three of a kind

Little Collins Street in Melbourne is full of fantastic cafes, hole-in-the-wall coffee jaunts and breakfast bars.

Here are two awesome ones I tried on a recent trip to Melbourne with friends.

Manchester Press

…is a funky former press warehouse space on Rankins Lane off Little Collins.

The waiters are good looking and tattooed and friendly. Issy the barista obviously knows his stuff, because the coffee is great. It’s fresh roasted and flown down from QLD twice a week! The menu is short and neat with a combination of bagels “your way” or cereal. They mix it up with a couple of daily specials.

the menu
regular flat white
large skim flat white
Bircher muesli
toasted muesli, yogurt and berries
fruit bagel with spreads
breakfast bagel with ham, cheese, tomato, egg & avocado
daily special: vegetable soup served with a bagel

the interior is cool – a derelict* warehouse renovated with mod street art and funky recycled industrial artifacts (check out that giant bowling pin!)

and the outside lane-way compliments the entrance and interior

so, now that you’ve got a coffee & bagel craving, let me just leave you with one more thing….

a note in the bathroom: "clint eastwood is an anagram for old west action"
Photo: Eddie Jim, The Age

Manchester Press Cafe | Rankins Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Phone | 03 9600 4054
Hours | Mon-Fri, 7am-5pm; Sat, 9am-5pm
Price Guide | Espresso: $3, Regular coffee: $3.5

*borrowed from Zoolander it is described by Mugatu in the film as “a fashion, a way of life inspired by the very homeless, the vagrants, the crack whores that make this wonderful city so unique.”

Bushwa and Hooey

street frontage: Bushwa and Hooey

We rescued a little Sparrow birdie while we waited for our breakfast…Enticed by the wall murals of birds and the surprisingly real-looking ivy covering the posts inside, the little Sparrow was frettingly flying back and forth attempting to break through the glass doors. With a little corralling from Jay and Nath, he was let free into the Melbourne chill!

After having amazing coffee from the well-known coffee-only team at Brother Bada Budan we pop next door for some breakfast. The interior of Bushwa & Hooey is cute cottage meets secret garden. There are large painted blackboard menus with silhouette birds and ivy twisting around posts. The wall behind the counter is covered with a good array of alcohol bottles and you can even have a tipple with breakfast (although they didnt have any tomato juice to make a bloody mary….), there are fresh baked muffins, pastries and utterly divine slices displayed reverently on the counter tops. The furniture is reminiscent of ‘Central Perk’ from Friends; contemporarily-worn rustic brik-a-brak. But most of all, it’s cosy and warm.

Bushwa & Hooey coffee loyalty cards on display

Nath eats;

Big breakfast with poached eggs

Mandy eats;

Poached eggs on sourdough with hash brown

 Neen eats;

Scrambled eggs with avocado bacon and mushrooms

Ian & Jay both eat;

Chorizo breakfast with scrambled eggs

Mel eats;

Poached eggs with bacon spinach and avocado
coffee (photo by Pommie Mike)

Bushwa & Hooey | 361 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone | 03 9642 3211 ‎

 Brother Baba Budan

I have read about the guys at Seven Seeds and their little offshoot cafe Brother Baba Budan on various occasions, so it was our first point of call for coffee upon waking in Melbourne for our first joyful day of our extra-long weekend!

interior (photo from their website)

The space is intimate, it seats about 15 people, so when the 6 of us saunter in shivering and looking around excitedly, the waiter asks us what we want to order. We answer ‘coffee and breakfast!’ to which he replies that they ‘only serve coffee’ and they only do ‘shot and regular sizes’. He looks at us knowingly when we say we’re from Sydney and heard about the coffee. I am annoyed but immediately push the fact that he’s an arrogant git out of my head. I want good coffee dammit!

Whatever the arrogance, it’s justified in the coffee – it’s great. An almost perfect cup (I discover the perfect cup two days later at Degraves Lane!).

photo from BaristaSistas
the cool takeaway cups
my skim flat white

The philosophy behind Brother Baba Budan is to improve the quality from origin to cup. They work with the farmers and take interest in Single Origin beans. As I mentioned, the coffee is excellent, but I think I’m most impressed with the Barista – super cool, super tattooed Katie Pink. She’s hot!

Barista Katie Pink

Brother Baba Budan |  359 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone | 03 9606 0449