Chez Dre – Funky cafe brunch hideout in South Melbourne


South Melbourne boasts a number of cafes serving all day breakfasts, brunch and lunch menus and all the coffee you can consume in one sitting. Chez Dre is a must to try according to all the foodies and locals. Noisy atmosphere with outdoor and indoor seating, lovely decor and spacious seating which would suggest a family friendly place.

Best Cafe’s in Melbourne.- according to The Learner Chef

My wife and I went one early Sunday morning so there was plenty of seats to pick from but that didn’t last long. The place filled with noise and people and fresh coffee aromas.

We went for a simple breakfast of granola with berries, sourdough with poached eggs and a chai latte and standard latte to complement. They hit the spot and we expected nothing less of Chez Dre. Coffee was beautifully brewed and my poached eggs oozed with yolk porn written all over itWe didn’t order any of the sweets or macarons but don’t they look amazing?

Hidden in one of the laneway streets across from South Melbourne market (don’t worry, it’s easy to find) I call it a ‘funky cafe brunch hideout’ that I definitely would go to again and again and again.

Chez Dre
285-287 Coventry Street
South Melbourne
Open 7 days 7.30am-4:30pm

La Cantina Vic Market – Burrito’s, BOOM!


Have you ever been wondering where to find some good South American food? Well in the heart of Vic Market (F Shed) you’ll find La Cantina. I would of never found this place if it wasn’t for my friend at work who took us there for lunch. They’re open when the Vic Market is open so that’s everyday except for Monday & Wednesday.

Love the South American vibe and the music makes you want to get up and start dancing. Across from the bar area there’s ample seating on the market side.

I’ve heard their coffees are pretty good which was evident when the coffee crowd was lining up grabbing their coffee fixes.

I love food and when I was eating this Chicken Burrito I was loving every moment of it, BOOM! I have to say it’s probably best burrito I’ve ever tasted but then again I’ve only had a few. The chicken was marinated well and the wrap was nice and soft and everything just went well together! It’s all homemade so you’re getting authentic South American food and I guarantee it will fill you up because it’s massive!

My friends had the Chacarero with the lot and I think that’s classified as a steak sandwich. The picture below doesn’t do it justice but what’s inside is a thin marinated steak patties, salsa, chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise and guacamole. I had to have a bite and it was pretty damn tasty.

We also had some tappas chorizo and these chilli powdered chips. I’m not a fan of chilli but I had my Mexican Lime drink or Inca Kola on standby.

After lunch it was time for siesta! The burrito was the BOMB and the side tappas just topped it off.

La Cantina has been opened for around 3 years now. I wish I found this place earlier. All those trips down to the Vic Market wondering what to eat. I got to take a photo with the faces behind the counter and pictured on the right of me with the funky moustache is Christian Silva the owner of La Cantina.

If you’re umming and ahhhing about where to eat around the Vic Market precinct or feel like a South American type of breakfast or lunch then La Cantina will satisfy your South American cravings. On a beautiful day with worn out feet from market shopping all morning then La Cantina is the place to sit back relax, sip on some coffee, beer or cocktails (yes they have liquor) and have some fresh homemade South American brunch. I highly recommend the Chicken or Beef Burrito!

Location: Shop 24, F Shed, Queen Victoria Market, Melbourne 3000
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Care for some Churros?

If you look on the bar behind the menu’s you’ll find a little display with the Spanish Donuts truck which represents the one just around the corner off the Peel St end of the market where you can’t go past without being tempted to buy some Churros! See my post on the Churro Truck – Vic Market

Universal Italian Restaurant – Great Food, Great Value

Chicken Avocado
“Tomato, cheese, mushroom, grilled chicken tenders & fresh avocado” 15.9

My good friends at FOOD-Pampering-Yourself gave me and several other bloggers an opportunity to be apart of their very first food trail which landed us a special feast at Universal Italian Restaurant. I was also delighted to meet Alfie the proud owner of Universal Italian Restaurant, given a tour of the upstairs function area, was able to meet several other awesome food bloggers and to top it off had a full and very satisfied stomach.

Right in the heart of Lygon St, Universal Italian Restaurant is a personal favourite on mine and the good news is, they’re expanding. They’ve acquired the space next door and will be opening up the place to integrate as one. They’ve also converted upstairs to a very nice function & bar area, including an open balcony for some fresh air and drinks.

We were presented with a massive line-up of food, from the starters, entrée, main, pizza, pasta and home made dessert menu. I felt spoilt and was absolutely content. The food looked amazing and now looking back at the menu and prices, they were all under $20 so I have to say that’s good value for some great food. But let the photos do the talking.

Bruschetta Roma
“Homemade pesto, fresh tomatoes & feta cooked on a pizza base” 8.5

Garlic Pizza
“Cheese & garlic pizza” 7.5

Oysters Naturale
“Fresh oysters”

Oysters Kilpatrick
“Baked oysters with bacon & Worcestershire sauce”

Buffalo Wings
“Marinated & grilled BBQ chicken wings” 8.5

I Am Angus
Tomato, cheese, Grilled beef strips, roasted red capsicum,onion, jalapeños & a drizzle of garlic mayo” 14.9

Certified Australian Angus, 150 day grain fed – 270g” 18.9

Slow Roasted Pork Ribs
“Slow roasted tender marinated pork ribsserved with roasted butternut pumpkin & corn on the cob” 19.9

Tuscan Chicken
“Tuscan marinated chicken breast fillet grilled &served with wild mushroom risotto” 15.5

Risotto Poseidon
Creamy risotto with pan seared tiger prawns, mussels, spinach & roasted capsicum, with a touch of spicy olio & napolitana sauce”  18.5

Salmon Fillet
Grilled fresh Atlantic salmon filletserved with vegetable ratatouille & roasted garlic aoli” 19.9

Gelato Tasting Plate for Two
“A variety of Italian gelato & premium ice cream” 7.5

“Coffee & liqueur soaked savoiardi biscuits, smothered inmascarpone cream & chocolate shavings” 8.5

Panna Cotta
Vanilla bean & honey flavored panna cotta,with wild berry soup, caramel toffee shard & Persian fairy floss” 8.5

Blueberry Cheesecake
“New York cheesecake mixed with fresh blueberries on a biscuit crust” 8.5

Chocolate Mud Pudding
“A dense & moist mud pudding served with chocolate fudge,corinthian wafer & macadamia nut ice cream” 8.5

What a satisfying array of food from the Universal menu. I can’t wait to go back when they’ve fully renovated the restaurant and possibly put a few new items on the menu.

Checkout their website for more information on their function facilities and options and also checkout their online menu which makes my life easier 🙂

Contemplating a visit to Lygon St or just happen to drop by? Why not give Universal Italian Restaurant a go. I recommend trying the Buffalo Wings, Porter House Steak, I am Angus pizza, the Tuscan Chicken with Mushroom Risotto and my favourite dessert was the Chocolate Mud Pudding…drooool!!!

Location: 139-141 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053, (03) 9347-4393
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