Melbourne is an arts and design hub for the region – with leading galleries, restaurants, bars, fashion, parks, cafes, and things to do. To get you started, we'd recommend looking through Broadsheet, a city guide based in Melbourne. We've also listed a few of our favourite places below.
These are all walking distance to RMIT and will be close to many of the break-out sessions and social events.
If you're travelling from or to the airport Skybus have regular services from the CBD, with Uber and taxis also available.
"It’s an uncomplicated approach to food and wine at Embla. Together with partner and executive chef, Dave Verheul, McCabe has made Embla like an extension of your lounge room – with better food and booze." – Broadsheet
Embla is at 122 Russell Street in the CBD.
NATIONAL GALLERY OF VICTORIA (NGV)
The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) have a significant collection of local and international art, and will be hosting exhibitions by contemporary artist Kaws and body architect Lucy McRae during the conference.
The NGV have locations in Federation Square and Southbank.
"It’s a simple concept. Soft white bread, Panko-crumbed fried meat, mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce. Saint Dreux is dedicated to it." – Broadsheet
Saint Dreux is on Level 2 of St. Collins Lane, 260 Collins Street in the CBD.
"Supernormal is beautifully executed; a slick, understated fit out, an open kitchen and that indefinable x-factor that chef-restaurateur Andrew McConnell weaves into each new venture. Design wise the feel is indisputably Japanese – something made very clear by the simple katakana signage and crimson neon cherries that can be seen from the Flinders Lane entrance." – Broadsheet
Supernormal is at 180 Flinders Lane in the CBD.
"If you listen carefully while you’re walking down Heffernan Lane, you’ll hear brassy, Latin-jazz tunes. It may be tricky to find the party, but when you find the moss-green door, there’s a little World Class drinking venue waiting for you on the other side." – Broadsheet
Union Electric is at 13 Heffernan Lane in the CBD, a short walk from RMIT.
"Shaved prosciutto (made in Ballarat) and pork neck gabagool (cured ham) come with house-made sourdough and spicy pickled fennel. Next, cheese pizza with pecorino, fresh and aged mozzarella. The slightly sour, fermented base has a good char, and at the pointy end what Wall calls "the New York flop"; a little droop." – Broadsheet
Capitano is at 421 Rathdowne Street, Carlton.
CARLTON WINE ROOM
"Carlton Wine Room occupies a treasured corner in old Carlton. Distinct dining spaces over three levels are linked by a common offering: solid informed service and good times. Come in for honest, generous dishes, perfect for sharing or keeping all to yourself."
Carlton Wine Room is at 172-174 Faraday Street, Carlton.
RMIT DESIGN HUB GALLERY
"The RMIT Design Hub Gallery is a progressive educational environment. We exhibit creative practice-led research and we are open to everyone. Our exhibitions visualise, perform and share research ideas and make new research connections."
The RMIT Design Hub is on the corner of Victoria and Swanston streets in Carlton, just across from the RMIT City Campus.
"Super Ling, a casual restaurant serving familiar Chinese flavours in playful ways with gestures to France and Mauritius. Watched over by posters featuring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, the discreet diner feels like an old comic book shopfront, with a kitchen elevated behind the counter. The eatery is small, though a communal table in the centre seats 30." – Broadsheet
Super Ling is a short walk from RMIT at 138 Queensberry Street, Carlton.
"People approach the bar to order toasties to take away. Others sit at a corner table enjoying glasses of red wine with cold cuts and pickles. Light from the north-facing windows fills the room of this mid-century-European-inspired bar. Amarillo is by Adam Sime (LongPlay). His goal for it is to create something timeless and classic. Walking in, you’re hit with a sense of the kind of simple but effortlessly stylish bars you find in Italy." – Broadsheet
Amarillo is at 129 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy.
BELLE'S HOT CHICKEN
"As the name implies, this chicken is far spicier than the versions found in American states such as Kentucky. Once you’ve chosen your cut of chicken (dark meat, wing, tenders), there's a choice of spice (Mild to Really F**king Hot), followed by three sauces. Beware: F**king Hot is no overstatement." – Broadsheet
Belle's is at 150 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY (CCP)
"Through exhibitions, education and publishing, Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) places contemporary Australian photography and video in conversation with significant historical and international practice, expanding the context for current Australian lens-based arts."
CCP is at 404 George Street, Fitzroy.
"Lune is unique; designed to inspire a commitment to precision in each exquisite detail, during every stage of the croissant-making process. Lune is not a shop, nor is it a factory. It is a celebration of the creation, complexity and ultimate enjoyment of a croissant."
Lune have locations at 119 Rose Street, Fitzroy and 161 Collins Street in the CBD.
"Andrew McConnell’s Marion is a wine bar for serious grape lovers. Spanning two shopfronts next door to Cutler & Co. on Fitzroy’s Gertrude Street, and laying claim to the most impressive and comprehensive wine list in the area, it’s the sort of place where you might stop in for a glass but can’t help staying for a bottle." – Broadsheet
Marion is at 53 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
MARQUIS OF LORNE
"The Marquis of Lorne has sat on the corner of George and Kerr Streets for more than 150 years. When new owners Matt Vero and Steve Rowley (Tall Timber, Touchwood and Station Street Trading Co.) and Will Benjamin and Cal Hitchens (previously bar managers at Newmarket Hotel) took over the old pub they decided not to turn it into something it’s not. Instead they’ve restored it to its former glory." – Broadsheet
The Marquis of Lorne is at 433 George Street, Fitzroy.
"Acoffee is almost blindingly luminescent. At first glance the warehouse roaster and cafe looks more like an Apple store than a coffee spot. Co-owner Joshua Crasti renovated the old garage with his father, which involved an incalculable amount of white paint. Every detail is clean and bright, from the island espresso bench to the almost reflective white coffee packaging." – Broadsheet
Acoffee is at 30 Sackville Street, Collingwood.
"Created as an expression of their way of living, CIBI is a concept that is a blend of their experience in food, wine, design and architecture. Japanese sensibilities and their evolving Australian lifestyles are combined to create a world that is warm and welcoming at the same it is exciting and refreshing. Above all else it should appeal to the three driving elements that drive drive CIBI; the head, hands and heart."
Cibi is at 33-39 Keele Street, Collingwood.
"Owned and operated by the friendly faces of creative services agency The Jacky Winter Group, Lamington Drive was established in August 2008 as a gallery space dedicated to showing the work of those represented by the agency and beyond in a physical space.The gallery exists to simultaneously explore the idea of showcasing commercial artists in a traditional gallery space, and as a venue in which illustrators, cartoonists, photographers and designers can explore this same art/commercial art tension in their practices."
Lamington Drive is at 52 Budd Street, Collingwood.
"You might notice a faint smell of engine oil when you walk into Paradise Alley, a new bar inside a large Collingwood share-space warehouse on Easey Street, which opened in May. But don’t be alarmed, a quick peep through the small oval window beside the bar quickly reveals its origin – the motorcycle repair shop in the neighbouring space." – Broadsheet
Paradise Alley is at 25 Easey Street, Collingwood.
"The Gem is a pub like few others. Taking over from what was the Curry Family Hotel in mid-2006, owner Tonino Cordisco transformed the space into a warm watering hole and dining room with a little American rockabilly swagger. The front bar is cosily cluttered, with framed pictures of American music legends on the walls, cowboy boots, Elvis LPs, Mexican wrestling masks and a ragtime piano against the wall. A small dining area adorned with faux deer antlers is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the front room." – Broadsheet
The Gem is at 289 Wellington Street, Collingwood.
"The Australian Centre for Contemporary Art is an Australian flagship contemporary art space, and a leading centre for the artistic and wider communities to participate in a critically engaged contemporary art culture that encourages curiosity and transformation."
ACCA is on Sturt Street in Southbank.
"A modern Australian whisky, elementally matured for three “Melbourne years” in Australian wine barrels, that pushes the boundaries of what whisky can be."
The distillery is located just out of the CBD at 50 Bertie Street, Port Melbourne.