Ok so over the past month or so I've been able to structure my life and work around whatever physical location I feel like. Even before that, I was a big Cafe Dweller, but mostly around where I was working at the time, though. As I get more and more into writing, I've found it's necessary at least once a day to get out of the house and have some sort of human interaction (despite not really needing a lot).
For that...Cafe's are my destination of choice.
Being a country boy (#Sheppresent), I have always loved the cafe culture that Melbourne has to offer. The exciting flavours of the food, the smell of the coffee, and of course, the different people you meet while out and about.
But what I really enjoy is the diversity within this culture. Sometimes, I'll visit a really hip cafe, other times, I'll visit one that hasn't changed their menu in 5 years time.
Here is my top 5 list of cafe's to visit while you're in Melbourne (in no particular order).
Green Refectory - Brunswick I've been going to "The Green" for the past 12 months and love it every time I go there. It's not just the home-style food, with very generous serving sizes, that makes this place so great, but the people. Every
Sandy (who started this cafe back when Brunswick was not even known about) has built this up from the ground based on pure hard work and a huge focus on customer service.
Tony, who is Sandy's husband also prepares amazing, healthy, paleo inspired pre-packaged meals called: 'Tony's Power Foods'. You can get in touch via their facebook or email them here for more info.
I highly recommend checking it out next time you're in 3056.
Recommendations: Open Burger (with chicken instead) for a main and one of the amazing HOME COOKED cakes for after. (Tim Tam is my favourite, but I love them all...and honestly I've tried nearly every single one).
Brunswick Foodstore - Brunswick While the Green was where I would eat breakfast, Brunswick Foodstore was staple for lunch. My work at the time was flat chat, so I went through a fairly big phase of eating out for most of my meals during the day...
Suzie and Richard, who know a thing or two (or four) about creating cafes and culture within them. Now on their forth cafe, BFS is the perfect mix of Melbourne hipness, while still keeping their roots installed with lebonese inspired cooking.
After asking Suzie one time what is the secret formula, she explained you MUST use good produce. Which I honestly believe. Their food is always great, fresh and loaded with protein (lebonese food is so good for that!).
You will also always get service with a smile, and the team are very accommodating with food alterations. Meat for breakfast? No problem. Eggs for breakfast? Done. Brunswick foodstore is THE cafe to go to for killer service, high quality food and for what you get, it's reasonably priced.
Recommendations: Mixed Grill (so good and protein packed!) along with a Hepburn Springs Mineral Water.
p.s: they have a really great website.
p.p.s: .....I built it.
Hey Jude Cafe - Essendon A new addition into my rotation, I've been to this cafe 3 times already this year. (We're only 9 days in at the time of writing this by the way). A great vibe, good variety in the menu and of course, delicious coffee. All 3 times I've been I've had consistently nice service.
Looking forward to coming back a few more times and meeting some new people here. Oh, and they're dog friendly too :)
Recommendations: Lamb Salad (without balsamic vinegar, which I hate), and a good old long black.
Feast of Merit - Richmond When I started doing some work with a couple of Richmond based personal trainers, I found myself over that side of town (I live over in Northern Suburbs). Of course a man's gotta eat, so I started frequenting Feast of Merit. It wasn't until my 3rd visit that I understood they're a socially responsible enterprise run with 100% of profits going to YGAP.
I've written previously about the amazing service at Feast of Merit with my good friend Sofia, so you can check that out, but overall this place is great.
They don't have a lot of outdoor seating, but inside is very spacious and I've never had trouble getting a seat.
Killer location, Great Food, and A+ Service. Triple Threat.
Recommendations: Chicken with Broccoli Salad (so good) and a 'Schwarzenegger' smoothie.
Pillar of Salt - Richmond I had heard of P.o.S many times before, but never thought I'd been there. It wasn't until I went to this certain cafe in late 2015, that I took note of this particular it's name....Pillar of Salt.
They are seriously one of Melbourne's busiest cafe's and you'll be looking at a wait if you try and go during peak times...lucky I don't do that ;) peak times are for chumps. (just kidding, but who likes waiting 45 minutes for food?)
But, if you get in at the right times, their food is really nice, and I've only ever received great service from the crew (which says a lot, because I am pretty critical...service can make or break a business).
Recommendations: Green Omlette (no carbs for when I feel like a big fatty), some 'chippies' (yes, that's what their menu says), and a cold drip coffee on a hot summers day.
I'm extremely grateful to be in a position to be able to check out all of these lovely cafe's and also more grateful to be able to meet the service driven individuals behind these successful venues.
Over the course of 2016 and beyond, I will be continuing my journey to find great new cafe's and also sticking to some of ye olde faithfuls as you see above.
If you know of a great cafe, or own one, why not post below? I'd love to check it out.