Canadian girl living and loving Melbourne. Mum, freelance writer and chaser of all experiences worth talking about.
Published April 9th 2014
Overdose of quirky charm at this one of a kind North Melbourne cafe
Grigons and Orr Corner Store, hidden off the beaten path in North Melbourne, certainly isn't your regular inner city lunchtime cafe. It's a breath of fresh air, yet a step back in time. It's personality plus. It's quirky, eclectic and vibrant.
In its previous life, Grigons and Orr was the neighbourhood milk bar. Nowadays, its glory still reigns but as a favourite cafe amongst devoted locals. The owners have retained its endearing 1970's kitschy charm and pure vintage vibe with retro everything - they feature hipster furniture, an impressive spoon collection and mismatched crockery and teacups. Walking into the place is an immediate feast for the eyes, with a blast of colour from floor to ceiling. Old school jars of lollies, bright boxes of American breakfast cereal and jars of Vegemite line their packed shelves, offering endless opportunities for comments and conversations.
Grigons and Orr is undeniably intimate and adorable. It's a cosy, happy place where you're greeted warmly by the welcoming staff as if you're a regular, even if you've just walked through their doors for the very first time. Grigons and Orr is distinctively cool, and they overtly flaunt their flair but you don't have to know the 'secret handshake'. It's an open, friendly environment that beckons to anyone and everyone to enjoy their uniqueness.
If it's a sunny day, linger through your meal 'al fresco', there are plenty of tables outside. If you opt for indoors, choose a table in the main cafe room, or if they're all full, a common occurrence on weekends for this busy haunt, head upstairs to one of the two rooms for more seating. Although the dining areas don't present a ton of space, you don't feel as though you've been packed in shoulder to shoulder where your every uttered word is being overheard by the next table. In fact, the casual warmth of the place evokes easygoing conversation amongst strangers.
The menu presents tons of classic favourites (with their own unique twist) like eggs Benedict, chicken fajitas, steak sanga and their mouthwatering pulled pork roll, which was my indulgence. I'm a sucker for a good pulled pork but this puppy blew the competition out of the water. Seriously packed with tender chunks of pork, it was served with crisp rocket and creamy aioli on a soft Turkish bread roll. It was amazing.
Knowing what the perfect complement is to any savoury meal, the folks at Grigons and Orr serve jugs of drinking water with fresh whole mint leaves. How cool is that? But if you're in the mood for some pure indulgence, try one of their specialty milkshakes. The Tim Tam, the Snickers, the banana espresso - whatever floats your boat, they've got it. And what Melbourne cafe experience is complete without a good latte? On this, Grigons and Orr well and truly delivers. Vegetarians and vegans are well taken care of with plenty of menu options.