The inner north of Melbourne is bursting with amazing eateries, interesting galleries, and unique experiences. Sometimes we find ourselves going back to the places we know, or hanging in the more popular areas, but there are smaller nooks of our town that deserve our attention. Abbotsford is one of them. Nestled in-between Richmond and Collingwood, this part of the world is just as established as its neighbours.
Little Big Sugar Salt
Little Big Sugar Salt (aka LBSS) dishes up equal parts tasty food and personality. The small space which feels more like a friend’s house than a café, focuses on healthy foods, but makes sure there are enough indulgences available in-case the mood strikes. Acai bowls topped with gluten-free spiced granola sits next to a triple-decker ham and cheese sandwich creation. The coffee here is worth writing home about, too. Go for a Cold Squeezed Nuts – cold coffee with almond milk if you prefer your caffeine sans dairy.
385 Victoria St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Abbotsford Convent always has something going on. From festivals and concerts to yoga wellness days and their open-air cinema come summer. It’s a place for the community to come together. Within the grounds you’ll find Lentil As Anything, the vegetarian restaurant that lets diners pay what they want and the Convent Bakery that will satisfy any sweet tooth. It’s also home to c3 – a beautiful art gallery.
1-16 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Mavis the Grocer
A newcomer to the Abbotsford scene, Mavis the Grocer is a cross between a café and local produce store. Coconut chia with poached rhubarb is served with seed and nut crumble, while the omelette is mixed with crushed potatoes, leek, Gruyere, chickpea shoots, and chilli oil. Everything goes well with smoothies and Seven Seeds coffee. Once you’ve eaten enough, grab some almonds, a bag of oranges, and some potatoes, and be on your merry way.
197 Vere St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Three Bags Full
A local favourite. Three Bag Full has been around for many years. Here you’ll get a huge plate of tasty food, great coffee, and maybe a wait-list on the weekends. The smashed avocado and the scrambled eggs are cult favourites. While they might slightly change from season to season you’ll always find them there. At the moment, the avocado is served with feta, charred corn, and quinoa, while the scrambled eggs are served with crushed peas and grilled leg ham. Five Senses coffee can keep you company while you wait for that table.
Nicholson St & Mollison Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Admiral Cheng Ho
One for the health seekers. Admiral Cheng Ho is the second café from the team behind Monk Bodhi Dharma, the health food institution on the south side. You can go for raw chia puddings with hazelnut milk, maple syrup, macadamias, sour cherries, and cherry vanilla cream, or perhaps the north African style baked beans with almond feta and avocado on toast. They are also coffee specialists so there is a range of different flavours and styles to choose from.
325 Johnston St, Abbotsford VIC
A large bar on the busy Victoria Street, The Aviary is one of the few venues along that strip that doesn’t sell pho. A solid wine list, local and imported beers, and a space large enough for all your friends makes for a fun evening. The food menu goes for pub fare but uses the best produce. And with a number of function rooms, you can celebrate there too if you like.
271 Victoria St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
Lulie Street Tavern
A very relaxed bar from Curtin House staff Jon Farrell and Brendan Kennedy. Limited furniture, zero pretence, and an affliction for old fashioned good times. The drinks menu is small, two beers on tap at a time, a handful of cocktails like the espresso martini milkshake, and the spiked peach iced tea, plus a whisky lovers selection. If free peanuts aren’t enough to satisfy your hunger you can order from Rita’s across the road.
288 Johnston Street – entrance on Lulie St, Abbotsford, VIC, 3067
Wholesome Italian food. Sometime that’s literally all one is looking for. Opened by three friends with strong hospitality backgrounds, Rita’s is a place where you can enjoy a plate of pasta or a pizza in a relaxed atmosphere. Pappardelle is served with braised rabbit ragu and pine nuts, while risotto is filled with scampi tails, peas, and goats cheese. The pizza menu is pretty standard. Crispy bases are topped with tomato, mozzarella, and fresh basil, or tomato, mozzarella, pork and fennel sausage, and chilli.
239 Johnston St, Abbotsford VIC 3067