Hemingway is a little gem of a cafe on High Street, Thornbury that opened quietly about a month ago. For now, seating is minimal, with a handful of bar stools around the curved, blonde timber bar, some seats in the front window, and a smattering of tables. Soon there will be pavement tables and more seating in the light-filled back room.
Also on the horizon is an artisan bakery, Forno Radicale, which will begin trading from the rear of the building in the next week or so. Bread cooked at the bakery will be for sale at Hemingway – think beautifully crafted sourdough made using similar methods to Loafer Bread in Fitzroy.
In the meantime, Hemingway is selling Dench bread and pastries, plus jars of homemade and home-grown preserves and the like, such as chilli oil, peach and date chutney, and tomato kasoundi.
The breakfast/lunch menu, created and cooked by Anthony Hamilton-Smith, is a short and sweet read and available all day. Almond, honey and hazelnut granola with sheep’s milk yoghurt and seasonal fruit is fresh, but for something ‘a little more decadent’ as the menu tempts, try char-grilled corn, green tomato and avocado salad with coriander, lime and mackerel ceviche.
If you’ve travelled from afar on the 86 tram, re-energise by pairing a sharp flat white (by Coffee Supreme with Jonesy’s milk) with one of Hamilton-Smith’s house-made fruit buns, which are slightly sweet and spicy. As lunchtime creeps up, choose from a bunch of tasty sourdough baguettes. The bacon in the Hemingway BLT is from the local Velimirovic Butchers (a bit further north on High Street). The old Serbian couple have been curing tasty meats at this place since 1963. Respect.
And just when you thought the goings-on at Hemingway couldn’t be any sweeter, the back of the menu stipulates that you can bring in any surplus fruit and veggies that you’ve grown and swap them for food, coffee or bread.
562 High Street, Thornbury
Mon to Fri 7.30am–4pm
Sat & Sun 8.30am–4pm