It may be right on the corner of Exhibition Street, a prime location for CBD hustle and bustle, but at Vacation you really can expect a quality coffee break, away from all the city hype.
With four successful cafes spread across the outer city suburbs, brothers Kael and Matt Sahely are no strangers to Melbourne’s food scene. But Vacation Coffee is their first venture into the CBD.
The café originally focussed on speciality coffee, but after initially seeing their spacious corner on Exhibition Street, the brothers decided to install a little kitchen.
Kael thinks of their café as serving “non-fanciful specialty coffee.” Although brewed with precision and effort at Bureaux Collective, it’s all about about enjoying the coffee in an environment you’re allowed to kick your feet up and relax in.
“There’s a lot of rules and regulations that come with specialty coffee, but I think we just need to sit back and enjoy it,” Kael said.
With such high ceilings, unusual for the CBD, the café receives a lot of natural sunlight pouring in through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
“We feel like a lot of other CBD coffee places are a lot darker, so we thought we’d bring some light into some people’s lives.”
The interior is a mix of pastel pinks, royal blues, and funky furniture Kael calls “an ode to the 80s”. With a customer based built up of mostly office workers, Vacation's menu is simple: mostly snackable sandwiches, with meat sourced from Meatsmith. There’s avo on toast, turkey with Swiss cheese, and toasties. It’s food the team can create as quick as possible for people on the go.
Everything on the menu has gluten-free options, and a decent amount of their dishes are vegan. Exhibit A: one of their most popular orders, toast with avocado, lemon, seeds, sprouts, and evoo dressing. Or try their toasted muesli with yoghurt and seasonal fruit for a sweet but healthy morning crunch.
Doors open at 6:30am on weekdays and 8am on the weekends, and you can expect a complimentary sparkling water on entry. Nice one.
Image credit: Michelle Jarni