Time Out Melbourne

It's the cosy cluster tucked behind St Kilda that's earned a solid rep for delis, coffees and Jewish bakeries

The Newmarket Hotel

There’s no better way to describe the vibe of The Newmarket Hotel than simply being super cool. The indoor/outdoor modern architecture and incredible design has a simple message; they’re there to feed you, drink you and show you a good time. Menu is a blend of Spanish & Mexican classics with an Aussie twist (this just means you’ll get better, fresher produce than either origin country could offer you). Staff are people-people who will give you the hot tip and help you decide from an overwhelming menu (which includes a glossary to help you better understand the street Latin lingo.) Even waiters are booking weeks in advance for tables so get organising, it’ll be worth the wait or do as a true foodie would do; take a sickie and head in on a Monday afternoon. 

Grindhouse Café

Considering its close proximity to in-trend cafes, Grindhouse does well to catch your eye. It’s a small, comfortable space where you can read the paper, observe some origami birds or sing away to classic tunes streaming out on vinyl. The coffee was great, the serving sizes scream value for money and staff were attentive, chatty and added to the cruisy vibe of the place. Balaclava is a hub for the Jewish Orthodox and Grindhouse pays homage to their locals with a traditional deli-style corned beef Rueben sandwich (which you can doggy bag and enjoy well into the night). The menu is both conservative and fun with the inclusion of a Dr Seuss classic; green eggs & ham. If you like quality food and records to really tap your feet to, give Grindhouse a go.

La Café

Not keen to line up outside some of the in-vogue cafes on Carlisle Street just to get a yummy meal, good coffee and a friendly atmosphere? Just chill out and take a 15m stroll down Nelson St and park yourself at La Café. You can enjoy the tranquillity of the courtyard, the busy rush of the café or perhaps the wonderful view of terrible driving in the Coles car park from the stools outside. With all day Mediterranean style breakfast, a menu so multicultural you forget where in the world you are and a great array of drinks, La Café is becoming quite the local fave. A running theme of Balaclava is friendly, caring staff proud of their product and keen to share it with you and La Café is no different.

Glick’s Cakes and Bagels

Glick’s is an institution, founded in 1960 by Mendel Glick who wanted a Kosher retail bakery in the Balaclava Area. It was a successful concept then, and it’s a successful concept now. The Balaclava Glick’s is a spacious, no-fuss space with one side dedicated to such delicious looking goods you might just squeal like a six year and the other side a dining area and deli. The smell of baked treats, bagels and deli goods overwhelms you as you enter and the choices will blow your mind. Choices of bagels include plain, garlic, onion, caraway, blueberry, cinnamon and a billion more. If bagels aren’t your thing, try the pumpkin risotto balls or perhaps the extremely delicious cherry slice…believe you me, it won’t be long until you’re back for more.

The Carlisle Street Bazaar

If you’re a vintage lover, you’ll find yourself being drawn up the stairs of the Carlisle Street Bazaar quicker than you can say taffeta. The Bazaar is in a new location since last year and now resembles an Alice in Wonderland style maze that you can make your way through ooh-ing and aah-ing as a vintage lover would do. There are dirt cheap records and CDs, beautiful accessories, funky shoes, a lot for the lads (which vintage emporiums often lack), a lot of bargains and a room of sparkles and sequins. There’s something for everything and the set up means you can still enjoy the treasure hunt of rummaging through boxes for goodies. Do yourself a fashion favour and check out the Carlisle Street Bazaar.


Updated on 11 Dec 2012.

By Tess Armstrong   |  
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