An Insider’s Guide to Abbotsford

Housing an abundance of homestyle cafes, innovative food and bar concepts, shopping centre, and other thrilling spots for you to spend your weekend, Abbotsford is a must-visit suburban neighbourhood in Melbourne. Check out our full guide with some of the best local attractions to explore in Abbotsford. 

A green oasis nestled between Collingwood and the Yarra River, Abbotsford is home to a diverse community and unique suburban streets flaunting some of the most interesting concepts Melbourne has to offer. From charming alleyway coffee shops, to famous pubs and local breweries, to Abbotsford Convent, the downtown area is lined with exquisite brick buildings, and now welcomes its newest pillar, the Hive Abbotsford

Read our guide to explore Melbourne’s popular suburban neighbourhood and its many attractions.  

The Hive Abbotsford_An Insider's Guide to Abbotsford, Melbourne


Best Cafés in Abbotsford 


Located in the heart of Lower Johnston Street, Gilbees is a vibrant community café that celebrates specialty coffee, locally sourced ingredients and top-quality sandwiches. Fitted with sustainably grown timber, the space is filled with comfy nooks and a cosy fireplace. Local artists display art on the walls, making the space something in between an exhibition space and an Abbotsford family home.

The north facing front window boasts sunny afternoon views, while the plant filled courtyard provides peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle. Gilbees offers dine-in, takeaway, all-day brunch and catering options. The Gilbees menu is a tasteful amalgam of simple things done to perfection. From “Kath & Kimchi” to “Sunshine & Rainbows”, the menu also offers a delicious range of Vegetarian and Vegan options.

Insider’s Tip: Try the “King Katsu” – Gilbee’s take on Japanese Tonkatsu Sandwich that has been described as “Melbourne’s meatiest vegetarian sandwich” by our customers.

Address: 229 Johnston Street, Abbotsford 3067

Open From: Mon-Fri 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun 8am-2pm

Three Bags Full

Three Bags Full is the city’s well-kept gem, situated in the local landmark and former factory, Denton Hat Mills. Hailed as one of the best brunch spots in the neighbourhood, Three Bags Full commits to the finest fare, sourcing its ingredients and produce fresh locally, including its specialty coffee beans. The industrial-chic cafe is decorated with warm wood furnishings and refreshing indoor plants, serving a homey ambiance, wholesome recipes, and a deliciously fine cup of joe of your favourite blends. 

Grab a quick bite from their all-day brunch menu packed with hearty dishes, including smashed avocado toast with chipotle sauce, or their spicy fried chicken sandwich, and pair it with their must-have fruity açai bowl. 

Insider’s Tip: Three Bags Full’s produce-driven kitchen regularly rotates their dishes to introduce fresh recipes to their customers, check their menu here for updates. 

Address: 60 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia

Open From: Mon-Fri: 7am-3pm; Sat-Sun: 8am-3pm 

Three Bags Full_Abbotsford Melbourne

@Three Bags Full Cafe

8 Murray St

Offering an alfresco dining experience, 8 Murray Street is a remarkable find tucked away in a quaint alleyway in Abbotsford. The open courtyard cafe boasts an enchanting outdoor space concealed with lush greenery, and serves an equally delightful menu filled with fusion dishes and flavours from around the world. Alluring countless patrons to its venue, the coffee house delivers some of the finest blends that pair incredibly well with their selection of breakfast food, from toasties and salads, to delicious bowls and more. Try their cheesy scrambled eggs, and smokey barbecue bacon burger with their nourishing juices and smoothies. 

Insider’s Tip: Unwind over the weekend with their refreshing house-made recipes of cocktails, including their unique take on the classic spice-packed “Bloody Murrary.” 

Address: 8 Murray St, Abbotsford, VIC 3067 

Open From: 8am-2:30pm

8 Murray St_Abbotsford Melbourne


Best Restaurants in Abbotsford 

Jinda Thai Restaurant

Head over to Jinda Thai to satisfy your craving for authentic Thai fare in Abbotsford, Located on Ferguson Street, this family-owned eatery has been around the local neighbourhood since 2013, helmed by their in-house team of culinary specialists. Its warehouse-inspired interior, vintage furnishing and well-lit dining space make it an ideal place to stop by for a pleasant luncheon experience. The menu caters to diverse tastes and palettes, whether you are looking for more traditional flavours and spices, such as their street-style signature boat noodle, the pad ka na crispy pork, or a modern take on classic dishes, including their curries, tom yum soup, and more– their food will surely compel you to come back for seconds. 

Insider’s Tip: Jinda offers exclusive gift cards to give to your friends and family for special occasions, shop them on their website

Address: 3-7 Ferguson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067

Open From: Mon-Sun: 12pm – 3pm, 4pm – 10pm

Jinda Thai Restaurant_Abbotsford guide



Where a congenial atmosphere meets delicious pizza– Rita’s, the rustic-style Italian pizzeria is a must-visit spot for the neighbourhood’s food connoisseur. Rita’s offers an incredible combination of aromatic pizzas and pastas, and an immaculate dining setting, along with their friendly staff and community. Serving a fine range in their bespoke menu designed by chef Daniel Spizzica, for starters, their chicken cacciatore with aioli, and salted calamari are truly impressive. 

Additionally, Rita’s presents quite the selection in their pizza, the savour semolina-crusted bases are covered with the freshest herbs and ingredients, while catering to diverse dietary needs. Get a taste of their Meatball classic, generously topped with tomato, mozzarella, parmesan, and basil, or the vegan-favourite Eggplant pizza, not to forget their well-crafted cocktails. 

Insider’s Tip: Little Rita’s is the takeaway version of the restaurant, and offers great deals on their menu. For Local’s Night every Tuesday and Wednesday, you can get the pizzas for $19 only. 

Address: 239 Johnston St, Abbotsford, VIC 3067

Open From: Tues-Fri: 5-9:30pm; Sat-Sun: 2-9pm 

Rita’s Abbotsford


Best Bars and Pubs in Abbotsford


Bodriggy Brewpub is a brewery located in Abbotsford culminating in a brewery, brewpub, cocktail bar and Froff Shop (bottle shop) slash Front Bar.

They are a locally-focussed business, making their beer with the local community in mind. As a culturally driven business, they assimilate with Melbourne’s arts and music scene as much as possible, including sponsoring events, gigs and exhibitions mostly around the city’s inner north. 

Insider’s Tip: Hive members can enjoy 20% off in person and online at Bodriggy! Learn more here

Address: 245 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067 

Open From: Thurs: 12-11pm; Fri-Sun: 12pm-late

Bodriggy Brewpub_the hive Abbotsford guide


Dr Morse

Dr. Morse is Abbotsford’s corner spot for expertly serving heartwarming breakfast, delicious bistro classics, and a disco they run in their beer garden.

Offering the best of both worlds from morning cuisine to late night dancing, Dr. Morse also serves up flame-grilled Asian-style share plates at their Sunday BBQ. Another value the bistro-disco emphasises is sustainable sourcing, so rest assured its chefs and bartenders are placing quality as their highest priority. 

Insider’s Tip: Not only does Dr. Morse serve up delicious food and cocktails, but it also has an accessible wine menu that is primarily locally sourced! Be sure to enquire with staff for their recommendations when you visit. 

Address: 274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067 

Open From: Tues-Fri: 7am-late; Sat-Sun:8am-late

Dr Morse_abbotsford guide


Carlton Brewhouse      

Carlton Brewhouse is a household name in Abbotsford, renowned for its incredible community, classic Australian brews, and equally delightful pub fare. The bar is stationed behind the hard brick walls of Australia’s largest brewery, Carlton & United Brewery. Boasting an extraordinary range of locally-made craft beer, Carlton produces over 400 million litres of beer year-round, housing the nation’s favourite blends, including Carlton Draught, Great Northern, and Victoria Bitter

The working brewery allows visitors to sneak back into their production room for an unforgettable experience as they witness 100-plus years of history-in-making, not to mention the unmissable opportunity to try a fresh pint of their unpasteurised Carlton Draught. With 10 fully-running beer taps– you can sit at the bar front for behind-the-scene action. 

Insider’s Tip: The local brewhouse celebrates the local music and art scene by accommodating various events featuring emerging Melburian artists and talents at their space. 

Address: 24 Thompson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia

Open From: Wed-Sat: 12pm-12am 

Carlton Brewhouse_Abbotsford guide


Moon Dog Brewery Bar

Founded in 2010 in Melbourne by brothers Josh & Jake Uljans and school mate Karl van Buuren, Moon Dog began as a small brewery in the back streets of Abbotsford, with the trio brewing beer in a brew house welded together from ex-dairy equipment and selling their mind-blowing craft beer from the back of a ‘97 Volvo V40 station wagon. 

More than a decade later, they have since expanded into Preston, and opened two new pubs, continuing to brew delicious beers and seltzers that never cease to impress locals and visitors alike. 

Insider’s Tip: Drop by on Tuesdays for trivia or Wednesdays for bingo night – be sure to enquire in advance for more details!

Address: 17 Duke Street, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067 (click here for more locations) 

Open From: Tues-Thurs: 4-10pm; Fri: 4pm-11pm; Sat: 12pm-11pm

Moon Dog Brewery Bar_abbotsford guide


What to Do in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Convent  

With years of history, art, and culture ingrained, Abbotsford Convent is a local monument. Founded in 1863, the Convent was once a prestigious charitable institution run by The Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Now lauded as the largest multi-arts establishment in Australia, the space is populated with over 120 studios, galleries, and a school, as well as a homegrown radio station. Its buildings are architectural marvels, hidden amongst the rich natural landscape, and what makes it an ideal spot to unwind and engage with the artisan community over the weekend. 

Unleash your ingenuity and get enlightened by the town’s thriving creative and cultural scene, as you explore the most stimulating arts and musical events happening in your neighbourhood. 

Insider’s Tip:  The precinct presents the local arts and cultural festival, Autumn at the Convent, lining up spectacular live music shows, exhibitions, and food and wine tasting and more, join their community to learn more. 

Address: 1 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford, VIC 3067

Open From: 7am-10:30pm

Abbotsford Convent_Abbotsford guide


Northside Boulders

Northside Boulders are Melbourne’s Inner-North Bouldering Gyms. They aim to foster community and connection to the outdoors through climbing.

They are a vibrant community hub, designed to provide an inviting space for passionate people to come together to do what they love. Kickstart your fitness and wellness journey at Northside, and meet like-minded people along the way! 

Insider’s Tip:  Hive Members can enjoy $18 entry and other exclusive members discounts at any Abbotsford (Lactic Factory), Northcote, or Brunswick gym. Learn more here.

Address: 1 Studley Street, Abbotsford, VIC 3067 (Click here for more locations)

Open From: Mon-Fri: 4pm-10pm; Sat-Sun: 10am-7pm

Northside Boulders_the Hive Abbotsford guide


Collingwood Children’s Farm

Most would be pleasantly surprised to discover Collingwood Children’s Farm in Melbourne Central. Situated alongside Yarra River banks, the local farm is home to many diverse species of animals and native Australian plants. From herding cows and sheep, to running a horse stable, and tending to the community garden, the conservatory promises to deliver you with an authentic ranch experience, and a perfect escape from city life. The family-friendly venue offers you an opportunity to engage in all sorts of fun activities, whether it is beekeeping lessons at the Apiary, or cuddling with the adorable guinea pigs. 

As a nonprofit precinct, all ticket proceedings are allocated to support the daily nourishment and care for the farm animals, and conservation of local heritage land, as well as driving other funding initiatives. 

Insider’s Tip: Visitors can also relish their deliciously humble fare at The Farm Cafe for al fresco dining with spectacular views of the farmland.   

Address: 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067

Open From: 9:30am-4:30pm

Collingwood Children's Farm_Abbotsford guide