A cafe made from disused shipping containers in an abandoned car park.
Kayla Larson and Andrew Zuccala
January 30, 2023


Angled away from the bustle of Footscray's main streets is Rudimentary, a fresh cafe made from disused shipping containers in an abandoned car park. It's so fresh, in fact, that you can spy the chefs strolling from the kitchen to the garden with a pair of scissors in hand.

It's the first venture into Melbourne's cafe scene for Desmond Huynh and team who have melded and plastered the four shipping containers together, forging an open, sunlit cafe.

They're not the first to do it (think Grace Cafe in Fitzroy) but they've blended it with a community-style garden, where visitors can lock their bikes to planter boxes and smell the lavender before taking a sprig home. Whimsical only begins to describe Rudimentary's vibe.

Chefs have free reign of the outdoor herbs before they head back inside to dish up modern Australian fare with Vietnamese influences.

Ruby Wang

Inside, forest greens, mustards and creams all await you. And these aren't even the edibles. They are the tasty chairs that may have had a previous life in a 1970s boardroom, but now swivel around the cafe's communal table. We'd recommend nabbing one of these so you can ogle the portions of grub that you couldn't choose between.

Order the Nurungji porridge ($23) with scorched rice, kimchi, spicy bamboo and a sous vide egg, or Bubble & Squeak ($24) featuring eggplant ontop of corn fritters, poached eggs and hollandaise. The greasy breakfast bun ($17) is also a fine choice for those hangover days when nothing makes you feel better than the brilliant combination of bacon, cheddar cheese, tomato relish, mayo and a fried egg.

Baristas use Small Batch coffee, extracting fine drops of that caffeinated nectar of the gods. A filter brew, homemade sodas and a selection of teas are also on the menu. But we can't forget to mention the boozy options, too. Try the bloody mary and mimosa or get stuck into some of the many beers and ciders available.

There's absolutely nothing rudimentary about this beloved Melbourne café.

Updated May, 2023.


Appears in:

The 13 Best Cafes in Melbourne for 2023

Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Melbourne for 2023


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