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Second Home Café, Gallery and Bakery

Home > Melbourne > Breakfast | Brunch | Cafes | Food and Wine | Restaurants
by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published June 2nd 2016
Their Home Is About To Become Your Second Home
A piece of food art


Second Home Café is a beautiful, new and classy café, gallery and bakery housed in an iconic Alistair Knox built Eltham warehouse. There's relaxing music in the background but it's not intrusive. There are books available to browse and Second Home conserves, artisan breads and flowers on display to purchase. Comfy couches are arranged around coffee tables if you don't want to eat formally at tables. There's also an outdoor eating area which was about to open when I was there last. I'm imagining this will be lovely based on the atmosphere created inside.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Flowers for sale


The whole café is decorated in stunning black and white. It's a soft industrial style with large white linen light shades. I had been to this location when there was a gallery out front and a small café out the back. What a makeover! This was a very pleasant surprise. Even the waiters and waitresses were dressed differently. They wore white shirts and light grey aprons with leather straps.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
How good does this look?


The barista was moving around chatting to customers. I liked the fact we could ask him questions. He said this week they were serving Rosso and Single Origin (Ethiopia) coffee.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
On style


For a new café I was also surprised by how busy this was on a Tuesday, especially when the location is in the industrial part of Eltham and not visible from any main streets. When it comes to cafes in Eltham, word of mouth is loud and clear. Despite being packed, the food delivery was fast. I noticed there were lots of yummy mummies who have just lobbed up from the gym. I wonder if their food and coffee was low calorie? It looks like the management has purposefully taken the into account the audience.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating


The menu and food were organised in a unique way, hinting that this café was not the run of the mill.

The drink sections included: Our liberations trolley, Fizz and champagne, Super duper smoothies, pro-coffee and anti-coffee. The food is organized under: Healthy body, Healthy mind, To the side, Pastries and toasty things, Beautiful brunch and Lovely luncheon.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Mandarin and polenta tea cake - not the usual cafe cake


My girlfriend was the reviewer of the coffee. She really enjoyed it. Here's her direct comment: 'The coffee is not plain, it's nice and mellow. It's not just creamy milk but you can taste the coffee.'

You can tell the owners have experience in the field. When I found out that one of them has a restaurant in Hawthorn I thought that explains it all. This looks like somewhere inner city rather than a café in the leafy burbs. The staff is trained well to offer friendly, responsive service.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Spaghetti piled on toast with an egg and cheese


So… to the delicious, well presented food. I had cheese on toast but on the menu it was described as three cheeses on five-grain bread, béchamel and spiced pepper relish. This was much more impressive than I had anticipated and it was only $12.90. My friend had spaghetti on toast (Homemade with fresh herbs if you don't mind). It looked fabulous. They have a more extensive lunch menu including Caesar salad for $18.90 pea and tarragon soup with garlic sourdough ($16.90).

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Not your ordinary cheese on toast


I managed to get a couple of other shots of the generous brunches. They all looked terrific. The people at the table next to us had been there before and vouched for the food. When I said I was envious of their salmon dish they said you wouldn't find a bad pick.

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Fresh salmon and just picked herbs... yum


My final comments, returning to the ambience and styling are not meant to overshadow the quality of the food. But… this place looks a bit like somewhere you could hold a fashion parade. It is on trend with high-end food at a reasonable price. On your way out grab a bunch of flowers, a crusty loaf of homemade bread and some conserve. If you forget then get it next time. You're sure to be back. After just a month Second Home Café already have regulars. The sign above the cash register reads: Our home is about to become your Second Home. They had just read my mind!

Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating


Note: There is on-site parking but if it's full you can park at the Eltham Leisure Centre on Brougham St. It's a short walk up the road.



Café, Restaurant, Lunch, Breakfast, fresh bakery, Homemade food and cakes, Coffee, gluten free, child friendly, outdoor seating
Some of Second Home's produce
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Phone: 9439 5362
Where: 21 Brougham St, Eltham VIC 3095
Cost: Reasonable
Your Comment
This is fabulous. See you there
by Jeni Wilson (score: 3|1849) 1483 days ago
I've not been to Elthan but given the great eateries being mentioned here, it's about time I checked it out.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7511) 1484 days ago
I recently went to 2nd home as well.
Lovely coffee, friendly staff, great set up, BUT, tends to get very noisy, horrendous for parking, and $5 for a side of bacon is a bit expensive.
by pammi (score: 0|2) 1486 days ago
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