One of my favourite places to breakfast in Melbourne is the Mart Cafe at Middle Park – Middle Park tram stop for tram 96 to St Kilda.
This cafe is right on the tram stop – platform 2. Notice the name – tram backwards.
In the summer I wander in early and make my way out onto the covered verandah at the back. I use the somewhat old fashioned word veranda because this cafe is in the old station master’s building. Some of the vintage pieces that decorate the white interior reflect this.
The verandah at the back could be described as a covered deck. This is my favourite spot. I like to sit at the bench overlooking Albert Park and the tennis courts. On a summer morning the sun hasn’t reached the verandah so it is cool and a gentle breeze wafts around to give a hint of a hot day to come. Then there is the thwack of the tennis balls, the occasional shout from the tennis court and the rumble of a passing tram.
The bench has room for the Herald Sun and the railing has a flat top so you can put your coffee out of the way of the paper and still have access to the paper and the coffee.
I am going on about the location but it is the location as well the food that sells it to me. I can think of no pleasanter way to spend an hour or so than sitting at the bench browsing the paper and looking across the park.
Tables outside in the front of the station master’s office are on the edge of Platform 2. From there you can watch the trams and the travelling public.
The clientele is an interesting mix of people. It is child friendly and Mums and babies turn up about mid –morning and so do people conducting business. The tables are big enough for a few papers and laptops.
The Food! It is good. I always have the same breakfast – the corn fritters. The corn has been oven roasted and has a slight crunch, and then there is the bacon and the sour cream. I sometimes find myself obsessing about these fritters and I have to go back for a fix. They are always good the quality doesn’t vary.
Also on the menu is home-made Bircher Muesli , French Toast and various varieties of eggs with add-ons.
The muffins are good too, if you are wanting a mid-morning snack. Lime and coconut last time I had one – different and delicious.
For travellers on the 96 tram (fast rail) to St Kilda this is a great place to get off, experience the ambiance and the food, then head on to St Kilda.
The Mart 107A Canterbury Road, Middle Park. – Phone 9690 8831
Tram 96 from the CBD to St Kilda, The Middle Park Stop, number 103
There is parking for 1 hour along Canterbury Road or in Armstrong Street.
7.30am to about 4.00pm. closing does depend a little on the time of year and the weather.
Things you should know:-
They DO NOT take any plastic – you need to make sure you have cash.
There is CBA cash machine in Armstrong Street about 200 meters away.