I’m always on the look out for new breakfast spots in Melbourne. Every week there’s always a new opening just around the corner, making it impossible to keep up (well unless you’re eating out three times a day). Although it’s great to check out the newest openings, I like to visit the older classics, places that are not on my usual breakfast radar.
Bluebird Espresso on industrial Johnston Street has been a brunch hot spot for Collingwood locals for years. The charming cafe is located in the heart of Fitzroy, in between Smith and Hoddle Streets. The unassuming shop front can easily be missed so keep an eye out for the bright blue chairs and tables on the pavement.
It’s a bright and cheery cafe, full of colourful vases of fresh flowers and contemporary art work. Light streams through the floor to ceiling windows from Johnston Street, making the front room a popular place to perch. The staff are friendly and welcoming, making you feel immediately at home.
There’s also a cute courtyard at the back of the cafe where you can soak up some Vitamin D on a sunny day. Complete with astro turf and bamboo, the courtyard is full of wooden tables, pot plants and cute little vases with fresh flowers.
On the drinks menu, there’s a range of juices, smoothies and an 18 hour cold brew coffee. If you’re feeling like a boozy brunch, try their house favourite – the Bluebird Mimosa with blood orange juice, sparkling lime and aperol. For coffee they use a Proud Mary Blend which is strong, full bodied and smooth.
On the breakfast menu, choose from a mouthwatering selection of brunch classics. From lighter options like the banana bread with passionfruit mascarpone, fresh raspberries and pistachio crumble to the more substantial toasted cornbread with avocado, salsa fresca, poached egg and jalapeno, you’ll be well looked after here. In the mood for lunch? Bluebird Espresso also have a great choice of sandwiches available. There’s pan fried haloumi with sautéed mushrooms, dukkah, baby spinach and mayo or chipotle chicken – grilled free range chicken breast, avocado, chipotle mayo and rocket.
Sweet tooths will be salivating with one look of the brioche french toast ($15.50) One generous piece of fluffy brioche is topped with fresh raspberries, strawberries, fresh mint and a heavy pouring of punchy berry coulis. A large dollop of vanilla bean mascarpone provides the french toast with just enough creaminess to offset the zest of the summer berries, while a nice smattering of smashed meringue adds a touch of sweetness. It’s often hard to find french toast which isn’t too sweet, and this was spot on.
For a touch of savoury, I couldn’t go passed ordering the zucchini, mint and feta fritters ($16.50). The fritters were crispy and golden on the outside, one bite revealing a soft oozy centre of zucchini and creamy feta. Topped with perfectly poached eggs, pickled cucumber and a touch of dill, these are definitely some of the best fritters I have had in a while. A small pool of harissa labne provided the dish with a subtle spice kick.
I can’t believe it has taken me so long to visit Bluebird Espresso, but it was sure worth the wait. The prices here are also reasonable compared to similar offerings around the area.
Highlight – The brioche French toast. Low light – With all good things come crowds, try to get there eearly or at peak times.
Overall Rating 9/10 (Food 9/10, Service 9/10, Atmopshere 8/10, Value for Money 9/10).
A 134 Johnston St, Collingwood VIC 3066
T 03 9078 7047