Originally designed to be a bike shop/cafe hybrid, Mocan and Green Grout has stood on a sunny corner in the city’s New Acton precinct since 2012. Though the bike shop didn’t eventuate, you will see cyclists parked up here on weekends, along with locals from the nearby apartments and travellers staying in the neighbouring QT and Ovolo hotels.

The menu is an all-day affair, with a laser focus on seasonality. For breakfast, you could certainly order the house twist on the egg and bacon roll. But the mushroom roll is a showstopper; layered with portobello mushroom, camembert, rocket and salsa verde. Later, it might be a smoked trout salad with crunchy beans, boiled potatoes, barley and leaves. Finished with dill mayo and a boiled egg, it’s a dish that suits any time of day.

It’s not all about the food here – there’s an exceptional house coffee blend, as well as chai by Canberra-based business, Real Chai. (The stuff brews in a big pot on the bench.) It's also licensed, with a tight selection of minimal intervention wines and local spirits on offer.

Enter via the takeaway area, which descends to a dining room revolving around a large, green marble open kitchen crowded with jars of house-made pickles, tins of banana bread and loaves of local sourdough.

The eclectic mix of wooden shelving, handmade tiles and old brassy tables has a design-by-committee feel about it. But it's actually the result of a team of local artisans all pitching in on the fit-out. The green grout between the tiles in one section served as inspiration for the venue’s name. Vines, pot plants and overflowing gardens of herbs and flowers wrap around the cafe's facade.

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Updated: August 9th, 2022

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