Hume City is big both in personality and geography, stretching from Broadmeadows in the south, north past Donnybrook and west to Sunbury. Over the past few years, a bunch of new cafes have popped up in the region that are easily on par with those found closer to the CBD.
Within a half-hour drive from the CBD there’s an undiscovered food-lover’s paradise with everything from seasonal breakfast bowls to thick and decadent stacks of Wagon Wheel pancakes.
We’ve zeroed in on five can’t-miss cafes to factor into your next trip north.
Humble Harry Roasting Co
From the signage on the concourse you could be forgiven for thinking Broadmeadows railway station has been renamed Humble Harry. It’s a not-so-humble sign of big things to come for Broady locals Harry Bultan and Erkan Selek, who have created a bustling cosmopolitan cafe to rival anything south of the “tofu curtain”.
It’s a lively and diverse spot, where you can expect to rub shoulders with lawyers, students, office workers and commuters. The breakfast spread for two is a Turkish-inspired tour de force – scrambled eggs, sucuk (a dry, spicy Turkish sausage), gozleme, simit (bagel-shaped bread with sesame seeds), pide, feta and soft, creamy haloumi. The seared salmon with charred avocado is also a favourite. All coffee is roasted on site and if your train’s bearing down on the platform, there’s a hole in the wall for quickfire takeaway.
5/1100 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows
The Spotted Owl
Since opening five years ago, the Spotted Owl has revitalised Sunbury’s O’Shanassy Street, kickstarting an emerging foodie movement in the satellite suburb. With long-term cafe entrepreneur Amanda Skipper (Little Goat Coffee Co; Augustus Gloop) at the helm, the Spotted Owl brings restaurant-grade quality and presentation to a classic brunch menu with an unmistakably Australian twist.
The seasonal menu changes twice a year, with the chefs given free rein to get creative. The result is plates overflowing with colour and texture. Try the smashed avo with saltbush, the red velvet pancakes, or a pimped-up double-egg Benny that should bring any self-respecting truckie swerving in off the Calder. The standout Little Goat coffee is roasted just around the corner, and the generous outdoor seating makes the Spotted Owl a great spot to watch the passing foot traffic.
93 O’Shanassy St, Sunbury
West Espresso Brewers
Occupying a former barbershop, West Espresso Brewers has quickly established itself as a community hub for the rapidly evolving suburb. Jennifer and John Angsiting opened the doors less than a year ago and have built a loyal following, especially among the dog walkers and cyclists that flock to the bush-fringed trail along Moonee Ponds Creek on weekends.
Coffee is the undeniable passion here, and the Brazilian house blend is the mainstay. Expect to see a rotating mix of seasonally sourced beans, which they can grind to suit your machine at home.
The doors stay open till 8:30pm for gelato on Friday and Saturday nights throughout summer, while on Saturday mornings it’s happy hour for pooches, with lactose-free puppy-cinos served outside on the footpath, complete with doggy biscuits crumbled on top.
6/13 Fawkner St, Westmeadows
Corner Store Espresso
Food presentation is a big priority at Corner Store Espresso, a Roxy institution that plates up vibrant dishes with colour and flair.
If speciality coffee is what you crave, Corner Store Espresso will provide, along with a casual atmosphere and Instagram-friendly natural light. Harry Bultan (of Humble Harry fame) is once again the brains behind this cafe, and has crafted a menu that manages to combine comfort, innovation and pizzazz.
Try the chilli scramble or the exquisite lemon meringue French toast. Most decadent of all, though, are the campfire pancakes, a towering stack of thick, layered buttermilk pancakes drizzled with smoked chocolate (who knew there was such a thing?), toasted s’mores, salted pretzels and vanilla bean ice-cream. Kids are well catered for and vegans will love the herbivore burger, featuring a substantial “beyond-meat patty”.
1/64 Sahi Cres, Roxburgh Park
Krash & Co
After working as a chef for 12 years, Ashley Beyer admits taking over a cafe in Sunbury was a risk, but one that’s paid off. Together with his wife, Nicole Beyer has grown a much-loved institution right on the steps on Sunbury railway station.
The Krash & Co blend is a one-of-a-kind offering – developed by Beyer and a local roaster, you won’t find it anywhere else. The place goes gangbusters for coffee between 6am and 9am, as commuters file into the station. After the morning caffeine rush, it settles down to serve filling breakfast and lunch dishes, such as chicken omelette served crepe-style, folded and stuffed (“an absolute banger,” says Beyer), Mexican wedges and a vegan burrito bowl that has become deservedly popular, even among meat lovers.
A good tip is to nip in for a quiet bite between 10.30am and 11.30am, between the breakfast and lunch rush, before exploring the rest of town.
3D Brook St, Sunbury
Find more things to do in Hume City here.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Discover Hume.