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 6, 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.

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.

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