Finding the perfect balance in a cafe can be tough — some are just too big, others too small — but if Goldilocks could visit Northcote's Poke the Bear, we'd bet she would think it's just right. It's the latest venue from hospitality guru Ryan Cassidy (ex-Truman, Galleon, Veruca Salt) and it boasts a menu of breakfast and lunch options, all of which come with a healthy side of pun. If mornings aren't your thing order a Grizzly Bowl of acai, banana and coconut water, topped with chia seeds, goji berries and toasted coconut, or channel you inner caveman with the Bear Hands: a brekky taco packed with scrambled eggs, avocado, tomato relish and pico de gallo.
Lunch options include a selection of toasties, soups, nachos and poke bowls, while sides come under the banner of Bear Essentials. Coffee is provided by the experts just down the street at Wide Open Road, while non-coffee drinkers can choose from a freshly squeezed red, yellow or green juice from the Se-Juiced menu. Located in what was once Radio Mexico North, the cafe's design remains largely the same: it's bright, open and filled with leafy greens. While the puns might make your eyes roll, Poke the Bear has all the makings of a northside hotspot.