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This Chapel Street eatery serves everything from breakfast and coffee through to steaks and cocktails.
By Libby Curran
June 29, 2017
By Libby Curran
June 29, 2017

On a sunny Chapel Street corner, Abacus has managed to nail that all-day eatery vibe that often proves so elusive; its lofty, leafy space is bright and charming by the light of day, and manages to be cosy enough to make the dinnertime crowd feel right at home.

What's on offer is a farm-to-fork experience that's steeped in seasonality, locality and isn't afraid to test out a little technique. The kitchen mills its own flour and even keeps its own bees.

By day, that all translates to a menu of bright and innovative brunch fare that pushes the envelope way beyond the usual smashed avo and corn fritters, there are blue swimmer crab crumpets, or you could dabble in a ballarat breakfast with thick-cut bacon, Irish style sausage, pigs head and snout terrine paired with a native bush tomato relish and poached egg.

There's Ona coffee — done well, mind you — though you won't need much more encouragement than those sparkling surrounds to steer towards one of the breakfast cocktails.

By night, a lineup of contemporary Australian mains and elegant share plates play rather nicely with couple of wines or cocktails, from a smart, largely local drinks list.

Somewhere in the middle? Nab yourself a knock-off and some real estate by the sliding floor-to-ceiling windows, and you've got a front-row seat to some of the best people-watching South Yarra has to offer.

Updated May, 2023.


Appears in:

The 13 Best Cafes in Melbourne for 2023

Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Melbourne for 2023

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