Little Italy, a 5 minute walk from college. I mean, what could be better when the dining hall food isn't up to par? Or you're craving a good coffee or gelato?
As the first area of Melbourne to promote eating outdoors with tables and chairs on the footpaths, walking around is a bit of a fun challenge. There must be 100 cafes waiting for you to sit down and order a pizza and flat white (latte with less foam). It's beautiful on a warm evening when families and stylist hipster young couples are out enjoying the scenery. There are lots of fashionable clothing and shoe stores mixed into the eateries, so it's great to go eat a huge pasta dish and head off shopping. There are also tons of liquor stores and a great supermarket!!
So far, my favorite places to eat there are Grill'd which is a GREAT burger joint! As a vegetarian, I often don't enjoy going out to burger night with the friends, but this place has 3 different veggo options! It's amazing, and their chips/dips...boy don't even get me started. It's a few steps up from a McD's, and in the perfect price range of a good dinner - $11 for a yum meal! Then we all go to Brunetti's afterwards. Let me see how I can properly give this place justice...it's a cafe with every sort of pastry/bread/coffee/gelati you could possibly desire. It's perfect. You walk in surrounded by refrigerators of cakes and puff pastry towers onto the macaroon case, right up to the gourmet chocolate counter. Then you walk past the mini desserts, onto the tortes, danishes, and finally past traditional Italian desserts like canolis and lobster tails. The, down the ramp only to find the coffee counter/bar, and prepared sandwiches/salads/flatbreads and finally you will arrive at the gelati counter. This place is amazing and always busy! Somehow we always end up here; if it's hot out - we get gelati, if it's cold out we get a cocoa and biscuit. Truly amazing. As the flagship location, it's great to have it so close by, but there are other satellite locations throughout Melbourne.
Also on Melbourne is a really cute Old Fashioned Lolly Shop (candy store)...they have almost every type of candy you could imagine including American stuff, which is nice.
That's enough of the food talk for now...
There are a couple of other really cool shops on Lygon Street - Ishka, which is all middle east inspired homegoods, and another adorable tea/spice shop. There is of course, no shortage of Italian markets up and down the street filled with cheeses, meats, and teas. Really, it's spoiling to have it so close.