Humble Rays, Carlton

Humble Rays is a small cafe in Carlton located just off Queensberry St, about a 5-10 minute walk from Melbourne Central on the way up to Melbourne Uni. The cafe prides itself on a fun, relaxed environment and the use of seasonal local produce, with a focus on dessert dishes.

We went on a Saturday morning and were lucky enough to only have to wait for about 10 minutes for a table. The service was really great at Humble Rays, with really friend and attentive staff, and our food came out in less than ten minutes, something I'm not really use to at Melbourne cafes! The cafe itself was a lot more spacious than expected from the exterior, and I love the use of pastel green colours with white and wooden furniture to match. It was a little dark in the area we were seated in at the very back, but the front half of the cafe near the large windows allowed for plenty of natural light to enter.

Light Years Cafe, Hawthorn

Light Years Cafe is located in Hawthorn East on Camberwell Road just past the Rivoli Cinemas. It's actually opened by the same people who own Journeyman in South Yarra and Hammer & Tong in Fitzroy, both of which I've been too and thoroughly enjoyed the food at. There's plenty of parking nearby, or the tram 72 is also a short walk away from the cafe.

The cafe itself is a lot larger than expected, and has quite an open, clean space. Tables for four or more make up most of the cafe, with a bench facing outwards, tables of two towards the back and a large communal table near the display cabinet of desserts and sandwiches. Loud upbeat music plays in the background, giving the whole cafe a vibrant atmosphere. The staff were friendly and attentive, and our food came really quickly - it was less than a ten minute wait.

Dish & Spoon, Camberwell

Dish & Spoon is a small cafe in Camberwell, nestled in a little shopping strip opposite Highfield Park just off Riversdale Road. It's close to tram 75, and there's also plenty of parking in the surrounding streets. Priding itself on using local seasonal produce, the cafe has strong customer service which was reflected in the attentive and friendly staff who served us when we were there.

The decor at Dish & Spoon is quite simple, with white walls surrounding most of the cafe apart from the front counter with its black and brick wall. Large wooden lights hang from the ceiling, and the furniture is mostly pale wooden and pastel colours, complementing the walls nicely, and there's also an outdoor seating area to the back of the cafe as well. We went at around 12pm on a Saturday and were lucky enough to grab a table immediately. The atmosphere at Dish & Spoon is lively; there's a constant stream of people coming in and out, in particular people who just come for a coffee, but it never got too noisy or loud that you couldn't hear the people at your table.

Mr Miyagi, Windsor

Mr Miyagi is a very popular Japanese restaurant located on Chapel Street in Windsor, a short walk from the train station on the Sandringham line or tram 78. The restaurant prides itself on traditional cuisines with an experimental twist, and the design of the place itself also seems to reflect this.

As Mr Miyagi only takes bookings for larger groups, we got there about 10 minutes before it opened at 5pm on a Saturday, hoping to get a table in the first seating. There were already about 20-30 people in front of us, but luckily we managed to grab a table for two in the front section of the restaurant. The restaurant is very large and spacious, and despite being quite close to other tables, didn't feel too cramped or squashed. The decor of the place is quite simple, with dim lighting against pale walls and a cool neon sign that we were lucky enough to sit right under.

Staple, St Kilda

Staple is a recently opened cafe in St Kilda on Fitzroy St, off Princes St. The closest tram stop is probably route 16, though the 96, 3, 5, 6, and 64 all pass through that area near St Kilda Junction. The cafe prides itself on providing high quality food and coffee and a great customer experience.

The cafe is very spacious, with high ceilings and large windows allowing natural light to enter. There's plenty of seating both inside and out, with the outside of the cafe actually quite popular even in winter, as they provide heating and blankets to keep you toasty and warm. The staff were extremely attentive and friendly, and it was only about a fifteen minute wait for our food.

Au79, Abbotsford

Au79 is a popular cafe in Abbotsford, just off Victoria St on Nicholson St and close to one of my favourite cafes, Three Bags Full. It's easily accessible by trams 12 and 109, and there's plenty of parking on the side streets near the cafe itself. Au79 refers to the periodic table; Au being the symbol for Gold, and 79 as the 79th atomic element. It's an interesting name, upon visiting the cafe website you can see written up the very top, 'Good as Au79', meaning 'Good as Gold'.

The decor of Au79 is very aesthetically pleasing; clean and simple with soft colours that contrast to the black structural posts in place. The cafe is very spacious and it looks like there's plenty of seating, and the various plants in the corners and around the cafe give it a more laid back and homely vibe. Even though there was music playing in the background and plenty of people, we didn't really have to raise our voices to hear each other given the vastness of the cafe, which was good.

Sloane Ranger, Cremorne

Sloane Ranger is a relatively new cafe in Cremorne, a short walk from Richmond Station on a side street off Swan Street. I initially thought the name of the cafe was somehow a play on the term 'Lone Ranger', but turns out it's a term quite commonly used in the UK referring to young upper class people who pursue a fashionable lifestyle (thanks Wikipedia)!

The interior of the cafe appears very spacious, especially with the high ceilings and large windows allowing natural light to flow in. There are booths towards the back of the cafe, and large communal tables as well as smaller one for groups of two to four people are scattered in the front half. The light wooden aesthetics, together with the plants decorating one of the walls, provide a cosy and comfortable atmosphere. Upbeat music plays softly in the background, and the place was relatively empty for a Sunday morning, though did get busier as we were there. The staff were attentive and friendly and our food didn't take too long to arrive.

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