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When they came up with the phrase ‘west is best’, they must have been thinking about Footscray. This inner-city suburb is the brightest jewel of Melbourne’s west, primarily thanks to the migrant communities that have come to call Footscray home. A melting pot (or wok pan) of cultures spanning from Vietnam to Ethiopia have given the suburb touches of their home countries, which means you can scoop up a goat curry with fresh injera, slurp up pho and hunt down the best cannoli in town all in the same street.
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What’s Footscray known for?
Footscray is located only six kilometres from the CBD, right beside the Maribyrnong River. It’s lined with a few main shopping and eating drags – the main one is Barkly Street, close to where you’ll find the large mural of Franco Cozzo (patron saint... err… famous furniture salesman of Footscray) welcoming you with open arms and a cheery “grand sale! Grand sale!” The migrant communities that call Footscray home are why the suburb is one of Melbourne’s most thriving and exciting – especially if you’re into food.
Why do the locals love it?
When Footscray was voted the coolest neighbourhood in Melbourne in 2019, one Time Out reader put it best: “It’s multicultural, has great bars and food, and it’s cheap(er) and has fewer annoying wanker bros than other parts of the city.”
We asked the staff at Footscray Community Arts Centre for their top picks of Footscray, so look out for them in the below sections.
How do I get to Footscray?
The suburb is well served by train – Footscray station is planted right in the thick of things. Otherwise, you can go further west towards Middle Footscray and West Footscray stations. The 82 tram also runs toward Barkly Street via Gordon Street.
Seddon and Yarraville are further south, and Ascot Vale and Kensington are to the northeast. Maidstone and Highpoint Shopping Centre are close by as well.
Map of Footscray
If you only do one thing…
Grab a banh mi from Nhu Lan and a cannoli from T Cavallaro & Sons and hop down to the sloping patch of grass near Footscray Community Arts Centre to enjoy the sunset. It’s one of the best views of the CBD skyline in all of Melbourne.