Melbourne laneways: a guide to Degraves Street

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.

Busy city laneway with several people walking along the street and people sitting at outdoor tables.

Degraves Street is a quintessential Melbourne laneway

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.

Sweet things

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, or one of Chocamama’s treats. Across the street, recently-opened Doughnut Time is a pastry-lovers dream. Bring a few boxes back to the office to be the instant favourite.

Six cupcakes in a box

Little Cupcakes

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.

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.

Shimmy into Sea Salt Fish and Sushi Bar for takeaway-friendly meals. A seafood-lover’s delight, choose an easy pack for one or mix-and-match skewers, sashimi and sides.

A table with heaps of food on it including a lot of sushi, fish and chips and other fish dishes

Sea Salt Fish and Sushi Bar

 

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.

Shopping

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.

Photo of a shop window and doorway.

Clementines

Other shops to add to the hit-list include jeweller Sine Qua Non and shoe shop Sole Devotion.