The Share Plate Guide to... Mornington Peninsula cafés
It’s called Melbourne’s playground for a reason – Mornington Peninsula locals have developed a food culture making the most of the great produce from the region. Here’s half a dozen of our favourite Peninsula cafés to brighten up your morning!
Merchant & Maker
Initially established by Commonfolk Coffee co-founder Sam in 2015, Merchant & Maker has long been a front-runner in conversations around the best café in the state. The refined menu is obsessive about local Peninsula produce, with standard dishes sitting amongst delicious unique options like ricotta & spinach gnudi, and carrot hummus with goats cheese and pickled beetroot. Three time winner of the best Peninsula café, new owners Marcus and Michelle have made a habit of letting the ingredients shine as the spot continues to be constantly busy.
- Green Goodness: poached eggs, broccollini, haloumi, wilted spinach, kale almond pesto and lemon on toast
Open everyday from 7/30am at 675 Point Nepean Rd, McCrae.
A rustic industrial outpost on the main strip of Mornington, Store Fifteen has been serving seasonal, plant-based menus since 2014. Making a point of showing how good ingredients can taste without preservatives, chemicals and additives, the dishes made in the Store Fifteen kitchen change to flow with what is available. With an interior that matches the menu for raw elements, owners Matt and Siam have crafted a boutique spot which focuses on nourishing, simple foods which are full of flavour.
- Buckwheat and quinoa porridge, filled with almond milk, mango, blueberry, pomegranate and puffed millet
Open Tuesday to Friday from 6.30am, weekends from 8am at 15 Main St, Mornington.
The Boss’ Daughter
Growing up with a father who ran a café, Tessa Dijkgraaf knew all the right insights of the trade. When Buckley’s Chance was handed down, the Sorrento corner spot was reimagined with a colourful streak running through the interior and dishes. This cosy local nook is rarely empty and with good reason – local legends Commonfolk Coffee provide the beans, and the menu items are as delicious as they are beautiful.
- Sautéed wild mushrooms with potato and chive croquettes
Open every day from 7.30am at 174 Ocean Beach Rd, Sorrento.
Milkbar & Co
The local tuckshop is becoming a fixture of the past – though one café in Mount Martha is keeping the childhood nostalgia alive. Transforming a former milk bar into a contemporary café in 2014, owner Ryan left a lot of the original interior elements in place, contributing to a warm atmosphere that brings in plenty of repeat locals and interested travellers. The menu has a lot of nice modern touches paired with a couple of cheeky throwbacks for good measure.
- For nostalgia’s sake, we love a good jaffle – and the jaffles served here are great. Go old-school with classic ham, cheese and tomato
Open every day from 6.30am at 1/42 Lochiel Ave, Mount Martha.
Two Boys, One Beagle and a Coffee Shop
Sitting on a quiet residential street in Frankston, this lively café pops out with its pink interior and super kid friendly atmosphere. Owners Mikaela and Jamie, opening the location when their second son was less than a month old, have been embraced by the local community – as has their beagle Penelope! Their menu is filled with great twists on dishes with the enticing smell of garlicky mushrooms, sesame satay omelettes and Pyrenees pork belly greeting you as you enter.
- Ham hock croquette benny, with lemon & thyme hollandaise, cavolo nero, salsa rosa and poached eggs
Open every day from 7am at 59 Kareela Rd, Frankston.
Light filled interiors, subtle touches of colour – Scandinavian minimalism has a home in Red Hill café Nordie. The spot offers retail products such as stylish homewares in addition to the all-day menu and fantastic Allpress coffee, plus two doors down sits the Red Hill Wine Collective, a sister venue also run by Tom and Rina. Elegant in it’s simplicity, Nordie is a great little taste of Denmark in the midst of the Red Hill bushland.
- The Smørrebrød, a Danish open faced sandwich served with chicken, pickled carrot, horseradish and parsnips on dark rye
Open from 7.30am every day at 1008 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Red Hill.
See more of our favourites inside our upcoming Mornington Peninsula issue, with 100 pages showcasing stories of our favourite local eateries, farms, producers, wine, beer, spirits and social enterprises! Pre-order here:
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