Artisan coffee, hipster hangouts, and strutting sartorialists are all the norm in Melbourne’s Prahran
By Erika Mudie
Mornings in the Prahran neighborhood draw a crowd of coffee aficionados languidly sipping artisan brews in the area’s many cafes. Sartorialists strut along Chapel Street, stopping into the avenue’s eclectic vintage second-hand stores and chic boutiques. Evenings pull folk from all parts of Melbourne to enjoy the neighborhood’s varied ethnic cuisine, everything from French, Italian, and Turkish to Nepalese, Vietnamese, and Thai. The suburb also brims with art galleries, theaters, comedy clubs, and concert venues, like the Chapel Off Chapel and Revolver Upstairs, whose techno tunes draw hipster throngs. Heritage-listed facades harkening back to the Victorian and Edwardian eras are archetypal of Prahran’s main corridors, and away from Chapel Street, the urban sprawl gives way to gardens, parks, and charming terrace homes bedecked with cast-iron filigree depicting Australian flora.
Built in one of Prahran’s many Federation-style terrace homes, Isit “picks and cooks its way through the seasons” by offering seasonal produce from Melbourne’s surrounding farming regions. Its menus focus on the best ingredients each season has to offer—winter menus feature poached pear and walnuts with a pomegranate-topped coconut sago pudding while summer brings an apple, radish, and quinoa salad. Breakfast and lunch are full of perennial favorites like eggs benedict with braised ham hock and sliced steak sandwiches with tomatoes, caramelized onion, and relish. When the weather is warm, the fresh fare tastes best on the restaurant’s sunny patio or while people-watching from the intimate front courtyard, while colder months bring diners inside the newly renovated café, offering cozy respite with warm wooden floors and seating to match.
11 Izett St; 61-03/9533-2904; Isit Café