Where do Aussies go to shop and dine? South Yarra, Melbourne

Home to some of Melbourne’s most coveted shopping, best restaurants and undeniable riverside charm, South Yarra is the perfect place for those who like their stay with a side of luxury. 

We both know that you’re here for the shopping and with so much of it on offer down Chapel Street, it’s important to start your day with the right fuel. SOS Café fits the bill perfectly. With a menu boasting goodies such as tiramisu pancakes with hot maple syrup ristretto and espresso ice-cream (yes, it is as good as it sounds) you’d never guess that this little café espouses a culture of healthy eating, using the best organic produce to create truly nourishing meals. The beautiful presentation of everything from the plates to the interior makes SOS a perfect introduction to this classy neighbourhood.

 

With caffeine and calories under your belt, you’re now ready to immerse yourself in Melbourne’s shopping heaven. Chapel Street runs all the way from South Yarra down to St Kilda, offering ample retail space for even the keenest of shoppers. Whether you’re in the mood for a new piece from one of Australia’s top designers, something from a Melbourne up and comer or a one of a kind vintage piece, you’ll be able to find it all here. In fact, the biggest struggle you’ll face is deciding between items, with boutique after beautiful boutique luring you in with incredible window displays and amazing buys. We love Dinosaur Designs for iconic Australian jewellery, Cylk for perfectly draped Melbourne creations, Matt Blatt for all things homey and Chapel Street Bazaar for eclectic vintage finds.

A day on Chapel Street will no doubt leave you hungry and there are plenty of wonderful venues to entice. Dinner at Da Noi is always a unique experience thanks to the venue’s ever-changing menu and rustic setting. The dishes are rewired each and every day to make the most of what’s in season and whatever’s ripe for the picking at owner Pietro Porcu’s farm. Whatever the dish, Pietro’s Sardinian heritage shines through, making this place both a local favourite and a food critic’s dream. Another Italian well worth a visit is Thirty Eight Chairs. We never quite make it past the handmade pappardelle but we’ve heard the seafood linguine is also to die for. If you don’t make it to dinner you can always book yourself in for one of their famous long lunches, which we find always go down superbly on a lazy, languid Sunday.

 

Should you feel the urge to walk off your indulgences, there’s no better place for it than Fawkner Park. A lush, green oasis in the city’s landscape, the park has ample space for all sorts of outdoor pursuits. You can pace yourself alongside early morning joggers, test out your tennis skills, take littler ones to the playground or set up a picnic blanket under one of the giant elm-trees, making use of the on-site BBQs when hunger calls.

The Yarra Trail is also a great option if you’re feeling active, with the shared path taking you along the river and into the CBD. The views are beautiful and it’s a wonderful way to get around Australia’s most liveable city.

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