Time Out Melbourne

Elsternwick's got a real local feel, but there are some surprise attractions well-worth a train ride

Classic Cinema

In the age of multiplexes and bean bag cinemas, grand old dames like the Classic are getting harder to come by. Built in 1889, the Classic is Victoria’s longest continuously operating cinema and has gone by many names over the years: the Elsternwick, Esquire, even the Astor. It has also survived the Great Depression of the 1930s, a devastating fire and the Police Academy franchise. Today, five elegant theatres show a range of general release and art house films. They also do a mean house-made choc top.

After the Tears

If you haven’t filled up on that choc top at the Classic, pop next door for a post-show dinner or drink at After the Tears, the sister restaurant of the perennially popular Borsch,Vodka and Tears in Windsor. Owner Andrzej Kaczmarski knows he’s on a good wicket and hasn’t changed much here, so expect przekąski – Polish tapas platters of pickled herrings, Russian potato salad, beets and trout terrines. Or of course, there's borsch. Afterwards, drink to everyone’s health with a vodka list that’ll bring tears (of joy) to any boozer worth his borsch.


Ben Shewry is a chef more thoughtful than most. His desire and ability
to translate nature and emotion into beautiful dishes means he is currently considered to be one of Australia's greatest chefs. He has been known to forage in the forests and the seas of his hometown Ocean Grove for ingredients, and has recently taken over a garden plot at Rippon Lea Estate to further involve himself in the story of his dishes. It may not be cheap, and OK, it may technically be in neighbouring Ripponlea, but a restaurant that’s won as many accolades as this little gold egg is worth stretching the rules for.

Loco Espresso

For something more accessible, try Loco Espresso – the buzzy little café from the owners of Manchester Press. Friendly waiters with large hair keep the coffees coming, while their house specialty the Loco Open Bagel (poached eggs on an open bagel sandwich with avocado, pinenut, feta and olive oil mash) brings a modern twist to a classic dish. Delish.

Tokyo Deli

Melbourne’s largest licensed Japanese delicatessen has been going like the clappers for over a quarter of a century, right in the heart of the 'Wick. Go figure. Tokyo Deli adds a change of flavour to the strip and is the place to pick up just about any Japanese grocery or knick-knack you can think of – from miso and makisu mats to an extensive range of sakes. They’ve also got a café serving quick and easy Japanese meals for eating in or to go.

Updated on 29 Oct 2012.

By Daniel Kuseta   |  
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