Your Guide To Melbourne’s Laneways

In Melbourne, it’s extremely easy to go off the beaten path —and you won’t ever be disappointed. Deviating from the main streets, Melbourne’s laneways make for exciting urban exploration, ripe with culture and art, promising lots of great discoveries.

These alleys that are little treasure troves are all over the city, and we’ve listed the best ones that you should look out for below.



Centre Place

via Visit Melbourne

Centre Place is one of the most heavily populated laneways in Melbourne — and for a good reason. Its holes in the wall are a wide-open secret, and people go here for the specialty cafes and quirky boutiques. 

Bring a friend for a chat or go people-watching as you sip your coffee at Aix Cafe or Jungle Juice Bar, or pick up fashion items at Kinki Gerlinki!



Degraves Street

via Visit Melbourne

Degraves Street is always a bundle deal with Centre Place. You can’t go to one and not visit the other — they’re just across Flinders Lane from each other, after all. 

This laneway has an equally amazing cafe scene, oozing with a Parisian vibe and the smell of coffee and waffles. If you follow the scent, you might just find yourself at Degraves Espresso or Waffle On. 



Hardware Lane

via Visit Melbourne

Extending from Little Lonsdale Street all the way to Bourke Street, Hardware Lane is one of the longest laneways you can explore for good food and nightlife in Melbourne.

It caters to various international palates, from Australian, Mediterranean, and Mexican to Southeast Asian fare — with alfresco tables lining the alley. Of course, there’s no shortage of wine and beer for that after-sundown hangout. 



Market Lane

via Josie Withers / Visit Melbourne

On Market Lane, the Chinese food trip already begins before you even cross the threshold through the Chinatown archway on Little Bourke Street. 

Just a stone’s throw away, this cobblestone laneway is peppered with must-try Cantonese restaurants like Flower Drum and HuTong.



Tattersalls Lane

via City of Melbourne

Another Chinatown laneway you should check out is Tattersalls Lane, just a little to the west of the archway on Little Bourke Street. 

As one of Melbourne’s historic laneways, it has stood witness to a piece of the city’s history especially the early days of Chinese immigration. Now, it is home to budget-friendly eateries including the decades-old Shanghai Dumpling House, as well as the famous grunge bar Section 8.



Meyers Place

via Visit Victoria

The mural-filled Meyers Place is said to be where laneway nightlife first bloomed when the Meyers Place bar opened in the early 1990s.

Unfortunately, the iconic bar already closed in 2017, but its legacy lives on in the alley’s bustling food and nightlife scene. Check out the Loop Roof for cocktails with views or The Waiters for Italian food paired with wine.



AC/DC Lane

via Dushan Hanuska, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

For fans of rock ‘n’ roll, this little laneway would surely ring a bell. Named after the iconic ’70s Aussie rock band, AC/DC Lane was a bustling nightclub destination in its heyday but is now more popular for its street art with homage to the band and the music. 

The alley connects with Flinders Lane from the south, and at the northern end, you’ll find Pastuso offering Peruvian cuisine and pisco cocktails.



Hosier Lane

via Visit Melbourne

Speaking of street art — if Insta-worthy street backdrops are what you’re after, there’s no better place than Hosier Lane. Its walls are an ever-dynamic canvas, featuring different graffiti every now and then.

Toward the corner on Flinders Street, you’ll find the Forum Theatre offering a nice visual contrast with its neo-gothic design.



Duckboard Place

via Visit Melbourne

If you venture farther into AC/DC Lane, you’ll find yourself spilling onto Duckboard Place where you’ll discover a fascinating patchwork of murals, posters, and dimly lit doors with inconspicuous signages that lead to cozy hole-in-the-wall haunts. 

When you spot them, don’t hesitate to enter Tonka for delicious Indian fare and A Hereford Beefstouw for great steak and wine pairings.



Block Arcade

via Marc Dalmulder, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Block Arcade the top laneway for shopping, but it also offers a fascinating trip down memory lane. 

The shopping arcade has been open since 1892, featuring a fancy Late Renaissance design. It houses shops ranging from tailors and jewellers to confectioners.



Find more places and hidden gems you can explore in the city on KKday!