You’d be hard pressed to find a Melbournian who doesn’t have a special place in their heart for Carlton. The neighbourhood means many things to many people. On a given day, you’ll find long-time Italian residents stocking up on groceries while first-year uni students cram and caffeinate nearby. Tourists might come looking for old-school spaghetti to slurp down while adventurous eaters arrive to try the area’s newest, most innovative restaurants.
We opened our little shop on Faraday St, Carlton in 2013, and we’ve loved being part of the area’s super special community since then. Our team members have spent a lot of time chatting to people through our front window, and exploring Carlton on lunch breaks, after hours and days off.
Here is a list of some of our favourite places to visit next time you’re in this colourful, vibrant, ever-evolving neck of the woods.
Baker D. Chirico
Located right next door to Market Lane on Faraday St, Baker D. Chirico is your go-to for fresh and delicious baked goods, from perfectly spiced hot cross buns in April to round, fluffy challahs in September. Everything they make tastes good with a Market Lane filter coffee or flat white, but the ultimate coffee companion would have to be one of their famous bomboloni. Heaven!
178 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053
Carlton Wine Room
A lovely spot for a romantic meal or an intimate catch-up with friends. This neighbourhood bistro and bar serves delicious, generous dishes that pair beautifully with everything on their extensive wine list.
172-174 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053
One of Melbourne’s most special and beloved independent cinemas, Cinema Nova is a great place to grab a home-made choc-top and a glass of wine, watch that Oscar-bait film everyone’s been talking about, and wonder why you don’t switch off Netflix and go see movies at the movies more often.
380 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Entering Di Stasio will make you feel like you’ve wandered out of Melbourne’s Little Italy and straight into the boot-shaped country itself. Follow the gravel path into a courtyard with a 17th century Italian stone fountain bubbling, and friendly staff waiting to serve you delicious pizza. The entire menu is excellent, but we like to keep it simple and enjoy their perfect margherita.
224 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053
With a pizza restaurant across the street from Market Lane, serving fresh ingredients on thin, crispy bases, and a delicatessen on Lygon St selling cheese, meats and dried pasta, DOC has you covered for tasty, authentic Italian food to eat on-site or to take home and cook in your own kitchen.
295 Drummond St, Carlton VIC 3053
Donati's Fine Meats
Leo Donati has been working as a butcher in Carlton since the 1960s. His Italian-style butcher shop serves up high quality meat with extremely friendly service and, more often than not, gorgeous opera music playing in the background.
402 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Ima Project Café
A breakfast queue that is well worth standing in! Ima Project Café offers delicious Japanese food, including a fantastic teishoku (a set meal of fish, rice, miso soup and pickles).
169 Elgin St, Carlton VIC 3053
King and Godfree
A great spot for an after-work drink. Sit inside the 150+ year old grocery store for a quiet glass of wine, or head up and join the crowds at Johnny’s Green Room on the rooftop to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun set over the Melbourne skyline.
293/297 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Chinese-inspired dishes that draw on Thai and Malaysian influences as well, Lagoon Dining offers small and large dishes alongside a creative cocktail menu and an inspired wine list.
263 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Don’t let the line down the block deter you – it always moves quickly and trust us, this gelateria is worth the wait. Pidapipó makes its gelato from scratch on-site using fresh, seasonal ingredients. We love the banana milk flavour, but the pistachio is also sensational, and if you manage to resist the hot Nutella or whipped cream toppings, you’re stronger willed than we are!
299 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
A local Carlton fixture since 1969, Readings is an independent bookshop whose window display will never fail to lure you inside with the promise of your next great read. This beloved bookshop has proved its staying power long after other, multinational chain bookshops lost their Carlton foothold. The secret? An incredible selection of books, a fantastic line-up of events and live readings, and a team of well-read and knowledgeable staff members who can point you in the direction of any author or genre you’re after.
309 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
Market Lane Coffee
Don’t forget, we’re here too! Stop by after you’re done exploring the neighbourhood for a freshly brewed coffee from James and our Carlton shop team. If you’re looking for beans for home, tell our baristas what you like and how you brew your coffee, and they’ll be happy to recommend something delicious to take home with you at the end of your long (and fruitful) Carlton day!
176 Faraday St, Carlton VIC 3053
Explore our locations