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Café Andiamo

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by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 3rd 2011
Looking at the huge array of cafés and restaurants around Degraves St, it's hard to decide where to eat. Café Andiamo, opposite Degraves Espresso, is a reliable option for lunch or dinner. It's hard to go wrong dining there, with a menu comprising the Italian dishes we all know and love, and coffee that always lives up to expectations.

The first choice you'll need to make is whether you sit inside or outside. Outside is noisier and, on occasion, smoky, but you'll get the full Degraves St experience and an excellent opportunity for people-watching. Inside is less interesting, but quieter and more relaxed. One of the best things about Café Andiamo is that it offers a hybrid of indoor and outdoor seating: you can choose to sit just outside but not in the middle of the street with the other tables. If you can get one of these tables, definitely do so; they're the best of both worlds.

Choosing from the menu is easy, since it's the same choice we've all made a hundred times before. Pizza, pasta or foccacia? These are the main options – although there are some other standard seafood or meat dishes – and if you've eaten Italian a couple of times you'll know which you prefer. Café Andiamo does all three well, and if you're unsure, go for the foccacia. It's easy to eat, comes with a variety of fillings, and is always delicious.

Lasagna
You've probably seen this before.


Their coffee – as with all Degraves St coffee – is good, and if you're feeling a little adventurous give their chai latte a shot. It's one of the few areas where they actually compete with nearby cafés, delivering a chai latte that's creamy without tasting like yoghurt. Stay away from the flavoured coffees; if you're forced to try one go for a safe option like caramel. The nut flavours are unpleasantly chemical-tasting.

What's wrong with Café Andiamo? The answer is nothing, really – and that's part of the problem. Café Andiamo is a very unambitious café, choosing the safe option and presentation every time. It won't impress your date or your friends from out-of-town with its food or its décor. On the other hand, its meals and coffee are reliably decent and its prices are low for the area. If you're looking for an adventure, go somewhere else; but if you're interested in a nice place to have dinner with friends, Café Andiamo certainly won't disappoint.
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Why? To have a quiet dinner.
When: Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Where: 36/38 Degraves St Melbourne VIC 3000
Cost: $15-$25 for a main course
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