Lunch breaks in the city can be fraught with danger. For every awe-inspiring cafe filled with mouth-watering treats, there are 10 more with doughy focaccias, dry sushi or questionable fried fare. It’s a common theme in the CBD and despite all the fabulous restaurants Melbourne foodies have access to in the evenings, laidback venues for sandwiches and salads at a reasonable price are few and far between.
Enter Oli & Levi, a cafe at the end of Coromandel Place off Little Collins, bright yellow awnings beckoning passersby from its all but hidden spot.
Already causing a stir with $1.50 sweet or savoury tarts, the small yet considered menu is a welcome change from some of the area’s overpriced and unappealing dishes. Head chef Sean Muir, formerly of Elwood’s Dandelion, has even injected a hint of Asian flare, with the hot duck roll a standout come lunchtime.
The space itself also reflects this theory, with the industrial yet cosy setting providing a relaxed, light-soaked atmosphere and bi-folding doors. They serve Allpress coffee, while food is available to takeaway or eat in (both inside or out).