MELBOURNE | Tucked away in Fitzroy North’s residential streets, a stone’s throw away from the primary school, is Mary Miller café. Previously known as Me & Julio, the corner shop was purchased by Marie Macheras and received a face lift and menu revamp. Now fit to turn out babycinos and chocolate milkshakes like its 1959, the café is every pram pushing parent’s dream.
Macheras’s aim was to redesign the café in a manner that better suited the community. With a front door just minutes away from the school and residential streets, much of the foot traffic comes from families and students. The fit out supports prams and offers ample seating for large groups or solo diners.
A quick glance behind the bar reveals the essential components of quiet children and happy parents — milkshake blenders, syrups and marshmallows. A generous selection of kid friendly meals also have their place on the menu, including toasties, chicken & chips, and pancakes with seasonal fruits, nuts and vanilla mascarpone.
As for the parents, Miller listened to the desire of the community to have more clean eating options, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. For a heaping stack of guilt-free indulgence, get the Vegan Brunch. Spinach, avocado, snow pea sprout salad, and beetroot hummus come piled on toasted bread (by Baked for Sophia). We also couldn’t look past the Lentil & Sweet Potato Cakes, served with a watercress salad, rock melon salsa and spicy hummus.
Coffee is by Padre and served with your choice of soy, almond, coconut or St David Dairy milk, sourced from a family farm in Drouin and produced locally in Brunswick. You want a latte of the non-coffee variety, choose from one of three organic superfood lattes, including Turmeric Chai, Beet Berry and Matcha Mint by Rejuved Nation. Juices are pressed fresh in house as well as an assortment of vegan smoothies.
Mary Miller’s interior is as cute as its marshmallow-eating customers. White walls are accented with edison bulbs, hanging plants, and pink table tulips. Pastel blue touches give the space an Etsy-chic feel and ensure you won’t miss the retro La Marzocco brewing up your coffee.
Within the next few months, Miller has plans to open up the back courtyard with tables and a garden for customers to pick their own herbs. Not that the food needs it. Miller sources from local producers wherever possible and, from the looks of our dishes, already offers up a garden on your plate. But in the coming warmer months, this courtyard is exactly where I’d want to be with a fresh juice in hand.
171 Miller Street
Telephone: (03) 9489 6740
Mon – Fri: 7:00am to 4:00pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00am to 4:00pm