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The Common Restaurant

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Fine Dining | Food and Wine | Restaurants | Vegetarian
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 October 15th 2014
A Bit of Style, Great Service And Extensive Menu
Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, ethical business,


I take names of businesses seriously and literally, so it's for this reason that I do not understand why this cafe is called 'The Common'. As far as I can see, this upper class cafe is unlike many other cafes and restaurants in this area. Commoners are ordinary people who are not members of nobility nor the priesthood. Therefore this includes most of the general public, like me, who are neither privileged or influential. Here's the good news: all comers are welcome at The 'Common' restaurant in Eltham and they will be treated like royalty!

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, vegetarian,
Make yourself comfortable


This new restaurant/cafe in Eltham is very closely located near the station in what was recently a drive through bottle shop. They must have spent a fortune on renovating this space. Those trendy polished cement floors could have been a disaster but the owners have thoughtfully selected noise reduction techniques with the selection of soft furniture and ceiling fittings. The Common includes a selection of different types of tables and chairs and no harsh stainless steel that you often find in other 'common' cafes.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, ethical business,
Our little nook


I was impressed that when we arrived a smiling barman greeted us. This was so unexpected that in that instant I imagined he must have been secretly sampling the house wines to wear such a grin. The barman introduced David, the waiter, who said he would help us. He asked where we would prefer to sit and suggested perhaps the wrap around seats near the window. David explained that there were three menus: the snacks, appetisers and afternoon spread menus.

All meat and eggs are free range organic, hormone and antibiotic free. Everything is made of local quality organic produce. The menu explain that the seasonal availability of some ingredients might mean that certain items are not available when requested. The menus clearly state this and apologise in advance if your first choice is not available. However, they make no apologies for supporting local producers and making everything in house.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, vegetarian,
Beautifully presented with signature board


The Common are an ethical business that uses environmentally friendly cleaners and detergents. They use recycled products where they can and recycle whatever is possible.

I asked a gentleman who was sitting nearby what he thought of the restaurant. He told me he had been to the Commons a number of times and that he preferred it to other more noisy venues. He recommended the Cajun chicken and the mousakka. He made a point of emphasising the excellent service at The Commons. He thought that the furniture, which includes comfy chairs, couches and coffee tables made this a very cosy place.

Without prompting he rated this cafe 9/10. When I asked what they lost the point for he laughed and said 'I don't know, there's probably something they could do better.' I didn't push the point but it was clear that he didn't have anything in mind that would enable this restaurant to achieve a 10/10 rating. I think he was a hard marker.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, ethical business,
Table decoration


We particularly liked the little pots of rosemary on the tables and make note that there was no blaring background music, which can sometimes make it hard to have a decent conversation.

After much discussion we finally chose the veggie wedgies, which was a tasty snack and enough for lunch. It was served attractively. The crumbing on the vegetables (including asparagus, eggplant, pumpkin and zucchini) was a tasty mix of caraway seeds, sea salt, cracked pepper and thyme.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, ethical business,
Delicious vegetarian alternative


I also ordered a large fresh juice called Morning Burst. As far as fresh blended juices are concerned this one would be hard to challenge. It included fresh cranberry, carrot, orange and the exact right amount of ginger for only seven dollars. I have noted the smoothie I would like to try next time. It is a tempting combination of blueberries, blackberries, banana and apple for eight dollars.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, ethical business,
Tasty morning burst


My friend loves her coffee really hot and ordered hers in a takeaway container. She wondered if this restaurant would find that acceptable but the waitress didn't baulk at the idea. I think they were very patient and most obliging.

My friend was suffering terrible hay fever but said despite that she was still tempted by the menu and would be keen to return to try out some of the other extensive possibilities. We got lost in conversation and forgot the time so there was no time to even consider dessert, which even I admit, is not like me. There was a nice menu of desserts and also many cakes and biscuits to enjoy while having a coffee.

Café, Lunch, Breakfast, dinner, outdoor eating area, Homemade organic food, Snacks, Coffee, café with great service, sweet treats,
Some sweet treats


This is a classy, stylish venue with noteworthy service. There are no class distinctions when you go to the common, come all ye commoners and you will be treated as you deserve… like royalty.
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Why? Great food, relaxed atmosphere and excellent service
When: Open everyday. 8.30-4 Mon -Wed, 8.30-late Thurs, Fri, Sat. 8.30-5 Sun
Phone: 94399514
Where: 26 Commercial Place Eltham
Cost: Worth the prices
Your Comment
I took the name a totally different way. In some countries the Common is like the local park where people gather for picnics games etc. Initially I took this café to be similar to the local park where people congregate in an informal setting. Lynette
by lynet (score: 0|7) 1875 days ago
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