Urban List's Hidden Gems


March 5, 2024

Member News

Discover Urban List's Hidden Gems - the ultimate guide to their preferred culinary discoveries around The Commons locations.

Discover Urban List's Hidden Gems - the ultimate guide to their preferred culinary discoveries around The Commons locations.

The theme for March is Discovery and what better way to channel this than through a culinary journey. We met with Wellington Street members Urban List to get their thoughts on the best spots around our locations for a quick bite or a unique cocktail.

Both dining destinations in their own right, Melbourne and Sydney are true choose-your-own-adventure cities when it comes to food and drink. And sure, there’s nothing wrong with paying a visit to those ever-popular destinations that we all know and love (shout-out Chin Chin), but take a peek down that laneway or a stroll down that nondescript alley and we guarantee the juice’ll be worth the squeeze.


QQQ St Kitchen | Collingwood

The star of the show at this hole-in-the wall is onigiri, which won’t feel too dissimilar to what you’d pick up from one of Tokyo’s many convenience stores—for those who’ve visited Japan. The difference is that these brunch or lunch-time snacks are much fresher and much tastier thanks to the standards of ingredients that the team here keep.

The owner, Akane, spent several years living in the southernmost island of Japan, Okinawa, where much of the cuisine has an American influence. And with that in mind you’ll find dishes unlikely seen anywhere else in Melbourne: think Okinawan taco rice as well as a spam-charged onigiri.

A six minute walk from The Commons Wellington Street


Toddy Shop | Collingwood

Those in-the-know would have been following chef Mischa Tropp’s journey around Melbourne for some time, and those who aren’t, simply need to know his cooking is top-notch. After a few pop-ups and residencies around town, Tropp has opened a permanent locale named Toddy Shop. Here, find the chef’s signature Keralan cuisine alongside an elite cocktail list that’s served up in an intimate 20ish seat space.

Hint: get there early to nab a table.

A ten minute walk from The Commons Wellington Street


Apollo Inn | Melbourne CBD

One of the country’s most respected chefs and restaurateurs, Andrew McConnell, quietly opened his first cocktail-forward venue late last year. As a sibling venue to the inimitable Gimlet, Apollo Inn boasts its own signatures—like the Picon Bierre, a combination of house-made amaro and crisp French lager—as well as a considered food menu that stands on its own or as a pre-dining snack.

Full of charm, Apollo Inn is relaxed enough for a martini with friends, yet moody enough for a late-night date.

A ten-minute walk or tram from The Commons QV.


Jane | Surry Hills

Best described as a relaxed 70s-era brasserie, Jane blends a touch of class with the right amount of casual across the venue right through to the menu. Highlights include but certainly aren’t limited to the kangaroo tartare served with bush tomato and shoestring fries, an 80-bottle-strong Australian wine list and Jane’s Australiano Hour—a happy hour which sees their signature drink, the Australiano, going for a very modest $8 a pop.

A twelve-minute walk from The Commons Surry Hills.


Deux Frères | Sydney CBD

Deux Frères is Sydney's first dedicated Basque pintxos bar. Here, housemade Spanish small plates and house Vermouth are the stars of the show, feeding the city’s blossoming love of finessed snack menus and small bites paired with Euro-style sips.

Kick off with pintxos like lemon, olive, and anchovy gildas (served up for just $6 a pop), brioche topped with foie gras and onion jam, or a lobster roll topped with tarragon mayo.

A twelve-minute walk from The Commons George Street.


Palomino Lounge | Enmore

It’s not quite a trip to Nashville, but a visit to Palomino Lounge might be the next best thing. Treat yourself to a soundtrack of Southern-style twang, hard rock, and blues at this boozer, a Music City-inspired neighbourhood bar that’s designed with good times in mind.

Expect a high-calibre booze menu—as well as a fancy Italian slushie machine that also does frozen Irish coffee, and not to mention a rotating selection of seasonal margs. About about as much fun as you can have in a drink!

A ten minute drive from The Commons Chippendale.