Travel just 10 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD to the bustling pocket of Footscray, where Ethiopian coffee houses sit side-by-side with South East Asian markets, Italian cannoli and Chinese New Year celebrations.
Once a centre for southern European migrants, these days Footscray is home to Chinese, Vietnamese, and increasingly, North African immigrants and their cuisines. Slurp a bowl of pho at a Vietnamese noodle house, get a masala dosa near Victoria University, or tuck into traditional Ethiopian injera flat bread at Nicholson Street Mall. Alternatively, opt for one of Melbourne’s best steaks at the Station Hotel.
To recreate the flavours of Footscray at home, head to Footscray Market and buy exotic spices and ingredients. Get tropical fruits and Vietnamese groceries at busy Little Saigon Market.
Pack a picnic and settle down beside Maribyrnong River, cruise the river, or cycle along the river’s bike paths. The state-of-the-art Whitten Oval is the training centre for the Western Bulldogs Australian Football League team.
See the fireworks at Chinese New Year and the Tet Lunar Year Festival, a colourful Vietnamese celebration featuring dancing dragons, live music and food stalls.
If you’re travelling to Footscray by train, take the Sydenham or Werribee lines from Flinders Street or Southern Cross stations to Footscray station. Journey time is approximately 15 minutes. The drive to Footscray is around 10 minutes.