Rivers of Yarrambat
Rivers of Yarrambat has operated as a nursery since 1981 and has since expanded to include a cafe, health and well-being center, function room, and gift shop. Sitting adjacent to the pond, Rivers Cafe has both indoor seating and an outdoor veranda where you can spot ducks and turtles from your table. Open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea, Rivers Cafe offers a wide range of savory and sweet dishes made with locally sourced produce. Try the cheese and fresh herb pot bread (served in a flower pot), buttery scones, or a gourmet burger. For chocolate lovers, there’s the decadent European hot chocolate.
Rivers of Yarrambat, 28 Kurrak Rd, Yarrambat VIC, Australia +61 03 9436 3200
Turners Bakehouse Eatery
Built in the 1890s, Turners is a charming boutique bakery in Mernda which serves a selection of pies, pastries, cakes, and other homemade dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, and high tea. Original owners Charles and Stephenson Turner traveled far and wide to sell their homemade bread, and the Scotch oven they once used is still operational today and used to bake the signature sourdough bread.
Turners Bakehouse Eatery, 107 Schotters Rd, Mernda VIC, Australia +61 03 9717 5834
You haven’t been to Mill Park unless you’ve tried a donut from 4 Doors. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, 4 Doors is a local favourite. The main room is contemporary, with a marble bar and glass cabinet full of homemade cakes. 4 Doors also features an outdoor terrace perfect for the warmer months. Favourites from menu include the stuffed figs served with ‘crispy prosciutto and almond herb crumble,’ and the gnocchi with pumpkin and sage sauce, finished with fried leek and goat’s cheese.
4 Doors, 28 The Link, Mill Park VIC, Australia +61 03 9404 5022
Located on a quiet street in Reservoir, Lady Bower serves all-day brunch, lunch, sandwiches, and sweets. Lady Bower is always packed, and owner Renee encourages locals to bring their home-grown produce so that the team can use the fruits and vegetables to make jam and preserves. Among the spreads for sale are tomato chutney and plum jam. Try the pulled pork and green mango sandwich, melon bircher, and the Lamington hand-shaken milkshake.
Lady Bower, 1A Marchant Ave, Reservoir VIC, Australia +61 03 9469 5851
Jahdomes Bakery & Cafe
Tucked away in the leftmost corner of Stables Shopping Centre is Mill Park’s own French cafe. Owned by Harry and Helen Dehghani, Jadhomes Bakery & Cafe is a contemporary take on a classic Parisian restaurant. As you step inside, you will immediately notice the glass display cabinet filled with a colorful assortment of heavenly treats, including Harry’s famous vanilla slice, before a friendly waiter greets you. Take a seat under the plants and gaze at the Eiffel Tower mural. Menu highlights include the berry ricotta hot cake, homemade granola, and bread and butter pudding.
Cielo Blue is located within the Plenty Views Golf Park. The impressive open fire and brickwork make for an inviting setting. Cielo Blue serves breakfast at weekends and Italian lunch and dinner throughout the week. The breakfast menu includes eggs Florentine, Benedict, and Atlantic along with buttermilk pancakes, and a big vegetarian breakfast. There are outdoor tables for those wanting to dine over the golf course, and the venue can be booked for functions.
Cielo Blue, 206 Yan Yean Rd, Plenty VIC, Australia +61 03 9436 1866
Two Beans and a Farm
Just off Plenty Road, Two Beans and Farm is a restored farmhouse dating back to 1861. The Carome Homestead is located in Mernda, about a 50 minute drive from the CBD, and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a slightly Spanish feel. There are separate dining rooms, allowing for privacy and providing spaces for functions. Two Beans and a Farm has a ‘garden to plate’ approach, and its seasonal menu includes tapas, brioche buns, and organic and vegetarian options to enjoy in the company of some friendly kangaroos.
Two Beans and a Farm, 10 Hathfelde Blvd, Mernda VIC, Australia +61 03 9717 0978
Tancks Corner is a weatherboard building situated on the site of the historic post office. Tancks Corner has a refined menu, including Moroccan spiced cauliflower salad, ‘shrooms and kale; and toasted banana and coconut loaf. The owners use local produce and sell Australian-made products in their boutique in support of local businesses.
The motto is ‘for everyone there’s Home, Work and a Third Place…’ and it’s not hard to imagine this cafe becoming your go-to retreat. The farmhouse was built in 1866 and comfortably seats 45 people around the communal tables and open fire. There’s a picturesque garden, as well as a marquee suitable for special occasions. Breakfast is served until 3pm, and the menu includes old favorites as well as unique options such as the Middle Eastern shakshuka. Third Place is also open for lunch and dinner and is hoping to launch an artist’s studio, communal library, and nursery.
Dexter does buns, not burgers, and is a must-know, anything-goes eatery for Melbourne’s most carnivorous. Situated on High Street in Preston, Dexter’s wacky lunch menu includes Kentucky fried cauliflower, pig’s head croquette, bone marrow mash, hot meat donuts, and a liquid nitrogen and chocolate biscuit creation titled ‘milk and cookies.’ On-tap beers by Temple Brewing are also available.
Dexter, 456 High St, Preston VIC, Australia +61 03 9973 357