Hansel and Gretal Café in Phillip is a charming café situated in the industrial area of Phillip, Woden. It is an unusual place to find such a cosy café selling a range of European foods, gourmet chocolates, roasted nuts, dried fruits, European lollies and a huge selection of ground coffee beans to buy from behind the counter.
Only a minutes drive from Woden's Westfield shopping centre, we discovered this café when we had to get our car fixed in a nearby mechanics. Since then we have been back a few times and enjoyed the atmosphere, coffee and breakfasts.
Only a small café, the inside area is cosy with wooden beams overhead, a large window to watch the world go by and an inviting atmosphere.
This isn't a new trendy café - it prides itself on its old school charm with background tunes from Olivia Newton John, Kenny Rodgers, Dolly Parton and others from that era. It is a café that brings us back time again with this familiar warmth.
There are a few outside tables close to the road for people to enjoy the sun, however the road can get quite noisy.
This café is popular with local workers, however a lot of the patrons are people who park out the front to come here specifically for lunch or a coffee.
The Breakfast menu includes the usual café menu items including brekky wrap with bacon egg and hash brown ($11), double egg and bacon roll ($10) and eggs Benedict with salmon ($18). There is also raisin/cinnamon toast ($4.50) and banana or raspberry and pear bread ($5).
Toasted Raspberry and Pear bread, dusted with icing sugar ($5)
They also have a good cake selection, quiches, filos, assorted wraps ($6 half/$11 full size) , toasties ($7.50) lunch specials on the board outside (the current special was hamburger, chips and coke for $12) as well as menu items including fish, chips and salad ($16).
If you bring your family, there isn't a lot of rooms for prams inside (we fold our stroller up) however they have a couple of highchairs available. They do half size milkshakes ($3) for the kids.
The shop is another attraction of this café - it is particularly busy before Easter and Christmas selling traditional European chocolates. Take some time to browse around - it is interesting to see gifts that you can't find elsewhere, a range of gourmet foods from overseas, handmade chocolates and a large range of coffee variations that you can buy from behind the counter.
If you are after a more modern café, just over the side road there is a popular café called "Lava Expresso" (opened 2 years ago) with bench seating, stylish baristas and sun pouring in. The café seems popular with locals using Sensory Lab and Code Black coffee, favourites used in Melbourne cafes. If you are in the area have a look at both coffee cafes and take your pick. It would be handy for locals if Woden started a coffee specialist café strip here in Phillip - with two next to each other, it is a good start.
If you like your specialty coffees, Woden seems to be growing new cafes all the time. "Stand By Me" café (opened a year ago) at Lyons shops is a cute little café with a little outside back courtyard and using Ethopian/Brazillian blended coffee.
Also if you are at the Westfield, another specialist coffee cafe is Espresso Room. With only a few tables in this stylish café, they do a great trade in takeaways.
Hansel and Gretel is the old school charmer in Phillip, with modern cafes starting to emerge around it. Although I like a modern café like most people, I do find this Hansel and Gretel Café a comfortable place to have a coffee and relax to the nostalgic music of my parents era.
If you manage to leave without buying something delicious from the shop for yourself, a gift or a snack for your kids for the way home, then you are doing better than I.