Brothers Matt and Kael Sahely, two of the three founders of Vacation, know what makes a top Melbourne cafe. The duo founded some of Melbourne’s favourites including Pillar of Salt in Richmond, Touchwood on Bridge Road, Bawa in Hawthorn and Barry in Northcote (all of which they’ve now sold).

Then there’s Vacation, a coffee company the duo started with Jimmy Tjoeng as a wholesale roastery in 2016. A tiny flagship coffee shop for the CBD opening the following year.

In 2021, they followed up the city store with a Cremorne coffee shop. And now, they’ve opened a new Richmond location.

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Central to Vacation’s vision is top-quality coffee, roasted by the owners at their Brunswick roastery. The team’s serious approach to coffee is offset by the cafe’s welcoming, laid-back vibe.

“With a lot of the coffee shops at the moment, it’s a very serious approach, whereas we like to bring it back to basics and have a bit of fun with our coffee,” says Matt. “It’s a fun, approachable brand, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

This playful spirit comes through in the new cafe’s decor. The small, light-filled space has a clean, modern look with white-painted walls, a eucalyptus green awning, and pastel pink tables and benches. The colours make for a soft and sweet feel that creates the perfect backdrop for the shop’s baked goods.

In a Vacation first, pastries, cakes and macarons are baked on-site by pastry chef Miok Choi. These include a tiramisu croissant, layered carrot cake, black forest cake and pineapple macarons.

There’s both cold brew and hot batch brew on tap; all the usual espresso drinks; and specialty drinks including an iced raspberry matcha and a grapefruit spritz.

The lunch menu also steps things up a notch, with new salads and sandwiches. Favourite items from the flagship cafe’s menu such as the egg and haloumi brioche, chicken jalapeno toastie and classic Reuben sandwich are available. There’s also a chicken katsu on shokupan, a pork belly sandwich and a tuna melt.

The new Vacation is especially exciting for both Matt and Kael, who are local to Richmond and have had a long-running love affair with the area since opening Pillar of Salt 15 years ago.

Vacation Richmond
8 Adolph Street, Richmond
No phone

Mon to Fri 7am–3pm
Sat & Sun 7.30am–1.30pm