Crepes are delectable, often addictive. And being one of the national dishes of France, they make me wonder how French women remain lean and so-indisposed-to-gaining-weight.
This versatile dish finds its roots in Brittany, a region in the north-west of France. However, the trend and taste have also caught on in the rest of the world. Melbourne may not boast of too many creperies, but there is no limit to finding delightful crepes in the city.
Strictly speaking, crepes refer to sweet pancakes that are made with wheat flour, the savoury versions are called galettes and they are made using buckwheat flour. Traditionally they're served with cider but for now we'll leave that custom with the Bretons and focus on finding the best creperies in town.
This is by far my favourite creperie in Melbourne. The crepes and galettes are fresh and luscious. I particularly fancy the sweet treats (guess that's my sweet tooth talking), but don't miss the galettes either – they're prepared in traditional Breton style which involves the use of buckwheat flour. The egg-cheese-mushroom-chicken and walnut-braised apple-blue cheese versions are an absolute must-try. Wash it down, in the traditional style, with a glass of cider. Al fresco dining is available though seating is rather limited overall. Inside, a bench is packed with French books and magazines. Do compliment them for a nice treat in French – they've written it on the wall so the I-don't-speak-française routine won't work. Where: 32 Hardware Lane, Melbourne 3000 When: Tuesday to Thursday 7am to 4pm; Friday 7am to 9pm; Saturday 8am to 4pm Contact: 0466 406 404
AIX Cafe Creperie Salon Tucked deep in one of the Melbourne's many fascinating laneways, AIX is a no-frills creperie. The crepes are prepared fresh and served with a variety of options. I'm particularly fond of the version with blood orange and burnt sugar – a sweet and sour explosion on the palate. They also have variable specials – a tad fancy but equally scrumptious. Enjoy it with a spot of tea; they have a huge range of options available – the menu also lists the health benefits of the various organic versions. The only let-down (or charm, if you share my opinion) is the limited seating; the tables are uniquely tiny. Grab a stool outside on a busy weekend morning. Where: 24 Centre Place, Melbourne 3000 When: Monday to Friday 6:30am to 5pm; Saturday 8am to 5pm; Sunday closed Contact: 03 9662 2667
Breizoz Jean-Marie's experience as a pastry chef in Brittany (and later Melbourne) led him to open this authentic Breton creperie in Fitzroy, just over a decade ago. It was the first in Melbourne. Today, it is arguably the finest place to enjoy this traditional French delicacy. The dishes are prepared with finesse so if you choose to have a galette or a crepe, you'll leave equally satiated. The most popular dishes include ratatouille, salmon deluxe galettes, and praline-chocolat and honey-lemon crepes. Where: 49 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065 When: Monday to Friday 11am to 3pm (lunch), 6pm to 10pm (dinner); Saturday 10am to 10pm; Sunday 10 to 9:30pm Contact: 03 9415 7588
Brunetti As if we needed an additional reason to go to Brunetti's; they've got a cosy creperie at City Square. Look on as they prepare your order of fresh, sweet or savoury crepes. Try the Brunetti special with nutella, hazelnuts and vanilla gelato or the more traditional crepe suzette (with orange, grand mariner and vanilla gelato). Enjoy fresh or grab a takeaway. The Carlton joint also serves some delicious crepes. Where: 214 Flinders Lane, Melbourne 3000 When: Sunday to Thursday 10am – 7pm; Friday to Saturday 10am – 12am Contact: 03 9663 8085
Piracy Policy: The menu at all the above places may appear more or less the same but the preparation, taste and ambience will make all the difference.
Now here's a random list of places that are not creperies per se, but can whip up a storm in the form of decadent crepes:
Once you've done going ga-ga over the smooth, aromatic blends of coffee, delve your senses in the ricotta and blueberry crepes with candied mandarin. And like the coffee, they will tempt you for a repeat (though the portion won't let you go that far). Where: 9 Yarra Street, South Yarra, VIC 3141 When: Monday to Friday 7am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 4pm Contact: 03 9827 8588
Alright this little Fitzroy gem may not serve authentic French crepes but the blintzes (Russian crepes) you find here are well worth a mention. These delicate darlings are folded around sultanas and cottage cheese, and served on a bed of citrusy sauce. Where: 358 Brunswick St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065 When: Tuesday to Sunday 7 am to 4 pm Contact: 03 9416 0091
This popular bakery and breakfast place also offers delicious crepes soused in raspberry and blueberry sauce, topped with nuts and dusted with icing sugar. Check the specials board for more. Where: 109 Scotchmer Street, North Fitzroy, VIC 3065 When: Everyday 7 am to 3 pm Contact: 03 94863554
Just a heads up, it's actually Le Triskel but YES YES YES! Despite the type, I am very pleased to see this on top of your list. Adorable Frenchy waiters, great coffee and - most importantly - as far as creperies in Melbourne go...oooh yeah! And for all those gluten-free foodies out there, the buckwheat galettes have got us covered. Take a friend and steal a spoonful of their sweet crepe topping for dessert - trust me, you won't go hungry!
By Erin Dewar - reader Tuesday, 28th of June @ 01:35 pm
Thanks for pointing out the typo, Erin. Quite embarrassed for having overlooked it.
And it is indeed a great place. I absolutely adore their crepes and the service is amazing. For me, the location is another plus.
By A Behl - senior writer Tuesday, 28th of June @ 11:11 pm
Breizoz, just terrific.
Family friendly, they really made our kids feel welcome.
I had alcoholic apple cider with raspberry cassis - it was delicious. With our meal and the kids had coffee cups filled with fresh non alcoholic cider, they thought they were so grown up.
The staff were accommodating and friendly and the last time I had fresh sorbet/gelato that tasted like this was with a family on the alps of Switzerland that picked the berries freshly.
Prices are really reasonable for a French restaurant also
The service is indeed attentive; and it’s good to know that it’s a kid-friendly place as I’ve always been there in the company of adults. And must confess, I've sampled the non-alcoholic cider too and loved it (maybe because it made me feel younger).
By A Behl - senior writer Wednesday, 29th of June @ 07:35 am
Savored for centuries, crêpes are celebrating a revival today, with crêperies opening throughout France, America, and elsewhere in the world...down under!!
Great article, keep up the delicious work!