When I started thinking about which café review I wanted to put up as my first official review, I knew I wanted to review a place that I consider absolutely lovely. It didn’t have to have all top marks, but I wanted a place that left a real impression on me. I also wanted to start off the reviews with a place that served as an example of the true classic Melbourne cafés you can still tucked away.
That’s why I picked The Famous Blue Raincoat.
famous blue raincoat cafe
The Famous Blue Raincoat restaurant/bar/café is the kind of place that has its own personality from the moment you step in the door. The personality and warmth of the room stands out but doesn’t overwhelm in the least. I fell in love the moment I saw the hardwood floors (have I mentioned I love hardwood floors?) and the natural ceiling lighting, but The Famous Blue Raincoat had even more to offer.
From the art on the walls to the strange and unique salt and pepper shakers – everything from bowling pins to pineapples, though we got the rooster and chook – on the tables, this little café is refreshingly itself. Instead of trying to cater to certain crowds, it simply is and does what it does best. There is a distinct, funky feel to the place from the moment you walk in.
Even in the limited space, they have done amazing things. From the live band stage in the corner to the couch lounge area in the middle of the room around the fire place, you don’t feel cramped at all. In fact, you feel quite homey.
fbr central lounge
If you don’t feel like sitting at the tables or at the couches in front of the fireplace, there is – of course – a couch and more tables available in the back courtyard…
fbr back archway
fbr back courtyard
The pictures don’t do the back courtyard justice, really (especially given they were taken with a phone). It is a beautiful, peaceful space complete with a lot of greenery and wind chimes.
Of course, by the time we got there, our stomachs were complaining loudly for lunch, so we took the opportunity to try the food.
Delicious! Not only is the food absolutely delicious, it’s also mostly healthier fare than you would usually get and plenty of homemade options as well. The portion sizes are appropriate as well, which is something you don’t see often enough.
I highly recommend the lamb wrap, which is wrapped in delicious roti bread instead of a plain white flour tortilla.
blue raincoat lamb wrap
Not only can you have a great meal with drinks, you can also do a bit of shopping – even for cacti! Meet Booger and Chloe (yes, I’ve named them):
In the back courtyard, there is a large table with a wide arrangement of succulents on sale. I was so entranced by the back area and the fact that you could buy plants (for super low prices!), I just had to get two. I was going to get a Famous Blue Raincoat bag as well, but I did have more cafés to visit that day…
There is always plenty on offer, selling their own merchandise as well as supporting local artists.
If you are a jazz fan, this is the place to chill out on the weekend. They have live jazz every Sunday from 3 – 6, and you can tell they take their music seriously when you check out the excellent sound system they have installed. Of course, their sense of humour is worked in even there with a two inch disco ball hanging above the performance area.
This is a café for every crowd, welcoming young teens to families starting out to older couples. I can’t see anyone feeling out of place there. The coffee is decent rather than spectacular, but there are plenty of other reasons to keep you coming back.
I highly recommend it.
25b Vernon Street
(03) 9391 8520
(Melway Ref – 41:G12)