Directly opposite Newmarket station, Pepper is a light-filled cafe that’s been servicing locals for more than 12 years. Dojn’t worry about the words “hygienic library” inscribed on the wall: they’re a historical nod to the cafe’s unusual past – a place where books were sprayed with formaldehyde to avoid the spread of Spanish Influenza.
There’s ample footpath seating and inside a long counter displays slabs of cake and focaccia. Rustic green walls and streamlined furniture give the space a carefree vibe.
The menu keeps things simple with staples such as loaded breakfast burritos and smashed avo, but more creative dishes, such as matcha French toast with vanilla pashmak and almond brittle, might get a look in too. Lunch includes everything from classic bagels and burgers to soba noodle salads. There are a handful of vegan options, too.
Boutique wines and beers such as Beechworth Pale Ale and Moon Dog are rotated regularly. Plus, Bloody Marys and Espresso Martinis if you're after something sharper.
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