Guild Cafe’s launch in October 2018 marked the completion of the first half of the 162-year-old State Library’s $88.1 million refurbishment.

In a part of the library that had been closed for 15 years, there’s a bright, white-walled foyer and lounge space that is home to armchairs, blond-timber coffee tables, casual work desks and a new Readings bookshop. A photo piece by Melbourne visual artist Tai Snaith covers one wall with images of open books.

The coffee bar has north-east facing windows, which provide sun in the morning and the afternoon, and has the building’s original parquetry timber floors remain.

Salads start out vegan, with optional protein additions and modifications (instead of the other way around). Sandwiches include pulled lamb with cucumber, tzatziki, feta and spinach, and a Reuben with pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and gherkins.

Pain au chocolat, croissants and danishes are from Hamptons Bakery, and Eat Well Co. supplies vegan protein balls and raw cakes. A selection of menu items – including vegan ramen – are available until 8.30pm.

Coffee is by St Ali, and holders of Guild’s all-day filter coffee pass (which costs $10 and gets you six refills a day) can skip the queue. The cafe offers cow’s milk, and almond milk is no extra charge.

Behind the counter, slushy machines churn and cool plain almond milk, and some that’s been brewed overnight with Mörk dark chocolate or Prana chai. Mocha is made with that same cold-brewed chocolate almond milk, which is great poured over the blueberry and raspberry granola.

Contact Details

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Updated: November 29th, 2018

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