by Georja Ryan
IT IS no secret Melbourne is the funky cousin to the other Australian capital cities.
Everyone seems to be dressed exceptionally well all year round, there are quirky bars and cafes on every corner and things just seem to taste a whole lot better for some reason.
Melbournites are all about secrets, too, with underground hubs, hidden lanes and venues disguised as holes in the wall.
Well, sorry guys, but we're about to reveal a few of the best hidden Melbourne secrets:
SPLEEN BAR: This place looks like a dive from the outside; you'd probably not even look twice at going inside. But if you do find yourself inside the dark realm on a Monday night, you won't regret it. Once a week they put on a FREE comedy night where up to 10 stand-up comedians take the stage and have the audience in stitches. High-profile funny folk like Charlie Pickering, Wil Anderson and Tom Gleeson, make regular appearances so you never quite know who you're going to get. With lots of laughs and cheap drinks, it's a cracker night out. Find Spleen Bar at 41 Bourke St.
EASEY ST SMOKE OUT: It doesn't get more Melbourne than a barbecue restaurant in a motorcycle workshop, underneath a street art gallery, hidden down a laneway. This is seriously good American barbecue goodness and unlikely to be swarming with tourists. So, if you can find it, check this place out at 25 Easey Street, Collingwood.
LA PETITE CREPERIE: It's crazy to think this teenie-tiny takeaway joint used to be just a stainless steel newspaper stand. Today, it's one of the best crepe places in the city and brings a dash of France to the busy corner at Swanston and Little Collins Sts. Worth waiting in line for.
CHOPPER LANE: Hidden down a backstreet in Collingwood is an art-laden shrine to Mark 'Chopper' Read. A collaboration between 29 artists worked to create this masterpiece the man with the handlebar mo' would be stoked with. At 310 Smith St, it's a little bit of quirkiness you should put on your bucket list.
HOSIER LANE: Okay so it's not necessarily a little-known gem, but it sure is a gem. Hosier Lane is the place to go to marvel at a range of incredible artworks, and to snap a new Instagram profile picture. The walls are covered in street art top to bottom and are a bright explosion of colour in the heart of Melbourne, just near Flinders Street Station. This is a must-do for Melbourne-goers.
BROTHER BABA BUDAN: Run by the Seven Seeds micro-roasters, this quirky café should be on your list for sure. They're all about quality coffee so their blends change with the seasons to bring out the best and tastiest characteristics of the produce. You'll love the style of this Little Bourke St gem, including the chairs upside down on the roof!
And the best part, you can fly direct to Melbourne from the Gold Coast Airport. Check out flights HERE.