Bowery to Williamsburg: These Pretzels are Making me Thirsty

First came the American diners and BBQ restaurants now there’s Bowery to Williamsburg – a New York style sandwich bar.  Walk down the stairs to the cafe and you could be in an episode of Seinfeld with Reuben sandwiches and Lox bagels on the menu and subway tiles on the walls.  

Inside Bowery to Williamsburg. Check out the menu and the nice stash of magazines and cook boos.
Inside Bowery to Williamsburg. Check out the menu and the nice stash of magazines and cook boos.

Melbourne’s newest cafe opened on Monday and comes with an impressive pedigree. It’s the second venture from the team behind eternally popular Hardware Societé.  Down Oliver lane, just off Flinders street, it’s a subterranean space with one large communal table and some outdoor seating along the laneway.  Old street signs pointing to Fifth avenue, bagels on the counter and kosher salt on the tables all signal this cafe’s New York state of mind.

The sandwich deal at Bowery to Williamsburg
The sandwich deal at Bowery to Williamsburg

The deal is that you can order a sandwich for $12.50 or a sandwich plus side, pretzels and a pickle for $16.50.  As soon as I spied mac n’cheese on the specials list I knew I had to go for the meal deal.  My sandwich was huge and filled with a warm grilled field mushroom, tabouli studded with pomegranate and a slick of minted yoghurt.  The bread was lightly toasted and the sandwich came with half a gherkin, a handful of pretzels and a jar of moreish mac n’cheeese topped with toasted breadcrumbs.  The highlight really was the mac n’ cheese and I would have been happy to eat just a bowlful of that.   

Mushroom with tabouli sandwich at Bowery to Williamsburg - plus plenty of pretzels
Mushroom with tabouli sandwich at Bowery to Williamsburg – plus plenty of pretzels

Bowery to Williamsburg also does a cracking line in American style treats as well with s’mores and New York cheesecake all on display behind the counter. 

Bagels on display, rocky road, mac n’ cheese at Bowery to Williamsburg

 Thankfully the cafe hasn’t adopted the bottomless cups of bitter black coffee beloved of New York cafes.  Instead there’s decent Padre coffee and delicious hot chocolates which come complete with a Hershey’s Kiss. 

Hot chocolate at Bowery to Williamsburg

Bowery to Williamsburg has done more than just jump on the American bandwagon in Melbourne.  It’s gone all in while still creating a really interesting menu which offers a genuine alternative to your standard cafe fare.  Prices are steep but hey, it’s still cheaper than flying to New York.  Go! 

Details: Bowery to Williamsburg, 16 Oliver Lane , Melbourne 3000 (Ph 03 9077 0162) Open Mon-Fri 7.30am -3.30pm.  Cash only and no bookings taken.
Damage: Pricey.

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon


  1. Great review, Cara. I’ll definitely head down there for a bit of reuben or pastrami action, and maybe a bagel or two (do they make them in house?)

    Cute touch with the Hershey’s kiss, too 🙂

  2. This cafe sounds delightful. I love the sound of your sandwich and anywhere that gives me my coffee with a chocolate gets bonus points!

  3. I love that line out of Seinfeld, so funny, I think of it every time I eat pretzels too. The food does look really good, something a bit different, and anywhere that serves a Hershey’s chocolate with the coffee is a winner for me!

  4. That looks like a really fun concept – that sandwich and pickle looks so delicious! Although I must say I’d be way more interested in the sweets! 🙂

  5. Yasmeen – Would be interested to hear your take on it.

    Kari – I agree love a complimentary biscuit or chocolate – I’m easily won over like that.

    Gourmet Getaway – there is a Seinfeld line for every situation in life I think

    Sarah – I know I really have to go back to eat the sweets.

  6. I went here for breakfast last week after reading your review.
    I had the Oatmeal with Banana, Maple Syrup and Pecans. It was delicious and came in an adorable enamel saucepan.
    Next time I’m going to have to have the caramelised popcorn, roast pear and peanut butter dish – saw someone else order it and it looked amazing! Oh and definitely need to try a peanut butter hot chocolate!

  7. Having just returned from the states am interested to check this spot out (especially since I loved Hardware Societe)

    Also because I can’t resist smores…

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