As a Prahran-based worker bee, I consider myself quite the connoisseur of the local lunch-time offerings. True—nary have I ventured to said venues outside the confines of 9 to 5, but I can sing their all-day-breakfast praises and recite their sandwich boards alongside the very best of them.
So, if you're new to the neighbourhood and, like me, never quite get around to making that economical packed-lunch, I present you with my weekly menu for the cooler months. Sink your teeth into Prahran's best lunches.
Chances are, you will have over-indulged on the weekend and are needing something just a little greasy, in a good way. Nothing screams comfort food like a warm and toasty jaffle, golden brown on the outside and oozing with molten goodness on the inside. Pull up a pew at Oscar Cooper and choose from the daily selection of 'damn fine jaffles' (their words, but we totally agree). My pick? The poached chicken, chive, and gruyere. Toasties, all grown up.
Where: 160 Greville Street in Prahran
Contact: 03 9529 5670
You're back on the bandwagon and gritting your teeth in preparation for this evening's spin class. If you want to bypass the pizza (which is also on offer), Greville Street's Palate Restaurant Bar has a menu bursting with Paleo-inspired options—so hot right now. It may not strictly be Paleo, but the Peri Peri chicken salad with green beans is equal parts wholesome and delicious. Drizzled in a lemon and walnut dressing, it's peppered with tomatoes and a happiness-inducing share of kipfler taters.
Where: 132 Greville Street in Prahran
Contact: 03 9521 5443
No Prahran lunch round-up worth its salt would be complete without a mention of hipster hangout, St Edmonds. With a graffiti-covered brick entryway on St Edmonds Road, this is a café that takes its coffee and constantly evolving menu seriously. No sooner do I discover a new fave, than a chill creeps into the air and the mouth-watering prawn salad is replaced by heartier fare like chicken schnitzel and soul soothing pho. My current poison? The bangers and mash. These porky lovelies are infused with chilli and fennel to kick you over the mid-week hump.
Where: 154 St Edmonds Road in Prahran
Contact: 03 9525 0473
Also on Greville (I know, I know, but there are so many great options it's hard to stray further afield!) is the charmingly cosy Italian joint, Sicilian Orange. Dishing up great coffee and pasta standards amid a homely array of brown-paper-topped tables, comfy booth seating, and cluttered walls with the requisite splash of tricolore, Sicilian Orange is just the place to duck into on a cold and wet winter's day. With end-of-week deadlines looming, I usually grab a hearty soup and crusty bread, and head back to my office to slurp to my heart's content. The cauliflower and potato is a deliciously creamy, salty combo.
Where: 115 Greville Street in Prahran
Contact: 03 9510 1051
It's Friday and your boss is taking you out for a late lunch that will soon merge into early arvo drinks. No? Time for a new job? For relaxed dining at The Smith, I like grabbing a spot alongside the bar and hoeing into some soft shell crab tortillas with avocado, black bean, and jalapeno salad. A word for the wise—if you need something a little more substantial to soak up your vino, the smashed chats with rosemary and garlic are out of this world.
Where: 213 High Street in Prahran
Contact: 03 9514 2444
TUL Note: I, Pip Jarvis, take no responsibility for any mid-afternoon food coma resulting from these suggestions.
Image Credit: Portuguese Girl Cooks