Best cafe's in Melbourne

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by su22, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. su22

    su22 New Member

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    What's the fun of riding if there's no coffee after? Here's a couple of great brekky places that I can recommend. Feel free to add your faves:

    1) Brown Cow Cafe: Hampton St, near Hampton train station. turn off Beach Road as you're coming towards the city at the exit across the road from Sandy footy ground.

    Beautiful sunny deck outside, nicely fitted out inside with brown furniture. $8 berry pancakes are awesome for a carbo load-- not oily, stack of about 5?, wicked summer berries and sauce.
    $12.50 eggs benedict/florentine-- poached eggs, thick toast, creamy hollandaise sauce and the best grilled tomatoes ive come across.
    $3 pretty milkshakes
    $15.50 duck risotto-- best in winter for lunch/dinner. Chunky bits of duck, mushrooms. A winner.

    2) Cafe racer: where else can you get such wholesome food and fab service? oh not to mention the hottie who works there Turkey/avo/roquette panini is yummy, and the smoked chicken/cucumber/mayo/wholegrain sanga is bigger than you expect. Great place to check out what everyone else is riding. the little gingerbread Racer dudes are a pricey sweet treat, but so worth it. ive heard the custard donuts on Sundays rock too.

    3) The Avenue, Victoria Ave, Port Melb.
    A friend of mine swears that they make the best bircher muesli. i'd have to agree. Muesli soaked in OJ, yoghurt, with coconut and fruit. Their juices and salads look good, the sun comes out after about 11am (so you have to time your ride for this). They believe that "tippers make good lovers".

    4) Belle Zain, 1 Beach St Port Melb. Mediterranean influence, full brekky comes with grilled vegies which makes for a colourful plate. great atmosphere indoors and outside, has the potential to be be over-run by yuppies but thank it's not, just don't order muesli cuz it'll come out as shredded coconut with muesli that's pretty hard to chew your way through. Awesome coffee, great at sunset (faces west), overlooking Port Phillip Bay.

    5) Cafe brewhaha, Blessington st, St Kilda. Cute, mini, tucked away from busy Acland St. Berry parfait with muesli and yoghurt looks great; won't fill you up, but it's worth the sight. Big plate of eggs, bacon toast and tomato; nice if you get a table outside in the sun; there's a bike rack just outside. If a skinny old man comes up to you asking for a cigarette, be a smart arse and say "look at us, we're cyclists. we don't smoke" cuz he'll crack it and lecture you with a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes.

    ... and i forgot to mention coffee:

    1) Brighton Baths cafe/bar. They use full cream milk. that's why it tastes so bloody good. don't worry, you'll burn it off. Overlooking the brighton sea baths. you can analyse the swimmers' stroke and technique if that's your thing. Triathlete's entertainment.

    2) Torch, Swan St Richmond. The best damn coffee i've come across! a normal strength coffee from this place tastes like a double-hit! has a nice courtyard at the back.

    every other cafe i mentioned has about average coffee-- they're all good. the only place that isn't realy up to scratch is the Boathouse in Kew Blvd.
     
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  2. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    Thanks, next time I'm in Melbourne I'll check some of them out. Hopefully after a ride.
     
  3. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    add 'Wall 280', Nelson Street Balaclava (near to Balaclava Station) - good food and excellent coffee (and I'm the original coffee nazi)

    Coffee at Cafe e Cucina is excellent too but nowhere to leave the bike.
     
  4. shorty

    shorty New Member

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    to find the best "cafe" you have to get out of melbourne ! the kinglake bakery is at the end of a great little climb and has the biggest and best value apple scrolls on the planet.
     
  5. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    good tip, but what is the coffee like?
     
  6. shorty

    shorty New Member

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    average. but im no expert
     
  7. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    I don't think you're looking hard enough (no offense). There are more good coffee shops in Melbourne than you can poke a stick at.

    The one's marked with '*' are good riding destinations.

    My favs
    - Replete - Barkers rd Hawthorn
    - *Fenix - Victoria St Richmond
    - The Botanical - Domain Road South Yarra
    - *Studley Park Boathouse (nice hillrides on the Boulevard) - The Boulevard Kew
    - The Observatory - Botanical Gardens South Yarra
    - Centrale - Bridge Road Richmond (not much space for a bike)
    - Tin Pot - St Georges rd Nth Fitzroy
    - *? - on the water at Beacon cove (Number 1, or something like that)
    - Pretty much anywhere on Brunswick St, though a fav is Retro, The Fitz or Mario's
    - *Bear Brass - South Bank
    - *Ricketts Point Cafe - Ricketts Point (on Beach Road)

    All have good-excellent coffee with a great range of food...I could go on and on and on.


    Enjoy
    Walrus
     
  8. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    I've often fastasised about opening a coffee shop called 'The Coffee Nazi', especially when I'm sitting at a coffee shop after a long ride and drinking over-extracted dilute coffee, scalded milk, skinny milk, and robusta laced coffee blends. Seeing a dirty coffee machine, especially a milk powder caked steaming wand is like fingers down a blackboard! The only one of these I've tried is Ricketts point - the ambience is nice but the coffee is disappointing (to me). Lucky for you if you enjoy it:)

    Sorry, I've got that rant off my chest, now I feel better, I think I'll go for a ride home now.
     
  9. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    Yeah, Ricketts is good for atmosphere...I actually can't remember the standard of coffee, but it didn't seem too bad. You know what it's like with rookie barista's, one good coffee...two bad.

    If you want superb coffee...Illy at Elizabeth Espresso bar.
     
  10. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    Well, if you're going to go somewhere...DON'T go to E'Gusto in South Bank. For the 3rd or 4th time I've been there, their breakfast is CRAP! I keep giving them second chances cause the location is so good, but I went there this morning and the coffee was awful (burnt milk) and the poached eggs were made by some rookie chef who doesn't realise that if you add too much vinegar to stop the whites spreading, then the eggs taste shocking. To top it off, you get two poached eggs on one tiny piece of bread...

    IMO, breakfast is the easiest meal to do well, so it astounds me when professional chefs stuff it up.

    Last time I give them a shot...

    ps. I just reread my message and it's pretty harsh, I must be angry...hehe
     
  11. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    what I look for in a good coffee:
    clean coffee machine, esp clean steam wand (a sign that someone takes pride in their work).
    full cream milk, 2 jugs so that one can rotate back into the fridge (cold milk, better froth).
    porcelein cups not glasses.
    30 ml shots of coffee (no I don't measure it!).
    if you have a really good barista he/she will recalibrate the grinder as the air humidity changes.
    cup warm not boiling hot to hold (the milk will be scalded).
    no 'mugacchinos' on the menu.
    'espresso' not 'expresso'.
    no flavoured coffee (apart from coffee flavoured coffee).

    thick dark nutty brown crema on the coffee

    taste (most important): coffee, not scalded milk (too dilute, too hot) or over-extracted taste (bitter).

    There, I'm not too fussy am I?
    Food - optional extra, but I'm usually hungry enough after a ride to eat anything short of Maccas!
     
  12. Walrus

    Walrus New Member

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    Mate, I think I've found a fellow coffee snob (please note that I do not consider this an insult, merely a sign of high standards). I pretty much look for what you have mentioned.

    I have a Gaggia machine at home...making your own really gives you an appreciation for the pros.
     
  13. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    I've even got the Saeco jersey to match my machine (yes, I'm ashamed to say I do have a thermoblock machine), but I drew the line at getting a Saeco Cannondale (nice bike but I'm not giving up my Look)!
     
  14. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

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    Best café?
    Maybe the best because it’s at the end of a good ride from Melbourne.
    Just fine Food Gourmet bar, Sorrento – supposely the best vanilla slices in Victoria.
    It’s a struggle on my MTB when all my mates are on road bikes, but when you get there it feels like you’ve earned it.
     
  15. Spider1977

    Spider1977 New Member

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    Aah! Snot blocks. I'll be putting this place on my ride calender when I'm next in Vic.:)
     
  16. luke1972

    luke1972 New Member

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    A1 bakery
    Sydney Road (near Moreland Rd, on left if you are riding north).

    $2 coffee, $1.00 zataar? (herb pizza). Ride home again with change from a fiver. Coffee will not impress coffee experts, but a great place for people watching.
     
  17. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    I agree, great bakery, good selection of Middle eastern treats, lousy coffee.
     
  18. su22

    su22 New Member

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    i heard there's the ultimate coffee place somewhere along Sydney road, and it's around $2. you go there for the coffee and not the shop... the friend who told me about it can't remember the name. do you know if it's out there?
     
  19. ProfTournesol

    ProfTournesol New Member

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    no but I'd like to know:)
     
  20. miday

    miday New Member

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    coffee at the Kinglake Bakery is not flash - but much better than the coffee on top of Donna :)
     
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