St Charly is a new Lygon Street eatery that isn't Italian.

“We want to create a place that really stands out on the street – not only through the food, but using unique, simple yet effective design,” says owner John-Paul Saad, who grew up in Carlton.

The family-friendly, 90-seat space is clean but playful. Melbourne studio Two Design has outfitted the space with pink tables, turquoise tiling and custom-built booths, some of which are framed by house-like structures. Ample greenery is suspended overhead.

The menu is largely Mediterranean-inspired, but showcases flavours from around the world.

A dish of cavolo nero with black beans, broccolini, fennel and charred corn is lent a Middle Eastern complexion with lemon-tahini dressing, while a French-style braised leek omelette is spiked with cumin-seed butter and served with labneh.

The St Charly chicken burger is packed with Portuguese-style marinated chicken with jack cheese, grilled pineapple and an Indonesian-inspired sambal chilli aioli. A lentil salad comes with sumac-crusted lamb, pickled turnips and salsa verde.

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There’s a focus on using local suppliers, with bread from Rustica Bakery, smallgoods from Istra, and meat from Donati’s Fine Meats, located down the road on Lygon Street.

With Carlton’s strong coffee heritage in mind, St Charly has thought carefully about its offering, says head barista Johnny Casey.

Milk coffee is made with Industry Beans's Rose Street blends, while batch brews make use of rotating single origins. The aroma of coffee and the scent of freshly made pastries and sweets (such as lemon-curd tart with strawberry and jasmine jelly, a staff favourite) make the cafe a pretty inviting space to spend time.

St Charly
306–308 Lygon Street, Carlton

Hours:
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm