Just a 15-minute train ride from Melbourne city, Thornbury is a colourful clash of old-meets-new. Packed with bustling cafes and bars, it's a great spot to book an Airbnb and explore all the area has to offer.
It can be tempting to scope out an entire neighbourhood before you settle in for breakfast lest you commit too soon and find an even better spot just around the corner. Luckily for us, we were saved the hassle thanks to our outstanding Airbnb host, Vina, who assured us that Little Henri was the ultimate spot for a breakfast feast. Conveniently, it also happened to be about 100m from our High St apartment. Little Henri is classic hipster chic, full of upcycled timber and exposed concrete. The menu is interesting and extensive, and the coffee excellent. Don't waste time exploring any further, just settle in and enjoy.
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Thornbury's high street is a living study in gentrification. Hipster barbershops and cafes rub alongside old Thornbury – including the classic Italian bakery Monticello. If you've ever been to Italy, you'll recognise the ornate window display, full of towering iced bigne and trays of cannoli. Monticello has been serving up Italian pastries since before most of its millennial neighbours were born and locals claim their cannoli are the best in Melbourne. They also serve gelato for when the Melbourne weather heats up.
While Monticello is authentically retro, there's no shortage of outfits channelling retro-cool in Thornbury. Street Dogz puts a New York spin on things with their extensive hot dog menu – including the Elvis, which features creamy slaw and french fries, topped with bacon and barbecue sauce. Just up the road, Kustom Burgers also channel that old-school Americana vibe with their supersized burger range, which comes dripping with melted cheese. Their monster shakes are also a sight to behold – order at your peril.
Located in an old petrol station, the Thornbury Picture House is at the heart of Thornbury's social scene. The independent cinema regularly hosts festivals, fundraisers and DJs, as well as screening classic films alongside the latest blockbusters. You don't have to be heading to the movies to enjoy the Picture House's stylish surrounds. It's a popular bar in its own right – with a beer garden set up in the old petrol station forecourt.
- Joanna Hunkin