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Green Refectory Cafe

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Coffee | Food and Wine
by Melody Clifford (subscribe)
is a girl-about-town and general, adventurous, know-it-all.
Published September 25th 2011
Cake and Coffee
Cake and Coffee

Well known among the locals, Green is a funky, little, Brunswick cafe with provincial styling. It's rustic touches include mismatched wooden furniture, a collection of odd floral saucers on which coffee is served and service staff who look like they are dressed to star in a hipster, London band's filmclip, rather than to carry food.

Green is almost permanently crowded. It attracts alternative, indie types in droves and you will have to queue up to get served. It's difficult to find a seat at the best of times and you'll probably have to share your table with other customers. Some people complain that the muffins, cakes and biscuits that are exposed on the counter top, should be displayed behind air conditioned glass. Others complain that the outdoor dunny doesn't feel entirely private from the rest of the dining guests; and yet, Green is the place to be.

Why? Because the of the reasonably priced food, and the use of quality ingredients like goat's cheese, pine-nuts, rich pastry, chutneys and sourdough. At Green you can grab a quick snack like a spinach-feta or mushroom-parmesan triangle for two dollars. You can have hearty serve of the all-day breakfast eggs and a latte for about fifteen or buy a cheap muffin that has been baked to burst out over the top of its tray without breaking a note.

Another reason for Green's staggering popularity is that its flavoursome Illy brand coffee, imported from Northern Italy, is never bad. Imbibed either in-store or taken-away, Green's coffees are always filled to the top, never burnt and wear a lid of thick coffee crema. Yum.

Isn't it beautiful?

For lunch there are dishes like lamb cutlets, lentil burger, burritos, lasagne and butter chicken. Heaps of vegetarian options and don't be surprise on the specials board to find treats like 'smashed bean wrap with lime, avocado and haloumi'. Quiches, chorizo tortillas, gourmet pies and foccacias line the shelves of the countertop bain-marie. Most are served with salads and there is potato mayonnaise, colourful coleslaw, or cold pasta to choose from. After that brownies, blondies, pavalova, black-forest cake or hummingbird cake for sweets.

Green is one of the earliest openers on Sydney Road, so you can pick-up a take-away latte on the way to work from 7:00 am. They close at 8:00 pm Monday to Friday; on the weekends a little earlier at 7:00 pm Saturdays and 5:30 pm Sundays. Payment at Green in by cash only but if you forget, there are ATMs across the street.

For customers who don't have qualms about uncovered baked-goods; for people have discovered that sitting within close proximity to others generally makes everyone more courteous; for those who enjoy homestyle touches, Green is the perfect venue.

It's true that the window seats are tucked up almost inaccessibly close to the front and that the outdoor tables are in a tight brick lane but after the chaos of the line, and once safely seated, most customers realise that the place is quite comfortable and they enjoy becoming one of those who are in the know.
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Why? Green is a funky, little, Brunswick cafe with provincial styling
When: From 7am daily
Where: 115 Sydney Road, Brunswick, Victoria
Cost: Unbelievably reasonable
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