Mimi V a writer, social media manager, foodie, music lover, and mum, currently residing in Sydney with Mr V, two little Vs and doggy V.
Published September 28th 2012
Is this Marrickville's best coffee?
If my husband's opinion is anything to go by, then yes, it most certainly is. He's an espresso drinker, and judges the quality of a coffee by whether or not the first (and subsequent) mouthful makes him wince. If that's our benchmark, then Vesbar Espresso is currently a front runner in the Marrickville coffee house stakes. Though it has to be said that the with the recent glut of cafés opening up in the suburb, there's some pretty stiff competition roundabouts.
I am more of a latte drinker myself, and am inclined to agree that Vesbar does a pretty good drop. Most of the time. They do suffer from a slight inconsistency in delivery, whereby probably one coffee in five or six that I've had there has had a slight bitterness to it but that's still not bad odds. The rest of the time their delicious Campos blend slips down a treat.
Campos are the beans of choice @ Vesbar Espresso, Marrickville
Speaking of treats, one of the jewels in Vesbar's crown is its sweets cabinet. Every time I go in there I am drawn like a moth to a flame to the sumptuous selection of fattening loveliness on offer. Mostly it's donuts. Soft, light, fluffy, yummy scrummy donuts. I was once advised never to eat anything bigger than my head (advice that I follow, even to this day), and luckily, these donuts are big, but not quite that big. Ok, I'll admit it, I have succumbed to temptation once or twice. Ok, three times, but I still feel virtuous in comparison to hubby, who the other day subtly let it slip that he'd had each of the different types at least once.
The vast aray of sweet treats available @ Vesbar Espresso, Marrickville
The Nutella filled creation is apparently an experience to behold, although it was so sweet as to overwhelm even an ardent chocolate fan like him. I would heartily recommend trying of the donuts, but perhaps sharing it with a friend thus halving the calories, and the guilt.
Death by chocolate. The Nutella donut @ Vesbar Espresso, Marrickville
If you can manage to tear your eyes away from the sweet treats, you'll notice that everything about this place screams "we eat, sleep and breathe coffee" from the burlap coffee sacks adorning the walls, to the coffee crate style floorboards and the "I heart Vesbar Espresso" t-shirts worn by the staff.
The building that was once home to a dodgy looking (and long defunct) hairdressing salon is now a Mecca to all things coffee, and Italiano. Another compact and bijoux Inner West establishment, Vesbar has a handful of tables inside, a similarly small number under the awning outside, and a few set up right at the pavement's edge. Something about those seats teetering there on the curb puts me in mind of The Castle "How's the serenity?" Well, in truth, it's not very serene on the corner of one of Marrickville's busiest streets and opposite the train station, but you can't hold that against them, they've made the best of the limited space available.
'How's the serenity?' Space is at a premium @ Vesbar Espresso, Marrickville
They've even gone so far as to supply highchairs for the babies (you just have to strategically find a level piece of pavement to put them on, so they don't wobble) and a bowl of water for the four-legged kids. With the jauntily coloured Vespas parked at the curb, you can close your eyes and imagine you're in Rome. Almost.
Apart from the desserts, the food comes in the form of a fairly restrained, but never-the-less robust selection of breakfast and lunch dishes, from muesli and breakfast wraps to salads, arancini balls and pasta. The Mediterranean influence is omnipresent. We've tried at least three things from the menu (in addition to the donuts), and all of them have passed muster.
The taste of the Mediterranean @ Vesbar, Marrickville
If coffee's not your tipple of choice, there's a good selection of teas, juices and Italian soft drinks on offer, and their cucumber-infused water is always a nice way to start the day. As the weather starts to warm up they are also introducing frappes and freddos (Italian for iced coffee, don't you know), and I am sure they'll go down a treat come summer.
The other notable element of this place is the atmosphere it's social and relaxed, with an almost familial feel to it. Service is friendly and there's plenty of joking around and greeting customers by name. It sometimes feels like you're in the middle of a family bbq, rather than at a public establishment.
The presence of owner Aki Daikos is always keenly felt, whether he is there or not (he very often is), and you get the impression that there's no place he'd rather be than looking after his "baby." In this small but perfectly formed addition to the Marrickville coffee landscape, I can kind of see why.