I happened upon it by chance during an early morning photo shoot about a year or so ago, lured by the smells of freshly baked bread and roasting coffee wafting along the pier.
You could be forgiven for missing it entirely, with most people heading straight to the obvious spots for restaurants, functions or fishing. The bakery is tucked away on the south side of the pier and lets face it – what an unlikely spot for a bakery!
However, it has a loyal following among locals and people who work in the area – when I visited mid-morning on a weekday the café was bustling.
So what was the coffee like?
Mill & Bakery use Grinders Coffee, which was established in 1962 on Lygon Street, the centre of Melbourne’s famous Italian quarter. All of the coffee is served in quaint, mismatched but ever so pretty teacups and saucers, doing away with the typical ho-hum latte glass.
The espresso was dense with a good crema, and the cakes and pastries prepared by executive chef Lisa Van Zanten helped it go down a treat.
Melbourne should love this café, if it doesn’t already, because of the hidden nature of its location (remember, we love laneways right!) and because once there, you’ve discovered not only fabulous coffee but an artesian bakery to boot – clever you!
161 Harbour Esplanade
03 8623 9693