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The Switchboard Café tucked into two small nook in the wall spaces at the foot of the Manchester Union building is absolutely enchanting in its very own quirky way. I have long had an obsession with the stunning building for its old world charm and history and the café serves it all up right on a plate…or in a cup.
Looking for somewhere to head for a quick and easy lunch I wondered past the switchboard cafe and was tempted by the people eating avocado on toast outside in the walkthrough to 234 Collins and Howey Place. The menu is brief but every item sounded well thought out and to be honest delicious in there Italian inspired goodness.
I also really like the variety of vegetarian options and was impressed by the idea of Vegemite and Gruyere on Sourdough.
When I nestled into my corner of the nook across the way from the main switchboard café counter I had images of “His Girl Friday” types in hats (in my imagination they always have to be in hats) as they would have looked in the 30’s and 40’s manning the switchboards and bustling around. Alternating between people watching and kindle reading I was impressed at the number of people the small three person team was able to serve a blend of take away coffees, cakes and sandwich options to. This place was almost as busy as I had been imagining it was when actually used as a switchboard!
My avocado with fresh lemon and cracked black pepper on toast arrived on a cute ye olde type plate with a generous serving of avocado across three slices of crunching perfect sourdough. This ranks as one of my favourite bread combinations and was done really well here.
The Switchboard café felt so iconically Melbourne and yet a little like a New York find as well that I know I will be back here – the chai lattes seemed popular so I can already see an easy option to justify my next visit.