it was a cold rainy winter’s morning in melbourne today and with my husband booked in for haircut, i made a point of choosing a cosy looking cafe right near the hairdresser. that way he could eat and run, and i could sit back and relax while i waited for him. win for me. i love bridport st, albert park – it is full of fantastic boutiques + beauty salons, a fantastic pub (a pre-requisite for melbourne), a whole food grocer, deli, fish + chip store and also my favourite burger place (andrews). i can now add ‘great cafes’ to that tried and tested list.
hapsburg empire is located on the bridport + montague st roundabout with gorgeous seating outside (not appropriate for today’s weather unfortunately). inside, the decor is homely + comfortable – beautiful displays of crockery and i loved the tiles on the front counter. i pulled up a seat on the big bench table, where there was plenty of natural light and a huge pile of newspapers for me to make my way through (contented sigh… i love saturdays).
the coffee was strong, bold and consistent. exactly what i needed to kick-start my lazy morning. my husband ordered the mango smoothie and loved it. creamy, smooth and delicious.
bacon + eggs – poached + scrambled varieties
this was your classic, traditional bacon + eggs. poached eggs were excellently cooked, with soft yellow yolks. scrambled eggs were like i remember my dad making them for me as a kid (in a good way!). generous serving sizes of bacon, which were a perfect balance of crispy and soft. definitely a well-executed aussie breakfast staple.
birdseed granola, cashews, honey + seeds served with a side of milk (you also have the option of adding yoghurt + stewed fruits). the granola was tasty – you could definitely taste the honey and the additional crunch from the cashews was delicious. i took my time eating this one, and as the milk soaked in it got even more tastier. i also thought the presentation was really cute, served on a wooden board along with our bucket of cutlery.
the cafe had a beautiful-looking cabinet of food – fresh rolls, cakes + baked goods… and seriously how delicious do these sweet treats look?! there were also fresh donuts and mini bee-stings (not pictured). the service was very friendly and it was lovely to see the staff engaging with the regulars – asking about their week, recent travels etc. i spent a couple of hours relaxing and reading the paper and did not feel rushed in the slightest to leave. hapsburg empire has the perfect “local” feel – unpretentious, casual and relaxed with good quality fresh food and consistent coffee. now if only i actually WAS a local! 😉
verdict: unpretentious and relaxed – the perfect “local”