Sweetie Darling | Top Pancakes, Waffles & French Toast

By Ella Stening
7th Dec 2013

There are a few staples that people tend to stick to when they go out for breakfast. Some of us are muesli people, taking pleasure in the various types of grains, dabbling in different types of milks, or perhaps taking the leap of faith and getting porridge – or, as I like to call it, 'hot muesli'. Perhaps you're a Benedict chick, with an affection for creamy, lemony hollandaise, spicing it up with a Florentine or an Eggs Atlantic if you're not morbidly hungover. Perhaps you're plain and simple fruit toast, or poached eggs and avo, maybe the liquid breakfast of a large latte with one...whatever you are, you have your go-to, and no one can change that.

For some of us, more daring folk, we like to go the whole hog come breakfast dates. We like to push our senses to the limits, daring to taste what no mere mortal can brave on a daily basis. These are the sweet teeth; the kids with the glint in their eye. Those dedicated to the syrupy, the candied, the sticky and the creamy, the waffles, the pancakes and the French toast...this is The Urban List for you. We've rounded up the best of the best in town so go on, go forth and conquer the culinary bliss that is realm of the sweet breakfast.

The Grain Store is Flinders Lane's little pancake flipping, French toast dipping, eco-friendly sweetheart. Inspired by the comforts of country cooking, The Grain Store is a healthy respite from Metropolis with its fresh flowers, friendly staff and wooden alcoves for cosy dining. However, we're here for the nosh, and that buttermilk French toast with spiced pear and peppered caramel had us salivating from a mile away. Accompanying this bad boy is a wicked orange nutella, strawberry and toffee yoghurt brioche – HELLO decadent.

The Grain Store | 517 Flinders Lane in Melbourne

Brasserie Bread is first and foremost one of the most excellent bakeries in South Melbourne, and given that it's the suburb that plays host to the market as well as a bunch of other hip happening bakeries, that's one reputation to drop at parties. As well as being enraptured by their freshly baked loaves of rye and rows of hedgehog slice, they also offer a stellar brekky menu. Their sourdough pancakes are Melbourne renowned. Patrons can choose from berry compote and honeycomb cream, or your classic banana and maple syrup to accompany these babies, so bring a friend so you can taste some of theirs. Or come twice. They also host baking classes, so stick around and try, eavesdrop and send us the pancake recipe would you?

Brasserie Bread | 150 Thistlethwaite Street in South Melbourne

Image Credit: Brasserie Bread Facebook

It's worth pretending you're a Melbourne Uni student for a go at Carte Crepes, the thin sexy sister to the pudgy pancake. In their cute little blue hut nestled amongst the leafy green trees, you can't miss the staff in their matching aprons, nor the diabetes-inducing aroma that lingers from the kitchen. There's all your crepe-tastic favourites here from the classic butter & sugar, to the savoury gypsy ham and cheese, and the downright fancy with pear, ginger jam and vanilla bean custard. They also push out an epic coffee trade in the morning, so grab an Allpress latte whilst you wait for your 10am tute.

Carte Crepes | Behind the John Medley West Building (Enter via Gate 10), The University of Melbourne, Grattan Street in Parkville

Waffles are few and far between in our fair city, restricted to ice cream cones and patterns on t-shirts, but Waffle On is no stranger to everyone's favourite breakfast treat. Though their space is tiny and you may walk past if not for the eye grabbing sign shouting "BELGIAN WAFFLES", they've been planted safely in the Campbell Arcade for over ten years now, and have somewhat of a celebrity status with CBD regulars. They import the ingredients for their waffles from Belgium, and make everything right there in front of you – from the nutella and cream, to the bacon and cheese and, my personal favourite, the Royale – chocolate, strawberries and mascarpone, tinkled with icing sugar.

Waffle On | 9 Degraves Street in Melbourne

Cowderoy's Dairy is a milk-bar style cafe near the quieter end of Fitzroy Street in St Kilda, and they boast the quaintest style, complete with old school puff stools, vintage supply signs and a fantastic outdoor area. They're also known for their kid-friendly vibe with a huge playground across the street, colouring in books on call and of course, the French toast you know you're going to want to "share" with your child/sibling/kid sitting next to you. It's only available on the weekend, but that brioche drizzled with hazelnuts, chocolate and banana jam, or pistachios, cinnamon and orange flower don't need me to drool for you.

Cowderoy's Dairy | 14 Cowderoy Street in St Kilda West

Industry Beans hangs out away from the hustle and bustle of Brunswick Street, not that they're trying to hide anything. Though they're focussed mostly on coffee here, what with their huge roaster out the back and loft style space perfect for storing beans, they do an incredible breakfast menu which shows off their coffee wizardry within every dish. Their sweet staple of note is the baked apple and cinnamon French toast, accompanied with fruit compote, espresso cream, maple syrup and cold drip...caviar. These little cold drip balls of coffee are not unlike the balls you get in bubble tea, except tastier, zingier and totally novelty injected. Love!

Industry Beans | Corner of Rose and Fitzroy Street in Fitzroy

Male tracks to Little Deer Tracks and you'll find the cutest cafe on the northside, doubling as a local art space as well as boasting a fantastic sunshine-filled courtyard. Their all day breakfast menu sports Fairtrade coffee and a slew of classic dishes, but you know what we're here for. The organic buckwheat pancakes with rosewater and apple compote, fresh nectarines and maple syrup will have you swooning. If you have come for lunch, their main focus is vegetarian Italian food, and the chefs make sure their silken homemade pastas and fresh produce have you hanging around 'til close.

Little Deer Tracks | 44 O'Hea Street in Coburg

If you are familiar with that dancing internet banana who sings "It's Peanut Butter Jelly-Time" for infinity times, you will undoubtedly reminisce whilst munching on Touchwood's waffles. Address the big inside seating area, then follow the red brick archway to the massive courtyard outside, sit down and order a coffee (Five Senses...winner). Don't bother looking at the menu because you're getting the Peanut butter and jelly wholemeal waffles, accompanied with poached raspberries (who knew you could poach them?), whipped peanut butter ricotta and crunchy, toffee tantalising peanut brittle. You may have to book a trip to the dentist afterwards, but it's totes worth it.

Touchwood | 480 Bridge Road in Richmond
Merchants Guild is no stranger to its reputation as playing host to one of the finest pancake dishes in all of Melbourne city. Their name reminds me of World of Warcraft, and rightly so as everything in this cafe speaks of ultimate craftsmanship, right down to the teapots served on slabs of wood, the olive green tiles, and industrial lights swinging above the crowds waiting for their takeaway chai lattes. However, it's the call of the doughnut French toast that you hear above the rabble, covered in vanilla mascarpone and topped with peaches, berries and pistachios. Unbutton your jeans for this one Urban Listers.

Merchants Guild | 680 Centre Road in Bentleigh East

This iconic Collingwood cafe is rarely seen without a queue a mile long of folks wanting their famous blends and a cheeky look at their famously cute baristas. Though you may find yourself waiting for a table on the weekend, it's well worth it for the blue stools, pretty as a picture fit out and the view of that glorious coffee machine, pumping out some of the best brews in town. However, teasing your tastebuds your next visit will be the ricotta hotcakes. Alongside those bad boys of flat and circular delight is gooey mandarin caramel, honeycomb and ice cream. It's so wrong, it's right.

Proud Mary | 172 Oxford Street in Collingwood

The Queen Vic Market is the home of many a delicate bite, but it's neighbouring String Bean Alley that plays host to The Waffle Club. Nathaniel, a dedicated waffle connoisseur, searched far and wide for the best waffle combos and upon the conclusion of his journey decided that only four flavours expressed the true nature of the waffle – the Belgian, the Dutch, the Vietnamese and the American. After a swift market shop, park your car near the wooded stall with wooden block letters to ingest the finest waffles the world's got on offer.

The Waffle Club | M Shed in the Queen Victoria Market

Image Credit: The Waffle Club Facebook

Lurking down a side street in Northcote is Grafete, in what used to be an old print shop. You can't miss their huge black-fronted shop space with corrugated iron benches, graffitied walls and concrete floors. Grafete is a conservative yet industrial looking cafe, but in a day and age of extravagance, isn't that what we're all craving – a place to call home? A place to feel cool? A place of warmth and comfort and no surprises? My home away from home is Grafete. My mouth's home is their French toast with caramelised banana and bacon, and their blueberry pancakes dipped in maple syrup and garnished with a generous dollop of creme fraiche. It's easy, it's simple and you'll love it.

Cafe Grafete | 126 Gladstone Avenue in Northcote

Main Image Credit: Flourishing Foodie

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