St Pauls General Store has been serving Sorrento for more than 60 years. But the old milk bar went from a convenient coastal pit-stop to a heaving local hangout in 2021 thanks to current owner Kael Sahely, who co-founded Melbourne venues Pillar of Salt, Touchwood and Barry.

The place has a fresh red-and-white paint job and large servery windows, plus an outdoor courtyard that seats 40 people. Inside, a wall-to-wall blackboard spells out the takeaway menu.

Expect the summer holiday staples such as acai bowls, wraps and bacon and egg baps; plus a gleaming bain-marie loaded with hand-dipped potato cakes and dim sims. Superfood salads, whole roast chooks and fish’n’chips are no-brainers for a trip to nearby Sorrento Beach.

Those looking to avoid supply runs to town can hit the general store’s neat retail section. It's stocked with local fruit and veg, preserves and pasta alongside fresh flowers, newspapers and ice. You can also grab small-batch Melbourne-made products, plus readymade meals and dumplings from Melbourne's Oriental Teahouse. Best of all – there’s a selection of natural wines you won’t find in the fridge at the average Peninsula bottle shop.

While the old-school milk bar has copped an adult-friendly makeover, kids still stream in for lollies, ice-cream and milkshakes during the holidays. In summer, the doors stay open later from Thursday to Saturday for burgers and frozen Margaritas.

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Updated: January 30th, 2023

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