412-442 Victoria Parade
03 9419 4659.
Monday 7am - 5pm
Tuesday - Saturday 7am - 9.30pm
Sunday 8am - 5pm
NEXT to the pub, the most important local is a decent brekky joint. East Melbourne's Grocery Bar is a true local. Tucked away in the quadrangle only locals can find this place, fortressed by the heritage facade of the former CUB brewery on Victoria Parade now Tribeca apartments.
This hidden eatery is favoured by local East Melburnites and try-hard locals from neighbouring Collingwood and Abbotsford. I fall in the latter category.
What it lacks in natural sunlight, Grocery Bar makes up in service from the upbeat quirky staff and serious approach to its all day breakfast and coffee.
Splurge on the All Out Grocery Bar Great Brekky specials ($17.70) with 2 eggs any style, bacon, crispy potatoes, roasted tomatoes, mushrooms and caramelised onions.
Or a stack of pancakes with bacon, banana and maple. Tempting but we went for the rock solid staples including eggs any way with the ubiquitous spinach, bacon and tomato.
Half serves are available, saving on the bulge and budget.
Generous without being ridiculous, the serves come with quality sour dough bread toast. The poached eggs were cooked to perfection, slightly runny inside. My companion grunted approvingly as he downed a plateful of crispy bacon, grilled tomato and spinach with his full serve of scrambled. Coffee is well made and quality.
Slightly off putting is the scrawled note warning of a "no splitting bills" policy on weekends.
Take your pick from the padded booths, bar stools and traditional 4-seater tables. An attractive courtyard with giant plant pots opening up to Victoria Parade houses plenty of outdoor tables for big groups.
Newspapers aplenty and toys and colouring books to entertain the kids are on hand.
The Grocery Bar is licensed and also open for lunch and dinner.
A cheerful, yummy local is the result. (And there's a sister operation in St Kilda too.)