The northeast pocket of Carlton North is lovely, leafy and full of strollers, commuters and the whirring of bikes heading down Canning Street. The residents here haven't exactly been starved for choice when it comes to coffee — they're a short walk from both St. Ali North and Rathdowne Village's Small Victories — but the newest cafe to take on the area seems to have filled a gap they maybe weren't aware existed.
Cafe BÜ faces a quiet Pigdon Street, looking literally like a hole in the wall; the facade continues straight onto the adjoining building, and is one you might miss if it hadn't just been given a bright coat of turquoise paint. Opened quietly earlier this year by Nick Busst and his mother Amanda, the two have transformed the site from a graffiti-laden concrete shell into a minimal, welcoming coffee pit stop. Order from the takeaway window or step inside the space for a coffee up at the glass — just note, it's small and built for an in-and-out kinda crowd. Most notable is the upstairs rooftop overlooking the suburb, acting as the perfect place to catch some sun. At the moment it's not enclosed, but we're told heating and an awning to cover the space is in the works.
The menu is short and simple, much like the cafe itself. The toasties (either ham, cheese and tomato or mozzarella, tomato and pesto on Dench bread; $7 each), and the daily fresh baked goods are solid accompaniments to your brew of choice. Of which, you have quite a lot to choose from. Coffee is from 5 Senses (both their Dark Horse blend and a rotating single origin is on offer) and Chamellia provide the tea and 9 spice fresh chai. Where possible, local produce is used, meaning that St David Dairy gets a go and you get a super fresh, super creamy coffee.
BÜ gives locals a place to grab a takeaway as they head to the tram in the morning, as well as being the perfect perch to sip a coffee over Carlton North. It seems that Cafe BÜ was exactly what they needed.