Like all good adventures, Alice Nivens Cafe is one you’ll have to seek out. But don’t let the fact that it’s hidden in an arcade off hectic Flinders Street stop you from taking a trip to this wonderland. Owner Janet Wong named the café after Tim Burton’s white rabbit, Nivens, and brings her love of baking, liquids and fantasy alive in this small inviting space.
Everything down to the table legs are in theme, sporting the all important A for Alice. On the wall, you will find a mural by Sam Octigan picturing Alice spilling coffee onto another smaller version of herself. It’s beautiful. Upside down teacups act as light fittings and the open kitchen makes you feel right at home.
With a strong cafe background, Wong learnt her coffee skills from Kris Wood from Clement and now stocks his range, as well as featuring a cold drip and aero press. Her teas, a labour of love, are sourced from overseas and more locally from Storm in a Teacup in Collingwood.
When it comes to the food, the focus here is on the sweets. Freshly baked blueberry and lemon crumble muffins still hot out of the oven are hard to pass by, while the White Rabbit Cake (white chocolate and raspberry) is moist and indulgent. Gluten-free diners will be satisfied with the Queen of Hearts – a chocolate flourless cake boasting red icing hearts.
Croissants from Noisette and sandwiches take care of the savoury options. Simple combinations like ham, brie, tomato and avocado on sourdough are easy options, while breakfasters can also grab a piece of toast or a bowl of muesli on the run.
Alice’s wonderland becomes a reality here. You will find yourself wanting to spend some time in her world.
Alice Nivens Cafe
Port Phillip Arcade
Shop 13, 228 Flinders Street, Melbourne
Mon - Fri 7:30am - 4pm