Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published August 24th 2011
Let's come right out and say it: Lot 6 Cafe might just offer the best coffee in Melbourne University. The only serious competition – Kere Kere – is merely good when the owner's not pulling the espresso shots, but Lot 6 Cafe is consistently excellent. Like Kere Kere, it's close to the edge of campus, so it's easy to find even if you're not a student. In fact, it's right next to Tsubu Bar, and often an afternoon coffee at Lot 6 Cafe turns into an evening beer at Tsubu.
If you're a fan of St Ali (and who isn't), you'll like the coffee here. It's made with St Ali beans and there are two La Marzocco coffee machines to deal with the rush of people at lunchtime. More discerning caffeine fiends can opt for Siphon coffee – an exceedingly c omplicated way of making smooth coffee – or cold drip.
Almost guaranteed not to explode, spraying boiling coffee everywhere.
There's something strange about Lot 6 Cafe. It has a tendency to wrap itself around you – often conversations go for hours without people noticing the passage of time. There's a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the coffee is good enough to sip slowly; secondly, the tables are comfortable without being too soft; and thirdly, everyone else is having loud conversations as well.
With sunlight streaming in through the high windows, this is the perfect place to hash out a group assignment or finish that debate you've been having on and off with your friends. If you're looking for a quiet coffee, sit outside or get a takeaway, since at most times of the day Lot 6 Cafe is quite loud. The outside seating is on a layer of astroturf, which contributes to the general airy and open feel of the place.
The food's good, although a little expensive. The selection of pastries and muffins goes well with a coffee, and the main meals almost look too good to eat. Try the breakfast pizza for any meal of the day – despite being more like an omelette than an actual pizza, it's delicious and filling. Unlike an omelette, the yolks aren't broken. Instead, the cooked egg whites form the 'base' of the pizza and prosciutto is folded in between the full yolks. The chicken salad is also a tangy and succulent option, and you can't go wrong with a sandwich and chips.
Most Melbourne coffee shops are dark and cramped – cosy would be a more charitable way of putting it – and compared to them Lot 6 Cafe feels like a breath of fresh air. After a visit, you'll feel clear-headed and energised, not tired and jittery.