If you have a visitor from out of town and want to take them somewhere that’s quintessentially Melbourne look no further than Rustica Canteen. Head down a laneway to find the converted warehouse space with it’s whitewashed walls punctuated with tartan bench seating, plenty of indoor greenery and a neon sign proclaiming “We got what you knead”.
Rustica Canteen is the CBD offering from the owners of the excellent Rustica bakery in Fitzroy and you can order a range of excellent croissants and pastries to go with your takeaway coffee.
If you want to eat in there’s even more options including the “sandwiches” which look more like burger buns. But these buns are filled with slow cooked pulled pork, roasted lamb or fish coated in crispy panko crumbs ($14) and teamed with smashed avocado and red onion.
The breakfast menu runs all day and the brioche french toast ($16) is ah-mazing. Think eggy bread topped with fresh figs and cinnamon flecked mascarpone. It’s decadent but not overwhelmingly sweet.
From the other side of the spectrum the breakfast salad ($16) will satisfy clean eats advocates with its jumble of freekeh, wild rice, greens and a poached egg. It’s impossible to order without feeling smug and virtuous but still manages to deliver in terms of taste. After a meal here your visitor would be pretty impressed with Melbourne’s cafes.