Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Kick off the winter chill

It's the middle of July, the middle of winter, and it's just getting colder everyday. Melbournians have different ways of trying to keep warm, some more enjoyable than others.

One of the best ways to keep warm would be the intake of nice hot drinks. Melbourne has a huge selection of cafes, restaurants, and night spots where people can go.

I have a few favourite places that I go to where I grab a nice hot drink to beat the winter chill:

Starbucks - how can you miss this place, honestly? If the saying, "there are more lawyers than rats" is anything to go by, well... I think this also applies to Starbucks. In the city of Melbourne alone, there may be close to 10 shops. It is very hard-pressed not to find one. My favourite drink is the Chai Tea Latte. I am not a big fan of Starbucks coffee because I have tasted better coffee than theirs. I think that their Chai Tea Latte, however, has redeemed them in my eyes.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf - there are only a few CBTL's in Melbourne for some reason, but I find their Arabica coffee beans the best! I especially love their Caramel Latte and Ice Blended Coffees! I always ask for a double shot in my lattes since I love the taste of Arabica coffee.

Max Brenner - for all chocoholics, this place is for you! Chocolate drinks, desserts, pastries, everything! Just coming to this place makes me break out because of chocolate overload. That said, my most favourite is the Mexican Chocolate drink... hot milk chocolate with chilli - such a yummy treat especially on a cold night!

Pellegrino's - this place has been in Bourke Street, Melbourne for almost 50 years. You walk into this place and the place looks like a cafe from a 50's - high stools, huge coffee bar, an Italian- speaking barista, photos of old Italy, Italian pastries - it's a fantastic place! It's cheap, the coffee is fabulous, and they also serve homemade Italian dishes. Their pasta pomodoro is way yummy!

Il Primo - one of the Italian Restaurants situated in Little Italy - Lygon Street, Carlton. A jazz band plays here on the weekends, creating a relaxing atmosphere for patrons. My favourite is their Mochacchino in a very tall glass. Yum!

Stokers - this place, you got to know where you're going or you'll get lost! It's in a suburb called Heidelberg. The place may be out of people's way, but this doesn't stop them from driving down! This is the best place to hang out in winter, I reckon. As soon as you go in, you are greeted by friendly staff. At the center is a huge fireplace. The atmosphere is reminiscent of those old jazz coffee clubs, and sure enough the music that they play is, of course, jazz! Stoker's speciality is their pancakes - savoury and sweet. I personally love their strawberry pancakes with ice cream, bolognese pancake with a side of asparagus soup if available, and their yummy marshmallow chocolate!

Well, these are my favourites. The dilemma of living in a city like Melbourne is that you are spoilt for choice. In every corner, there is a coffee shop and 80% of the time, it's pretty descent coffee! This is really bad for coffee and tea addicts like myself...


kat said...

I was never really a coffee drinker but I got hooked on Starbucks' Toffe Nut Frappucino back in December. I love CBTL's Double Vanilla Tea (half of the time, I'm smelling it rather than drinking it). I haven't tried Max Brenner, but my friend loves it.

Jennie said...

I do that with Starbucks' Chai Tea Latte! I spend half the time smelling it rather than drinking it. But oh, when you drink it... so heavenly!

Kiko said...

Crap! No Pellegrino, Il Primo and Stokers back here! Go Coffee Bean!! Best interior design (so far).

kat said...

For a cheap, quick fix, here's what I do: Get McDonald's Caramel Sundae, melt with brewed coffee and voila! Instant Caramel Machiatto. :p