11 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East, VIC, 3057

When migrating demographic groups show respect for an area’s history, gentrification can be compelling and enriching. Carolina occupies an old shoemaker’s shop on Nicholson Street and the history of the place is celebrated in the new cafe. The former tenant’s window signage – “Invicta Italian Hand Made Shoes” – has been left unchanged while, inside, the original pressed-tin ceiling is preserved. An exceptional range of cakes and pastries shares counter space with vintage shoemaker’s models. Subtle joinery and cushioned benches make for a warm and relaxed vibe, and a sunny courtyard seems a million miles away from the inner-city bustle outside. Breakfast and lunch menus focus on comfort food but with a sophisticated, vaguely Middle Eastern twist – think toasted fruit brioche with poached peaches and orange blossom syrup, or brik pastry filled with mozzarella, basil and pinenuts.

With beans from Seven Seeds, half the caffeine battle is already won. The execution is pretty good, too. The espresso is medium-bodied with a malty aroma and mellow-sweet chocolate flavour; and there’s just enough acidity to ensure a refreshing finish. Brunswick East keeps on getting better.

Trading Hours
mon - fri: 7am - 4pm sat - sun: 8am - 4pm

Cafe: 17/25
Coffee: 18/25

Seven Seeds Specialty Coffee

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