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The 3 Best-Kept Secrets Near Degraves St

Home > Melbourne > Cafes | Fun Things To Do
by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
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 July 31st 2011
If you're a coffee lover in Melbourne, chances are you know the Degraves St area well. Places like Degraves Espresso, The Quarter and Andiamo serve predictably excellent food and coffee in a laneway setting that typifies Melbourne café culture. On the other hand, they're always full at lunchtime and even the best café can become boring and familiar. With that in mind, here are three cool places you've walked past a hundred times but never noticed:

Waffle On
Situated at 9 Degraves St, Waffle On is tiny. Three or four people can squeeze themselves inside at any one time, with barely enough room to swing a baguette. This is unfortunate, because their baguettes are delicious: crunchy, warm and authentically French. One of the only places in Melbourne to serve Orangina, a French orange soda with real pulp, Waffle On would be worth visiting for that reason alone. Grab a waffle or a baguette to go and eat as you walk.

The Organic Food and Wine Deli

The Organic Food and Wine Deli
The Organic Food and Wine Deli (Image appears courtesy of Organic Food and Wine Deli website)

This small café – TOFWD for short – is at 28 Degraves St. Catering to the vegetarian and vegan community, it serves excellent pies and pasties. Sit inside to avoid the rush of pedestrians, as the outside seating lacks the cosy atmosphere of neighbouring cafés. The real success of TOFWD is its coffee, delicious and smooth, which holds up surprisingly well against the renowned Degraves Espresso blend.

Hell's Kitchen
Not technically in Degraves St but in the nearby Centre Place, Hell's Kitchen is easy to miss. There's a small seating area at ground level, but the real attraction is upstairs: a restaurant by day, bar by night, complete with overhead views of Centre Place. Order a pot of tea with the soup of the day and watch the people passing below you, or bring your friends after dark and choose from a range of fancy vodka cocktails. There's always an empty seat, making Hell's Kitchen the perfect place to escape from the rush of businesspeople seeking lunch.

Next time you're on your way to The Quarter or Degraves Espresso, stop off and try one of these places instead. You might just find a new favourite café.
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Why? Often the best places are off the beaten track.
When: Check with respective business
Where: Degraves St and Centre Place.
Cost: Moderate
New reader comment. Waiting for approval.
By cliff0 - reader
Friday, 5th of August @ 03:54 am
I thought hells kitchen is just called hell's now and doesn't serve food anymore?
By miss.14 - reader
Thursday, 11th of August @ 12:57 pm
Huge fan of the Organic Food and Wine Deli. In my days working in town I was known to regularly leave my desk when an OFWD muffin or cake called my name. Delicious vegetarian pies, sandwiches and soups too. Making my mouth water just thinking about it. Might be time for another visit.
By Erica Webb - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 30th of August @ 07:37 am
Just came across this article when I was searching Google for Waffle On. I know where I'll be going next time I'm in Melbourne. I'm a massive fan of Orangina, I used to live in Vietnam where it was commonplace, and was so devastated when I moved back to Australia and realised we don't sell it here.

I have one patisserie here in Adelaide where I buy it from, but I'm always happy to enjoy it on holiday as well! I’m still hoping that it will become massively popular, and all of a sudden Australia will start selling it everywhere. I think that might still be a bit of a pipe dream. haha

They all sound like some interesting places, I'll be heading here next time I'm in town to check them out.
By Natasha Stewart - senior reviewer
Wednesday, 23rd of November @ 09:19 am
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