Rathdowne Street Bakery calle attracts queues for its croissant wheels: spirals of glossy pastry wrapped around a drizzly filling with flavors ranging from black sesame to chocolate.
Available only on weekends, the pastry pucks change flavor every month. The new October flavors are chocolate with freeze-dried raspberry and Earl Gray with lychee and white chocolate.
Other pastries include yuzu and honey croissants and a chocolate hazelnut filled croissant, in addition to staples like escargot and fruit pastries.
Pastry chef Huey Phung has been responsible for these and baguettes, sourdough breads and beautiful cakes for 25 years, while his wife Vivian Ly takes care of the rest of the business.
Together with Ly’s sister, they opened the bakery and named it after the Spanish word for street.
Rosso Coffee, roasted in Tullamarine, is available along with Mork Chocolate and Prana Chai, and there are a handful of outdoor tables under cover.
Standing Room owners Thomas Kelly and Jordan Taylor in their IF Architecture-designed cafe. Photo: Justin McManus
standing room made a name for itself opening hole-in-the-wall cafes with quick specialty coffees. But it’s just graduated from its first full-service cafe a few blocks off Calle in a pretty corner building in Fitzroy North.
Designed by IF Architecture, the 25-seater feels extra spacious thanks to a subtle palette of cream, blond wood and grey.
Founder Thomas Kelly jokes that there is still some standing room, with a large oval high table that seats six.
Chef Jack Beck (ex Kumo Izakaya) prepares breakfast congee, Welsh rarebit or cilbir: the Turkish dish of soft eggs in yogurt with chilli. There are also pastries supplied by Wildlife in Brunswick East, plus sandwiches, biscuits and cakes made in-house.
Standing Room’s cilbir eggs with labne and Aleppo butter. Photo: Justin McManus
Kelly, who started the company at age 20, says he’s excited to join the table after nine years and take Standing Room to new places.
Design flourishes include textured clay tiles on the coffee bar, a custom light installation by Edward Linacre, and a display cabinet that protrudes from the bar for browsing. A large 1960s-style pendant lamp in a burgundy color matches the front door and the outdoor furniture in the parklet, which seats 25 and gets afternoon sun.
Louise Bakeryin a prime location opposite Albert Park, it sparks enthusiasm among the Brazilian community for its selection of coxinha (croquettes), pastels (similar to empanadas), and cheese-topped flatbread.
Anne Louise Duarte, a transplant in Rio de Janeiro, opened the business in August and is excited to see people flocking in to try her coxhina (pictured), which is stuffed with chicken or mushrooms.
The small shop, which seats 10 under a canopy of plants, offers pastries (including rhubarb or apple-cinnamon), sandwiches and almond croissants for nearby office workers, in addition to the Brazilian specialties that attract expats on weekends.
There are also Brazilian-style flaky pies in four flavors, cheese puffs known as pao de queijo, acai with granola, peanuts, and chocolate syrup, and the soft drink guarana, which manager Alanna Silva says is Brazil’s Coca-Cola.
Standing Room, 187 St George’s Road, Fitzroy North, standingroomcoffee.com.au
Calle Bakery, 649 Rathdowne Street, Carlton North, calle.com.au
Louise Bakery, 164 Albert Road, South Melbourne, louisebakery.com.au