Just Open: North & Eight, Essendon

Soft-shell crab burger with lime and peanut mayo.
Soft-shell crab burger with lime and peanut mayo. Photo: Linsey Rendell

The old fruit shop on Buckley Street may still have an oversized photo of the first owner gracing the outside wall, but new occupants have made themselves at home inside.

Kylee and Adrian Dixen​ (Lady Melville Cafe & Courtyard) finally landed a space in their home suburb of Essendon. They've teamed up with fellow resident Nathan Bugeja to open North & Eight.

The cafe is all about "serving the locals", with superfood salads and protein smoothies for the gym-goers two doors up, takeaway options for workers, and an extensive all-day menu for those with time to graze.

The interior features bright white walls, sleek wood paneling, copper pipes and plants.
The interior features bright white walls, sleek wood paneling, copper pipes and plants. Photo: Linsey Rendell

The menu is classic, playful Melbourne, with a focus on really good flavours, Kylee says. There's a smattering of Italian and Korean influence, three types of brioche burgers, and a chocolate-hazelnut milkshake topped with a Nutella-filled doughnut that's sure to lure an after-school crowd.

Istra Smallgoods, Murray Valley Pork, Villa Verde eggs and Le Petit Gateau cakes are among the locally sourced produce, while coffee is by Proud Mary – including a cold drip for summer days.

Open Mon-Fri 6.30am-5pm; Sat-Sun 7am-4pm.

Seasonal mushrooms, hollandaise foam, poached eggs, cress, tomato jam and polenta chips.
Seasonal mushrooms, hollandaise foam, poached eggs, cress, tomato jam and polenta chips. Photo: Linsey Rendell

285-287 Buckley Street, Essendon, 9331 3858, facebook.com/northandeight