• Tess Shanahan

Tess’ Cafe List 101 - #4


Well summer is here, so I thought it was only appropriate to write about some of my most favourite cafe spots that you can dine at every day of the week and still maintain that shredded summer bod!

I’ve put a little focus on healthy bowls, which is one of my go-to’s to cook at home. So when I find a good one out and about… I not only order them day in and day out, but I write about them… Just for you :D

Enjoy xx

The Farm Cafe

This venue has definitely got to be one of my all time faves. Immerse yourself amongst nature and farm animals in this cute, rustic cafe. Lap up the sunshine while watching horses gallivant nearby, or curl up in a blanket in the middle of winter by a lit fire place, like I did with Dexy dog. You really wouldn’t believe you are in central Melbourne. These little gems are one of the reasons I believe Melbourne is such a liveable city. You will feel like you have travelled for miles when you find yourself dining at the Farm Cafe, which is just located in the Collingwood Children's Farm. I know how to tell a good cafe when I find one. It’s when I first visit and I begin to panic at the thought of having to choose just one dish. I normally end up debating with the poor waiter/ress for ages, just to ensure I don’t get FOMO. Well, that happened here, but luckily you can’t really go wrong! The food is so hearty and the produce is so clean and fresh. A classic poached egg brekkie, with beetroot hummus or delicious roast pumpkin, or a big, thick potato rosti, incredible wholesome vegetable salads or a classic farm pie with a punching flavour explosion - I highly recommend you get around it!

Monk Bodhi Dharma

This vegan cafe has been around for a little while now, but I was only lucky enough to discover it earlier this year, and, I ended up going back week after week because it was just that was good! Tucked away down a small alley in Balaclava, this little gem has a homey, rustic and ‘north side’ kinda feel to it. Ha! I’ve never heard a bad word said about this place, and every time I post an insta story about it, multiple people message to share their love and favourite dishes. The food is bursting with flavour and character (much like their staff.) I always say you can judge a good cafe on how much avocado actually comes with your smashed avo. Well this one has mountains of it! So we’ve got a winner. They always have super yummy specials, but their permanent menu is solid. Try the unami mushrooms on pumpkin bread, gluten free zucchini fritters, decadent banana bread, or the polenta bread which features avo AND vegemite! And if you’re not vegan, don’t let the stereotype scare you off. Do yourself a favour and give this joint a shot!

Proud Sprout

Let me tell you a little story. Years ago, when I was back at school, there was this tiny little cafe near my house on route to my walk to school. It probably only sat 15 people. Occasionally, if I finished early, my dad would take me there for lunch, where we would feast on the most scrumptious home-made chicken curries, or overloaded veggie zoodle bowls (might I say, this place was doing zoodles before it became ‘a thing’!) Well, the owner sadly left, but to my luck, a couple years later the beautiful Karishma started another in Collingwood! Proud Sprout is the perfect healthy lunch spot, featuring supercharged bowls. Loaded with fresh goodies like smashed pumpkin, falafels, tofu, chickpeas and kale, the options are endless. You can even build your own. Sit in the refurbished, clean and white, cosy home, with pops of yellow and blue colour and cute decor, or under a sunshade in the hidden upstairs courtyard, it’s really is the perfect summer spot, with the best food which is only going to help that perfect summer bod ;)

Plenty Cuisine

The oh so talented Brooke Meredith has recently launched Plenty Cuisine. It’s early days yet but you can be lucky enough to get a taster at the awesome Il Fornaio on Acland St, St Kilda. Try spiced kabuki chickpeas with sweet potato, charred broccoli, buckwheat and quinoa tabbouleh and rose essence harissa, or greens with sumac braised beluga lentils, cauliflower rice and smoked almond curd, my mouth salivates at the thought! You know these bowls must be good for you from the sheer lifestyle that Brooke lives and breathes. With her magazine a Conscious Collection, focusing on health, wellbeing, lifestyle and travel, Plenty is just another positive impact she’s contributing to society and her resume! Stay tuned for the offical store opening and Uber Eats launch.

Hunter Harvest

You know you’re getting a good feed, when it’s created by a former IBO super featherweight World champion! The talented Will Tomlinson from Tribute Boxing has just created a kick ass venue in Seddon which has more of those epic bowls which I am obsessing over. Miso salmon bowl, vegan bowls with tofu scramble, classic poke, or loaded veggie bowls, you name it, they’ve got it! If you’re wanting to change it up then you can still get a snickers smoothie bowl, classic smashed avo or a super epic healthy smoothie. Just take a look at their Instagram and you’ll be dying to dry it out. This is one meal that will make you ready for any fight ;

Terror Twilight

The bowl obsession continues. Check out this super cute, pastel pink cafe in Collingwood. Build your own bowl or broth, with broccoli and cauliflower rice, freekeh, soba noodles, miso and kombu, greens, roasted veg or kimchi, I’m already feeling overwhelmed at the decision! You know you’re nurturing your body with this food, but they make it so damn tasty you wouldn’t even believe how healthy it is for you. If you’re wanting a more traditional Melbourne brekkie, don’t fret. They’ve got your fave smashed av or chia and matcha pudding. If you’re on the run try one of their supercharged smoothies for a booster. You can even get MCT coffee there! This place has definitely won me over.


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