seedling, OTT smoothies at Laneway Greens and more.

The exterior of a shop at night with a large red neon sign

City Hatters

Due to current circumstances, businesses may close or change hours at short notice. Check with individual venues before visiting.