Café, Italian Restaurant, and Coffee Shop$$$$
Melbourne CBD, Melbourne
  • Amos R.
    "vortex into Italy"(4 Tips)
    César M.
    "... Italian food. We had spaghetti bolognese and they give you bread to clean the dish..."(4 Tips)
    Josh R.
    "This is a Melbourne institution."(3 Tips)
    Carly M.
    "Try the watermelon granita... It's delicious."(2 Tips)
77 Tips and reviews
  • coffee
  • melbourne institution
  • italy
  • pasta
  • espresso
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  • Gabby W.
    Gabby WebbDecember 1, 2014
    The spaghetti bolognese is so yum in a warm way. It's like eating a home cook in an Italian family house. Don't miss it when you're in Melbourne!
  • Fiorella R.
    Fiorella RizzàFebruary 28, 2015
    This is exactly how walking in a bar in southern Italy feels like. I am from Palermo and the moment I stepped into this bar I felt like I was in Sicily again. Espresso is just perfect. Fantastic!
  • Steve
    SteveMarch 28, 2016
    Iconic and a Melbourne institution. No nonsense authentic Italian spaghetti and pasta, and grab a granita while you're there too.
  • César M.
    Good Italian food. We had spaghetti bolognese and they give you bread to clean the dish (nice detail). It was quite good but a little bit expensive (18A$/dish). Special non-alcoholic drink for 4A$.
  • Helena C.
    Helena ConiaJuly 5, 2015
    One of the oldest coffee shop in Melbourne. A must try, they keep the vintage vibe here. However the pasta is too expensive for me even though it's a worth try and come in large size
  • Nick B.
    Nick BurtoJanuary 13, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Super old school Italian place, bar seating mostly with limited tables in the actual kitchen. For a change, try the "Mozzarella Bolognese". It's bread, ham and bolognese sauce.
  • Renae M.
    Renae MasonMay 7, 2013
    So glad to have finally made it along to this place. Sit in the kitchen and chat with the staff, they are a friendly bunch. Also, the chocolate plum cake is amazeballs.
  • Murat I.
    Murat IJune 14, 2015
    The best coffee ever in Aus ! The apple pie just is bloody tasty ! And Lucia, you're an angel hun ! I gave your regards to my mum !
  • Aron M.
    Aron MichalskiNovember 17, 2010
    Home away from home for anyone lonely for their Italian family. Cisto puts on a great floor show. Unapologetic in their lack of hipness. Meatballs are divine, the pastries totally old school.
  • Liam M.
    Liam MannixSeptember 15, 2015
    Can't love this place enough. Order the spaghetti and sit on the bar to have a chat to the old Italians behind it
  • Carbie W.
    Carbie WarbieAugust 20, 2013
    Been here 25+ times
    I pop in there all of the time. I interviewed THE CAT EMPIRE there & we all had coffee together. A Melbourne institution with such a great Melbourne band.
  • Tom O.
    Tom O'LearyMarch 3, 2010
    You can't book here, so you'll have to take a chance on getting a seat. Go with a group and you can sit at the table in the kitchen and watch the nonnas cook your dinner. An absolute must do in melb.
  • Ka W.
    Ka WApril 14, 2016
    Lasagna and rigatoni are delicious, nice homey Italian meal! Not a lot of space though so come early for dinner
  • JH H.
    JH H-DJanuary 3
    Walk in, counter style cafe. The coffees and granitas were great! Food looked good as well.
  • Tim U.
    Tim UMarch 14, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    There are plenty of places with better coffee in Melbourne, but very few places that make you feel like you're in Italy.
  • Adam I.
    Adam IndiktMarch 9, 2015
    Best for a single or couple. No reservations. Great, simple Italian coffee and food
  • Víctor O.
    Víctor OrtegaMay 17, 2014
    HS Weekend: "start your day like many Italians, with a short black by the counter". Espresso machine original from 60 years ago.
  • William H.
    William HuanAugust 10, 2014
    Serving as authentic as Italian food comes. The cheesecake is overrated but the cream is great!
  • Peter E.
    Peter ErikssonDecember 30, 2013
    No need to comment on this! Just go there and enjoy italian hospitality at its finest!
  • Andrey K.
    Andrey KJuly 19, 2014
    Awesome place! Service at lightning pace, fantastic pasta and super
  • Matthew T.
    Matthew TilleardDecember 22, 2013
    Looks like Melbourne's oldest espresso bar. Feels like Melbourne's oldest espresso bar. Is - like - Melbourne's oldest espresso bar.
  • Carly M.
    Carly MelissaAugust 6, 2010
    Fantastic (and filling) lasagna. Try the watermelon granita... It's delicious. You'll need to stick around to score a seat, but it's worth it.
  • Bevan H.
    Bevan HarlockSeptember 19, 2014
    Everything is so good - I love being told to eat more just like my mum
  • Czar T.
    Czar TFebruary 13, 2014
    Say "grazie mille" on your way out. It fools everyone into thinking you are fluent in Italian.
  • Bionic Ben (.
    Bionic Ben (@benbickford)May 2, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Now that we are coming up to winter, keep walking to the back and eat on the long table in the warm kitchen!!!
  • Matthew F.
    Matthew FoxDecember 29, 2013
    By no means the best coffee in town but atmosphere unlike any place else.
  • Josh R.
    Josh RoweMay 4, 2011
    Been here 10+ times
    Don't walk past! This is a Melbourne institution. My favourite is the lasagne & a granita.
  • Amos R.
    Amos RojterSeptember 22, 2015
    It's great for people watching over an espresso, a vortex into Italy really!
  • Serena A.
    Serena AyersMay 18, 2014
    The amazing baked Italian cheesecake is made on Fridays and Sundays. Get a slice when it's still hot!
  • Joao F.
    The lasagne is amazing, but honestly everything's great here.
  • Justin A.
    Justin ApplebyJuly 1, 2010
    Great little Italian place. Very informal. Grab a waiters eye to order. Coffee is brilliant. Don't expect table service.
  • Shari A.
    Shari AbasJune 26, 2011
    Huge portions!!!! Come hungry or share. Coffees are good too
  • Damon G.
    Damon GarrettApril 5, 2011
    For all it's old-world charm, just imagine how good this place *could* be. Seriously don't bother with the coffee. You have been warned.
  • Guy B.
    Guy BesleyNovember 10, 2011
    I can safely say the best coffee i have had! And I have at least 6 a day.
  • Nicole M.
    Nicole McInnesOctober 13, 2011
    Dont order the marinara, & altho bolognese sauce was nice the clump of spaghetti that came with it was a bit off putting. Not as good as it's reputation unfortunately.
    LANTSOctober 18, 2010
    The best pasta in Melbourne! Get the pink granita drink too, so yummy.
  • Oli T.
    Oli TreadwellOctober 1, 2013
    Come here for the environment & quick food. Not the coffee.
  • Chris Y.
    Chris YoungJuly 9, 2013
    order the almond cake! it was delicious!
  • Blair
    BlairJanuary 16, 2011
    Been here 5+ times
    If it's full out front, venture into the kitchen cause you can sit there as well.
  • knight t.
    knight tanMarch 16, 2015
    No menu with picture , the main course is $17 which I think it's a bit ex
  • James R.
    James RoperSeptember 15, 2011
    Gnocchi Friday in the kitchen is a tradition not to miss!
  • Michaela P.
    Super atmosphere, family-run
  • Graeme S.
    Graeme StablesMarch 21, 2010
    Melbs oldest italian cafe, since 1950? Ask for creme caramel with cream.. yum!
  • Dion C.
    Dion CarnellAugust 3, 2010
    If I lived in Melbourne this would be my once a week cheap eat! Sydney needs one!
  • Carbie W.
    Carbie WarbieAugust 4, 2010
    Been here 25+ times
    On a hot sweltering day, Carbie recommends popping in and buying a GRANITA! :)
  • Michael
    MichaelFebruary 24, 2013
    Nice dark and bitter hot chocolate
  • Pongpon S.
    Try granita and tiramisu!
  • Ian H.
    Ian HammondNovember 28, 2016
    Watermelon granita with a squeeze of lemon. Bring. On. Summer.
  • Andrea B.
    Andrea BordonaliAugust 23, 2010
    Fantastic!... Finally i found a REAL italian Pasta!... Must try!!!!...++++++
  • Eileen B.
    Eileen BraybrookJune 20, 2011
    Get the granita no matter what! It's so good.
  • Samantha R.
    Samantha RosenfeldMarch 25, 2010
    Love the food. You can't book but always worth a try!
  • Odo
    OdoJune 12, 2012
    Excellent espresso! the food not so good. Full review... Read more
  • Lyndon
    LyndonDecember 12, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    The greatest restaurant on the planet !
  • tina n.
    tina nixonJune 2, 2014
    Bolognaise. Wow .. !
  • penny t.
    penny thompsonJune 24, 2011
    Step into Italy - try the Granita! Read more
  • Pedro M.
    Pedro MercesNovember 17, 2011
    Old School Euro Style - no frills!
  • Lulu V.
    Lulu ValentineApril 10, 2011
    Best baked cheesecake ever!
  • Murat I.
    Murat IJune 14, 2015
    Coffee and pies
  • James B.
    James BurgessAugust 7, 2013
    Great coffee here!
  • Amanda L.
    Amanda LeungMay 31, 2012
    Awesome desserts!
  • Stefan B.
    Stefan BuchmanNovember 28, 2014
    Spaghetti bolognese
  • A G.
    Best coffee
  • Traladadie
    TraladadieMay 15, 2014
    Spaghetti Bolognese
  • Lachlan M.
    Lachlan McPheeSeptember 13, 2010
    Get the granitas. Incred.
  • Emma S.
    Emma StirlingMay 23, 2011
    Slip down the side laneway and eat in the kitchen Read more
  • Victoria D.
    Victoria DimMarch 1, 2012
    Pasta is nothing special, not the best in town for sure. Staff is not very hospitable
  • Nick B.
    Nick BurtoMarch 2, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    Mozarella Bolognese is the _best_... try it
  • Jonathon M.
    Jonathon MilneJanuary 7, 2011
    Granita when you're hungover FTW!
  • Jason B.
    Jason Berek-LewisJune 11, 2010
    Had to wait 25 minutes for my food - it appears they just forgot me. Bolognaise was pretty average. This Melbourne landmark is going downhill.
  • AskMen
    AskMenApril 1, 2011
    Tasty, affordable food that’s good all times of day. The hike to the top of Bourke Street well worth it.
  • Jason S.
    Jason ScheltusFebruary 22, 2010
    Smelt a lot like fish when I went in. Had an espresso but prolly shouldn't have.
  • Kim P.
    Kim PossibleFebruary 28, 2013
  • Peter S.
    Peter ShepherdMay 7, 2010
    Very over-rated. They use Vittoria beans which are cheap commercial rubbish and burn the coffee. Very disappointing - don't believe the reviews.
  • Sammy
    SammyJuly 21, 2010
    My long black wasn't made with love :(
  • James C.
    James ChurchillJanuary 30, 2010
    Granita on a hot summer day!
  • Gladys P.
    Gladys PutriApril 20, 2014
    Love this little espresso bar, love the granitta, the service, and the ambience❤️❤️❤️
  • takashi o.
    takashi onishiJanuary 5, 2014
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