As a 20 something year old who laments the St Kilda of her youth, I am happy to report that its remnants still burn brightly in The St Kilda Galleon Café. This institution has been serving St Kilda for almost 30 years – the past 27 from 9 Carlisle Street.
As a self confessed café connoisseur, The St Kilda Galleon Café satisfies all the senses.
You walk into organised chaos – chairs and tables are different colours and sizes and walls are dotted with advertisements, drawings and musings. You hear a steady level of chatter reaching its crescendo on weekend mornings, when St Kilda residents race in for the perfect cure for a hangover. The willingness of patrons to wait on weekends despite the large number of cafes and restaurants nearby indicates the high stead in which The St Kilda Galleon Café is held.
After being seated, the waiter/waitress will hand you a menu. The sheer volume of items is enough to simultaneously excite and terrify patrons. Do not be afraid to ask the waitstaff for recommendations. The staff turnover rate is low so the waitstaff are well versed in what is popular and unpopular with patrons.
The generous selection for vegetarians means no more bland salads and fries. My personal vegetarian favourite is the "bowl of beans with spinach, chipotle bbq sauce, sour cream and pide toast." Even vegans are no longer left in the lurch with the "scrambled tofu with mushrooms, spinach and crispy friend enoki with sour dough toast." Both are institution favourites that have been on the menu since I began frequenting The St Kilda Galleon Café in 2003.
No café experience is complete without the perfect cup of coffee. The St Kilda Galleon Café doesn't disappoint on that front either. It pays homage to the old St Kilda with its 50 year old Gaggia espresso machine. I settle for my usual soy cappuccino. One Saturday morning, the coffee was tepid, probably because it had been sitting on the counter as waitstaff scurried to place and deliver orders. I asked for mine to be reheated and this was done promptly and without fuss.
So if you're on the search for the best of Melbourne's café culture make a pit stop at The St Kilda Galleon Café. You will not be disappointed!