Kirsten Taylor knows that Melburnians have expectations when it comes to breakfast. “There are certain boxes you have to tick,” she says.

It’s why there’s an avocado dish on the menu at Hoppa and Joe. There’s also baked eggs, and a Benedict. But the avocado comes on a breakfast bruschetta, with torn bocconcini and cherry tomatoes. A thick slice of pumpkin bread is spread with duck rillettes and topped with a runny duck egg for the Benedict. And it’s as much about the cheesy cauliflower and chorizo crumb as it is the baked eggs.

It’s the first solo venture for Taylor, who was the general manager at Chez Dré and neighbouring patisserie, Bibelot. “I was looking after 75 staff over there,” she says. “I really wanted to step away and do something small.”

There’s just six of them at Hoppa and Joe, including chef Craig Towers (recently at Hairy Canary and Taxi Dining Room) and her husband, Richard, who also pulls shifts in the kitchen. Taylor designed the light-filled space herself, transforming the former corner sandwich shop with shades of blue, white and grey.

It’s a neighbourhood cafe, so while there’s enough on the menu to sate the most critical of Melbourne’s bruncherati, Taylor wants to keep the locals happy, too. “We put burgers on the menu in the third week because the mechanics across the road were dying for them,” she says.

Hoppa and Joe
457 Heidelberg Road, Fairfield
(03) 9044 7843

Mon to Fri 6.30am–3pm
Sat & Sun 7.30am–3.30pm