The suburb of Canterbury is home to some of the best coffee in Melbourne, the best cafes in Melbourne and some of the most fashionable suburbanites you’re likely to meet.
Take a ride on the train to Canterbury, just 20 minutes from Flinders Street on the Belgrave or Lilydale lines. Or drive through the tree-lined streets of Melbourne’s inner east. Maling Road is the first locale you’ll see and, if you choose, will be the epicentre of your visit. One of Melbourne’s nicest shopping strips, the 70 businesses that line the street are filled with smiling locals on both sides of the counter.
Whatever time you arrive on Maling Road, your first port of call should be for a smooth coffee and a bite to eat. If it’s early (not too early, of course; this is refined Canterbury, after all), Chicken or the Egg is a gorgeous spot to start your day; its white-washed walls speak to the clean and fresh ingredients that make up its all-day brekkie and brunch menus. If the mushroom hotcakes or the Maling Road Brunch (start with smoked chicken breast, herbed tomato and bacon, then keep going until you’ve added pesto and a sunny-side up egg) don’t get you going on the right foot, the ever-changing single origin beans from Axil Coffee Roasters and plentiful kids’ menu will.
Hero image credit: James Thomas Photography
Image credit: James Thomas Photography
Fashion in Canterbury is held in high regard, and Maling Road is ground zero for shopping in the area. Mitchell McCabe has been fitting out gents for more than a century (also in South Melbourne), The Ark Clothing Co. sources Australian-made, ethically-accredited garments for fashionable and discerning women, and you don’t have to stray far to uncover classy homewares stores to browse for that perfect gift or feature piece.
On the other side of the train line, Canterbury Gardens is a hive of activity year-round. With lush gardens, manicured lawns and hundreds of mature trees offering shade, it’s a perfect place for picnicking, barbecuing and catching up with friends and family. The land has been preserved since the 1850s when it was used for market gardens and farms; the gardens were established in the early 1900s and you can still relax under the boughs of some of those original trees. A popular venue for weddings and other celebrations throughout the year — Carols by Candlelight have been held here since the 1940s — a stroll through Canterbury Gardens is the perfect place to end your visit to this beautiful part of Melbourne.