The striking green fit-out is the first thing you’ll notice about Lilo. The quirky cafe is littered with retro knick-knacks and ornaments, and suits the style of the 1930s building.

Owners Maryke and Mark Johnstone have a penchant for giving things a second life. Since opening in 2009, they’ve collected pieces from antique stores and friendly locals. Hundreds of vintage spoons have been donated. You’ll see them with your coffee or hanging in a display case.

With an 80-seat capacity, it’s not a nook-in-corner cafe. The tables are recycled and spacious – so you don’t have to balance your eggs on your lap. There’s also plenty of room to park your pram.

Lilo’s menu is shaped by Mornington Peninsula produce, with a particular focus on Boneo Farm Vegetables, Main Ridge Dairy and BoatShed Cheese. It also supports local wineries Foxeys Hangout, Junior Jones and Quealy.

Lilo sits on the esplanade opposite Fishermans Beach. The discreet location allows you to lounge in the sun and avoid the bustle of nearby Main Street. It’s also conveniently located next to Books by the Bay, the best (and most eccentric) second-hand bookstore you’re likely to ever visit.

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Updated: May 5th, 2023

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