Happy River Café does any excellent job of living up to its name. Situated by the mighty Maribyrnong River, the bluestone building has a long front verandah where groups of mums and dads can catch up over eggs Benedict and much-needed coffee.
The cafe’s interior has a country homestead feel with daggy tablecloths, light-coloured timber floors and local artists’ works on the walls.
A simple menu features all your classic egg breakfasts, toasted sandwiches and salads. It’s not fancy but it’s wholesome.
Poached fruit, with segments of soft green apple, apricot halves and red wine poached pear sits in a pool of light syrup. It’s served warm with a rich vanilla yoghurt, spiked with cinnamon. Date scones the size of your fist have a wonderfully crumbly, slightly crunchy top while sweet little pikelets are light and fluffy. Maple syrup may be a more conventional pancake topping but the option of a gooey caramel sauce makes breakfast a very sweet event indeed.
At the savoury end, perfectly poached eggs are served on Pure Bread Bakery sourdough toast with thin slices of pert mushrooms, all juicy with butter.
Service can be vague when it’s quiet, but when it’s packed, it runs like clockwork. Go figure. Something about this café casts a spell – maybe it’s the sound of children ramming toy cars into each other, the bubbling river, the green grass or the fresh baked scones. Whatever the reason, you’ll walk away from Happy River Café feeling rejuvenated.