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By Melia Rayner
October 01, 2012

Drugstore Espresso

An unfussy and laidback Toorak Road cafe.
By Melia Rayner
October 01, 2012

If there's one thing Melburnians are happy to make any pilgrimage for, it's coffee. Milky or strong, lukewarm or boiling hot, chances are if you live in Melbourne you'll have a high standard when it comes to finding your perfect cup. And in the midst of bustling Toorak road, next to a kebab shop, you'll find some of the best coffee in Melbourne tucked away behind an plain exterior.

The atmosphere of Drugstore is unpretentious and breezy, with a distinct lack of the society soccer mums that usually populate Toorak, instead filled with young professionals queuing up for their morning dose whilst a hip, young crowd lounge up the stairs. The bottom level has all you need to grab a coffee and a house made muffin on the run, whilst upstairs takes you away from the bustle below and is decked out with sparse but comfortable settings: a long communal table, and plenty of papers to read if you're dining alone. It's a small setup but one that's still inviting and easy to find a table at, and the laid back waitstaff are quick to find you the perfect cup of coffee whilst giving you space.

The menu plays it safe with breakfast basics done well. You want eggs? Sure, have them as an omelette with crushed avocado or pulled pork ($14.50), or at 62° on top of pan hash browns ($12). If the array of choices in that section is too much for you, try something from their breakfast menu - get all kinds of indulgent with vanilla bean pancakes with honey labne ($15) or ginger bread with expresso toffee butter ($8).

The real star is still the coffee, and you'd be hard pressed to limit your intake to one - with an expansive selection of every macchiato, expresso or Peruvian drip you've been meaning to try, Drugstore want you to know they're serious about their coffee, using a Rosso blend as their backbone and featuring rotating single origin choices of the day if you fancy something a bit different.

Whilst there's plenty of self proclaimed coffee experts in this city, it's rare to find one as unfussy and laid back as Drugstore is, especially in South Yarra. Maybe it's time to venture from the north side and its monopoly on coffee culture to somewhere a little more central, but still untouched enough to call your own.

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