This guest post is brought to you by Heather Rudd of There’s No Place Like Oz. Heather spent the previous year of her life traveling (and eating) her way around Australia, so here’s one of the tasty tips she has to share:
Everyone has a favorite home-away-from-home place to visit, whether it’s for a few hours or a few months. For a handful of Australians, their special place is a local cafe. After living in and traveling around the country for a year, I found my happy place at Three Bags Full cafe in Melbourne (corner of Mollison and Nicholson Streets, Abbotsford).
Aussies and travelers alike speak of Australia’s coffee culture, and Melbourne prides itself in being home to some of the best cafes in the country. No matter how good a staff, menu, or location may be, a cafe can only be as good as its coffee.
Based on the recommendation of a cafe scene regular, I decided to try one of Melbourne’s signature cups — the “magic”. A magic is a double shot latte served in a smaller cup than a normal latte. If you need a caffeine kick or simply crave the taste of espresso, give the magic a go. It became my drink of choice at Three Bags Full.
Perhaps one of the wise moves by Three Bags Full owners was selecting to serve Five Senses coffee. Five senses is an Australian company based out of Western Australia and Victoria and has a strong reputation for quality coffee in Oz. Add some craftsmanship and a little love from their top-notch baristas, and you have a cup of coffee that’s difficult to rival.
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With the first bite of my first meal at Three Bags Full, I knew the cafe was something special. On each subsequent visit, I expected great things, and the chefs continued to deliver. It can be difficult to find a place that does everything right, but this cafe seems to never miss a beat.
An all-day breakfast is available, ranging from $6.00 for toasted freshly baked bread (served with homemade jam, marmalade, Vegemite, or honey) to $17.50 for the Big Breakfast (eggs, bacon, and veg). The real winners to me are the options in the $14-15 range — select any item from the “Sweet Tooth” section of the menu or a dish on the Specials board, and you’re in for a dish that’s full of flavor and well-priced for the quality. I still can’t choose between the baked french toast with creme patissiere and fruit (a special) and the toasted house made fig and raspberry bread ($14.50) served with vanilla bean mascarpone, fresh strawberries and passionfruit for my favorite Three Bags Full meal.
Savory items for brunch and lunch are also available, starting at $9.00 and topping out at $17.00 for the Black Angus Steak Sandwich. If you enjoy lamb, the Open Braised Lamb Sandwich ($14.50), complete with roasted red peppers, feta and rocket, is a delicious option. The pumpkin and sage fritters ($15.50) with grilled haloumi, creamed feta, crisp prosciutto, tomato and rocket was my favorite non-breakfast meal by far.
Ingredients for a successful cafe
A fun, flavorful, well-executed menu, along with perfectly made coffees, made Three Bags Full an easy choice for my favorite cafe in Australia. Simple but quirky decor add to the cafe’s charm, as do the welcoming and dedicated owners and staff. And I’m not the only one who thinks so — business is going so well that the cafe is expanding into a neighboring space.
If you live in Melbourne or find yourself passing through, give Three Bags Full a go, and let me know how it rates for you! Have another pick for your favorite cafe in Oz? Tell me about it and I’ll add it to my wish-list of places to visit next time I’m in Australia.