HOT: Small Graces, 57 Byron St, Footscray

Footscray CBD has a new retail and shopping precinct across from the former Little Saigon market. One of the new tenants is Small Graces, a bright and cosy cafe by chef/owner and Footscray local Diego. Small Graces‘s menu focuses on seasonal and wholesome food, with a few Colombian flourishes harking to Diego’s heritage. The kitchen uses […]

HOT: Brother Hen, 154 Pascoe Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds

Brother Hen is a gorgeous family-friendly cafe in Moonee Ponds which is also the home to a few chooks. The front room is cosy and warm, with wood panelling and the rumble of the tram providing window entertainment. If you’re there with kids then you’ll probably want to head out to the back courtyard, which […]

HOT: Toot Toot Toys, 637 Centre Rd, Bentleigh East

Toot Toot Toys is an awesome train-themed toy store with the benefit of a cafe and gated play area at the back. If you have young kids who are train-mad then Toot Toot Toys is the perfect hangout on a wet or cold day. It’s hidden away in a quiet strip of shops, making it […]

HOT: Nature Boy, 486 Neerim Road, Murrumbeena

Nature Boy in a family-friendly cafe in Murrumbeena with the benefit of an outdoor play area that’s shaded and cubby house. The frontage of Nature Boy is deceiving, as you can only spot a small dining area from the street. But head to the side corridor, beyond a small astroturf courtyard…and there’s another whole building/dining […]

HOT: The General Food Store, 377 Belgrave-Gembrook Rd, Emerald

The General Food Store is THE place to eat in Emerald if you’re serious about your food. It’s often named in good food lists and Dandenong Ranges travel guides and is popular with locals and visitors.        The reason? They focus on using seasonal ingredients sourced from Victoria. Their coffee is by Coffee Supreme […]

HOT: The Hub 3070, 58a Victoria Road, Northcote

The Hub 3070 is a cafe and food store providing Northcote families with Toby’s Estate coffee, a focus on healthy eats and an awesome indoor play area. You can’t spot much from the black brick street frontage of The Hub 3070. But once you enter it unfolds with bright light and lots of seating options. […]

HOT: Koonwarra Food and Wine Store, South 2 Koonwarra-Inverloch Road, Koonwarra

You’d never imagine that a tiny Gippsland town of Koonwarra can boast an artisan bakery, homewares store, organic produce store and a food, wine and produce store. The picturesque village is located on the South South Gippsland Highway between Foster and Leongatha and the reason for its existence is that there was one a train […]

HOT: New Shanghai, Emporium Melbourne, Level 3, 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

My kids are half Chinese but I have to confess that they don’t get a lot of exposure to Chinese culture in their day to day lives. One way I try to rectify that is to feed them Chinese food at every opportunity when we eat out as I’m not a particularly knowledgeable Chinese food […]

HOT: Afternoon Tea, Windsor Hotel, 111 Spring St, Melbourne

These school holidays enjoy a very special treat with afternoon tea at the Windsor Hotel where kids aged 3-12 years only pay the price of their age when one full paying dines on a weekday. Usually, children aged 3-6 years pay $25 and 7-12 years pay $40, so it is a significant saving. The historic Hotel Windsor has been […]

HOT: Wilfred and Smith, 23 Albion Street, Essendon

Wilfred and Smith is a popular local cafe in the middle of residential Essendon. It’s petite and the interior navigation may be tricky for prams, but it does have high chairs and a large disabled bathroom with change table to cater for families. When it’s warm the cosy front courtyard is the best place to […]

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