Babka Bakery Cafe is a Melbourne institution and one of the busiest spots on Brunswick Street in Fitzroy. It is a place where brunch lasts just about all day. Meals are influenced by an assortment of Eastern European culinary traditions. Popular meal choices include Russian blintzes with cottage cheese and sultanas, cabbage rolls, borscht and of course the fabulous Vereniki – an assortment of freshly made potato and mushroom dumplings perfectly complimented with fresh dill and sour cream.
Traditional egg based breakfasts, pies and sandwiches are also available, in addition to a rotating list of specials. Babka meals tick both the quantity and quality boxes, as they are generously sized without being overkill and are carefully prepared with quality ingredients. A wonderful thing to order at Babka is the simple yet pleasurable snack of bread, butter and jam. After all, the bread comes fresh from the Babka bakery. The jams are likewise homemade and are absolutely delicious. Babka's range of jams, honeys and chutneys are also available to take home.
The bakery at Babka is a real drawcard – it not only feeds hoards of adoring customers but Babka also acts as a supplier for local restaurants and cafes as well. Their variants of fresh bread include casalinga, multigrain, sourdough and wholemeal. More exotic options include vegetable bread, egg loaves and epi baguettes. The bread loaves all have deliciously chewy crusts and soft centres. The pastries, biscuits and cakes are almost impossible to go past. Hit favourites are the delectable lemon tart, crispy fruit pastries and delicate shoo fly fruit buns. All bakery items are available to take away and can also be pre-ordered. Babka is a great place to get a birthday cake!
An aspect of the Babka dining experience that could be deemed a negative is that ordinarily one must wait for a table, owing to both its extreme popularity and the fact that it is a small place (no prams allowed). The wait for a table usually lasts about 20 minutes. The line for take away is alternatively short and fast-moving. Unfortunately, the waiting staff can at times also be a bit absent-minded. However, the marvellous food is well worth a little patience.
One final thing – the coffee is amazing – or as an alternative: a pot of Calmer Sutra chai tea served with a beaker of frothy milk and a pot of honey. Then again, Babka is licensed.