Published: Dec 11 2019
5 of the Best Cafes in Moonee PondsAsk any Melburnian and they’ll tell you that brunch is an integral part of the culture. Whether you live south of the river, out in the ‘burbs, or up north in Moonee Ponds, finding a local cafe that you love is an important part of feeling at home. At Caydon, we understand the significance of Melbourne’s cafe culture, which is why we’ve put together this list of our 5 favourite cafes in Moonee Ponds – all within walking distance from our Mason Sq. neighbourhood.
Darling St Espresso
This hidden gem is an absolute must-try. Located in a converted house on the corner of Darling and Athol Streets, Darling St Espresso is light, bright and open. Grab a seat at the front window when the bifold doors are open or sit out in the dog-friendly courtyard and sample the fresh and tasty menu. Our picks are the fruity pikelets, the Asian chilli scramble or Sriracha chicken burger. Coffee is by local roaster Industry Beans, so you know it’s going to be an excellent brew.
Darling St Espresso is the kind of cafe you would drive to Moonee Ponds for. Or, if you’re lucky enough to live at Mason Sq., you’ll only have to walk around the corner for a laid-back brunch in this stylish space.
Address: 146 Athol St, Moonee Ponds
Ascot Food Store
It’s hard to get a seat at this bustling venue but once you’ve sampled Ascot Food Store, you’ll understand why. Owned by celeb couple Shaun Hampson and Megan Gale, this cafe doesn’t rest on its laurels – it boasts delicious food with a unique menu that’s perfect for a weekend brunch. Try the ricotta dumplings for something a little different or the pressed pork belly benedict for a twist on a classic.
For the time-poor among you, coffee to go is always on point, thanks to St Ali coffee roasters, and there’s a selection of fresh doughnuts daily that pair perfectly. If you’ve got the time, we recommend nabbing a sunny spot out front and indulging in a delicious brunch.
Address: 320 Ascot Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds
No matter what mood you’re in, Sir Duke has an option for you. Whether it’s a lunchtime meeting, Sunday brunch or afterwork drinks, the friendly staff at this all-day Moonee Ponds cafe will make sure you’re well looked after. The diverse menu covers breakfast, lunch and everything in between with a selection of bright and colourful drinks that are bound to make your Instagram followers jealous.
A focus on local produce will make you truly appreciate the area you live in when you dine at Sir Duke. Sit inside and admire the sparkling white and gold coffee machine or enjoy the bustle of Puckle Street with a seat outside. Hot tip – cocktails are $12 after 3pm.
Address: 99 Puckle St, Moonee Ponds
Brother Hen is one of the closest things you’ll come to a farmhouse in suburbia. With a thriving vegetable garden and friendly squad of hens in the courtyard, Brother Hen brings new meaning to ‘farm to table’. The chefs prepare each dish based on what’s in the garden, which means the menu is always fresh and seasonal.
The signature crispy fried eggs with pumpkin hummus, savoury granola, goats’ cheese and truffle oil are always popular, as are the steamed bao – the Golden Gaytime bao were an absolute hit in early 2019, so keep an eye out for their return.
Address: 154 Pascoe Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds
Mr Nice Guys
While it’s technically located in Ascot Vale, this plant-based bakery should always make the list of best cafes in the area… Mr Nice Guys’ vegan cakes are so delicious, they’ll convert even the meatiest carnivores. The soft scent of cinnamon greets you as you approach the front door and the colourful selection makes it almost impossible to choose just a few options to sample.
Our top picks? The peanut butter jelly cupcake, the lickity split and, of course, those cinnamon buns. These delectable morsels pair perfectly with a cup of coffee, available with a selection of plant-based milks at the Union Road shopfront.