For a culinary experience that won’t break the bank, head to Sydney Road, Brunswick. An abundance of affordable & culturally diverse restaurants await.
There’s a reason why this trendy suburb is the place to be on the weekend and it’s not just because it’s home to some of Melbourne’s best bars or live music. Ultimately, it’s the food that keeps everyone coming back to this happening suburb.
Sydney Road is home to Middle Eastern and Mediterranean eateries, shisha lounges and cafes that stretch out as far as the eye can see. So now that we’re got your attention, we thought we should let you know that all of the restaurants listed below also offer takeaway service. So you won’t have to wait for COVID restrictions to lift before enjoying these tasty cuisines!
So let’s dive into some of Sydney Road’s best restaurants:
A1 Bakery has now become one of Brunswick’s biggest heartthrobs. The demand for this delicious authentic Lebanese food has led to the opening of three bakeries across Melbourne since it’s opening in 1992.
The bustling little bakery delivers a range of traditional Lebanese pastries ranging from savoury to sweet. We’re talking Lebanese pizzas, spinach and cheese pies, pickled platters and dips and baklava.
The bakery doubles (or triples) as a restaurant/cafe where you can sit and enjoy (and continue to order) as many delicious goods as you desire. With prices so affordable, it’s hard to avoid the temptation of ordering one of everything! But makes it the perfect restaurant for a larger group or family. A1 Bakery also provides vegan-friendly options, including vegan cheese that can be added to tasty pizzas and pies.
When restrictions ease and it’s possible for Melbournians to dine-in again, we encourage you to visit A1 Bakery to fully experience the bubbling atmosphere that this little bakery brings.
What are you waiting for? We can’t wait to hear your reviews!
This South-East Asian-inspired street food is popularly known for creating signature breakfast meals using an alternative approach. Tom Phat creates food with an exotic twist that sets them apart from your standardised bacon and eggs. Their signature wok-tossed roti omelet with bacon, chives and roasted tomato salsa is the perfect example of this.
The lunch and dinner menu is equally as creative as the breakfast menu and can be paired with signature cocktails to accompany the spicy food. Tom Phat sell a range of dishes from tapas style dishes like satay pumpkin curry puffs, to medium sized plates including crispy soft shell crab & thai fried chicken. When it comes to their larger dishes and sharing plates, a crowd favourite is their chilli jam stir fry & eggplant xo bolognaise. These unique dishes have the right balance of creativity and restraint to perfectly blend the flavours together.
For a romantic breakfast for two, or date night, this really is the perfect destination. What’s more, Tom Phat’s menu also caters for vegetarians and vegans. So you can be sure there’s something for everyone.
Brunswick Mess Hall
If Asian Fusion interests you, Brunswick Mess Hall mustn’t be overlooked!
This trendy restaurant takes you through a grand hallway as soon as you step through the front doors. This leads to a large, open dining area with impressively high ceilings. Plants and vines cover every inch of the exposed brick walls – creating an urban jungle feel, resulting in a truly lively atmosphere.
Impressive banquet-style tables spread out in rows throughout the main room, usually occupied by larger parties. This style of seating is perfect for celebrating special occasions with family & friends. Or, if you don’t mind meeting a new person or two on your night out, this seating arrangement makes it easy to spark conversation with your neighbouring table.
Whether you’re in the mood for trialing multiple tapas-style meals or wanting to indulge in larger share meals, you’re spoilt for choice either way. As always, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are important and Brunswick Mess Hall knows this. That’s why the majority of their menu caters to these dietary needs.
Head to their website to place your order online now!
Vegans, we haven’t forgotten about you. If you’re on the hunt for a vegan restaurant along Sydney Road then take a read of our article, The Best Vegan Restaurants To Visit When in Brunswick for more options on your night out.
Bhang is our go-to for contemporary Indian cuisine. It isn’t exactly on Sydney Road, but is just around the corner from Sydney Road – close enough to warrant being mentioned in this article! Bhang is a restaurant that delivers authentic regional street food from all corners of India – divided amongst small plates, share plates and desserts.
It’s no wonder this restaurant has been a hit, with the brains of duo Sway Quach and Dougal Colam (owners of Tom Phat!) being the masterminds behind this trendy bar/restaurant.
To truly indulge in everything this menu has to offer we recommend sharing (it will allow you to order more off the menu) and pair it with some quality naan bread. These meals include delicious meats that are cooked in a charcoal oven for an extra kick of flavour, to popular vegetarian meals like gobhi korma – charcoal roasted cauliflower covered in almonds, raisins, honey and yoghurt.
Traditional Indian style desserts and signature cocktails are also on offer, with distinct flavours such as rosewater and pistachio syrup.
Head to the website to see what’s on offer in their delivery menu!
The Brunswick Ballroom
The Brunswick Ballroom is the newest and most exciting live performance venue in the country. Boasting an eclectic and exciting curation of artists from indie Melbourne musicians all the way to Opera Australia. Courtney Barnett may grace our stage one night and David Helfgott will enamour us the next. The Ballroom hosts many genres and forms of entertainment including rock, indi, Americana, cabaret comedy and theatre.
The concept for the Brunswick Ballroom was formed in the depths of the Covid-19 lockdown in the winter of 2020. Our aim is to celebrate everything that is special about Melbourne. Fine food and wine, live music, arts and culture. The Ballroom is also a function space and has hosted the AMP awards, galas, wakes, weddings and private parties.
The Brunswick Artists’ Bar, or the “clubhouse” as it’s affectionately known, sits on the ground level of the venue and is a cosy, charming and intimate space welcoming to all locals and wanderers of Sydney Road. Open until late, the Brunswick Artists’ Bar has free entry gigs five nights of the week.
The Ballroom Menu, available in both the Brunswick Ballroom and the Brunswick Artists’ Bar, features a mix of modern European dishes, classics and pub favourites with a twist. Modest portion sizes and a large sharing menu enables friends to sample many of the amazing dishes on offer without putting themselves into a food coma. A few of their most popular dishes include their roadhouse cheeseburger, salt & pepper calamari and grilled saganaki cheese, (among others).
If you’re after delicious food to enjoy on your Saturday night-in, then we suggest trialing a few items off of each of these menus as it’s impossible for us to choose a favourite!
Brunswick is the perfect destination to enjoy live music, upbeat pubs and vibrant multicultural cuisine. Brunswick’s charm is reflected through its strong culture and endless authentic food varieties with an emphasis on Middle Eastern cuisine. If you’re looking to discover this fine cuisine, Sydney Road should definitely be at the top of your list!