Zaatar is a bit of a Melbourne institution, but if you’re one of those southsiders that refuse to cross the Yarra, you’ve probably never heard of it. Shame, because this place does some of the best traditional zaatar pizzas in the city. Crusty flat bread topped with thyme, sesame seeds, oregano, salt, tangy sumac and a good lug of extra virgin.
Zaatar is owned brothers Charlie and Jeff Elrahi, and family is a big part of the atmosphere. The menu is built around mezza-style combo plates and community vibes. Dropping in here for a lazy Sunday afternoon chinwag, munching a halloumi cheese pie or sipping one of the excellent chocolate milkshakes—it’s all part of the Coburg experience.
So, what to order? Depends on your appetite (the tensile strength of your pants). If you’re in for a nibble, start with the spinach and cheese pie (a steal at $3.50) or a kaak bagel stuffed with halloumi, olives and cucumber. If you’re here to make a meal of it, settle in with one of their famous pizzas. We’re partial to the Soujok (Turkish sausage, halloumi, tomato and capsicum) but the Labne pizza with strained yoghurt cheese, tomato, cucumber and dry mint.
There aren't many places left where you can swing a meal for two for under $20. No wonder Coburg keeps coming back for more...
Image credit: Max Kruse