If you’re visiting Gippsland or Phillip Island and the kids (and you) need a break from the drive, I recommend stopping at Porter Republic in San Remo, a small town that’s the gateway for the island.
The cafe is light and spacious inside and very ‘Melbourne’ in its eclectic industrial chic decor, mixed with a laid-back beachy feel.
If the weather’s good head to the back courtyard dotted with herbs and fruit trees and where there’s a dedicated kids’ area, a little green oasis with a chalkboard and toys which will keep the little ones entertained. If you’re hanging out the front you can just sneak a peek of glittering water views and the jetty across the highway.
We were invited to try out their daytime menu and luckily a booking had been made for us as it was busy, busy, busy on the weekend. Staff were still smiling and helpful and the food came quickly.
The menu hits Asian and Latin notes with cafe favourites in between. We tried the pulled pork quesadilla, filled with stretchy cheese and melting pork and some kickin’ chipotle sauce ($15) but the highlight was the crispy pork belly with scallops, sticky with nam jim on a bed of crunchy bean sprouts.
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There’s no kids menu as such but lots of food suitable for kids – their classic ham, cheese and tomato toastie were a hit with the kids ($9.50) and don’t forget to try their old-fashioned milkshakes ($5 for kids, $7 for large)!
If you’re on the go the coffee is creamy and smooth courtesy of Coffee Supreme and the sweets at the counter are made on site. I couldn’t resist sneaking a Monte Carlo AND melting moment for the road!
Finally, there’s a cute corner draped with stylish homewares and accessories which is worth a browse.
Sometimes holiday spots don’t necessarily have the greatest food (captive audience and transient customer base have an influence) soPorter Republic is a standout in tiny San Remo. Make a note to visit this fantastic family-friendly cafe if you’re holidaying in the area.
- pram access;
- numerous high chairs;
- standard menu suitable for kids;
- chalkboard and toys in back courtyard; and
- free street parking.
Porter Republic, 117 Marine Parade, San Remo (03) 5678 5524
7 days 7am-4pm