Since moving to the inner west, I have searched far and wide for new quirky new cafes and coffee shops. Last week, I ventured to Ascot Vale – an area which has surged in popularity in recent years with the likes of the Ascot Food Store and The Reverend Cafe opening in the area. But sometimes it’s nice to discover smaller, more unknown cafes which don’t saturate your Instagram feed on a daily basis.
Hidden behind a florist on Mount Alexander Road, Little Garden Cafe is one of those cafes you would normally stumble upon by chance. But if you manage to find it, you are definitely in for a treat.
Behind the garage door and adjoining white fence, you’ll find a gorgeous space full of cosy vintage couches and bric a brac. True to it’s name it has a garden atmosphere, complete with astro turf, plenty of greenery and even a fish pond. But their proudest possession is the vintage 1974 caravan which they bought from Gumtree and drove it all the way from Adelaide to Melbourne. Now it’s home to a commercial retro kitchen which churns out freshly brewed Illy coffee and some delicious jaffles, toasties and sweet treats.
The owner, Frank, initially wanted to start the business as a food truck but now is quite happy having a permanent residence in Ascot Vale, right behind his girlfriend Juliet’s florist shop. Opening a cafe has always been a dream for Frank, who has had a massive career change to pursue his passions.
Frank is particularly passionate about sustainability, and has designed the cafe to be one of the most eco-friendly cafes in Melbourne. They use 100% biodegradable, environmentally friendly, cups, plates and utensils.
The menu is short and sweet, featuring a nice range of mouth-watering jaffles, soups and freshly baked treats. Coming for breakfast? Try the “breakie jaffle” with egg, thick cut ham, tasty cheese and smokey bbq sauce, or the “cheesy bean” with baked beans and tasty cheese. Gooey cheesy delicacies like the “cheesy mac” and “cheese em up” (a triple layer of cheesy heaven) are sure to delight.
Coffee is by Illy, a special 100% organic rain forest alliance certified blend. They also serve a nice range of tea and matcha.
The garden is weatherproof so is perfect for winter as well as summer. It’s so cosy on chilly days and with a hot coffee and one of their blankets, I could’t think of a better place to spend the morning.
Little Garden Cafe
407 Mt Alexander Rd
Ascot Vale, Vic, 3032