From the couple that brought us Lolo & Wren, and Rude Boys in Brunswick West, comes a café come bar come burger joint in the backstreets of Fitzroy. It’s not quite old school, but rather, they are doing things a little different here. Having run a café and separate burger bar, Franco Caruso and his wife Karen Ascui-Rodriguez has a lightbulb moment; Why not bring them both together? Hence the birth of New School Canteen. They’ve transformed an empty shell at the bottom of an apartment complex, into a sleek space. The large venue enjoys an abundance of concrete features underpinned by black steel, and exposed basement style ceiling. Hanging greenery provides a fresh contrast against the bold materials.
Breakfast and Brunch is served until 4pm, and offers a range of vegan and or vegetarian options, such as the Freekeh salad with organic cracked bulgur wheat and crispy spied chickpeas; Rice bowls with wasabi pickles, avocado, and a Ponzu dressing; and the Banoffee Porridge with caramelised banana and date compote. If you’re not vegan, there’s the Scotch egg with pork and leek stuffing; and Brunch Boat Noodles with slow cooked pork belly and lime leaf meatballs; and a selection of egg dishes.
Burgers are available 7am until 11pm daily, and also feature vegan and gluten free alternatives. A sample includes the ‘Pacha Mama’ with a fried potato cake, chickpea salsa, chilli jam, and chimichurri; the ‘Canadian’ with wagyu beef and maple glazed bacon; the ‘Hot Chick’ chipotle fried chicken burger with Louisiana remoulade; and the ‘Cheeky Mexican’ with 12 hour braised beef cheek and missed bean chilli. Fries, Crispy bacon poutine, and chilli cheese loaded fries are also available.
They take coffee pretty seriously here, and brew it via a variety of methods. Filter coffee is sourced from Disciple Roasters, with an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on the menu when I popped in. This washed offering from Aricha farmers, is characterised by candied lemon notes, and a vibrant acidity. Espresso beans are from Seven Seeds, with the Guatemalan single origin boasting sweet nougat notes, and a well-rounded body. Their seasonal blend is composed of a washed Colombian, Ethiopian, and Guatemalan lot; delivering a balanced cup with soft peach tones and caramel sweetness.
Open seven days a week from 7am to 11pm, New School Canteen brings a point of difference to Fitzroy; by merging two of Melbourne’s much loved foodie trends.
New School Canteen
379-381 George Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065