Dead Man Espresso, located on what used to be Canvas Town, an old settlement plot in the 1850s, embodies some of that battler attitude. While they don't have to sleep under the stars, the team here believe that, like settlers, they've built something great, and are proud of it. And great it is.
Dead Man Espresso is one of those places that keeps you coming back. There's great coffee from Seven Seeds and Market Lane and beautiful, simple food that is sourced locally where they can. They use Warialda Beef, Istra Smallgoods and Hook & Spoon Mutton. They keep things even closer to home when they use herbs from their roof top garden and honey from their rooftop beehive. The space, with sharp angles and interesting design features, still manages warm, light and inviting. The tiny balcony is quiet and enclosed, and definitely a spot you want to nab on a sunny day.
The ever-changing menu is fresh and seasonally driven. You might see avocado on Zeally Bay organic toast with chevre, grapefruit, toasted almonds and radish salad ($17) or potato and leek hash with Istra pancetta, green tomato, a fried egg and lemon sour cream ($18.50). If you're in the mood for a sugar hit, try the hot cakes with banana cream custard, maple caramel and cinnamon crunch ($14) — dessert for breakfast is always a good idea. Keep an eye out for the specials board, which might be a leek, bacon and Gruyere omelette topped with microherbs and served with Zeally Bay sourdough or — if you're lucky — ginger ale poached pears with baked ricotta, granola and dulce de leche.
There is a cabinet of tempting treats like chocolate brownies and banana chocolate caramel cupcakes if you're in the mood for an order-and-dash kind of afternoon. Rotating baguettes are also available for takeaway.
Alive and kicking in a quiet pocket of South Melbourne, Dead Man makes the working week just that little bit more bearable.
Image courtesy of Dead Man Espresso
Want to live near this spot?
Check out our handy Neighbourhood Guides to find out how you can.