How Romulus has been hiding from us for over a year is a mystery, but now we’ve found it and we thought we’d let you know. Organic produce prepared by chef and owner Sophie West (ex-The Gem) includes the house special Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese inside the sourdough, fried egg on top) and loads of gluten-free biscuits and muffins, fresh from the kitchen.

Romulus is an established local in the West Melbourne area. West greets most customers by name as she starts their coffee, occasionally calling out a breakfast order to the kitchen. There’s a homely feel and plenty of gossip shared between caffeine top-ups.

West left school at 15 and finished her apprenticeship at 19. Growing up in Sydney, she’s worked at Sydney’s Nielson Park Kiosk in Vaucluse, Vaucluse House Tearooms and The Light Brigade. During her apprenticeship, she once spent a whole year making ice cream, so we can foresee some homemade gelato landing to give the Ben & Jerry’s fridge in the cafe a run for its money in the future.

That said, the addition of the Ben & Jerry’s fridge was inspired by West’s husband. “My husband’s Canadian and when he first saw Ben & Jerry’s come out he got all excited,” she says. “I like the American diner sort of feel to this place.”

Produce is sourced from the Queen Victoria market and interior knickknacks picked up from local op shops. The coffee is Supreme’s organic fair trade blend.

We also hear the cafe will soon be expanding, with a deck being built out back to take another 20 (or so) seats.

Cafe Romulus
437 Spencer Street, West Melbourne
(03) 8554 4385

Mon-Fri 7.30am-3.30pm