Brunetti. The name rings a bell to anyone who knows anything about Italian-Melbourne culture. But what have you heard? And have you tried it out for yourself? If you haven't, this is the perfect time. If you have, well...it's never a bad thing to return.
Brunetti Carlton is in the heart of Carlton, close to Lygon st and a short walk from the Melbourne University tram stop. Don't let the endless hype put you off: for once, this is a cafe that lives up to its reputation, good and bad alike.
Enter through the end door, and you are greeted with a noise similar to that of any Neapolitan cafe: crashing cups and saucers, shuffling feet and cries of ORDER 17, COFFEES! It does feel like you've walked into a real Italian cafe, except the clientele can be a little grating. For an old-school Italian place, people tend to think of Brunetti as the 'cool' place to hang out. Drop that idea at the door and enjoy it for what it is.
If you can make it through the throng to the counter, order any coffee you would like. They specialise in everything and anything. Then stand back and watch the two baristas work their gigantic coffee machines with grace, not burning themselves once. If caffeine doesn't float your boat, try an iced granita or fresh orange juice.
While your coffee is a-brewing, check out the rest of the establishment. Walk up a slight incline to find the pastry section, a veritable delight for sweet-teethed sugar lovers. Ranging from small pastries to macaroons, the pastry chefs really know their game. And of course, don't forget to turn around and gaze at the massive cakes. Made for any occasion, these cakes are snapped up before you can say 'Limoncello?'
Grab your coffee from the bar when they call your number, and don't be late. Nothing peeves the staff off more than having to wait for someone for 10 minutes with their order, only the find it cold when they get there. Wait by the counter, snap up your drinks and enjoy either the heated warmth or cool breeze of the outside area.
Perfect for a break, a lazy afternoon or that special birthday cake. Just don't get caught in the throng of fashionistas.