Lunch breaks in the city can be fraught with danger. For every awe-inspiring cafe filled with mouth-watering treats, there are 10 more with doughy focaccias, dry sushi or questionable fried fare. It’s a common theme in the CBD and despite all the fabulous restaurants Melbourne foodies have access to in the evenings, laidback venues for sandwiches and salads at a reasonable price are few and far between.

Enter Oli & Levi, a new cafe at the end of Coromandel Place off Little Collins, bright yellow awnings beckoning passersby from its all but hidden spot.

Already causing a stir with $1.50 sweet or savoury tarts, the small yet considered menu is a welcome change from some of the area’s overpriced and unappealing dishes. Head chef Sean Muir, formerly of Elwood’s Dandelion, has even injected a hint of Asian flare, with the hot duck roll a standout come lunchtime.

Says owner Lloyd Smith, “We wanted to create a simple but yummy menu at honest prices – not your run-of-the-mill city café – where people can eat and enjoy themselves.”

The space itself also reflects this theory, with the industrial yet cosy setting providing a relaxed, light-soaked atmosphere and bi-folding doors. They serve Allpress coffee, while food is available to takeaway or eat in (both inside or out). All this makes for welcome new addition to the CBD’s lunchtime landscape.

Oli & Levi
20 Coromandel Place, Melbourne
(03) 9650 0501

Mon to Fri 7.30am–5pm
Opening weekends soon