Cafe Gaia, South Yarra

We’d gone to South Yarra to have breakfast at a popular cafe I won’t name. We left unfed, annoyed and disappointed. Have you ever sat in a restaurant for a ridiculously long time wondering how you suddenly turned invisible? You start to feel foolish for having felt excited about the menu you’re reluctantly beginning to realise you will never get to order from. The happy mood you walked in with has turned prickly, as you ask each other: “How long more should we sit here?” When you hit that point of extreme irritation, the best thing to do is leave.

We stopped at South Yarra Pharmacy to pick up a heat pack for my sore back and Jac asked the lady behind the counter if she knew anywhere nice nearby we could grab a bite. She told us about Cafe Gaia just around the corner on Avoca Street, off the main drag. Stomachs growling, we gave it a go. As we walked in, friendly greetings and grins made us feel instantly welcome – what a difference!

We didn’t even look at the menu – just the sandwich specials scribbled on the blackboard, which sounded perfect. For Jac, corned beef, cheese, lettuce and caramelised onion. For me, poached chicken, avocado, pickles, red cabbage and Kewpie mayo. Lightly toasted, well made sandwiches, generously filled all the way to the edges. Rich creamy coffee completed our unexpected, simple yet wonderful brunch.

Corned beef, cheese, lettuce, caramelised onion sandwich Corned beef, cheese, lettuce, caramelised onion sandwich

Poached chicken, avocado, pickles, red cabbage and Kewpie mayo sandwich Poached chicken, avocado, pickles, red cabbage and Kewpie mayo sandwich. In the background, Jac’s soy latte and my soy flat white.

Cafe Gaia Cafe Gaia – on the corner of Avoca and Station Streets. They should just make it Avocado Street and be done with it!

Cafe Gaia – there’s a lot more info on their Facebook page, including pictures of their food
3/4 Avoca St (corner of Station St), South Yarra VIC 3141
Telephone: (03) 9866 7522
Monday to Saturday 7.30am to 4.30pm
Sundays and public holidays 8am to 3pm

Cafe Gaia on Urbanspoon

About this series


In December 2013, my partner Jac and I went on holiday – Melbourne (3 nights), then 3 nights in Launceston (Jac, to stay with a friend) and King Island (me, for a photographic safari with a couple of friends), and finally, Hobart, where we spent Christmas (6 nights). This trip was not sponsored in any way.

The complete set of Melbourne posts
Not bad for three nights’ ‘work’, eh? Hope you’ve enjoyed the series.

For a preview of some of the stories to come, see Holiday sneak peek. There are still more Melbourne posts on the way.

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  • You got me with the first picture of a sandwich :)

    • I’m not as big a fan of sandwiches as Jac is, but these were amazingly satisfying.

  • Linda

    I want Jac’s sandwich and her coffee. They both look perfect to me.

    • Linda, they definitely hit the spot. By the time we sat down to this, we REALLY needed it.

  • Dea

    Simple but well-executed food wins every time. I’d rather have a damn good sandwich or noodle soup than a substandard fancy meal because I know it’d hit the spot.

  • milkteaxx

    love the look of the poached chicken and avo!

    • milkteaxx, the chicken was so smooth and delicate – I was amazed. Have never been served a sandwich with such simple yet sophisticated chicken!

  • Funnily enough, I had one of those experiences just on Friday night! We sat there for forty-five minutes, and ended up walking out. Very disappointing!

    • Amanda, always so awkward and disappointing. But luckily doesn’t happen often.

  • danyalnadal

    This happens sometimes and I know its very annoying. But its cool that Cafe Gaia came to your rescue and enjoyed a great coffee and sandwiches. I also had a great experience at one of the cafe in south yarra.