Larsen and Co. Image supplied via Larsen and Co.

With a bustling main street and a beautiful stretch of beach, Hampton is a hidden gem a stone’s throw away from Melbourne’s CBD.

The weather is warming up in Melbourne and people from around the city are flocking to the beaches in order to make the most of the sunshine. With its dog beach, laid-back vibe and proximity to the famous Brighton Bathing Boxes, the little suburb of Hampton has a lot to offer this summer. Just a 25-minute train trip from the CBD, there are great restaurants and cafes, friendly locals and a relaxing atmosphere – all the things that make Hampton the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle.

Best Brunch: Larsen and Co

A vibrant and very dog-friendly café, Larsen and Co is a great spot for breakfast or lunch. The café serves all your brunch favourites as well as speciality Scandinavian inspired dishes, such as Smørrebrød ($9) – Danish open sandwiches. Our favourites from the menu are the Zucchini, Chickpea and Corn Fritters ($18) with smoked trout as well as the Potato Rosti ($19) with braised beef cheek.

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315 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Coffee: Glasshouse Hampton

The best coffee in Hampton is at Glasshouse Hampton. This airy café found just a touch away from the train station is the perfect spot to stop and catch up with friends or set yourself up for the day with your laptop and a coffee. There’s a range of treats to accompany your drink and seats available outside if you’re bringing your furry friend with you.

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305 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Beach: Hampton Dog Beach

As the weather warms up, a trip to Hampton Beach is a great daytime activity for you and your furry friend. Stretching out across 900 metres, Hampton Beach attracts visitors from around the city, providing a large expanse of sand and sea for dogs of all shapes and sizes to run around in without restriction. When finished, you and your dog will be spoilt for choice as you’re a short walk from the high street that’s filled with dog-friendly cafés for you and your pup to replenish after the run around.

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45 Beach Rd, Hampton

Best Italian: La Svolta

This lively Italian restaurant serves some of the best pizza in Melbourne. There’s plenty of choice on the menu for authentic Italian food that never disappoints. It’s cosy and sleek inside and the staff are always friendly. La Svolta is the perfect dinner spot for all occasions, whether that be family outings or date night. For your visit we’d recommend the Maccheroni Al Ragu’ Bolognese ($24) featuring house made maccheroni with traditional slow cooked beef and pork bolognese ragu.

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450 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Wine Bar: Hampton Wine Co.

Hampton Wine Co. is a cosy and very popular wine bar in the heart of Hampton. Serving wine and sharing plates in a sophisticated and laid-back setting; at Hampton Wine Co. the wine is definitely the star of the show here, and the friendly staff know their stuff. Alongside a great happy hour, there’s also cocktails, beers and spirits available if wine is not your preference.

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444 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Healthy Fix: Holy Bowly

Holy Bowly is a local favourite. This busy health food café serves delicious snacks, meals and drinks. Famous for its smoothie bowls, this café has a lot more to offer than just acai bowls (although you should definitely try one). At Holy Bowly there’s a large menu offering meals so delicious you won’t believe they’re so healthy. The Tempeh Burger is a Hunter and Bligh favourite, and the toasties will surely please everyone.

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531 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Drinks: Garf's Bar

If you like gin, then visiting Garf’s Bar is a must. But, if you don’t like gin, Garf’s has plenty of other great drinks to offer. This bring-your-own food gin bar is a fun and laid-back spot to spend an evening. There’s an extensive drinks menu that features Garf’s expansive collection of gins and a long cocktail list. The bar has regular live music, trivia nights and special events including ‘Art and Alcohol’ and ‘Gin Gala’.

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261 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Feed: Canoe Canoe

If looking for the best overall feed in Hampton, we point you in the delicious direction of Canoe Canoe. Described as a pub meets burger bar, this cheery bar and restaurant is a great spot for a drink or meal. Apart from the daily food and drink specials, inside Canoe Canoe there’s a sunny beer garden featuring an impressive wall mural. The burgers are delicious and the happy hour never disappoints. For your visit, wrap your hands around the Spicy Fried Chicken Burger ($22).

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502 Hampton St, Hampton

Best Attraction: Brighton Bathing Boxes

A short walk along Hampton Beach will take you to the iconic Brighton Bathing Boxes. Along the way you can enjoy great views of the bay and city skyline. The famous 82 bathing boxes, built in the early 1900s, are one of the most photographed spots in Melbourne, attracting crowds of tourists daily.

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Esplanade, Brighton