Vince Mazzone’s (ex-Tre Bichierri owner) Espresso Alley is a stone's throw away from the Northcote Library, the Northcote Plaza and is a great place to stroll by in the afternoon to enjoy an excellent Coffee Supreme brew from the covetable Slayer espresso machine.
Mazzone is a long-time supporter of Coffee Supreme, having been one of their very first customers and, in turn, the Coffee Supreme boys have had a hand in expanding the offering at Espresso Alley to include a coffee lab of sorts.
The menu has plenty of excellent options with a Middle Eastern bent. There’s a Turkish breakfast of boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, olives, feta and the optional ‘sucuk’ (Turkish sausage). Or, for the sweet tooth, raisin loaf with labne and rose jam. There is also a good range of panini and toasted sandwiches – the one with sopressa salami, provolone and olive tapenade is salty in all the right places. All the fruit and vegetables come from Pino's Fine Produce at the Prahran Market, a multi-generational family business that has been operating for over 50 years.
Espresso Alley’s fit-out doesn’t do much to hint at its former incarnation as a glove factory, but it’s as though this cafe has been here for years. Exposed original brickwork works nicely alongside tables made from recycled timber from the Northcote bowling alley, fifties Sebel chairs and steelwork by local handyman Steve Edwards.
Grab a good book from the library, lock your bike up on the one of the racks out the front, and settle in for caffeine combat.