The Hispanic Festival, Why Johnston St?

Johnston St is the Hispanic equivalent of ‘China Town’ in Melbourne. It’s home to several coveted Hispanic Melbourne establishments:

Casa Ibérica - where you can stock up on authentic produce from the Iberian Peninsula and Ibero-America

The Spanish Club - which is packed to the rafters during the festival (Also where El Patio goes to do Spanish Bingo!)

Kanela Flamenco Bar – to catch some LIVE flamenco action!

Naked for Satan - Beautiful Basque inspired cuisine, and you can't help but admire the beautiful view from the rooftop.

All these places are worth a trip down to Johnston St on their own merit, but they all come alive together for this yearly festival. For the whole weekend the street is blocked off from Brunswick St to Nicholson St and filled with music, stalls, dance and food.

Bring a decent appetite and be spoiled for choice, just try and resist the smell of paella, tacos and churros in the air.

Then slip on your dancing shoes because this is the one place and time of year where dancing on the tables isn’t just tolerated – it’s celebrated (well into the night.) If you’re not a ‘dance all night’ type of person you can still check out the many dance shows all throughout the day – from Peruvian folkloric dance to tango and salsa, it’s always worth a watch!

You'll have an opportunity to not only absorb some Hispanic culture in the diversity of food and dance - you'll also get the chance to surround yourself with Spanish. Even if you're not at the point of conversing and practising yet, prick up your ears and get used to the sounds and picking up some words here and there!


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