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Café Blac & Reading Room

Home > Melbourne > Breakfast | Cafes | Coffee | Food and Wine | Lunch
by Tracey Winning (subscribe)
A freelance writer who can't resist good food and exploring new places. Visit my blog at
Published August 26th 2013
Great breakfasts and a 'Reading Room'
Boasting a unique ceiling of waves built with fanned books, The Reading Room located upstairs in Cafe Blac has the much sought after and mysterious X factor. Designed by artist Ryan Foote, the amazing ceiling is completely covered from beginning to end with open books, of which some sections hang lower than others, to form a wave of books.

Cafe Blac, The Reading Room, cafes in Hawthorn, best breakfast, Ryan Foote
The Reading Room upstairs at Cafe Blac

Open to the general public by day, unless it has been booked for an event, The Reading Room is the perfect place to come have a coffee, read, study and relax. The only frustrating thing I found, was that some of the books which formed the ceiling looked pretty good, especially the recipe books, and I kind of wanted to grab a few and start reading them.

Cafe Blac, Breakfast, Breakfast Hawthorn, Best Scrambled Eggs
Scrambled Eggs at Cafe Blac

Taras Maciburko, owner of Cafe Blac is understandably passionate about his business and its short history. Besides the range of interesting books gathered, which included interesting titles such as 'The Do It Yourself Lobotomy', Taras was surprised to find a letter from Giorgio Armani to Cate Blanchett fall from one of the books. Dated 2006, the letter congratulated Cate on her Golden Globe nomination and was accompanied by a range of school text books with Cate's name on them.

Cafe Blac, The Reading Room, cafes in Hawthorn, best breakfast
Wave of books ceiling, Reading Room, Cafe Blac

One of the goals with The Reading Room was to create a sustainable functional space, and Cafe Blac has certainly done that and more, creating a positive and welcoming vibe. However, I have to confess that I didn't actually even know about Cafe Blac or their Reading Room, until I happened to wander in there for breakfast one morning. After ordering Eggs Benedict from their delicious breakfast menu and savouring every bite, I started to fantasise about living in Hawthorn and eating Eggs Benedict at Cafe Blac every morning, then wandering up to the Reading Room for a hot drink and to read the paper. Hmmm, what a way to start each day.

Eggs Benedict, Cafe Blac, Hawthorn Cafes, Best Breakfast
Eggs Benedict at Cafe Blac

Just in case you are wondering, the Blac in Cafe Blac stands for Breakfast, Lunch and Coffee and that is exactly what this cafe does so well. Although they are not open to the public for dinner, evening catered functions can be booked there including day or evening seminars, staff meetings, conferences or celebrations. The Reading Room receives regular bookings for meetings and with the uplifting ambience the room provides, I am not surprised. But if you are still stuck at the office for meetings, you can always arrange for the Cafe to prepare freshly made and well presented boxed lunches.

Cafe Blac, Glenferrie Road Hawthorn cafes, best eggs benedict hawthorn
Cafe Blac, 707 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn

I'm a fan of Cafe Blac's Eggs Benedict and the Reading Room, and will certainly make this place my number one stop for brekky when in the Hawthorn area.

Besides the inside seating area and upstairs Reading Room, Cafe Blac also has two options for eating outdoors which include the courtyard area located at the back of the premises or a few tables out front on the pavement.

Cafe Blac, Cafes in Hawthorn

Cafe Blac is located on Glenferrie Road in Hawthorn, just a convenient stroll from Glenferrie Station.
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Why? Delicious breaksfasts, nice vibe, awesome Reading Room
When: All day. Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea
Phone: 03 9818 8965
Where: 707 Glenferrie Road Hawthorn 3122
Cost: Reasonable
Your Comment
That ceiling is awesome.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12594) 2471 days ago
I love the book wave! Wouldn't want to be in there if a fire broke out though ;-)
Interesting about Cate Blanchett's books. Everything looks lovely. I live pretty close so thing I will be popping in sometime soon.
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1133) 2471 days ago
We were extremely impressed with the food (and decor!) when we went for Sunday brunch...and they actually take bookings!
by abbyl (score: 2|115) 2463 days ago
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