This familiar favourite has a new head chef and a revamped menu, running from breakfast to after-work snacks.
Matt Wilkinson's iconic cafe Pope Joan spent years as an inner-north culinary go-to, before a new building development forced a move and it settled into its current CBD digs in 2019. These days, the venue is continuing its original legacy in a Collins Street home, now steered by Danish Head Chef Bente Grysbæk.
Her reinvigorated breakfast menu features a slew of familiar favourites alongside some creative newcomers. The popular rhubarb-topped rice pudding ($12) remains, as do the elevated boiled eggs with soldiers and bacon bits ($13). But you'll also find additions like a Danish-inspired breakfast hash starring Warialda beef rump, fried eggs and potato gems ($25), the Milawa chicken schnitzel sided with dashi-dressed cabbage salad ($28) and hero veg plates like the Romsey pumpkin with toasted seeds, hummus and spiced agave ($24).
The sandwich game here is as strong as ever, with signatures like the Pope Joan brekkie roll ($14) and the reuben ($19) now joined by the likes of a roast cauliflower pita wrap ($16), and a Danish open rye sandwich featuring smoked salmon, crudités and a mustard sauce. The cake trolley has also made its return, loaded with sweet things you can match to an Allpress coffee or house chai.
Come afternoon, you're in excellent hands with snacks like Port Phillip sardines and free-range chicken liver parfait, plus cheese and charcuterie platters, to enjoy alongside classic cocktails or a glass or two of vino.
Images: Kristoffer Paulsen