Lygon Street, Carlton

Set in the heart of Melbourne City, Lygon Street brings a taste of Italian life to the bustling cosmopolitan centre of Australia. Spanning the suburbs of Carlton, Lygon Street has been the go-to place for Italian enthusiasts for decades, and there are plenty of places to tuck into European dishes, knock back European wines, and generally soak up the vibrant traditions of Italy.

Lygon Street is also home to the Lygon Street Festa, one of the best-loved and largest outdoor street festivals in the country, bringing parades, stalls, and street food from Europe to the people of Melbourne. There’s also the La Mama Theatre and Courthouse Theatre for some evening entertainment once the pizza and Prosecco has been washed down.

An Italian Market

Lygon Street acts a bit like an Italian market, with numerous delicatessens flaunting their goods for everyone to indulge in. From fresh meat served up on traditional marble counters, to cheese shops packed full of mozzarella and every Italian cheese under the sun, bakeries that boast artisan breads and hark back to yesteryear, shops selling wooden boxes filled with fresh pasta, and wineries stocking Italian labels and prize-winning Prosecco.

A Different Dining Experience

Lygon Street serves up some of the best Italian food in the country, from cutting-edge pizzerias to traditional, intimate venues that have been family-run for numerous years.

As well as contemporary eateries that serve up new takes on pizza, pasta, and pastry dishes, Lygon Stret is also home to the first pizzeria in Australia – a firm favourite amongst visitors and locals alike.

There are plenty of places to soak up the nostalgic atmosphere of Europe, where pasta menus are two or three pages long, and the coffees served are some of the strongest in Australia.

Learn the Ropes

But Lygon Street doesn’t just have to be a passive foodie experience. In fact, you can try your hand at traditional Italian cooking here, too. Enoteca Sileno is a wine bar and grocery store that doubles up as a classroom. Upstairs, visitors can enrol into one-off lessons that teach the ropes of Italian cooking, from beginner classes in pasta making, to masterclasses in the art of Italian flavours.

Gelato and Coffee

Lygon Street wouldn’t be quite the same without its collection of gelato and coffee bars – an Italian must-have. There are plenty of trendy espresso bars serving up tiny drinks to passers-by, while the longest-running gelateria, Casa del Gelato, is tucked neatly away between the folds of Italian history.