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Caffe Strada is a Melbourne institution; a place where healthy food isn’t restrained by the ideas of what ‘health food’ should taste like. Wholesome favourites such as cakes, biscuits, and breads can be found in gluten-free versions made to such a high standard that even the most discerning diner would struggle to tell the difference.
Tucked away in a line of modest stores on a bustling suburban high street, Caffe Strada first opened it doors to the people of Ivanhoe in 2004. Growing organically, providing their signature gluten-free loaves to the local community (supplying their demand), it has now established a distribution network to the wider Melbourne area. In addition, the cafe offesr comprehensive catering and private function services for every occasion.
Owner Paul Brady and his wife Bernie have filled an eagerly awaited space in the Melbourne gluten-free community with their creative menu options that do not compromise on quality. Their black rice pudding with seasonal stewed fruits and organic yoghurt is definitely not a regular cafe menu item. Nor is their Spanish chicken pie, served with a delicious side of mushy peas, caramelised onions and mango chutney, a commonly found gluten-free item. Rarely can you find a location where all items available are exclusively gluten-free, and you can rest assured that there is no risk of cross-contamination here.
Paul and Bernie have created a relaxed and homely space with delicate details characteristic of the passion and dedication they both pour into their work, serving comforting favourites that are essentially an extension of their loving family kitchen. And, boy, can you tell. The deceptively large premises boast indoor and outdoor seating areas, meaning that whatever the changeable Melbourne weather serves up, they have you covered.
Don’t miss the cabinet that is full of long-forgotten items such as beautiful chocolate éclairs, donuts, and sausage rolls that only a true coeliac or gluten sufferer will appreciate. If you haven’t experienced that elation of a truly risk-free, gluten-free menu, then what are you waiting for?
Hot Tip: If Ivanhoe is a little out of your radius, you can still take advantage of Caffe Strada’s signature Turkish rolls (among other delicious creations) at their increasingly diverse range of suppliers such as Andrews Bread Shop in Queen Victoria Market.
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Caffe Strada, 197 Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe, Australia, +61 3 9497 4875