Brunswick locals seemed more excited about John Gorilla when it opened than other cafes, and for good reason - a lot of them played a role in funding it.

The space is colourful and quirky with multicoloured rulers lining the cafe’s counter and leadlight windows adding character. Much-loved Melbourne artist and designer Beci Orpin has hand-painted a geometric mural on the cafe’s main wall. And there’s even a small courtyard out the back for balmy days.

Behind the stoves, a breakfast menu that includes everything from lambs fry to French toast is turned out. John Gorilla’s potato hash is proving a local favourite, thanks to the addition of Kaiserfleisch, a German delicacy of smoked pork belly.

Lunch options include bacon butties, toasted bagels and salads. There’s also a heap of sweet treats on offer, including canelés (caramelised on the outside and then custardy inside) and delicate orange and raspberry friands.

Just keep an eye out for the quietly smug locals who act like they own the place. In a funny sort of way, they do.