Category Archives: Good Food

Spotted at Vegie Bar

If every city had a Vegie Bar, I would die happy.  Vegetarian fare from a wide variety of international cuisines and plenty of vegan options as well.  This place is busy, noisy and cheap with a bohemian vibe in the heart of Fitzroy.  Servings are generous.  The stir fry had both a wide variety of vegetables as was plentiful.  Another bonus is the standard rice is brown.  The menu has a lot of variety.  In most restaurants, vegetarian and vegan options are usually found in the ‘Sides’.  This is all Mains, baby!  The business is obviously booming which makes me wonder why there are not more of them around.
Vegie Bar
380 Brunswick Street, VIC, AUS
Opening Hours
Mon-Fri 11am – 10pm, Sat/Sun 9am – 10pm

Batch Espresso

Another cafe serving Coffee Supreme. They also are the first to offer fresh-baked date scones. Is it because of the Kiwi owner? Nice scones and good quality espresso. Warm and cosey atmosphere right in the hub of Carlisle St, Balaclava. There are some nice Kiwi touches and an interesting piece of artwork on the wall made from old road signs.
Batch Espresso
320 Carlisle St, Melbourne, VIC 3183, AUS
Opening Hours
Monday-Thursday 7am-5pm, Friday 7am-10pm, Saturday & Sunday 7am-5pm

Sonido

Retro diner with a distinct South American theme specializing in Arepas, Empanadas and coffee. We stopped for a quick bite and a Supreme Coffee espresso. All very good.
Sonido
69 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne
Opening Hours
Tue to Fri 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Sat to Sun 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Spotted at Lawson Grove


A cafe and food store located on the ground floor of a old historic 3 story apartment building in the middle of South Yarra’s posh houses. One would never find it by chance. It was busy when we arrived and the owner made sure we got a good seat outside. This is the type of service that holds in our memory and beckons us to go back, which we did on the last morning. Nice coffee and food stop. The interior is full of old interesting knick-knacks and memorabilia.
Lawson Grove Shop
1 Lawson Grove, South Yarra, VIC, 3141, AUS
Opening Hours
Sun/Sat 8am-6pm, Mon-Fri 7:30am-6pm

Wall Two 80

This cafe gained notoriety for the graffiti on the Nelson St wall.  There is just a geometric designed street art there now.  The cafe entrance is on Carlisle St, but there is a ‘hole in the wall’ servery on the Nelson St side with bench seating alongside ‘The Wall’.  Staff are very efficient and friendly.  Coffee is Genovese, which is a strong Italian coffee and can very easily taste burnt if not brewed gently.  The home-made muesli bars are particularly yummy as a gap-filler.  Balaclava is a suburb with an eclectic mix of cultures with Carlisle Street being the hub.  Close to the train station and Chapel St.

Wall Two 80
280 Carlisle Street Balaclava, VIC, 3183, AUS (corner of Nelson St)
Opening Hours
Mon-Sat 7:00 – 18:00, Sun 8:30 – 18:00

Salford Lads Club

Located in the more industrial area of Port Melbourne, this is another gem.  The espressos were excellent, smooth with good depth and body with a touch of sweetness.
Salford Lads Club
1 Fennell Street, Port Melbourne, VIC, 3207, AUS
Opening Hours
Mon-Fri 7am-4pm; Sat 8am-2pm

Spotted at Monk Bodi Dharma


Tucked behind the main Carlisle St shops down an alleyway, hard to find but well worth it. The cafe is small and cosey with dark, warm timber furnishings. It is vegetarian, but not vegan, and has a hippy, flower power feel to it. Espressos are quite a distinctive experience, Columbian bean, intense body with high acidity. They do set menus
Mond Bodi Dharma
202 Carlisle St, Balaclava, VIC 3183, AUS
Opening Hours
Monday to Friday 7am – 5pm
Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays 8am – 5pm
Friday night dinner 6.30pm to quiet

Spotted at Dead Man Espresso

For such a good cafe, they should have a decent website…but at the time of writing this is not the case.  Although not critical, with so many good cafes in Melbourne, visitors with limited time use this to sort the wheat from the chaff…shall we say.

Bloody nice cafe and excellent coffee.  I think they source the best beans from the best roasters in town, which is a very smart thing to do (much like The Final Step).  Very busy when we visited but definitely worth a re-visit.

Deadman Espresso
35 Market Street, South Melbourne, VIC, 3205, AUS
Opening Hours
Monday-Saturday 7am-4pm; Sunday 8am-4pm

Spotted at Hobba


Located in a re-fitted old tyre factory, the atmosphere is airy and spacey. A bit too industrial and impersonal for our taste and it must be freezing here in winter. The bar beside the coffee machines is the best place to sit to chat with the friendly baristas about the beans they use and the various forms of brewing. Another place where the baristas are passionate about coffee and will even recommend other places to try out. Monk Bodi Dharma came highly recommended after a visit to Hobba. There is a coffee menu to select the bean and style of brewing. When we visited they had a Cup of Excellence single origin (#8), which would have been perfect for a filter. The ‘cabinet’ food is good here, simple, wholesome and some veggie friendly.  Go early in the weekend if you don’t like being put on a waiting list.
Hobba Coffee
428 Malvern Rd, Prahran, VIC, AUS
Opening Hours
mon-sun 7-5

Spotted at Three Bags Full

One of our all time favorites.  Everything good is in this place.  It is quite a big cafe but they have cleverly designed it with nooks and crannies to give it a more intimate and cosey atmosphere.  Good use of warm timbers with recycled street signs, industrial chic.  The large communal table with a row of fesh-cut flowers to divide the space is a nice touch.  The muffins and food are delicious and the staff friendly.  The espressos were excellent (using ‘5 Senses’ beans), rich and flavorsome and full-bodied, which is how we like it first thing in the morning (a blend of beans from Guatemala and Columbia).  There is a variety of bean and brewing options available.  It is also conveniently located near the Gipps St exit of the Yarra River cycle path.  Go early in the weekends to avoid the crowds and waiting lists.
Three Bags Full
Corner of Mollison and Nicholson Street, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067, AUS
Opening Hours
Monday-Friday 7am to 5pm, weekends and public holidays 8am to 5pm.

Balderdash

This was a lunch stopover only and we never came back to try their coffee.  The food was excellent, the cafe was relaxed and had a nice buzz to it.  Port Melbourne streets are wide and the area feels quite laid back.  This cafe is located on the corner of Bay and Bridge Streets, so is only a short distance from the Station Pier to City tramline and adjacent cycle lane.

Balderdash
295 Bay Street, Port Melbourne, VIC, 3207, AUS
Opening Hours
7am – 4pm weekdays & 8am – 4pm on the weekends