Just down the road from the University of Melbourne, Animal Orchestra is a favourite student haunt, with its indie atmosphere, filling fare and low prices.
The menu is quite extensive and includes breakfast dishes and panini as well as more substantial meals. It's best to go for the daily specials for some of the more interesting meals at value prices.
The first time I went there, I ordered hearty chicken soup. It slightly resembled vomit, but it smelled and tasted delicious, just the thing to fight off a bad cold. Best of all, there was only the briefest of waits in between ordering and it being delivered to my table.
On another occasion, I ordered a vegetarian pizza. It was like a cross between a bakery pizza roll and a genuine pizza, and combined the best points from both. Like a real pizza, it was packed with ingredients, slightly oily, and flavoursome. Yet, just like a pizza roll, it could easily be demolished by one person and without much guilt.
The interior of Animal Orchestra is worth noticing. The shop front looks cute enough from the outside, but on the inside it is a tiny wonderland of vintage advertising, mirrors, and provocative pictures residing on the same wall as religious images.