Suda, CBD

Suda is a modern Korean/Australian fusion restaurant located in the CBD on Lonsdale Street, between King and William Street and close to Flagstaff Station. The eatery specialises in tapas dishes with a modern take on traditional Korean food, and prides itself on friendly service and an ambient dining atmosphere.

The restaurant is dimly lit, with quirky Alice in Wonderland artwork drawn in chalk on blackboards on one wall, and a bookshelf and black and white movies playing on the other. The atmosphere is lively from the sounds of the kitchen and chatter from the customers, contrasting with the slow, soft music that plays in the background. The staff were indeed friendly and very attentive, and gave us great details about the dishes we ordered when they arrived, with not too long a wait for food either.

Fourth Chapter, Prahran

Fourth Chapter is a brightly lit cafe located in Prahran on High Street, next to the Victoria Gardens and easily accessible by tram 6. It's also about a fifteen minute walk from both Prahran and Windsor stations, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets.

The interior of the cafe is very bright, with white walls and the large windows at the front allowing plenty of natural light to enter. Plants hang from the ceiling in the back part of the cafe, and there's seating outside both out the front and back. The atmosphere is very upbeat and vibrant; we went around 1pm on a Saturday and it was still very busy with people. The music however was almost too loud, and we found ourselves having to raise our voices quite a lot to hear each other over all the tables of people and general sounds of the cafe.

Short Straw, Hawthorn

Hidden in a side street off Glenferrie Road, Short Straw is a busy cafe in the Hawthorn area that prides itself on both innovative dishes and old favourites, and a range of light snacks. Easily accessible by tram 16 and close to Glenferrie Station, the cafe has fast become a favourite in the area.

I was surprised at how spacious the interior of Short Straw was - from the exterior, you wouldn't expect such a large space. There's two main areas of seating; one of which is in a slightly elevated area that has light streaming in from above as well as the windows to one side, as well as outdoor seating for small groups. The designs on the walls is minimalistic, with the white walls contrasting with the plants and wooden chairs (yes chairs!) hanging from the ceiling. Upbeat old school music from the 90s played in the background, which is a nice throwback.

Touchwood, Richmond

Located on Bridge Road about a 10 minute walk from the outlets/retail stores, Touchwood is a large cafe with a great range of breakfast and lunch, sweet and savoury options as well as a display cabinet of small goodies. The cafe is easily accessible by trams 48 or 75, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets.

From the exterior, you wouldn't expect the cafe to be so spacious, but upon entering it feels like it never ends! Despite it being quite busy when we went, it never felt hectic or cramped; rather, everything is spaced out nicely and the open space allows for normal conversations to flow without having to really raise your voice. The high ceilings with the simple earthy designs and plants made for a comfortable atmosphere. We waited about 15 minutes for a table on a Sunday, and for the most part, the staff were attentive during our meals.

Hawthorn Common, Hawthorn

Hawthorn Common is a popular cafe located in the Glenferrie Road shopping/eating precinct, a short walk from Glenferrie Station and easily accessible by tram 16. The restaurant is located on the second floor with a balcony/terrace area, and as well as breakfast/lunch dining, is available for catering and hosting functions.

The interior of the cafe was a lot larger than I expected, with a very open, bright space partially due to the floor to ceiling windows in place. The use of white and pale wooden throughout the cafe contrasted with the vibrant green plants to give a comfortable, summery aesthetic. The atmosphere was very lively, busy with crowds of people, but not loud enough that you had to raise your voice to speak to each other.

Bawa Cafe, Hawthorn

Located in the heart of Hawthorn, Bawa Cafe is situated near a couple of eateries just off Glenferrie Road. Opened by the owners of Dukes Coffee Roasters, the cafe is easily accessible by tram 16 or the Belgrave/Lilydale line.

Large windows occupy most of the cafe to allow plenty of natural light to enter, and plants hang from the tall ceilings to give it a spacious, open feel. There was about a 10 minute wait for a table on a Sunday when we went, and our food came in about 20 minutes. As it was quite packed when we went, it did feel quite noisy, and together with the loud music made us feel like we had to raise our voices slightly to hear each other.

Ora Specialty Coffee, Kew

Ora Specialty Coffee is a cosy and small cafe located in Kew that prides itself on premium coffee and seasonal produce. The cafe is easily accessible by a number of buses, and there's also plenty of parking on the street that it's located on.

The cafe itself has quite simple decor; the only decorations are the black and white photos in simple black frames that cover two of the white walls. Light streams in from the large windows at the front of the cafe, and upbeat music plays softly in the background. The staff were friendly and attentive, and there wasn't too long of a wait for our food.

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