You had me at hello.

There are some cafes which just grab you by the coat and give you a big bear hug, providing smiles and instant comfort. I loved Bluebird Espresso from the moment I spotted it – a retro blue bike chained to lamp post, colourful tulips bravely wavering against the grey grunge of Johnston St and a wide padded bench seat in the window. Then when I stepped inside – Dave Brubeck’s Take Five on the speakers and a bright smile of welcome from the waitress. LOVE.

The cafe is pretty small, filled with kitschy prints of Tahitian women, cute knick knacks and with the pantry becoming a decorative feature with tins of tomatoes and black beans lined up neatly on a bookshelf. There’s a spacious communal table towards the back of the room and an Astroturfed courtyard thoughtfully stocked with woollen rugs for breezy days.

Their breakfast menu is very eggs heavy but it’s eggs with a twist. I’ve tried both the Harissa eggs with chorizo ($14) and Mexican eggs ($12) and can highly recommend both if you like a bit of spicy heat in your belly in the mornings.

On both occasions – perfectly poached eggs running their yolks around some interesting flavour combinations – with the harissa eggs it was firey strips of  roasted capsicums and tangy rocket ladled on top of crusty Noisette bread, with the Mexican eggs it was black beans and spicy salsa on a flour tortilla. With the mouth-panting chilli on the plate I was thankful for sips of my excellent fruit smoothie ($5.50) to temper the heat.

The service was super-friendly, with the owner Anthony manning the La Marzocco coffee machine and chatting to the regulars.

Bluebird Espresso is a little gem. Don’t miss it.

For other excellent breakfasts in Collingwood, try The Bell Jar, Cibi and Proud Mary.

Bluebird Espresso, 134 Johnston St, Collingwood +61 3 9078 7047
Mon – Sat: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

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