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Melbourne : Footscray
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Footscray is an inner-city suburb a few kilometres west of Melbourne's CBD.


Long a working class area due to its close proximity to the factories and warehouses of Melbourne's nearby industrial centre, it is also home to a large concentration of the city's Vietnamese population and increasingly a hub for the growing East African community, home to many immigrants from Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea.

Footscray is also notable as the setting of Russell Crowe's breakout 1992 film Romper Stomper, which dealt with a fictional gang of neo-nazi skinheads and their battle with the Vietnamese immigrants.

Footscray is affectionately known by some Melbourne residents as "Footsy", "Footscrazy" and "Footscary".

Get in[edit]

Footscray Station is only 3 stops from Southern Cross Station (in Melbourne's CBD) on the Werribee, Williamstown, Sunbury and Watergardens lines. If the train is not travelling via the City Loop, it is only a 6 minute train ride and most trains even run express through the station before it, South Kensington.

A wide off road bike path connects the Docklands to Footscray along Footscray Road, riders should be aware the path crosses several dangerous trucks routes, a truck killed a rider on this route in 2010.

See[edit][add listing]

Forty per cent of Footscray's residents were born outside Australia, hailing from 135 countries and speaking more than 80 languages. This ethnic diversity has fostered a vital street culture like no other in Melbourne.

Visit the Footscray Community Arts Centre, for visual art exibitions, music, theatre shows or a latte on the green lawns. In summer outdoor film screenings take place on the banks of the Maribyrnong River.

A $170,000 Indigenous rock art installation broke thru the sidewalks at Footscray Mall in September 2013, if the temperature raises above 26 degrees the boulders will emit mist.

Footscray's historic Drill Hall is home of the world famous Snuff Puppets.

Footscray Park is one of the largest and most intact examples of an Edwardian park in Australia. Located on the south bank of the Maribyrnong River.

The Heavenly Queen Temple is located in wetlands next to the Maribyrnong River and features a 16 meter high statue. - 20 Joseph Road Footscray.

  • Saigon Welcome Arch, Leeds St Footscray. The arch features a pair of Vietnamese Lac Birds alongside other motifs that resonate with Vietnamese culture such as the shell of the turtle, bronze drum, the boat and the egg.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • The St Jerome's Laneway Festival is an international music festival attended by thousands every year in February. In 2013, over 10,000[15] people attended the one day event.
  • Feasting in Footscray - the annual rickshaw run, is the craziest way to sample authentic Vietnamese food and culture.
  • Maribyrnong River. is a beautiful river that borders Footscray on one side, with the other being Flemington. Accessible through Footscray Park, the river has boatside facilities where one can launch a kayak or canoe. Perfect for sunny days, picnics, bike riding and walks through the well maintained footpaths. Absolutely do not visit late at night.  edit
  • Lunar New Year Festival, Central Footscray, [1]. 10.00am – 10.00pm. Chinese New Year street celebration featuring cultural performances and demonstrations, traditional Lion dances, food stalls, traders market place and carnival rides. An annual event you don’t want to miss. Fireworks at 9.45pm free.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Downtown Footscray has a great community feel, with a dozen streets filled with small businesses.

The Footscray Market is a fresh produce and seafood market, catering particularly to the various ethnicities and local restaurants. The Little Saigon Market was burnt down in 2016 and will be rebuilt.

There are also a number of interesting shops selling traditional African clothing, art and hair products.

Several large, over stocked $2 style shops, packed with weird Chinese imports, cheap plastic toys and household goods.

  • Savers - The Recycle Superstore, 33 Albert St Footscray (opposite Footscray Plaza Shopping Centre), 9689 6811, [2]. Mon - Wed 9am – 7pm Thur - Fri 9am – 9pm Sat 9am – 6pm Sun 10am – 6pm. Massive Op Shop style store. Savers is owned by William Ellison, a reclusive multimillionaire from Seattle, who receives 97% of profits, whilst 3% or profits goes to charity.  edit
  • Cheaper Buy Miles, 101 Nicholson St (Footscray Mall, Cnr Chambers Lane), (03)9362 7353, [3]. Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm Sat 9am-5pm Sun 11am-4pm. A Footscray institution for 20 years, a unique discount store selling groceries, gourmet products ,health and organics, and almost anything that's cheap  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Like Victoria Street in Richmond, Hopkins Street running through the heart of Footscray is home to a number of very cheap Vietnamese restaurants and noodle shops.

The area centered around the Footscray Hub has become a Little Ethiopia of sorts, and Nicholson Street in particular is lined with African cafes and restaurants, mostly serving traditional Habesha cuisine (that of Ethiopia and Eritrea), characterized by stews and curries dished up on layers of flat bread called injera. Very tasty and ridiculously cheap.

Victoria St Seddon, often consider a part of Footscray, has over 5 cafes, in 2013 Common Galaxia opened and it serves Scandinavian open sandwiches on designer tables. [16]

  • Aangan, 559 Barkly Street, Footscray (1km west of central Footscray), 9396 1359, [4]. 5:30-10:30 seven nights a week - plus Lunch 12:30 - 3pm (Friday - Sunday). Award winning, very popular, North Indian, Delhi style cuisine. $25 main with beer.  edit
  • African Town Cafe - 161 Nicholson Street - More Ethiopian cuisine, while local regulars pop in and out for a chat over excellent $2 Ethiopian coffee. All main courses $10.
  • Cafe Lalibela - 91 Irving Street - Probably the best Ethiopian cuisine in the area, and not a main course over $12. Served in the traditional custom of sharing, the food is poured on layers of injera (flat, sour bread) covering one big plate to be shared by all at the table.
  • Footscray Milking Station, 35 Bunbury St, Footscray VIC 3011 (one block from the east side of footscray station). 7am-3pm. Groove cafe with outdoor seating on a residential street lined with huge streets, great coffee.  edit
  • Guerilla Espresso, Irving Street Footscray (Opposite Footscray Station, part of Footscray Market), 99954054, [5]. 6am-4pm, closed Sunday. Hole-in-the-wall with Footscray's BEST coffee, Excellent Truffle Toasties. Winner of ‘best small cafe’ in The Age Good Cafe Guide 2014 awards.  edit
  • Hao Phong, 136 Hopkins St, Footscray VIC 3011, 9689 8373, [6]. Closed by the Health Department in early 2014 after a Salmonella outbreak.  edit
  • Lentil as Anything - 233 Barkly St Footscray - A pay as you feel vegetarian restaurant. Whatever you do end up paying for your meal goes to a range of services that help new migrants, refugees, people with disabilities and the long-term unemployed.
  • Olympic Doughnuts - Footscray railway station - The original historic old caravan was destroyed in 2014 and replaced with a cement box, but the donuts are still the best in the world.
  • Ovest Pizzeria, 572 Barkly Street, West Footscray (1km west of central Footscray). Dinner Tuesday to Sunday from late January 2015, with lunch a possibility in future.. Chef Ben Sisley from St Kilda's legendary Mr Woof, partners with Alex Rogers owner of Seddon's Sourdough Kitchen. Interior designed by Architects Mike & Louisa Macleod. This Pizzeria is not connected to Footscray Hospital's Ovest cafeteria.  edit
  • 8bit., 8 Droop St Footscray, 9687 8838, [7]. 11-11, 7 daz a weak. great burgers and awesome shakes, very buzy and small, staff friendly, music loud, 1980's video games, street art decor  edit
  • Rudimentary, 16-20 Leeds St, Footscray (Corner Donald St), [8]. Tue-Fri 7am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am – 4pm. Opened in March 2015, cafe and garden. Fruit, veggies and herbs grown in a liberated car park are served up converted shippings contianers. cup of tea $4.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • The Dancing Dog Cafe, 42 Albert Street Footscray, [9]. Footscray's only 'alternative venue'. Often hosts live music and other events. Open late at the weekends  edit
  • The Station Hotel [17] - 59 Napier St Footscray - Opposite the Town Hall. Casual bar, indoor and outdoor seating, coffee. One of the "Top five places to eat steak" as judged by the The Age Good Food Guide Dining Companion 2010.
  • Littlefoot, 223 Barkly Street Footscray, 9396 1282, [10]. wed-sun, 4pm-late/1am. Opened in Feb 2015 - Wine bar · Performance venue · Lounge - Outdoor tables $7-8 beers.  edit
  • The Reverence Hotel, 28 Napier St Footscray Victoria 3011 (5 minutes walk from Footscray train station), 9689 7088, [11]. Live Music Venue, Pub with meals.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Footscray Motor Inn & Serviced Apts, 90 Droop Street Footscray VIC 3011, 9687 6877, [12]. $ 190.00.  edit
  • Palms Motel, 50 Geelong Rd, Footscray, Victoria, 9689 2822, [13]. 19 Standard Double, 10 Double Twin (Double & One Single) and 7 Triple's (Double & Two Single) rooms - TV, heater, air conditioner, kettle, fridge, tea/coffee, milk and individual bathroom with shower 95+.  edit
  • Plough Hotel, 333 Barkly Street Footscray 3011 (Corner of Geelong Rd & Barkly St), [14]. Above a large designer Pub, 4 Star  edit

Stay Safe[edit]

Footscray's street drug trade and related crimes is dropping, but it is still common to see drug effected people in the main mall and station, central Footscray is covered in CCTV anti-crime cameras.

Footscray is in the Maribyrnong which had 1082 Crimes Against the Person in 2010, two thirds less than Melbourne's city centre, which had over 3500 for the same period.

Thousands of diesel freight trucks from Melbourne Port are still allowed to travel thru Footscray's streets, try and keep your distance, this might be hard on a bike as the area has few bike lanes.


This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!