We happened to be in Melbourne during their long Easter break and by Monday, even the most hardworking cafés seem to have closed for some rest. Broadsheet Melbourne (good resource if you’re heading to the city) had a list of places that were open throughout the holidays so we picked some locations and Foursquare-d them for reviews (we like Foursquare). That was how we ended up walking from our hotel to Manchester Press that morning.
The thing about Australian cities, or their CBDs at least, is that they are really easy to navigate. Streets run parallel and across one another, each alleyway has a sign where you would expect it and numbers run in sequence (here’s looking at you Japan). Sure, you get roads with steep gradients and the streets run forever, but at least you know where you’re going and where exactly your destination will pop up.
I think we got pretty hungry from all the walking because we walked into the first café we saw. It was the wrong one, of course, because we hadn’t even entered Rankins Lane where MCP was located. But it turned out to be a good mistake; we googled the place because it was so crowded and it was supposed to have really good coffee. We decided Sarah would get a second cup of joe after breakfast and I would get some beans for the brother.
(Sorry for the long story)
Note, if there’s a physical queue, it isn’t one. Don’t join it. Give your name to the café staff instead. While you wait, enjoy the disco ball hanging above. Manchester Press occupies a space that was previously occupied by a printing press (and that’s also where the café’s name came from). For a café, it’s really big. There was a healthy crowd waiting outside for seats, but we got counter seats in less than 15 minutes.
We read that they serve good bagels so we got: the chorizo bagel with tomato chutney and capsicum as well as the raisin bagel with mascarpone. They were both excellent. The chorizo bagel was one of the best things about our trip (and we ate a lot). Drinks were well done too. Then again, I don’t think we had even an average cup of coffee the whole time in Melbourne; maybe the cool weather helped and we were just in a jolly mood most of the time.
We liked the gigantic bowling pin that was sitting in one corner of the café and the art on the walls. Manchester Press pleased us; it was certainly a place we wouldn’t mind going regularly if we lived in the city.
Manchester Press / Facebook
8 Rankins Lane
The coffee place at the start of Rankins Lane is Brother Baba Budan. Great coffee, and they serve coffee from Seven Seeds. Space is tiny with one smaller communal table and when we went, there was a high people-to-space ratio. We ordered a takeaway, as most people do.
Brother Baba Budan / Facebook
359 Little Bourke Street