Sun Moth Canteen & Bar
Few venues in Melbourne handle the day-to-night transition as well as Sun Moth.
When the sun’s up, its generously proportioned trestles attract a steady flow of freelancers and lunching office workers. The secluded laneway location means the pace here is a little slower than most city cafes, which is a big part of the appeal.
Another part: well-made Small Batch coffee (owner Luke Mutton founded and sold Dead Man Espresso and Common Galaxia) and a dynamic blackboard menu that might include stout-braised beef cheek, chicken-dashi broth or grilled haloumi salad.
As the space’s abundant natural light begins to wane, a projector picks up the slack, flashing abstract visualisations across the front wall. It’s a small touch, but combined with the communal timber tables, it gives Sun Moth a younger, more accessible vibe than other wine bars around town.
And make no mistake, this is a proper wine bar. Natural and minimal-intervention stars such as Patrick Sullivan, William Downie, Unkel, The Other Right and Lucy Margaux dominate the list alongside draught and bottled beers from Hop Nation, La Sirene, Two Metre Tall and other Aussie breweries.
That lunch blackboard flips over at 5pm to reveal nuts, olives, dips, desserts and seasonal veggie plates to share. Order some food and settle in. As in daylight hours, the location attracts an in-the-know crowd and the place sometimes has a clubby yet welcoming atmosphere.