Any Melburnian knows that the Brunswick/Fitzroy area is the place to live and breathe in if you’re just too trendily hip for society. Brunswick St is unique in its eclectic mix of dining options, craft shops, quirky shops and its inhabitants who are too hipster for life
It was quite interesting to walk down the “less cool” side of Brunswick St (south of Johnston St). There was still a wide variety of cuisine available: Italian, Spanish, Mexican, a confused halal Italian pizzeria, African, a French bistro and an assortment of cafes. High-brow diners beware, there is no haute cuisine in sight, which is good for me, because most things were relatively inexpensive! Clearly, the people who frequent Brunswick St are used to inexpensive, good quality, food (with vegan options of course).
Taking in all the smells of coffee, hearty food, old clothes, the questionable nose-wrinkling scents, and seeing all the not quite perfect fixtures in restaurants and shops gave the street a natural yet trendy vibe. The variety of people (who were mostly so nice!) and shopfronts made the street welcoming and exciting simultaneously. Despite not completely identifying culturally with the street, I felt included and also tempted to buy and taste more than my bank balance allowed!
I can now see how migrant cuisine has impacted the street and how varied the foodscape is. We happened across a host of restaurants trying to take a cool/innovative slant on a cuisine, like Smith and Daughters, with a clearly non-Spanish name, yet serving an entirely Spanish/Latin American menu, and those searching for an “authentic essence in a cuisine [which] doesn’t exist”1 because of the constant evolution of cuisine!
1Heldke, L., 2003. Exotic appetites. New York and London: Routledge.