If we lived in Footscray, we would eat a pulled pork panini from Footscray Milking Station every day. Alongside a Padre espresso and a Jarritos mandarin soda, lunch doesn’t get much better than this.

Footscray Milking Station opened a couple of weeks ago on a sleepy residential street corner and has been bustling from day one. This cafe and deli is the baby of Jess Tumbri, who runs a friendly but tight front of house, and chef Aven Watson, whose background includes a stint at The European.

The menu features some intriguing breakfast options like sago porridge with coconut milk, cardamom and coriander, and baked beans (haricot, lima and cannellini) with house made sugo, both of which are vegan. In fact, the menu is generally very respectful of differing food requirements.

There seems to be a bit of Mexican influence beyond the aforementioned Jarritos soda, with a quesadilla appearing alongside a selection of paninis and a salad and pasta that change daily.

When asked about the several wheat-free, meat-free and dairy-free menu options, Tumbri simply says: “I suppose we’re thinking differently about food. There are lots of intolerances but hopefully we can accommodate everyone.”

And the decision to use Padre coffee? “It was something Aven and I both agreed on!” Tumbri explains. A coincidental delivery of an eBay order by ‘Mr. Padre’ seemed like a sign to the two and sealed the deal.

Get our pick of the best news, features and events delivered twice a week

The Footscray Milking Station is cosy – bench seating invites the afternoon sun through the front window and there are a handful of small tables and chairs. There’s also a nice communal table to spread out your newspaper and a few pavement tables to boot.

The deli selections include Jonesy’s milk, loaves of bread from Sourdough Kitchen in neighbouring Seddon and Murray River sea salt. You can also pick up a box of T2 tea, a jar of pickled white garlic, or if you’re so inclined, a bottle of walnut oil.

Back to that pulled pork panini; the bread is from Brasserie and alongside tender slow-cooked pork, you’ll find pickled cabbage and caramelised apple. And some kind of magical mayonnaise. Eat one now and see if it doesn’t make your heart sing.

Footscray Milking Station
35 Bunbury Street, Footscray
(03) 9029 9240

Daily 7am–3pm