Ned’s Bake Middle Park
Ned’s Bake is not your average bakery. Much like its siblings in South Yarra, Armadale and Albert Park, the Middle Park outpost is inspired by the European cafe-bakery ideal. It’s primed for a few purposes – a quick espresso and morning read by the window, a cosy catch-up over pastries in the exposed brick-walled dining room, or a sun-soaked meal in the al fresco area out the front.
Wherever you sit, it’s worth sampling some of Ned’s excellent bread and pastries. You’ll find around 15 types of loaves here, mostly stacked in piles and bundled into bread baskets behind the counter. You might try its fruit loaves, seeded sourdough or local’s favourite olive or fig grissini. A long glass cabinet displays a bounty of Euro-leaning pastries and sandwiches – like gooey almond croissants, sweet Portuguese tarts or crusty baguettes lined with cold-cuts and cheese.
For breakfast, it might be any combo of pastries or – for something more substantial – classic smashed avo on bruschetta or baked eggs in tomato sugo. Lunch might be seafood linguine or Roman-style pizza el taglio (“by the cut”).
In the belly of the bakery, a long black chalkboard announces the daily drinks specials. Yet the regular drinks menu covers most bases, with hot coffee from St Ali, wines, beers and classic cocktails like Negroni and Bloody Mary.
Before you leave, don’t forget to check out the wall of jams and preserves (think kiwi jam spiked with limoncello) which you can take for a picnic by Albert Park Lake. On the way over, you might even spot someone with a coffee in hand and a bag of olive grissini – a daily ritual for many locals.
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