While travel is off the cards for now, Melbourne still offers a taste of some of the world’s greatest cities. Here’s how to experience the best of New York City, right here in downtown Melbourne.

Pizza by the slice

New York is fuelled by pizza. Grabbing a thin-based, shockingly large slice on the go is a quintessential experience from the Bronx all the way to Staten Island. For a taste of NY-pie, check out the classics at Pizza Pizza Pizza in Meyers Place (there’s also a hidden bar at the back, perfect for dodging the midtown crowds). Dip down Flinders Lane and you can grab a slice of Sal’s Authentic New York Pizza. Complain about the tourists for added authenticity.

Pepperoni pizza and hawaiian pizza from Pizza pizza pizza
Pizza by the slice at Pizza Pizza Pizza

Bagels, barbecue, cocktails and carbs

Nothing beats that classic diner experience. It’s no mess, no fuss, and it involves coffee. Step down into Bowery to Williamsburg and order up a teetering turkey club. Grab a side of mac and cheese (served in NY style with a pickle and a pretzel), with a Melbourne-grade latte served in kitsch diner design cups. Or try 5 & Dime Bagel, started by New Jersey-born Zev Forman. This city spot serves up dense, chewy, perfect bites. The classic lox bagel with smoked salmon, cream cheese, capers, onion and tomato is New York in a bite, and they’ve spent years here getting it right. Pair it with a filter coffee, and you’re all set.

If you want to imagine you’re sinking your teeth into the pastrami-on-rye or the outrageous beef brisket sandwich at Katz’s, head to Fancy Hank’s on Bourke Street. Their pastrami and smoky brisket will transport you straight to East Houston Street. For that exclusive New York bar feel, slip into the tiny Bar Americano for a luscious Manhattan. And if your sweet tooth is kicking in, Pepe’s baked New York Cheesecake will set you right - or you could pick up a donut from the American Doughnut Kitchen and gaze into the window of Tiffany. Just like Holly Golightly.

5 and dime
Bagels from 5 and dime

Art around every corner

A wander down Melbourne’s laneways and its famed street art is not unlike a wander around New York’s Lower East Side. Both cities are big street art cities. Grab a coffee to go and let your artistic curiosity lead you down a new lane. There are some New York-based contemporary artists showcased at the NGV Triennial. Check out works by Daniel Arsham, Fred Wilson, Tony Matelli and Tabor Robak. And, of course, the always over-the-top Jeff Koons.

Jeff Koons' Venus statue at the NGV
A gallery visitor looking at Jeff Koons' statue at the NGV

Fifth avenue or flea market

Head to Saturdays NYC in QV for gorgeous, minimalist clothing and lifestyle products. At Emporium, you can pick up an elegant handbag or wallet from Kate Spade New York. Rag & Bone on Elizabeth Street is the Melbourne outpost of this restrained New York clothing brand. If your style is a little more street, check out menswear from brands like Engineered Garments at Up There. And if vintage is your jam, pick through the racks of old-school thrift-store finds at American Rag. They source their garments from the US. You just might score a Brooklyn flea market find without the cost of the flight.

American Rag logo t-shirt on a mannequin
American Rag

Catch a Broadway show

After making it's debut in New York nearly three years ago, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has taken up residence in Melbourne's own Princess Theatre. After a brief hiatus (because, well, you know) the show will go on from late February. Already seen it? Head off Broadway, but still firmly in New York, with an upcoming musical parody take on Friends.

A theatre at night
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

More of the best NYC experiences in Melbourne

Schmucks Bagels

Delicious bagels with a filling for everyone and great coffee to go with it.

Market Lane Bar

Vintage whisky bar meets New York-style supper club.

Tiffany & Co

Iconic jewellery and accessories brand known for its luxury status.

Floyd's Bar

Cosy aperitivo bar inspired by New York's Little Italy, featuring an eclectic spritz menu.

Last updated on Thu 28 Jan 2021

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