Stepping away from the inner city bustle, you'd be forgive for thinking that you're somewhere along the peninsula, up in the hills, or basically anywhere that isn't Melbourne. Already making itself known as an idyllic little hide away, Hawthorn Common is a more than pleasant spot to escape the daily grind.
The sheer size of Hawthorn Common is something of a surprise and, either because or in spite of that, you'll be comfortable immediately upon arrival. Spacious without being inelegant, there'll be no uncomfortable loitering — especially when you're greeted with welcoming staff as you climb the stairs to your destination. Being perched on the first floor has its perks: the private (and again, expansive) courtyard littered with succulents is sun-drenched and hosts Saturday morning yoga classes, whilst the street-level espresso bar is something of a revelation for the area.
All this space means that Hawthorn Common is doing things on their own terms. Already boasting a coffee roaster, herb garden, and flour mill (hello, in-house pastries and bread), the cafe also cultures its own yogurt and preserves its own fruit and vegetables. With a few ex-Vue de Monde staff in the kitchen, the menu is a delicate array of reliable fare, presented with colourful freshness and healthy allure. The vegetable fritters, featuring tomato, corn and chickpeas ($16) are balanced and delightfully light, whilst the Common Burger is everything you'd expect ($20), replete with hand cut kipfler potato chips.
Hawthorn Common's food philosophy is refreshing, proving that you can enjoy the finer things in life without sacrificing health or a good time. It's a utopian setting rounded off by stellar service that is uncompromisingly light-hearted, with the feeling of community even fostered across the walls with black and white photos of those who contributed to the cafe's development. This space might just get better with time, but for now, it's anything but common.