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Cafe Corretto

Home > Melbourne > Lunch | Ice Cream | Food and Wine | Dinner | Restaurants
by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
Published August 17th 2015
Race to this authentic place with pit crew ready to serve
We recently headed off on another family road trip to Melbourne to visit this cosmopolitan city once again and partake in some more fabulous sightseeing, shopping and dining experiences. Instead of just focusing on the CBD area and day trips, we decided to venture to some of the inner suburbs this time. Just a stone's throw away, and a must-do on our list, was the Italian precinct of Lygon Street in Carlton.

We didn't have a particular restaurant in mind when we set out for dinner. Strolling along the street, my husband was looking for somewhere that served authentic Italian meatballs. Coming across Cafe Corretto, we browsed the menu out the front. Prices were reasonable and there was a good variety of dishes to choose from, including meatballs. So we stepped inside.

Upon entering the premises, the 'wow' factor hit in the form of a huge Ferrari hanging from the roof and we realised this was no ordinary restaurant. This was special and very Italian with flags and lots of interesting paraphernalia. Tones of red and white, a multitude of framed pictures showing cars and race winners, signed caps and helmets adorning the nooks and crannies, had us thinking that perhaps the owner was once a Ferrari driver and that this restaurant was named after him. Not the case though. It turns out, that every year since the Grand Prix has been held in Melbourne (almost 20 years), the Ferrari team have come to eat at Cafe Corretto and have provided much of the intriguing decor hanging about. It is a favourite hangout for Michael Schumacher and friends. In the case of the name, Corretto is an Italian coffee - a shot of espresso with grappa (Italian spirits).

As we were guided to and seated at a table, the waiter took our orders. Quick in delivering our drinks, the food followed in a timely manner even though this restaurant was filling up quickly for a Wednesday on a cold winter's night. Once our meals came and we started tucking in, it was easy to see why this establishment is so popular.

Meatballs & Spaghetti Bolognese
Huge Meatballs, Spaghetti and Bolognese sauce - no going hungry here

The mains were tasty, huge and filling. We each chose a different type of pasta with meats and sauces that varied in flavour, veering away from pizza (for a change). Meatballs and spaghetti with bolognese sauce for my husband, chicken cardinale with fettuccine was my son's choice and I tried the beef cannelloni with bolognese sauce. All of them were amazing and given a thumbs up.

Chicken Cardinale with Fettuccini
Chicken Cardinale with Fettuccini

Beef Cannelloni with Bolognese sauce
Beef Cannelloni with Bolognese sauce

The dessert menu looked great with its pictures of tantalising options and names, such as 'Forbidden Apple' and 'Passion Delight', however we didn't feel like we could fit it in. It was only when paying at the checkout near the bar that I spotted the gelato fridge and couldn't go past it. I had heard the gelato was good in Lygon Street so I purchased two scoops in a tub to takeaway, limonete sorbet and banana gelato. Both were beautiful and soothing.

It was a great night and one of the best meals we had on our trip south. It's an intriguing place to dine and I would most certainly go back again.

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Why? For authentic Italian cuisine
When: 1130am-1100pm Tues-Sun
Phone: 03 9347 2300
Where: 225-227 Lygon St Carlton
Cost: Variable
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