In an age of florid breakfast plates and slick design, it can be nice to get back to the bread-and-butter simplicity of an uncomplicated neighbourhood cafe.

The bright and airy 50-seat Mary Miller cafe in North Fitzroy is a place for lazy lattes with friends, quiet grazing with the paper or after-school snacks with the kids. It is, in the words of co-owner Sargon Michael, a “community-based cafe” with “a lot of love.” Marie Macheras is the other half of the operation.

All-day breakfast is simple and classic: smashed avocado and poached eggs with Danish feta, buttermilk pancakes with fruit and mascarpone, and the all-important big breakfast (with poached eggs, chorizo, bacon, grilled haloumi and homemade baked beans). The pulled-pork eggs Benedict comes with slow-cooked pork shoulder, potato rosti, julienne apples and hollandaise. Loaves come from Melbourne’s Baked for Sofia with additional pastries from Northcote Bakeshop.

Lunchtime dishes follow a similar rhythm, with sandwich and burger usuals such as a Wagyu beef burger with short-cut bacon and Swiss cheese, or a BLT. Vegan-friendly options include lentil and sweet potato cakes with a watercress and rockmelon salad. The vegan burger is made with a sweet-potato patty, doubling down with sweet-potato chips on the side.

Barista Nicholas Riquelme’s “coffee alternatives” include lattes prepared with coconut or almond milk and flavoured with matcha, turmeric and ginger, or less common beetroot and goji berry (or a sample board with all three). There are also four smoothies, plus coffee from Padre.

Mary Miller Cafe
171 Miller Street, North Fitzroy
(03) 9489 6740

Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8am–4pm