Cafe John

7:00am - 4:00pm
28 Leicester Street Carlton 3053

At Cafe John, everything from the falafel right down to the mayos and sauces is made from scratch. Expect breakfast classics such as Eggs Benedict, and bacon-and-egg burgers alongside more adventurous plates. The Johno-Miyaki is a vegetable pancake similar to okonomiyaki, criss-crossed with mayo and barbeque sauce, topped with a fried egg and served with a pickled-vegetable salad. A Korean-inspired dish of bulgogi-marinated beef (soy, sugar, pear juice) comes with kimchi, fresh cucumber, rice crackers and a crisp deep-fried whole egg.

At lunch you’ll find warm savoury scones flecked with kale, zucchini and seeds with cold butter on the side; house-made pies and tarts (maybe silverbeet, herb and marscapone); and toasted Woodfrog Bakery bread stuffed with chicken and watercress, or truffle and mushroom. There are also generous vegan salads you can un-vegan with the addition of sticky pork belly or hot-smoked salmon.

For a coffee supplier, beans come courtesy of Coffee Supreme. Otherwise there's a line-up of milkshakes which include caramel popcorn, Cherry Ripe and Blue Heaven.

The design here has the aesthetic of an Italian men’s club from the ‘70s. There's an intimate ambience – despite the high ceilings and large windows of the building. There are long, vintage-style tan leather seats along the walls, bold red terrazzo tabletops, and large indoor plants cutting through the natural light that sweeps in through floor-to-ceiling windows. Little retro nods include an old television, a Hookey board and an antique set of kitchen scales.

Updated: January 16th, 2020

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