While pretty, Vaucluse isn’t a suburb synonymous with a good coffee or cafe scene. Though set just paces from the cliffs of Christison Park, The Grumpy Baker fills this void, and remains abuzz with appreciative dog walkers and locals all day, every day.

Steel ovens and trays stacked full of freshly baked loaves sit behind the counter of the intimate cafe. Brick walls and speckled concrete floors lend an industrial feel, while coloured enamel cutlery holders and patterned cups add warmth.

Inspired by owner Michael Cthurmer's (pronounced "Stermer") Israeli background, there's a Middle Eastern bent to the menu. The "Grumpy's Plate" is a mix'n'match spread of finely diced Israeli salad, hard-boiled egg, za’atar and labne. The creamy yoghurt cheese also accompanies sizzling ramekins of shakshuka, providing a cooling counterpart. Other comforting options include Moroccan spiced lamb pies and sandwiches filled with roast chicken, homemade stuffing, cranberry sauce and chicken jus. Bread is always thickly sliced.

Take-home loaves span far beyond the regular sourdough with over ten varieties baked without preservatives or additives. At the counter, flaky cheese sticks and miniature pastries abound.

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Updated: November 10th, 2023

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