In Melbourne, brunch isn’t so much a meal as it is a past time. For many of us, the weekend wouldn’t be complete without a poached egg atop a pile of smashed avo alongside a cup of smooth coffee.
Luckily, there is no shortage of places to get your caffeine fix in Melbourne’s northside suburb of Preston. Here we highlight a few of our favourite cafes for breakfast and lunch (or a little something in between).
850 High Street, Thornbury
It’s difficult to miss Little Henri, on the corner at the busy High Street intersection between Thornbury and Preston, thanks to its bright white facade and silhouettes of little boys running across the building.
Inside, discover a stripped-back style that’s reminiscent of the building’s former life as a bank. Dark wood panelling, peeling paint, rustic furniture and marble tabletops provide a striking backdrop while the large leafy courtyard offers an inviting place to relax. Fun fact: the former bank vault is now Little Henri’s wine cellar.
The menu is substantial and features a range of dishes for breakfast and lunch. The food is a mix of modern Australian with Mediterranean, Asian and Middle Eastern influences, with vegetarian and vegan options.
Little Henri serves up a strong, smooth coffee using Allpress beans. Pop in for a quick break during the week and come back on the weekend for a longer brunch.
25 Preston Street, Preston
Step inside the welcoming Arepa Days and you might think for a moment you’re in a quaint village in Colombia. The friendly interior is bright and cheery with an open kitchen and turntable playing South American vinyl.
Arepas are a Colombian staple made with ground corn pressed into discs using a speciality arepa maker before being crisped on the grill. The ‘Arepa Lab’ sits behind two upcycled art deco style windows. Here dried Australian white corn kernels are cooked, ground and mixed with water, salt and vegetable oil. The arepas are served from the kitchen out front and also packed off to cafes around Melbourne.
There is a suggested menu of toppings, or you can create your own from choices like black beans, chorizo, scrambled eggs and even Vegemite.
As well as coffee by Brunswick’s Wood and Co you can also enjoy jugs of Colombian hot chocolate spiced with cinnamon and cloves. In summer, cool off with raw sugarcane juice and fresh juices made from tropical fruits such as passionfruit and guanabana (‘soursop’).
Stop by here for a quirky snack or when you want to feel like you’ve stepped off a plane in South America.
107 Plenty Road, Preston
Cosy and inviting, Boundary Road is a small cafe on Plenty Road with just a few tables out front and inside.
The cafe serves up organic and fair trade Coffee Supreme beans alongside an unfussy menu. Baked eggs with chorizo or grilled mushrooms make for a hearty breakfast, while pides cater to lunchtime fare. Most dishes can be made vegan, and there’s a decent kids’ menu for the little ones.
Boundary Espresso keeps it local with ham from nearby Barkly Smokehouse, milk from St David Dairy, free-range eggs from Kinross Farm and bread from Fatto A Manno and Northcote Bakeshop.
Coffee by local roaster Coffee Supreme is served up alongside organic tea and organic soft drinks. The perfect brunch spot for those friendly neighbourhood vibes.
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