things to do in heidelberg

Heidelberg’s splendour is nothing new. It gained notoriety thanks to the Heidelberg School, an Australian art style that flourished in the 19th century, which frequently used it as the backdrop for Impressionist works by artists like Arthur Streeton and Walter Withers. In spite of the fact that many artists still utilise the vast parklands as their subject matter while painting “en plein air,” Heidelberg is today renowned for its variety of ethnic cafés and eateries




What is renowned about Heidelberg?


This suburb is well-known now for being the home of the Austin Hospital in addition to being an important part of the Heidelberg School movement. In a way, Heidelberg, along with its siblings Heidelberg West and Heidelberg Heights, is recognised for being a puzzling triptych. Although these two places aren’t as well known as Heidelberg itself, their proximity to the city and inner suburbs is making them more desirable.


Why do the residents adore it?


Heidelberg is amazing, according to Mary Martell, a volunteer at social business café the Sycamore Tree, because of its “diversity of cafés and excellent public transportation links.” I like taking my dogs, Magnus and Hugo, on walks around the neighbourhood, she says. Look for more of Mary’s suggestions in the remaining sections of the story.


How can I travel to Heidelberg?


Take public transportation instead unless you want to fight the traffic on Rosanna Road and Burgundy Street. In close proximity to bustling Burgundy Street and right across from Austin Hospital lies Heidelberg train station. A bustling bus terminal at the station connects Heidelberg with Melbourne University and La Trobe University.


What is close by?


Preston is to the west, and the wealthy, lush districts of Eaglemont and Ivanhoe are further south. To the north-east is Templestowe, which is home to the sizable Westerfolds Park.




Go to Zein’s Authentic (134 Burgundy St.) for a filling Lebanese meal. The recipes are vibrant and colourful, with ample portion sizes and fresh fruit. Also available on the large menu are a tonne of vegan and gluten-free alternatives. In Mama’s Falafel Bowl, the homemade falafel is wonderful, and the Fava Bean Heaven dish is also a hit. Other excellent choices include the malouf and warak areesh (stuffed cabbage rolls) and the batenjen (grilled eggplant with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, tahini, and spices).


Due to its extensive menu, Proof Pizzeria (100 Burgundy St.) is well-liked by the neighbourhood. Go straight to the pizza selections since nobody goes to a pizzeria for the salad. Shrooms is here to remind us that mushrooms are the meat of the vegetarian world, while The Butcher pizza is sure to satisfy even the most fervent carnivores. The DOC Margarita pizza is the ideal remedy for the ex-resident of the inner north who likes lower rent in the suburbs but misses living close to Carlton.


Any foodie who can’t stand to eat the same thing again must visit Little Black Pig and Sons (48 Burgundy St.). This fine-dining Italian restaurant maintains things are fresh and exciting with a menu that changes every week, sometimes daily. Although there is a fair amount of meat and seafood on the menu, most dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Italian, New Zealand, and Australian wines from the budget-friendly to the luxurious are included on the vast wine list.


Saganaki may be enjoyed in grandeur at Elia Greek Tavern (57 Burgundy St.), which is just a few doors away. In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Aunt Voula sobbed, “What do you mean he don’t eat any meat? The menu at Elia is dominated by meat (“That’s okay, I prepare lamb”) The major courses include fish, chicken, pork, beef, and, you got it, lamb. The grill prepares lamb and chicken skewers, lamb cutlets, and Cypriot sausages.


Near the end of Burgundy Street, Tarin Thai (71 Burgundy St.) is located across the street from Warringal Shopping Center. Popular Thai specialities like gaeng keow wan (a green chilli and coconut milk curry) and pad num mun hoy are served at this family-run eatery (stir-fried veggies and meat in oyster sauce). Mary loves Tarin Thai in Heidelberg because she can never resist the satay skewers, roti bread, and fried ice cream there.


Near Melbourne Polytechnic in Heidelberg West, up the street, lies the Hamar Weyne Café (Shop 63, The Mall). The name of the café is derived from a Somalian neighbourhood, and the menu features halal Somali food. It’s a terrific location to dine because the amounts are large, the cuisine is reasonably priced, and the staff is friendly and pleasant.




It’s only natural that The Railway Yard (184 Burgundy St) would be close to the train station. In fact, if you skip the stop and arrive at Rosanna, you’ll get an excellent view of its beer garden zipping by. A major draw is the beer garden, which features live music every Friday. This restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, is a terrific spot to catch up with friends.


The Sir Henry Barkly Hotel (92 Burgundy St.), a Heidelberg landmark that dates to the 1850s, is incontestably visible near the intersection of Cape Street. The bar continues to be a gathering place for locals (and those who have given up waiting for the delayed bus services at the stop right outside), despite having undergone cosmetic changes since then and being dubbed the Henry. Check out the brand-new drive-through bottleshop replacement, an underground pop-up beer garden.


Another 3084 stalwart is The Old England Hotel (459 Lower Heidelberg Rd). It was the first hotel in Melbourne’s north when it was built in 1848, making it the Heidelberg School painters’ prefered hangout. One of Victoria’s largest hotels, it has a rooftop bar, a lounge, a dining area, a bottle shop, and rooms.





There is more to The Sycamore Tree (185 Burgundy St) than just a coffee shop. As a social venture, it offers individuals like Mary who wish to obtain expertise in hospitality a foot in the door. The Banyule Network of Uniting Churches currently oversees the café, which was established in 1986. The Sycamore Tree serves as a meeting place for Alphabet Soup Heidelberg and the Café of Dangerous Ideas in addition to being a cosy place to unwind with a drink and a light meal.


Superdays Coffee (3/119 Cape St.), formerly known as Capeside Coffee, is a charming little place to enjoy a cup of coffee. During the epidemic, it transformed into a tiny shop where eggs, bread, and condiments could be purchased due to supermarket shortages. Order a toastie or other baked treat while your Seven Seeds coffee is brewing to help you soak up the sweet, sweet caffeine. The wildly popular All Are Welcome Bakery in Northcote bakes bread and pastries; stock up on croissants there to avoid the northside line.


Bean There Espresso Bar (89 Mount St.) should be your first stop if you’ve taken the train and need a caffeine boost as soon as you exit the vehicle. This tiny café, which is located on a corner close to the bus station, serves coffee as well as a variety of sandwiches and pastries.


Although Heidelberg Heights hasn’t been mentioned yet, it’s impossible to ignore it thanks to The Chairman Café and Foodstore (15 Francis St). It serves lunch and dinner and is a pleasant place to enjoy a cup of coffee or loose leaf tea.


Crate Specialty Coffee is located at 67 Haig Street in Heidelberg Heights as well. You’re better off ordering takeout because there isn’t much seating space inside. With alternating single origins from visiting roasteries, the beverage is roasted by Duke’s Coffee Roasters. And snags a crumpet from Dr. Marty’s. It is actually closer to take the train to Rosanna station and then walk 20 minutes to Crate.




As the name implies, Leo’s Fine Food (133 Burgundy St.) is the place to go if you’re looking for something a little nicer than Kraft Singles and Jatz. This is possibly the best Leo’s store out of the three (the others are in Kew and Glen Iris). There is a sizable assortment of wines, including several labels not available at the Big Two. On hot days, a line may form outside Leo’s for its freshly squeezed orange juice, but it is well worth the wait.


Mary praises the name-brand discount retailer located in Warringal Shopping Centre, saying, “I adore the bargains there” (56 Burgundy St). This chain retailer, which entered Australia in 2017, can provide you with huge names without the hefty prices.


A nice place to stop is Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates (G01/120 Burgundy St.), where you may taste some chocolate and increase your blood sugar levels. The rows of expertly made chocolates are too beautiful to eat, but they won’t be around for very long.


The advantage of being hidden and off the main drag is Vinnies Heidelberg West (40/44 The Mall). There is less competition for snagging a great find because northern op-shoppers are more inclined to head straight to Savers in Greensborough. It’s also worthwhile to stop by Salvos (181 Burgundy St.) to look for treasures.


Ivanhoe Cycles (72 Bell St.) is actually in Heidelberg Heights, much as Heide is in Bulleen. This bike shop is the place to go if you’re looking to buy a bike or just want to gawk at all the glittering objects. The staff is quite knowledgeable about bikes, and there is a vast selection available, including BMXs, classic versions, and e-bikes. You can also bring your bike in for service; the turnaround time is typically rather short.



What to do

It can be difficult to imagine that tranquil parklands meandering through Heidelberg and up to Lower Plenty are only over congested Rosanna Road. The 35 hectare Warringal Parklands are located besides the Yarra River. You can see many different sights when walking a loop, including the wetland, the river, and the woodland. You may participate in a free 5-kilometer run or walk at Warringal Parklands parkrun every Saturday morning.


Possum Hollow (Beverly Rd) in the Parklands is a well-liked playground for parents and their young children. There is a tonne here for youngsters lot enjoy, including slides, swings, a flying fox, ropes, and a suspension bridge. You may refuel after fun at the Chancez Café at Possum Hollow, a project of the Banyule City Council and the disability assistance organisation Araluen.


Some locations in Heidelberg are part of the Heidelberg School Artists Trail, and the signage there feature works by Tom Roberts in addition to the aforementioned Streeton and Withers.

If you have any aches and pains that need seeing to, you can book an appointment online or call Rosanna Physio on (03) 9457 2336.  They are located right near Heidelberg and can address all your physiotherapy needs.


The off-the-beaten-path Cartmell Street Walkway is located between Cape and Hawdon Streets. If you’re in the vicinity, have a look at the laneway murals, which feature images of Heidelberg School paintings.


The former courthouse is now the home of the Heidelberg Historical Society Museum (Jika Street and Park Lane). The museum regularly hosts special exhibitions and is a great resource for learning about Heidelberg’s past. On a Sunday afternoon, it’s only open for a few hours, and entry is $5.


You may also find fantastic massage deals at the Melbourne Institute of Massage and Myotherapy (68 Mount St.). The student clinic at MIMT is anticipated to return in early 2021 due to limitations.

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