Time there half/full day
Time to visit Anytime but Monday is half price at Nova
Getting around walk
Getting there Train: Parliament /Tram: 1, 86
Carlton is the perfect spot for a date, with classy bars and restaurants that have great atmosphere and plenty of activities for two or more. The area is well known for its Italian flair and this fully comes to life on Lygon Street, which is where Melbourne’s famous cafe culture got started. Now, the area hosts some of the cities best parks, museums, galleries, cinemas, food and drinking spots and can find them all on here on this guide to Carlton. So, find a date or a mate and get on down to Carlton town.
The Carlton Gardens is a perfect spot for a picnic because of it’s rolling green grass, bbq’s, playgrounds, fountains, ponds, skate spots, basketball/tennis courts and it’s unparalleled architecture within the city. In the middle of the gardens is the Royal Exhibition Building, inspired by the duomo in Florence, Italy, juxtaposed with the post-modernist design of the Melbourne Museum, which boasts the world’s largest IMAX Theatre screen. The Royal Exhibition Building was built for the 1880 World Expo and then in 1889 the Expo helped to build the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Be sure to check the weather first because if it’s sunny you could easily spend half a day in the gardens and if it’s not you could see something at IMAX or Melbourne Museum | Carlton St, Carlton
One of the best cinemas in the city, projecting Arthouse to the most popular and unpopular movies in the world. Monday’s are half price and there are concession discounts. Check out the timetable here and be sure to grab some popcorn and a cold one for your next amazing film. www.cinemanova.com.au | 380 Lygon St, Carlton
DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar
DOC Pizza is Italian simplicity at its best. This cozy restaurant takes no booking, so just roll up and ask for a table or take it away because there are plenty of nice spot to enjoy the thin, Naples style pizza. The wine and antipasti boards are divine so if you have the time you should sit in and unwind. www.docgroup.net | 295 Drummond St, Carlton | 03 9347 2998
If you are on a budget, there is no better place to get bang for your buck than Zikya. We highly recommend the Chicken Karahi, serving two for under $20. They also have a bain marie with plates going for $8 for two curries and rice. It’s not the nicest place to eat but the food is next level and the staff are super friendly.
This place feels like the real Italian Trattoria experience. Squeeze into this cozy space, drink your red wine out of a latte glass and try one of Melbourne’s best pizzas. The base is obviously hand rolled because of their oval shape and their toppings are deliciously simple as all Italian should be. 19 Lincoln Square, Carlton
Pidapipo might be home to Melbourne’s best ice-cream and for that we have to thank Lisa Valmorbida. Before starting Pidapipo she enrolled at Carpigiani Gelato University in Bologna, Italy to learn how to make gelato from the best. Now, we better the fruit of that hard work in a funky little Lygon Street location. The line can be long but it’s worth the wait. www.pidapipo.com | 299 Lygon St, Carlton
Where print lives on! Readings now has seven stores across Melbourne but the Lygon Street location was the first, established in 1969. You can always find a great read here and the selection of new vinyl records is very impressive. Great place to spend some time while you wait for your film at Cinema Nova to start. www.readings.com.au | 309 Lygon St, Carlton
Leonardo's Pizza Palace
On the south side of the Yarra River they have Leonard’s House of Love and on the north side they give us Leonardo’s Pizza Palace which serves up some of the best pizza in town. Original, this place was Da Salvatore Pizza by the Metre, which opened in 1959. Leonardo’s has kept some of the OG Italian vibes but have just jazzed it up a little. With DJs spinning tunes on the regular this place is great for a catch up with M8s or a date. www.leonardospizzapalace.com.au | 29 Grattan St, Carlton