In the shadow of Windy Hill, you’ll find a brand new cafe, here to give the people of Essendon what they want. Namely, good coffee.

Helmed by Tegyn Angel and pastry chef Arnaud Lebon, Alice to create a coffee hub in an area that is bizarrely underserviced in terms of good cafes. The pair recognised that while there were plenty of places to get meals or groceries on their Essendon strip, there was nowhere to get a decent coffee. So after hiring Simon Cunningham from Volant Designs to smartly fit out the space, they moved in with beans from Padre and baristas who take care to ask you exactly how you like your particular brew.

This kind of attention to detail extends to how the owners want to engage with their customers. “We didn’t want to spend six months formulating what we thought the local community wanted, only to have it backfire once we opened,” says Angel. “So we’re building from the start, testing out different things, keeping what the locals respond well to, and getting rid of what [they don’t].”

In terms of food, the pastries – crafted by Lebon – are a particular highlight. If they’re available, you can’t go past the white chocolate and passionfruit éclairs, made with a light choux pastry that causes the ends of the éclair to turn upwards like a banana and filled with feather light Chantilly cream. There’s also muffins, a small selection of baguettes, croissants by Le Madre and plans for toasties.

Make the effort to head down the rabbit hole and experience the hospitality of Alice. Your curiosity will be warmly rewarded.

25 Napier Street, Essendon

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