13 Brand New Melbourne Eateries That Haven’t Been Written About Anywhere
It's tough being a blogger. You're up against hundreds of others. You have to balance posts about cheery local brunch spots with extravagant banquets put on by PR companies. Plus you are generally in the shadow of publications such as Broadsheet, TimeOut and Epicure, which always have their fingers on the pulse of Melbourne's throbbing food scene (apologies if that was a bit visual). Every now and then, you beat them all. You have a little win and sit back smugly. Today I'm not just having one little win, but 13. Today I'm sharing 13 brand new cafes and restaurants in Melbourne that are yet to be written about. Go nuts, you ambulance chasers, you.
1. Village Cantina | 30 Ballarat St, Yarraville | (03) 9689 8000
Opening just last week, Village Cantina is bringing tacos back in Yarraville. The decor is uncomplicated but effective, with the vibrant logo printed above the kitchen window and the usual Mexican artwork and knickknacks scattered around the place. The small courtyard is all set for summer, and the menu keeps things simple with tostaditas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas and nachos.
source: Village Cantina Facebook, credit: Maguri Photography
2. All Blue Espresso | 187 Through Rd, Camberwell | (03) 8394 3968
This humble little café in Camberwell serves up 5senses coffee and all the brunch favourites. Dishes like French toast, smashed avocado and bircher muesli are prettily presented, while bonus points are awarded for service with a smile.
source: All Blue Espresso Facebook
3. Harry Hall |115 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern | (03) 9509 2708
Back in the 1930s, Harry Hall was a moneylender operating out of what is now Harry Hall restaurant and wine bar. There’s an open fire (and a courtyard on the way), as well as rooms available for private functions. Food-wise they do everything themselves, from smoking meat to stuffing sausages. The wine menu is also a bit different, listing an Australian or New Zealand wine beside a similar varietal from another part of the world.
source: Harry Hall Facebook
4. Brother Nancy | 182 Essex Street, Footscray | 0439 318 820
Don't be fooled by the size of this tiny, minimalist cafe, the menu packs a punch thanks to its French chef out the back. Restaurant-quality dishes such as the chicken and quinoa salad, or perhaps the steak tartare, arrive artfully arranged. Brother Nancy is quietly scoring Footscray extra points in the competitive world of Melbourne dining.
source: Brother Nancy Facebook
5. The Colonel's Son | 299 Beach Road, Black Rock | (03) 9589 0481
This Black Rock local is all about freshness and flavour. Make a beeline for the glass cabinet on the green and white-tiled counter filled with enticing sweet treats like rosewater meringues and peanut butter and jelly cupcakes. They’re open for breakfast and lunch seven days, serving everything from waffles through to linguini.
source: The Colonel's Son Facebook
6. The Ambrosiary | 70 Portman Street, Oakleigh | (03) 9568 4490
Ambrosia, the food of the gods, is said to make those who eat it immortal. That's not necessarily the case at The Ambrosiary, part grocer part café, but there's certainly a health focus. There are also plenty of higher-end boutique brands with loads of organic, gluten free and lactose free products. Stop in for a house pretzel and a Four Rascals coffee, then take home some Spanish Jamón Ibérico or an Almdudler alpine herb soft drink.
source: Abrosiary Facebook
7. Tipo 00 | 361 Little Bourke St, Melbourne | (03) 9942 3946
Named after the high-quality flour used in making pasta, Tipo 00 is a new pasta bar in the CBD worth a visit. The dedicated kitchen team make squid ink linguini, pappardelle and more out the back, while knowledgable waitstaff are more than happy to suggest some vino to match.
source: Tipo 00 Facebook
8. Woven | 175b Stephen St, Yarraville | (03) 9973 5926
The devil is in the detail: homemade almond milk, juices cold-pressed daily, Rooftop Honey on quinoa bircher and crumpets from Dr. Marty's, just to name a few. Then there's the tofu and kale gratin for the vegos, super grain salads for the healthy, and burgers for the wise. Woven has all bases covered in a converted warehouse to boot.
source: Woven Facebook
9. Hard Pressed | 76 Wellington Pde, East Melbourne | (03) 9417 4441
Finally, a decent café in East Melbourne. The area, which was previously dry until Persillade opened at the end of last year, now has a French Press coffee and Latino-inspired sandwich shop to add to the mix. Those who have never had a Cuban sandwich should do so here, quick smart.
source: Hard Pressed Facebook
10. Mr. Willis | cnr Hampton and Willis Street Hampton
Hampton locals rejoice! Mr. Willis has set up shop in your 'hood, bringing with him a canary-yellow coffee machine and a display cabinet that will make your eyes pop. Make yourself comforable on the stylish cushions or grab some caffiene to go. Just make sure you keep an eye on the kids, there may or may not be lolly jars on the counter.
source: Mr. Willis Facebook, credit: Caprice Photography
11. El Habanero | 342 Clarendon St, South Melbourne | (03) 9645 8148
Forget the fact that these guys have ripped off Meatballs & Wine Bar's logo for a second, because their authentic Mexican is supposedly top notch. Sure, there are tacos and tortas galore, but it's the warm service that's leaving its mark on the neighbourhood. Dig into fresh and colourful tortillas, then finish with avocado ice cream.
source: El Habanero Facebook
12. Pg. 2 | 207 Swan St, Richmond | (03) 9043 6823
Walking into this café feels like you’re entering someone's living room. Personal touches are rife, from summery flower arrangements and glass lolly jars to cushions made by the owner’s mum. Pg. 2 also supports local artists, so expect the wall candy to rotate. There's a sizeable courtyard out back, complete with red leather armchairs. Pop in for some sweet potato pancakes, or perhaps jerk chicken is more your thing?
source: Pg. 2 Facebook
13. The Grounds at St. Columbs | 5 St Columbs St, Hawthorn | (03) 9819 0890
If you want to get away from trendy cafes with queues of hipsters snaking down the street, head to The Grounds at St. Columbs. This beautiful café is located within the grounds of a church, complete with sunny courtyard and veggie patch. For now they’re only open for coffee during the week, but brunch will be in full swing early November.