Hyperlocal news about Melbourne's first suburb: Fitzroy 3065

the winner of the first ‘tell me where to go’ poll


Over 70 people voted in my first ‘tell me where to go’ poll, where I list five cafes or restaurants in Fitzroy and ask people to vote which one I should visit and review. I’m very pleased with the result, and the amount of participation, especially as it did not run for the whole month.

The winner is Mario’s Pizza on Johnston St with 32% of the vote. It’s an old school takeaway pizza place that, from what I can see, has never been reviewed by any food bloggers. Is it an overlooked sensation? Or a disappointment? You’ll find out soon as I will be visiting, buying pizza and taking it home to review. The review will be published in June before the completion of the next poll.

A new poll, open throughout June, is now on the site. The winner of the second poll will be visited and reviewed sometime in July. If you have suggestions about places to add to the list for inclusion in future polls, please comment.


  1. Very curious about Mario’s, never see many customers in there and it looks like a front for something dodgy going on in the back. Very Sopranosesque.

    I would suggest, if possible, to link each selection to perhaps a small description or a webpage as I only recognise one of the choices on this months poll.

    • Thanks Neil, yes I wonder if I will be ordering pizza or accidentally giving the password to gain entry to the back room poker game. Many of the places I am selecting are small cafes or lunchbars or unfashionable restaurants that have no website and have been ignored by digital natives. I’m curious to see what they have to offer.

      Nick’s food corner is on the corner of Napier St and Victoria Parade and is popular with ACU students and staff. Lunchtime Escape is a cafe / lunchbar near Mr Lincolm and Circa Vintage. Monties is an unpopular place on Smith St north of Johnston St that had a slick refit a couple of years ago that completely failed to bring in new diners. Garden View cafe is on Nicholson between Gertrude St and Victoria St and is popular with hospital staff. Esco art bar I have discussed before.

  2. Brian, I live right near Marios and have not yet ever seen it with a customer inside! Just a few dudes hanging around.

    Oh and for your July one you should pray you don’t end up at lunchtime escape. I had truly the worst coffee I have ever had there (big call I know). A couple of years ago a mate and I tried to test out all the coffee places in Collingwood/Fitzroy on our way to work (pre blog unfortunately). This was the only coffee we both threw out.

  3. I think people want to read about less than ideal experiences. Too often the ‘food press’ go to the latest and flashest places in town. The experience is always going to be good, generally you have to really nit-pick to find something wrong with a place like these. I want to hear about places that could be dives, where no-one is ever seen. I want to hear about the reviewer having to pour his takeaway coffee in the gutter, or having to scrape his food into the potted plant in the corner because he could not eat it.

  4. Marios is legit, although it probably won’t set culinary fires for you! It used to be extremly popular when the Birmingham was still a punk pub. The pizzas are good in an old school pizza way, you will undoutably however wake up at 2am with that dry taste in your mouth from all the salt!

  5. Ive been to marios twice… each time I was so underwhelmed…. this was about 7 years ago when I first moved to fitzroy… could have changed since then but I must admit my two experiences wont let me go back…

  6. I was just wandering past Mario’s the other day and wondering how it survived against such strong local competition like Pizza Capers, MoJo’s and Crust. Perhaps price and speedy delivery? I too have never seen any actual customers in there.

    I’m similarly intrigued by Montie’s. Why is it SO unpopular? How is it still in business? Why did it open up that promising looking “pizza by the slice” joint then NEVER have it open late at night when you might actually be willing to pay $7 for a slice of pizza?

    • I suppose Capers and Crust are both relatively new, but it is a mystery. I have no idea how Monties survives, and after reading this review am rather dreading being sent there! Someone posted a negative review of the pizza by the slice place next door last year, but that blog has since disappeared. Fat crust and poor toppings if I remember correctly.

  7. Marios is fine. And has been since I was a kid in the 80’s. It’s entrenched in Brunswick St.

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