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Top Spots to Meet and Eat in Eltham

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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 July 19th 2014
More Choices Than $2 Items In a Variety Store
The neighbouring suburbs must feel like the poor cousins because of the sheer number of great places to at. Eltham is truly unrivalled in the Northern suburbs. Name your pleasure – spicy Thai, simple Aussie fair dinkim fare, gluten free delights, fine dining, wood fired pizza and fresh pastries. Like to meet somewhere quirky, discreet, upmarket, trendy, down to earth? Take your pick, there are more choices than $2 items in a variety store. You're sure to find it in Eltham.

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
The Corner Caf- great all year round


The Corner Caf
Shop 5/ 950 Main Road 9439 6981

The Corner Caf is, you guessed it, on a corner just up from the main road in Eltham. The Corner Caf has lots of indoor and outdoor settings. It's kid, dog friendly and modest.

They claim to be the most popular cafe in Eltham for breakfast, lunch, coffee and ice cream. This is evidence of their claim:
1.They are often busy
2.They're very inexpensive (a cooked breakfast starts from just $9),
3.They have an extensive menu, a large variety of drinks and
4.They are incredibly fast.

The Corner Caf menu includes breakfasts, lunch and light meals. They also have a large selection of petite deserts and biscuits for those who know that - if it's not more than a mouthful - it's low calorie.

Overall, this caf has quick service so great if you are in a hurry, the food is good value, there are many pleasant surprises and as a bonus for the kids the egg and bacon muffins look like Maccas but taste better.

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
Hamlet - set in the trees


Hamlet's Wood Fired Pizza and Pasta Restaurant
720 Main Rd Eltham 94310116

The position of this restaurant, down the street and set off the road amongst the trees, gives it a different feel to the street cafes. There is outdoor and indoor seating. I rather liked the idea of sitting where I could see the wood fire raging. The crisp and tasty pizza made me remember how much I loved pizza.

Hamlet's also serve other Italian meals that are fresh, delicious, large and homemade on the premises. There have some very nice and unusual variations on a pizza menu such as the Patata (Napoli sauce mozzarella, potatoes, red onion, rocket, rosemary, garlic and olive oil) and Polo which was a delicious combination of Napoli sauce, mozzarella, chicken, fresh mango, zucchini, red capsicum, cheese and basil oil. They also have sweet pizzas like a Nutella and strawberry with vanilla bean ice cream (a bargain for only $12).

A must buy is the pesto bread. It's a soft yeasty dough with mozzarella, basil, pinenuts, garlic and olive oil. Next time I go that's what I will have and I'm not sharing with anyone unless I can't fit in the dessert!

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
Sontaya - delicious Thai food


Sontaya Thai
Shop 4, 9 Dudley St 9439 8199

I'm not sure if the best thing about Sontaya is the genuine Thai smile greeting or the authentic Thai food. They also get my recommendation on generous servings and general friendly service. The food has a bit of a kick but not too much.

Between the six of us we chose five main dishes plus rice and Roti and ended up taking away three containers full of leftovers. Everyone enjoyed the pad Thai noodles. It's a pretty safe bet. The surprise of the night was that the most popular meal (even for the children) was the vegetarian dish with tofu.

The second surprise was the bill. For the whole family it was only $118. For only good surprises, Sontaya is a great place to try.

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
The Lane Cafe - great for a casual drink or snack


The Lane Café
937 Main Rd

You have to go looking for this café. It's down the laneway called St Lawrence Street between the Pizza Hut and Fletcher's real estate off the main road.

This is a quirky, eclectic little café. There's not much room to get in if there are people standing at the bar. The place is fitted with bits and pieces of comfy furniture, it feels like you're sitting in the lounge room of your own home. There's a bookshelf full of books and knick-knacks on one wall, notes from many countries on another and a collection of sketches and poems written by customers on another wall.

It's clear that this café has many regulars. They cater for diverse clientele from families friendly (there's a toy box in the corner), local students, train travellers, and people who work in the nearby businesses.

The Lane Café serves cocktails and only sell craft beer (not generic beer). All the food is house made and they cater for vegans and vegetarians with a gluten free range. They have light meals, snacks, all-day breakfast, lunch and light meals.

The Lane cafe has a band every first Wednesday of the month and you can bring your own instruments and join in. This is a great place for a casual drink or snack with your mates.

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
The Main - food and bar


The Main
Shop 5, 906 Main St

The stand out feature of this newly renovated Scandinavian influenced café/restaurant is the excellent quality service. This is the expanded old Alta Vita and is now modern and contemporary.

They still show off their delicious range of cakes and tarts out the front and if you don't have time to stop and eat there's always time to pick up the odd sweet treat or two on the way past.

Apart from that they have a large menu and serve the food very hot in overly large portions- enough for two usually. You can't go past this place if you are looking for top quality food and service to match.


There are many other cafes in Eltham that are worth a look. These include: Lily's on Brougham (includes gifts and a nursery), The Walk (a trendy place to meet), Teapot café (next to a gallery), Volumes (behind a giftware and bookstore) and The Burger Lounge (rated the best burger in town by Nova) and Degani's (they make a mean hot chocolate).

Restaurant, café, great food, cheap eats, vegetarian and vegan, Thai food, great value food, secret bar, lunch, dinner
Jam and Cream - scones that melt in your mouth


If Eltham is a little too far try Miss Marie's in Rosanna (no bookings available because they are so popular) or Jam and Cream in Macloed (the best ever scones) Syrup (very intimate), Café 41(cheapest crepes anywhere) or Citris Tart (big meals at cheap prices) in Watsonia.
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Why? Eltham has a cafe top suit all coffee sippers and diners
Your Comment
I love the sound of that Pesto bread.
by feeba (score: 2|104) 1945 days ago
Hi Jeni, you should try The Common as well, we had breakfast there last weekend, the food was fantastic, really well presented, the staff were friendly and the prices were really reasonable :) cheers, Anthea x
by anthe (score: 1|51) 1943 days ago
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