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Three Surprise Cafes in Watsonia

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by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published June 13th 2014
Boutique Cafes at a Very Reasonable Price
Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
Cake, coffee, lunch or brekkie


I remember a time when there were no real cafes in Watsonia, just the odd fish and chip and pizza joints. Now I have three favourites to choose from. They all offer great food, friendly service, large interesting menus, and all at very, very low prices. They all are all distinctively different with their own special trademark.

If you're looking for a cafe in the North, don't wait until Greensborough. They're all well worth getting off the Hurstbridge line for and Watsonia is just after Macloed. They are easy to find and just skip and a jump from the Watsonia station so there's no excuse. Even if you're fussy eater, budget conscious or like your regular haunts, put these on your to do list for a memorable breakfast or lunch. I'm sure that you will not regret it.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
Drop in for a coffee, cake, lunch or brekkie


The Citrus Tart
2D Lambourn Rd, Watsonia

The Citrus Tart is a cosy, family owned café with the most down to earth owners you will ever meet. It has been in this location for ten years and owned by a mother (Gwen) and daughter (Kirsty) team for four years. The novelty hasn't worn off for them. The Citrus Tart has a lot of regulars who like to come in for a chat.

Most of the food is homemade by Gwen. The most popular items are the chicken schnitzel sandwiches and of course the citrus tart. You'd be lucky to find much better.

The Citrus Tart caters for everyone including offering gluten free meals and snacks. My one criticism is that they have too many choices! You can even create your own combination of sandwiches and rolls from $6.50 and $1.50 extra for focaccia. Even children will have to be decisive decision makers because they have many menu items specifically for them in mind.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly,kid's meals, cheap meals
Variety of kid's meals even for fussy eaters


On the budget side they have little treats like mini muffins and cakes for an unbelievable $1.50.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks and coffee are available from 8.30 to about 4.30 weekdays and 1.30 on Saturday. They seat up to 30 people with indoor and outdoor dining but ring to book for lunch as they are sometimes booked out.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
They look great any way you look at them


Syrup Café
4 Morwell Ave Watsonia

This funky little café is just around the corner from the main street near the RSL. There's heaps of parking and they are dog friendly. This is a bit of a gem. It is a tiny little café with a touch of class and unique and very tasty food combinations. Take a risk it'll be well worth it.

Syrup is run by two sisters Denise and Kathy who friendly and chatty. They try to use locally sourced, organic produce from the Yarra Valley. They make all the food (except the cakes) themselves and without a doubt my melt was the best I have ever tasted and the cheapest (only $7).

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
Berry, berry nice


I have to describe this piece of edible art. My veggie melt was toasted on Turkish style bread with fresh spinach, roasted eggplant, pumpkin, zucchini, capsicum and ricotta. This was a beautiful colour combination topped with a surprise sweet chili sauce.

The menu is not extensive but there are plenty of delicious offerings to choose from. Syrup serves all day breakfast that mostly consists of egg dishes. For $10 you can get a get two Devonshire scones (made from local products) with coffee.

Overall, it was a perfect sized lunch at a great price in a swanky little caf. There's no need to book and the service is fast so give it a go.


Cafe 41

41 Watsonia Rd, Watsonia

This has got to be on the top of the list for feeding a family for a pittance. The small, bustling cafe is in the middle of the Watsonia shopping strip. Cafe 41 is a great place for generous helpings of ridiculously cheap food that gets served fast.

I noticed that they had tradie's breakfast specials. For eight dollars tradies can have 2 eggs on a toasted roll with bacon and a large drink/coffee. That's a special everyone will want to get in on.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
Anyone for breakfast?


The food is also on the very large size. Many are probably enough for two people. The sandwiches were from $5.50… yes, no typo! They had a fairly large menu including other usual items for lunch such as tandoori chicken, schnitzels and enormous burgers. For vegetarians they had spuds, vegetarian lasagna, wedges, quiche, soup and wraps.

In addition they made an item for my son that wasn't on the menu. The egg and bacon muffin was a truly admirable rival to Mcs.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, Homemade food, and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating, cheap meals
Great food for adults and children


Cafe 41 is open five days a week from at 7AM and 8AM on Saturdays.

It's hard to pick so make a priority list and then make your way through all of them. Have fun trying out Watsonia's surprise cafes.
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Why? For a great feed at a great price
Your Comment
Sounds like excellent value. Beats buying a muffin from Starbucks!
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|11954) 1528 days ago
I was bought up in Watsonia, they never had swanky little cads then
by Grant (score: 2|293) 1515 days ago
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