Forgive my language, but holy F@#k, we have found what is easily the best cafe in Melbourne. The only catch… you have to head out to the ‘burbs if you want to enjoy it.
Why is it so great? Ahhh because it’s Alice in Wonderland themed! Obviously…
Set amidst a pretty disgusting industrial sort of area, right near Bayswater train station in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs is a surprisingly good, wickedly decadent cafe that will make any lover of cake literally want to die from a deliciously sweet sugar coma. Welcome to The Hatter & the Hare!.
I actually can’t even think of the right words to use to describe this place. The closest I can come is to say it’s the place where dreams are made. I feel like that’s kind of ripped off from Disneyland or something, but I’m going to be so bold as to say it’s that fricken good. I mean come on, look at those bloody cakes!
Despite being insanely busy for 9.30 in the morning, we were met with some of the best customer service I’ve seen in a Melbourne cafe in a long time. The staff were super friendly and we were seated and served promptly, as we chatted happily and watched the pastry chefs hard at work crafting some of the delicacies you can see pictured here.
The decor is sweet and totally on theme, without being too over the top, and the addition of a beautiful floral wall really brightens the place up! With menu items like Mock Turtle Bowl and a Tweedledum Burger, the whimsical Alice in Wonderland theme extends far past the cafe’s decor. Plus, the meals do not disappoint! Each meal is displayed like a work of art, with fresh fruit, floral details and some sort of fairy floss looking stuff that’s artfully displayed on top of people’s meals.
I myself ordered a Yellow Fellow smoothie and was delighted by the taste experience I was taken on, as I sipped on a delicious concoction of mango, pineapple, and banana, plus a touch of coconut milk, honey, and orange juice. Although, I must confess that despite how delicious my morning smoothie was, I couldn’t help but drool over the rich looking chocolate milkshakes that were being served to other patrons.
The meals were also really tasty, however, we do have one quip here, and I’m sure Jenna would be disappointed if I failed to mention it – a tiny dollop of avocado came at a hefty $5, and was pretty hard to spread because it wasn’t quite ripe. But hey, even the best places screw up sometimes, and this is a relatively small gripe considering how taken we were with everything else.
Before we left, we obviously got a cake for the road! But believe me when I say choosing just one was a cruel and unusual torture.
After a lot of umming and ahhing, and some extreme patience from the cafe staff, I finally settled on a vegan oreo cupcake with an incredibly large swirl of frosting, while Jenna selected a beautifully presented slice of red velvet cake. And they were both a slice of Alice in Wonderland heaven; certainly worthy of a long tumble down a rabbit hole.
So, whether you’re visiting Melbourne or are lucky enough to call Melbourne home, head out to the ‘burbs and check out the Hatter & the Hare – we couldn’t recommend it more!