January 15, 2013 by skeeta79
Beans by the Bay
First up another quick plug for il Fornaio (reviewed here). Excellent for the first caffeine hit of the day when in St Kilda, user of my favourite panela sugar (still hunting for where to buy it in the soup tin) and just a nice atmosphere without feeling like you have to be a total hipster to belong.
Combi coffee was my other favourite coffee haunt when living in St Kilda. I stumbled upon its Albert Park location when house-hunting. Being August in Melbourne it wasnt exactly shorts and t-shirt weather, and having just moved I was rugged up like the Michelin man and suffering. So I wandered in and pulled up a chair at the communal table, thinking that’s all there was and copping a ‘cant feel the extremities’ blast of air every time the door opened…until the fabulous waiter said ‘um dont you want to be by the fire in the next room while you have your coffee?’…does a bear do a full-flush in the woods?? Lead on. Good coffee, friendly people. Cool outdoor area with actual combi van when it’s warmer. And they hand-stamp their logo on all their coffee cups. (and for my hippy friends it’s all fair trade stuff etc).
Another joint in St Kilda to check out is Dr Jeckyll. Popular amongst the post-WOD crossfit junkies, it’s worth the wait to get a table. Wear lycra / Lorna Jane and you’ll fit right in.
Eastern suburbs daaahhling
I must admit I haven’t spent much time in my old stomping ground of the eastern suburbs since my return to Melbourne, very poor form, I soon mightn’t ever be allowed back over that side 🙂
However there’s plenty of cafes and funky little places to visit, especially the south-eastern / Richmond areas so here’s a couple to check out:
Dukes – one of the breakfast hot spots in Melbourne at the moment so don’t ever expect to get seated straight away if you turn up for this town’s official breakfast time of 10am. And as it says on the tin, it’s a coffee hot-spot too. Thankfully you’re on Chapel St (Windsor end) so plenty of shop windows to look in while you wait for the elusive table. Put it on the ‘go-to list’.
Mazzitelli’s – which if you are in the inner sanctum is known as Mazerati’s – is a relative newcomer to the Richmond scene and, as far as this girl is concerned, a desperately needed addition to the somewhat fading Bridge Road. With minimal signage it’s very easy to miss when you walk past, but inside has both seating and takeaway area. The Tanner Manor girls (Prue and Jules) and Libs rate it, and I’d agree.
Central Bean District (CBD and surrounds)
In my previous pre-Melb life, I was known as a ‘booth bitch’ because of the amount of time I spent at conferences, and one of my last was in Melbourne (and may have been where I found out about my now current role!) I stayed at the Royce Hotel on St Kilda Rd (yes I do occasionally miss the days of flitting from swanky hotel to swanky hotel). This meant that for myself and my partner in conference crime, Clare, Cafe Vue 401 was our destination for first coffee of the day. Out of the Vue de Monde stable, it’s a bit of a stand out and clever location choice on a road not known for eating establishments. And seriously, how cool is the ‘dirt’ sugar? (PS if you cant figure out where it is on St Kilda Rd, you don’t deserve to go).
Villanova is my ‘work coffee’ place. Situated in the 150m between Nth Melbourne station and my office in West Melbourne, it’s convenient, good, and they know what I have without me saying anything. I have, however, made the new year’s resolution to only have 1 sugar in my coffee instead of 2 – and this caused major confusion for a couple of days when my colleague does the coffee run and I’d forgot to inform her. Thankfully we averted an international crisis and moved on to other 1st world problems.
I almost don’t want to tell you about the next place…because quite frankly if I turn up for lunch and cant get a seat I’m going to be less than impressed. But you can get your coffee there – takeaway. Beatrix is a fabulous tiny little cafe tucked away in Nth Melbourne, away from Errol St and the usual haunts. I know this is meant to be a coffee post – of which they do an excellent brew, but I have to also explain the food situation. A couple (as in literally 2) staple sandwiches available and then every day is a panini with a different filling – so you have to find their blackboard on FaceBook or take a risk. Even the small is huge. And the rule is don’t even think about leaving without having one of their cakes (Georgina my work bud and I share one). Everything made onsite – out of control good.