Richmond is a suburb lying to the east of Melbourne's City Centre. The suburb is interesting because of its varied demographics, discount shopping, and cheap food and drink.
North Richmond, centered on Victoria Street, is also known as Little Saigon or Little Vietnam for its huge Vietnamese community, and its numerous Vietnamese restaurants, bakeries and Asian grocers. Increasingly, there are also restaurants offering food of other ethnic groups, such as Thai and Korean.
South Richmond is well known for its low price fashion - along Bridge Road - and other wholesale outlets, mostly found along Swan Street.
Lying just to the east of the City Center, Richmond can be easily accessed by tram, train and road. As far as public transport is concerned, Richmond lies within Zone 1 of Melbourne's two fare zone structure. See Melbourne | Get around section on explanation of the zone system and fares.
The easiest way to get to Richmond as all main roads in the suburb, namely Victoria, Bridge, Swan and Church are served by trams.
Victoria Street in North Richmond is served by trams 24 and 109. Tram 24 can be caught along La Trobe Street while tram 109 can be caught along Collins Street in the City Center.
Bridge Road is served by trams 48 and 75. Both can be caught along Flinders Street in the City Center.
Swan Street in the southern part of Richmond is served by tram 70 which can also be caught along Flinders Street in the City Center.
Church Street is the main north-south road in Richmond and is served by tram 78 and 79. Both trams start at the intersection between Victoria Street and Church Street in North Richmond and travel southwards along Church Street which then becomes Chapel Street, with tram 78 ending at Prahran and tram 79 continuing a little further to St Kilda. They do not go into the City Center.
Trains may be faster but they do not bring you to the heart of Richmond, mostly skirting the western edge of the suburb. The exception is in the southern part of Richmond where trains on the Belgrave, Lilydale and Glen Waverly lines run parallel to Swan Street, which is served by Richmond (all trains stop here), East Richmond (which most trains skip) and Burnley stations (also skipped by many trains). North Richmond is served by North Richmond station which is accessed from Victoria Street, whereas Bridge Road can be reached from West Richmond station. While the stations are on both the Epping and Hurstbridge lines, only the Epping trains stop at both stations.
Bridge Road, Richmond is most well known for its abundance of clothing factory outlets, which makes it a popular tourist attraction. There are also many stores of up-and-coming local fashion designers.
Watch a game of Australian Rules Football (AFL) in Winter between late March and September, or cricket in the Summer months at the MCG. The MCG is located in Yarra Park, between Richmond and East Melbourne.
Victoria Street in North Richmond contains a strip of Vietnamese restaurants and shops.
Rowena Parade Corner Store, 44 Rowena Parade. Located between Richmond Station and Bridge Road, this is a hidden away breakfast/lunch place, frequented by locals. It aims to recreate the community focused cafés in Europe. They offer seasonal foods for breakfast and lunch. Dishes start at $8 for breakfast and $12 for lunch. Good atmosphere, good coffee, and freshly prepared quality food, make this place a favourite with locals. If the seating is full in the front of the store, walk through the kitchen to more tables out the back and in the garden!
Iris and the Secret Squirrel, 233 Swan St. Tiny cafe with side alley and back garden seating. Speciality is "breakfast dumplings" but also offers more traditional fare.
Most eateries in Richmond have something vegetarian on the menu. Here are some options for exclusively vegetarian restaurants.
The Loving Hut, Shop 10, 242 Victoria Street. Tel: 61-3-94278916. International dishes from Europe and Asia. Meat, alcohol and smoking free zone, this place offers cheap, tasty and healthy meals. Open lunch and dinner every day except Monday.
Tofu Shop, 78 Bridge Rd. Tel: 61-3-94296204. This little gem has been in operation for around 25 years. They make their own tofu, and serve a range of vegetarian main courses, as well as deserts. A plate for 2 people to share costs $23 and a takeaway box for 1 person is $11. The seating inside is limited to benches facing the wall and window. Eat in or Takeaway.
Victoria Street in North Richmond is virtually synonymous with Vietnamese food. Head here for the best pho (rice noodle soup with beef or chicken), com tam (pork ribs with broken rice) and other delicious dishes.
Van Van Vietnamese Restaurant, 160 Victoria Street. Tel: 61-3-94277068. Complete menu with everything you could want from Vietnamese food. Most popular are the noodles and rice dishes. Individual dishes start at $8.
Pho Dzung, 208 Victoria Street, Tel: +61-3-94270292. Strictly for noodle lovers because they do not serve anything else. But rest assured, the pho dac biet (special beef noodle soup, complete with tripe and other innards) and others on offer are excellent.
Quan 88 88 Victoria St, tidy and simple - try the chilli eggplant stuffed prawns - Delicious!
It is said that Richmond has a pub on every corner and it very nearly does! There are heaps of fantastic places, something for every taste and budget. Here are a few the locals like:
All Nations Hotel 64 Lennox St. Can be a bit hard to find, (head south off Vic St or north from Bridge Road), but well worth the effort. Fabulous bar menu, friendly staff, cosy snug bar and airy beer garden. The sort of pub where everyone knows your name. Open til 11pm every night.
Collection Bridge Road. Cocktail bar with an impressive selection of drinks and has Sunday afternoon jazz sessions. Not much room outside but the drinks are tasty.
The Corner Hotel Swan St. Deep grungey hole of Richmond with band room and fabulous rooftop bar. If the band is worth seeing, they will play at the Corner.
9T4 94 Swan St. Place to go once the Corner across the road serves last drinks. Smallish but heaps of atmosphere and bands on weekends.
Terminus Victoria St, technically Abbotsford and a wee way away from everything else but a 'must' drink location. Grungey, retro, with a bistro, pool room plus an enormous beer and rooftop garden, the Termi is the essential final stop on any Richmond pub crawl.
7 grams 505 Church Street, Richmond, tel 9429 8505. For a 'best in show' coffee (check out the shelves housing their trophies, including the 2006 Pure Latte Art winner and 2007 Barista of the Year finalist). Despite these grand accolades, the cafe itself is unprententious, with an understated decor and a row of black-topped, chrome-legged stools along a mirror bar. It's an all Greek family affair, with the three Haralambopoulos brothers running the cafe, while their mother Georgia helps out behind the scenes. My latte is served to me with a sharply defined rosetta on top, indicating that every factor of the coffee-making process has been perfected. my coffee almost looks too pretty to drink but I do, and the brews packs a solid afternoon punch that helps me endure the rush of crowds shopping on Bridge Road, Richmond.
Scarlett Lounge, 174 Burnley St (Right near the corner of Bridge and Burnley), ☎ 94280230. A hidden Mecca in Richmond. Moroccan themed night spot with dance floor. Very popular with amazing atmosphere.edit
Royston Hotel, 12 River Street (Near Bridge Rd and Burnley St), . 3-12pm. Great local microbrewery beers, great pub food and quiet atmosphere. Don't bother with the restaurant section out back, just stick to the front bar. The chips are amazing value and Monday/Tuesday is local's night for slightly cheaper meals ($17-20). Avoid on Wednesdays unless you have a trivia booking or you may not find a seat.$10-25. edit
Mountain Goat, Corner North & Clark St (Opposite the Royston Hotel), . 5pm+. Small brewery with a cool open-space bar. Open Wed/Fri they offer their range of beers plus speciality batches. Food consists of pizzas. Free brewery tours Wed 6:30pm with no need to book for groups less than 4. Bike friendly but can get very crowded on Fridays.edit
The London, 238 Lennox st (On Lennox Street, between Swan St. and Bridge Rd.), ☎ (03) 9428 6894, . 11am - Late. The London is a large tavern, with lots of room to sit down and have a drink, or enjoy a high quality pub meal. Show sports on various channels. Can be very crowded during a big sporting event, and before and after an AFL match at the MCG.edit
Andre's Mews, 89 Church Street. Tel: 03 9428 8859. Luxurious 1 & 2 bedroom apartments available with own private bathrooms, internet, air conditioning/heating, TV, etc. Ideally located within an easy walk or tram ride to these shops, MCG, Rod Laver Arena. The city is located less than 4km's.