Once the site of a bookshop, Green Refectory has been purveying fresh cafe fare on Sydney Road since 2004. Owner Sandy Green’s love of baking fresh cakes – including her signature pavlova – got the ball rolling and since then the cafe has bloomed. As such, you can buy whole cakes ranging from $18 to $35, including Mars Bar cheesecakes, pavlovas and flourless orange and poppy seed selections.
With no signage hanging out the front except for an Illy Coffee sign – and the word ‘Green’ on the window – Green Refectory is a slim, spirited space where food is the hero.
Biscuits, more cakes, pastries and pides line the counter, with substantial breakfast, lunch and dinner options visible on a protein-heavy menu that spreads across four big chalkboards. From all-day burritos, bircher muesli to eggs anyway, Green Refectory also serves up some gluten-free and vegan options.
There’s a revolving stream of customers (many students) moving through the cafe and down the back to the outdoor section for fresh air. Breezy tunes slip out of the speakers and onto the tram stop right outside the place on Sydney Road (Stop 20 on the North Coburg 19 line, to be precise). Ding. Ding.