A vibrant hotspot loved by tourists and locals alike, Degraves Street is a quintessential Melbourne laneway.
Here, you will find many things the locals hold dear: street art, year-round alfresco dining, quirky boutiques and a buzzing atmosphere.
Take some time to explore the explosion of tiny shops, hole-in-the wall cafes and European-style restaurants crammed along its hundred-metre length. Here are five things you need to know for your next visit.
Why it’s 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 then built in 1955, connecting Flinders Street station seamlessly to the laneway itself. Take a quick detour into its subterranean depths and discover an abundance of off-beat shops and artworks.
An emporium of 3pm treats, Waffle On is conveniently located if you’ve got a sugar itch. Located at the entrance to Campbell Arcade, try its famous warm waffles with toppings including Nutella, ice-cream and strawberries.
For a return to childhood, pick up a tasty morsel from Little Cupcakes – and bring a few boxes back to the office to be the instant favourite.
Coffee, glorious coffee
There’s certainly no shortage of coffee along Degraves Street. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a shop that doesn’t serve up any sort of caffeinated drink. Degraves Espresso, one of the longest-serving cafes in the laneway, is a sure bet. Its outside Parisian-style tables, with heaters for the colder weather, are busy all year round. Newer kid on the block is Tulip Coffee, which crafts flat whites and the like from locally-roasted beans and serves fresh pastries.
Restaurants and eateries
RMB Café Bar is a reliable all-day dining option. Its breakfasts, including Spanish eggs and pancakes with a variety of choose-your-own toppings, will help put a spring in your step.
Organic, vegetarian and vegan food has a home at The Organic Food and Wine Deli. Gluten-free, wheat-free and other dietary-friendly lunch options include pies, soups, sandwiches and salads.
If you’re looking for a spot of dinner, try The Quarter or Il Tempo for something more substantial or head to Metro Burgers, a hole-in-the-wall cafe with a vintage, American diner-style interior. The Metro Supreme, with a beef patty, tomato relish, cooked onion, grilled pineapple, cheese, balsamic glaze, lettuce, tomato and pickles, is a good place to start.
Home to handmade Victorian produce and products, everything in Clementine’s is charmingly local. Street-bag brand Crumpler is a tourist must-visit, while you can pick up vintage-style leather journals and stationary at Il Papiro.
Around the corner
City Hatters is worth a look whether you’re a mad on hats or not – it’s been covering the heads of Melburnians from its shop beneath the Flinders Street Station clocks since 1910.