Julie is the author of a number of guidebooks, including 'Melbourne's Best Bush Bay and City Walks' & 'Melbourne for Dogs' (with RSPCA). Read more of her adventures at her walks blog: walksmelbourne.com
Published April 11th 2012
Update July 8th 2012
Midali Cafe has been sold and totally refitted - and is now, appropriately, called Little Westbury Cafe. Still the smallest cafe in Melbourne!
Small can definitely be beautiful. In the cafe hotspot of Carlisle Street, Balaclava (or East St Kilda as estate agents like to pitch it), the prize for the Most-Efficient-Use-of-Space-in-a-Cafe definitely goes to Midali. Carved from within the space of what was previously one already small clothing shop, Midali churns out coffee, cake and even ice-cream in summer, from a vibrant red and white space so tiny there is definitely no room to tango.
With just a few tables squeezed in the space itself and a couple more on the pavement outside, the cafe has a Stand-Up-Tokyo- Noodle-Bar feel to it. However, there is also service directly onto the footpath for those preferring to drink-and-run. Service is hyper efficient (as it has to be) and Midali has a loyal clientele.
But the most important question (in Melbourne), of course: is the coffee any good? And it's a resounding yes, as is the tiny but delicious selection of muffins and slices. Prices are very reasonable (Small coffees are $3.30, medium $4.00 and large $5.00) and the service and clientele are friendly, so definitely worth a walk-by when you at the top end of Carlisle Street. Find Midali on the corner of Westbury Street and Carlisle Street, Balaclava.
Where do you go in Melbourne when you feel like an elbow with your coffee? Do you frequent a squeezier cafe space in Melbourne?