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The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
The Train Yard, Heidelberg
in Eat

The Train Yard, Heidelberg

We loved The Train Yard on Burgundy Street in Heidelberg! It’s a casual, local eatery with really friendly, accommodating and efficient staff. There are three sections to dine in: alfresco seats at the front, the main inside dining area and an outdoor terrace/beer garden at the back. As it was a sunny winter afternoon we chose the outside terrace and it was perfect. If you get the table next to the outdoor smoker you’ll be even warmer!

We ordered from the breakfast/lunch menu and the food arrived pretty quickly, which is always a plus with hungry kids! We tried the bacon and eggs, the Train Yard salad with fried chicken plus a citrus cured salmon with beetroot; the food was both delicious and filling. There’s a small kids menu which will keep the little ones happy, and when we mentioned the kids would be sharing their meals the staff were more than happy to bring out extra plates for them… no questions asked.

We loved the free colouring in packs the kids received after ordering – perfect for keeping them occupied. And the kids REALLY loved the free marshmallows from the wait staff!! We will definitely be back if we are in the area again, especially to try some of their in-house smoked BBQ meats. It’s the perfect spot to refuel after a few hours at the nearby Possum Hollow playground.

Details:
Address: 184 Burgundy Street, Heidelberg.

 

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Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
in Eat

Sartoria Melbourne, Preston

Sartoria is a wonderfully warm and inviting cafe situated in Preston. Housed in an ex-dressmaking, bridal and evening wear factory, the space has been transformed into a light-filled eatery that still has dressmaking and sewing as an underlying theme. I particularly loved the tables which had old cast iron sewing machine legs and the menus which were created to look like a sewing pattern – so quirky!

There’s lots of space to sit, you can choose from the large communal table at the front, to the various sized tables in the main section or if the weather is sunny perhaps out the front. We chose to sit inside and on a Saturday morning the place was bustling and loud… perfect for kids! No need to feel self-conscious here! In fact, there were several families eating, many with prams and high chairs. They even have these cool wooden booster seats that attach to the normal cafe chairs for kids who are still just that little bit too short to reach the table… perfect for our little miss!

The menu consists of all day breakfast, lunch options such as burgers, salad, pasta and beef ribs as well as a selection of paninis, wraps, and bites. There are a couple of options for kids such as hotcakes and a half serve of eggs but I saw plenty of other things on the menu that kids would happily eat – such as the crumpets, toast or a ham and cheese toastie. We tried the usual bacon and eggs as well as ‘The Seamstress’ – which was a delicious hash brown cooked in a waffle iron, poached eggs, beetroot, onion, green pea, Meredith goats curd and dill – so delicious! The kids had the children’s serve of bacon and eggs which were the perfect portion size as well as a toasted ham and cheese croissant from the cabinet. I was hoping to try the french toast but alas they had run out… I will be back! Coffee is by Where’s Marcel plus they have a variety of single origins rotating. The kids loved their milkshakes which were presented in mini mason jars with screw on lids. The perfect size and no spills!

Service was prompt and friendly despite the busy weekend rush. I would definitely recommend this as a great family friendly cafe!

Details:
Address: 115 Plenty Road, Preston

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Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
Miss Marmalade
in Eat

Miss Marmalade

Miss Marmalade is a cute little cafe located in the quiet suburban backstreets of Brunswick. It’s not a place I would have stumbled across but I’m certainly glad I made the effort to visit!

From the outside it looks like your typical cafe, there’s outdoor seating which would be glorious in the sunshine, and a small front room with booths by the small bay windows plus a few tables running down one wall. This didn’t look particularly kid friendly to me… however the secret is through the doorway and down the hallway. There’s a whole other back room with a fantastic little kids play area! My kids loved it and so did I, as I was able to have a relaxing coffee while they played nearby! A variety of toys, games, books and colouring in kept them totally entertained – in fact they didn’t want to leave!

We tried a Spanish omelette which was simple and filling, plus a serve of banana bread with marscapone and maple – delicious! Coffee is from Clark St Coffee Roasters while the little ones had kid sized chocolate milkshakes. Perfect for a quick afternoon snack!

There’s plenty of seating in the back room as well as space for prams. A kids menu, high chairs and change facilities ensure you will be perfectly comfortable here for a couple of hours. Perfect for catching up with friends or mothers groups!

Details:
Address: 126 Union St, Brunswick VIC 3056
Web: www.missmarmalade.com.au

 

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Little Henri – Thornbury
Little Henri – Thornbury
Little Henri – Thornbury
Little Henri – Thornbury
Little Henri – Thornbury
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in Eat

Little Henri – Thornbury

Little Henri cafe is located on High Street in Thornbury. If you’re a local you’ll no doubt recognise the walking boy silhouette along the side wall. It’s been there for a while and I’ve wanted to try it for a long time – finally I dropped in for a quick lunch and coffee with a girlfriend and I was very glad I did!

The space is quite large and open with an industrial feel, there’s banquet seating on one side while larger tables and a communal bench fill the main room. You can also choose to sit outside in the large courtyard which has both covered and open air tables. It would be beautiful here on a warm and sunny day, alas the day we visited was quite cold so we took refuge inside. There’s plenty of room for prams to wheel in between the tables, and certainly in the late afternoon when I visited there was quite a few mums and bubs catching up over a coffee.

The service is prompt and courteous and the menu has a wide variety of breakfast and lunch offerings. From the usual eggs on toast, muesli, bagels and fruit to coconut pancakes, baguettes, piadinis, fried calamari, roasted pork belly, salads and a few desserts. There’s definitely something for everyone, and although there’s no specific kids menu I saw plenty of options for the kids to eat. I tried the chickpea, cauliflower & Persian feta salad which was a delicious and huge serving of warm quinoa, toasted nuts, seeds and spices studded with cauliflower and chickpeas and generously topped with crumbled Persian feta. So yum! They’re also open for dinner and I think this would be a lovely place for an informal date night. Coffee is supplied by Allpress and you can choose between Supremo or Single Origin – fabulous, I can’t wait to go back!

Details:
Address: 850 High Street, Thornbury 3071
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 7am-4pm, Sat & Sun: 8am-4pm
Pram friendly, high chairs available.

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Lady Bower Kitchen
Lady Bower Kitchen
in Eat

Lady Bower Kitchen

Lady Bower Kitchen is well known among the Reservoir locals and I’ve been meaning to try it out for ages. Finally I managed to drop in for a quick breakfast the other morning and I’m glad I did! This small and charming cafe is situated on Marchant Avenue, just off Broadway and is a nice spot to spend a morning.

We visited mid week around 10am and it was pretty quiet, although I’ve heard that weekends get pretty busy. The space is warm and inviting with a couple of nooks near the window or larger tables in the main room. There’s enough space for a pram which is a bonus and almost a must for this area.

The staff were very friendly and promptly took our coffee and milkshake order before returning to see what we would like to eat. My little lady had a chocolate shake and I loved that they had a kids version in take away coffee cups with a straw – no spills! They have Five Senses coffee and a nice variety of all day brunch, sandwiches, salads and cakes, plus a kids menu which had favourites such as a ham and cheese toastie, crumpets, waffles and eggs. I decided to try the roasted mushrooms with gorgonzola, poached free range egg and a rocket and pine nut salad. It was perfectly cooked, fresh and delicious. My little one had scrambled eggs on toast and it was a generous size for kids. I can’t wait to go back to try some of the other items on their menu!

Details:
Address: 1A Marchant Ave, Reservoir VIC
Opening hours: Mon-Wed: 7:30am–4:00pm, Thur-Fri: 7:30am–10:00pm, Sat-Sun: 8:00am–4:00pm
Pram friendly, highchairs available, kids menu.

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The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
The Food Truck Park – Preston
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in Eat

The Food Truck Park – Preston

Food trucks, they’re everywhere! Instead of packing the family up in the car and chasing them around town, you can head on over to the Food Truck Park in Preston, where they are all in the one spot! It’s a fantastic idea and we are so lucky to have not one but two permanent food truck parks in the north (the other being Welcome to Thornbury – blog coming soon!).

Located on High Street in Preston, this park is on the site of a former car yard and warehouse. The refit utilises the site well and the feel is fun and edgy yet family friendly – a must for this area! There is a rotating list of food trucks each week, so no two days are the same. The park regularly hosts themed events with similarly suited food trucks. We visited on the Middle East Food Festival and the atmosphere was fun with middle eastern music flowing from the speakers, bearded bakers dancing and the smell of kebabs and gozleme in the air.

There are many different areas to sit down, with table and seats made from re-purposed wooden pallets  and crates. Some outdoor tables are shaded with umbrellas and there is a long open structure in the middle with separate booths and an iron roof. Inside there are similar booths as well as low tables with wooden box seats and higher benches with tall stools. My advice it to get there early and claim one of the booths. There’s also a licensed bar inside selling craft beer, cider, wine and premixed spirits. What more could you ask for?!

Both indoor and outdoor spaces are large and open. There’s enough room for prams and the kids can run around. Indeed when we visited the majority of the crowd was families with young kids. It’s fantastic to have such a cool family friendly dining option in the area!

Details:
Address: 518 High Street, Preston
Open: Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 12pm-10pm, Sunday 12pm-9pm
Free entry!

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Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
Gelato Papa – Preston
in Eat

Gelato Papa – Preston

Gelato Papa is an awesome new gelato bar that’s just opened up in Preston. When we visited they had only been open for 9 days. They’re located right at the beginning of Gilbert Road, near the Miller Street round about. It’s so nice to have a decent gelato place open up near home!

The shop is quite tiny and I can imagine it would get very busy on a hot day. There’s wheelchair access, and this leads to a cabinet of 16 different flavours. The usual traditional favourites of chocolate, strawberry cream and lemon zest are there as well as some other interesting tastes such as nutella crunch, honeycomb and choc chip, fior de latte and my favourite – black coconut, which was coconut gelato that had been coloured black with coconut shell ash! It’s a confronting colour but the taste was divine! No hint of ash at all. A rotating specials board featured Sicilian pistachio and matcha – yum! Vegans are also catered for, so it’s a win for everybody. If you wanted to add another layer to your gelato, I spied a chocolate tap that was continually running! A chocolate shot is poured over your gelato and topped with an upside down mini cone. I’m sure the kids will love this one!

All the gelato is made on the premises, hand crafted the traditional way and influenced by Sicily. I’m looking forward to seeing what else they come up with.

You can choose to sit in the store at one of six high stools along a bench – the kids were just able to reach the table top! Or there’s two tables with stools out the front on the footpath.

Get down there while the weather is still warm!

Details:
Address: 14a Gilbert Road, Preston

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Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale
in Eat

Augustus Gloop Gelatery – Pascoe Vale

How awesome is the name of this gelatery?! It perfectly sums up how you feel when you are faced with their cabinet of 48 (!) different flavours. So many types to try and not enough warm days left to try them all. The gorgeous shop is located on Pascoe Street in Pascoe Vale among a small strip of shops. Large purple umbrellas at the front reflect the bright and cheery fit out inside and on warm days the huge windows open out the shop to the footpath, tempting locals to come in and try their treats. A clear window at the back of the shop is reminiscent of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, where you can see the gelato being created and churned – very cool!

Lucky for us the day we visit is quiet, so we have time to peruse all the flavours. There’s the traditional lemon sorbet, raspberry sorbet, chocolate, watermelon and mango as well as other interesting variations such as blood orange, pina colada, bubblegum, salted caramel, hazelnut, 70% chocolate, pistachio and coffee. A specials board features an ever changing variety and on the day we visited it was banana, hazelnut & nutella and choc sorbet. There’s definitely something for everyone and the lady behind the counter even offered us small tastes so we could decide.

Next to the gelato cabinet there’s a selection of various macarons, we tried a few which were nice, but my advice is to save the room for the gelato, that’s the real star here. They’ve also just released a range of gelato cakes which look amazing. Flavours include strawberry, pistachio & chocolate, Nutella & kinder surprise, and hazelnut espresso and they’re only $35. I can’t wait to try them out!

Once you’ve got your gelato you can sit at tables and stools outside or perch on the wooden bench which runs the length of the front window and into the store. Communal and fun. The kids can’t wait to go back!

Details:
Address: Shop A, 15 Pascoe Street, Pascoe Vale
Open: 11am – 11pm, 365 days a year

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Jackson Dodds
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in Eat

Jackson Dodds

Jackson Dodds is a fabulous little cafe on the corner of Gilbert Rd and Union Street in Preston. It’s right at the end of the number 11 tram line and has been in the area since 2010. It’s not new but it’s definitely a favourite among the locals, having been one the of first decent cafes to open on the northern side of Bell Street.

The atmosphere is friendly and relaxed during the week and busier but still attentive and efficient on the weekends. The owner is hands on and you’ll see him greeting people, giving out menus, taking orders, making coffee and cleaning up, all whilst engaging in humorous banter with the customers and kids. During the week there’s local mothers groups with their kids, sitting at the communal bench table; workers having coffee meetings and students on laptops enjoying the welcoming and eclectic space. On weekends lots of families get in early with their kids, and they are out the door by the time the brunch crowd start to file in to select from the all day breakfast menu.

We’ve visited many times and there’s always great coffee and a selection of muffins and cupcakes by the side entrance. The breakfast dishes we’ve tried include the Fruit toast, Jacks Breakfast, Great Northern, Scrambled Feta and Atlantic Eggs. Everything has always been fresh and delicious and the portions very generous. For the kids we have often asked to split a serve of bacon and eggs, and the staff always offer us two plates and cutlery without batting an eyelid. The kids pancake is also a firm favourite with or without ice cream. There’s the standard fare available on the drinks list, however I think the best item is the kids milkshake which (if you ask) they will put into a takeaway cup with a lid and straw so there’s no spills – love that!!

It’s a really family friendly cafe, with one old school high chair and a kids table with toys. It’s handy if you can get a table next to the kids one so that they can entertain themselves while you can actually eat your meal and have a chat! On sunny days the outdoor tables fill up fast and there’s a line for takeaway coffee out the side door, but the wait for a table is never long. A great spot for the locals!

Details:
Address:
Phone:

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