My day job is on Flinders Lane and to most people who are into food that sounds like a pretty good location. But sadly the Private Media offices are not at the cool end of Flinders Lane, instead we are down the King street end aka culinary wasteland. Last year that changed with the opening of The Grain Store and now in the same building (called “The Archway”) a host of other little cafes are opening.
Alongside the excellent Altius Specialty Coffee there is also 5 & Dime Bagel and T by Luxbite. More cafes are set to open as well – the renaissance of the dodgy end of Flinders street begins!
5 & Dime Bagel
You may already be familiar with 5 & Dime Bagel as the bagels first popped up at farmers markets and then at cafes around town. The bagels quickly gathered their own fan club thanks to their authentic New York taste. Here you can go direct to the source: big glass windows look into the bakery where all the bagels are made and the small wood panelled shop has a few seats and does a brisk takeaway trade in coffee and bagels. Each day you get your choice of bagels and of fillings. The bagels are only $2 for hand rolled, baked and seed encrusted beauties. Fancy fillings like smoked salmon are an additional $5 and things like bacon cream cheese (so good) will cost extra but if you just stick with standard fillings like avocado and tomato you pay a bargainous $3 for your lunch.
Details: 5 & Dime Bagel, 16 Katherine Place, Melbourne (Ph: 96212128) Open 7am-3pm. Just a note that to get to 5 & Dime you actually have to walk down the little laneway past T by Luxbite. It’s a little hidden.
Damage: Total bargain.
T by Luxbite
My reasoning is that after I’ve eaten such a bargain lunch at 5 & Dime Bagels I can then totally justify heading to T by Luxbite for dessert. This jewel box of a store is absolutely tiny – all there is to it is a counter filled with sweet treats. T by Luxbite has a much more limited range than the original Luxbite in Prahran – the goodies on offer are limited to tarts and macarons. But it’s all about quality not quantity here. I’m slowly eating my way through the range. There’s the cult Kuma tart with its cute bear face and chocolate and banana filling but my favourite so far is the Yuzu – the delicate vanilla tart is topped with soft and squidgy matcha marshmallows and perfect ruby red raspberries.
Details: T by Luxbite, 2/517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne (Ph 03 9629 9662) Open 10am-7pm.
Damage: Reasonable. Tarts are around the $7 mark each.