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The St Kilda Dispensary

Home > Melbourne > Breakfast | Brunch | Cafes | Coffee | Family
by Ruth Henwood (subscribe)
I am a mum of two and Primary School teacher whose aim is to never be home during the midday movie. I believe that I am only ever a car trip away from an adventure.
Published August 24th 2013
For your daily dose of caffeine
This place is so cool and quirky that it can only belong in St Kilda, neighbouring the famous Greyhound Hotel in fact. Back in the 1940's, this iconic building housed the largest dispensary in the southern hemisphere and at the time doctors, nurses and dentist also shared this space offering the community a one stop medical hub.

Stkilda Dispensary
No appointment necessary


Nowadays the cafe holds true to its impressive past and is tastefully detailed and decorated in all things medial and vintage. There are old wooden crutches leaning against a corner, old nursing posters adorning the walls, a model of the human body and loads of apothecary jars everywhere, some holding cutlery, others acting as vases for pretty flower arrangements. Even the sugar holders are old (clean) medical beakers. The trendy light fittings that dangle from the ceiling remind me of torches being held over a patient in years gone by before electricity or perhaps in an infirmary during war times.

St kilda Dispensary cafe
Trendy Glass Globes.


This is quite an unusual setting for breakfast or brunch. I mean have you ever contemplated drinking coffee in a chemist or have felt pangs of hunger before a visit to the dentist? But having said that, all the knick knacks and the surgery-green walls provide a warm and inviting atmosphere and on a cold and grey day like today; it's the only waiting room you'll want to be seated in.

We ordered coffees and lunch, although the Plum Danish was calling me! My youngest went for the mini Scone Slider which is lashes of cream and raspberry jam on brioche bun. She devoured it with very little hesitation and in truth ordered herself another one. I think she was annoyed with us constantly stealing bites but it was irresistible! Hubby went for the New Yorker which included a winning partnership of pastrami, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut. Daughter two ordered the Fried Egg on Leg Ham with Bubble and Squeak and my Tuna and White Bait Bruschetta with White Beans on gluten free bread was as tasty as it was unusual. There was some table chat about the small portions however.

Stkilda Dispensary cafe
Brownies, muffins, cakes and muffnuts make your coffee all the tastier.


The food was good but the Scone Slider was amazing. It's something to return for time and time again. What was refreshing was the unusual cafe fare on offer, dishes you don't see on every other weekend menu, like a Muffnut for example. This is a fun combination between a doughnut and a muffin. The Allpress coffee was tasty and hot, not lukewarm. Actually my soy latte looked more like a soufflé then a coffee with a heap of creamy, nutty froth towering above the cups edge. The kids loved their milkshakes which came in tiny glass jars and even more so they adored the pencils and game sheets of Tic Tac Toe and Hangman. These certainly made meal time a lot less stressful. Having said that, with so many medial props to inspect and investigate there's very little opportunity to get restless.

St kilda Dispensary cafe
Medical inspired props are reminisant of the building past life.


It's nice to have somewhere fun and funky to go in St Kilda to eat, particularly with kids, but without being in midst of the hustle and bustle of the busy areas, like Acland or Carlisle Street. You can choose to sit outside along Brighton Road if you can't cope with being to far removed from the buzz or go for a spot at the communal table or a window seat. The backroom is a bit more intimate and out of sight if that's your preference. You can tuck into numerous amounts of Plum Danishes and Scone Sliders here without anyone even noticing.

So next time you're feeling a little out of sorts and the only prescription you care for is a dose of caffeine or a sweet injection, head down to the St Kilda Dispensary and the prognosis is sure to be good.
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Why? Because it's what the doctor ordered
When: Mon - Fri: 7:00 - 4:00 Sat - Sun: 8:00 - 4:00
Phone: 0402 842 407
Where: 13 Brighton Road St.Kilda
Cost: Everything on the menu is under $15. The mini Scone Slider is $3 but you'll definately want two.
Your Comment
I love the optician tag, and the food sounds great.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12470) 2245 days ago
The food sounds good, but the doctor/dentist theme may be a bit off-putting for me....
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1133) 2245 days ago
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