They call this Melbourne suburb "the island" because, if you live there, you never leave. Richmond local Kate Oliver shares a few of her favourite spots.
In the beautiful old State Bank building in the heart of Swan St, you'll find Fargo & Co. Shiny, new and popular with the locals, it's open all day, moving effortlessly from a bright and cheerful brunch space to a hopping night spot. You'll catch some of the cooler kids in town here. Go on a Saturday or Sunday between 11am and 2pm for a bottomless brunch [Read: As many mimosas as you can drink] - and stay for a few cocktails on the rooftop. You don't have to book, but it's advisable, especially on the weekend.
LadyBoy Dining + Bar serves up fabulous Thai food in a cool, stripped-back environment. A perfect spot in the middle of the excellent restaurants, cafes and bars on Bridge Rd to relax and share some amazing plates before kicking on to one of the many bars and pubs nearby. You can't go past the Gai Tod as a starter and the twice cooked pork belly for main. Great food, service and selection of drinks at unbelievably reasonable prices. I just love this place. If you're lucky, you might spot the owner's gorgeous dog in the courtyard for a quick fix of puppy love.
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The Mecca of live music in Melbourne (don't tell The Tote…) The Corner Hotel should definitely be on your list for a few drinks and, if you can swing it, a gig (it's not that unusual for tickets to be available on the door). Downstairs is a true old-school pub, serving up schooners of West End Draught to be downed in a sticky booth or while standing around the pool table. Upstairs, the rooftop has recently been refurbished and offers the perfect spot to enjoy a few drinks, snacks, a dance and quality people watching – with the pub drawing a fantastic mix of Melbourne folk.
Whether it's breakfast, lunch or dinner, Laneway Greens on Swan St serves up the quick fix you're after. With a focus on fresh, local produce, this casual canteen offers all-day dining that aims to redefine fast food. The menu features a wide variety of bowls, which are mostly vegetarian and gluten-free, giving you the option to add the protein of your choice – including grass-fed beef, free-range chicken or roast salmon. All the wines are natural, unfiltered and sulphate-free and kept in biodegradable kegs, reducing the amount of glass waste. You'll feel more wholesome just walking through the doors.