Go west to find new cafe Dumbo, hidden in a quiet residential street in West Footscray (otherwise known as WeFo). Well, it's only quiet outside school hours; Liam Thornycroft has thoughtfully opened his first city venue next to Footscray West Primary and that's a lot of foot traffic.
We say thoughtfully because they have a reciprocal arrangement. In exchange for use of the school car park at weekends, the Dumbo crew donate their food waste and coffee grounds to the school's kitchen garden program. When they've settled in a bit – the cafe only opened two weeks ago – they might be able to swap produce, too.
Thornycroft is a Daylesford expat; from a (possibly illegal) career start as a nine-year-old dishy at a local cafe he went on to work at, and eventually run, the Convent Gallery for 10 years. Now he and partner Daniel Condon have moved to the big smoke, turning a dilapidated former milk bar into a smart cafe with head chef Ray Le (ex-Common Galaxia) in the kitchen.
It's a mostly brunch-focused menu: ricotta doughnuts with caramelised banana are already a hit and there's a daily $10 "lunch box" special.
The coffee's from local roasters Rosso Roasting Co. (just espresso for now, but there's a filter option on the way).
Skip the queues via a coffee window adjoining the astroturfed courtyard or stop in on the way home from school for musk sticks and milkshakes.
Open Mon-Fri 7.30am-4pm, Sat-Sun 8am-4pm.
11 Argyle Street, West Footscray, 03 9078 2645, dumbomelbourne.com.au