A few months ago in winter, I went to New Zealand with my family for a short vacation, and I’d have to say that the scenery were absolutely amazing and beautiful. Our first stop was Auckland, and we went to try out Chuffed the next morning for breakfast. It was located in the CBD so it was easy to find and highly accessible (it’s inside the building at High Street where you’ll find a sign outside that points you to the direction), but I thought it was lacking a bit in terms of friendliness, not that we were exactly treated rudely either. Slightly disappointed with my coffee and decent-quality food, but I liked the cafe’s atmosphere and clean interior.
Mamasita is one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne, which serves amazing Mexican food and tapas. However, even though the prices may seem affordable on the menu, chances are, you’ll probably buy a lot of dishes if you want to be full. Nonetheless, all of the dishes that I’ve tried at Mamasita (albeit not many) weren’t just mediocre, but all pretty good. It gets crowded really quickly, especially for dinnertime and weekends (since it has a bar), so remember to get there early. The first time I went to Mamasita, I didn’t realize the entrance was actually the little door right beside the 7-11 across the Collins St/Parliament tram station so I ended up missing it. The second time, I got there only 30 minutes after it opened and it was already crowded – I suppose it’s not considered one of the most famous restaurants around for nothing.
A La Folie Patisserie is a cafe that is popular for its macarons and other various desserts, and is situated on the trendy shopping precinct of Chapel Street in South Yarra. As we were walking along the area on a lazy afternoon, my family and I decided to try out the macarons and coffee here since the desserts were so colorfully presented on the display window. Although the coffee didn’t live up to expectations, the macarons were delectable and I hope to try out the other desserts here someday. A La Folie Patisserie is opened everyday and is easily accessible – it’s a short walking distance from the South Yarra Station – and even closer to the tram stop at the intersection of Toorak Road and Chapel Street. The patisserie is also surrounded by numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops, and is an ideal location to take a break after all the walking and shopping.
Operator 25 is a popular brunch destination and cafe that’s within close walking distance from the Flagstaff Station and Flagstaff Gardens. Although it’s located on a more peaceful area of the CBD, Operator 25 is still lively and filled with people who like to enjoy a good cup of coffee or breakfast/brunch/lunch. Offering great food and ambiance, make sure to turn up earlier to save yourself the trouble of having to wait for seats!
One of the first brunch places I tried when I first got to Melbourne almost three years ago is Mart130. Even then, the food was great and I really liked the atmosphere, which might have partially contributed to my love for what I call ‘Melbournian’ brunch and coffee now. The cafe didn’t use to have EFTPOS facilities though, so that’s definitely a plus now, and it also feels like their service has improved. The cafe is at Middle Park and is convenient to get to, especially if you’re taking tram 96, because it’s right at the tram stop of – you guessed it – 130. It’s close to a lot of sports-related venues and parks, so Mart130 gives off an outdoor-y feel, and I’ve seen plenty of pet-owners and their pets enjoying their time here.
Melbourne is so saturated with cafes and brunch places that you’ll never run out of places to eat. And I love it. Although cafes that are in the CBD are generally more convenient to get to, some cafes, like Twenty & Six Espresso, are more peaceful and quiet. The cafe is located in a quiet environment in North Melbourne, fairly close to Fandago and the Auction Rooms, and several tram stops away from the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Twenty & Six Espresso is quite easily accessible; just take Tram 57 and alight at the Curzon St/Queensberry St stop.
Affogato Espresso Bar is one of the numerous restaurants and cafes you see lined up on both sides of Hardware Lane. The food here was decent and the atmosphere is good, and typical of what you would normally expect for breakfast and brunch places in Melbourne. Although there’s no shade outside in case it rains or if there’s heavy wind, it’s definitely still a nice place to sit and maybe people-watch. It opens on public holidays too!