Tucked away in the industrial backstreets of Collingwood is a green oasis – the dining hub of hospitality social enterprise STREAT.
STREAT is a Melbourne-based organisation that offers disadvantaged youth aged 16-25 a supported pathway from the street to a sustainable livelihood. Since it started in 2010, STREAT has trained more than 520 disadvantaged youth in hospitality across five cafe sites in Melbourne.
Their newest permanent site is a former manor from the 1860s and houses an expansive cafe, on site artisan bakery, coffee roastery, meeting spaces and function rooms.
The best part is that it’s surrounded by a lush garden, a stark contrast to its industrial neighbours.
Other family-friendly facilities include high chairs and shelves of toys and books, though Baby 2.0 spends most of the time exploring the garden and trying out the hammocks and deck chairs
The food is absolutely stunning in terms of presentation and flavours. I highly recommend the Matcha parfait, scorched yuzu marshmallow, rice crunch ($18.50). I’ve never had a dish like it before in terms of the melding of flavours and textures and it’s like a (sort-of) healthy dessert on a breakfast plate.
Also generously proportioned and healthy is are the white corn tortillas with broccoli molé, pickled carrots and roasted cashew crema ($16). The produce is super-fresh and while the dish is vegan it is full of fantastic flavour that a non-vegan will still enjoy.
Baby 2.0 happily devours a giant flaky sausage roll ($12) and then for dessert we have a Genderbread Person. It’s not your typical gingerbread man and costs $12 because all profits allows a young person who identifies with being LGBTIQ to participate in the program. Each Genderbread Person comes inside a little booklet explaining the concept and Baby 2.0 and I have an interesting discussion about what makes up how a person feels about their gender.
Hipster Collingwood is not an easy place to find a family-friendly place to dine and the spacious STREAT ticks all the boxes. Delicious food and coffee, wonderful surroundings, friendly staff – and a place where every dollar counts towards helping a young person in need.
- Pram access;
- High chairs;
- Standard menu suitable for kids;
- Note parking is difficult to find in surrounding streets.
STREAT, 66 Cromwell Street, Collingwood (03) 9629 4222
Monday to Friday, 7am – 4pm
Weekends, 8am – 4pm