In the CBD: Bowery to Williamsburg, Chuckle Park and Brother Baba Budan

With a high proportion of fine restaurants and cafes in that area already, it seems like Flinders lane is forming its own little gourmet bubble. From the people behind Hardware Societe and a few others, a new cafe encompassing all things New York City has arrived in Melbourne.

Bowery to Williamsburg - the sign brings back flashes of riding the subway, and with mentions of Reuben sandwiches, lox bagels and all types of schmears, it feels like a little slice of New York City.

Your eyes don't deceive you, that's Totoro just chilling, waiting for his owner to finish work

They offer a range of bagels, sourced from Zev from 5 and Dime bagels (who also sells his bagels at various markets), and are one of the best bagels I've had the pleasure of having in Melbourne. If that hasn't already tempted you enough, they also stock Pat and Sticks ice cream sandwiches - seriously, you're missing out if you haven't tried these before. Best.ice.cream.sandwiches.ever.

The peanut butter hot chocolate had a comforting aroma and looked thick and incredibly creamy. It was a heavy chocolate drink with an understated peanut butter flavour - I could only handle a few gulps but Ms L appreciated the richness of it. It seemed like all hot drinks were accompanied by either a mini Reece's peanut butter cup or a Hershey's kiss which is a cute touch - much like Hardware Societe's mini doughnuts with their hot drinks.

Peanut butter hot chocolate ($5)

Up front, there is a glass cabinet filled with a tempting array of pies and cakes all baked in-house and I would be remiss if I didn't sample any. We selected the New York baked cheesecake which was rich and creamy, although we both preferred the unbelievably light and fluffy water-baked cheesecake we had in a tiny bakery in Greenwich Village, NYC.

New York baked cheesecake ($7)

We were much too full to be able to try more of the menu and make a fair judgement call but we both loved the concept of bringing NYC to Melbourne and the sound of the menu. Hopefully they will open on the weekends in the near future so we can come back for a proper visit.

Bowery to Williamsburg
16 Oliver Lane
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9077 0162

Mon to Fri 7:30am - 3:30pm

Bowery to Williamsburg on Urbanspoon

On the weekends, I really enjoy strolling through the city; the vibe and bustle is at a more leisurely pace however it also means that the great coffee and brunch spots are hectically busy. After a hair appointment nearby, Mr A and I sought out a quiet little spot hidden away on Little Collins street that could easily go unnoticed underneath New Guernica. Chuckle Park is bright and hip narrow space made up of astro turf, strung up glowing jars, a caravan for a kitchen with a simple menu.

The pulled pork sliders were an easy choice and ordering and payment is done up at the caravan kitchen. The pulled pork was flaky with a nice level of spiciness, counteracted by the fresh slaw and fennel and I loved the addition of walnuts in there. The pulled pork was tender and juicy enough that it did not miss any accompanying sauces or mayo.

Pulled pork sliders ($9.50)

Chuckle Park is open late enough so it's a great place to have a quick bite with a few drinks.

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Will I return? Yes, love the chilled atmosphere and they do jugs of cocktail woo!

Chuckle Park
332 Little Collins St
Melbourne VIC 3000
​(03) 9650 4494

Mon to Wed 12pm - 11pm
Thurs to Sat 12pm - 1am
Sun 12pm - 8pm

Chuckle Park Bar and Cafe on Urbanspoon

At any given opportunity, I'll jump at a chance of feeding my caffeine addiction and seeing as Brother Baba Budan was just up the street from Chuckle Park, we popped in to grab some take away coffees. BBB was full house at that point, given that cafes which are open on weekends past 4pm are a rare breed, it was no wonder at how busy they were. Squeezing through the crowd, magics were ordered and after a short wait, we inhaled the delicious brew.

More often than not, seats are hard to come by at BBB but the coffees are worth checking out.

Drinks: 9/10
Service: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Will I return? Yes, always enjoy the coffee here.

Brother Baba Budan
359 Little Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9606 0449

Mon to Sat 7am - 5pm
Sun 9am - 5pm

Brother Baba Budan on Urbanspoon


  1. Walked past chuckle park today and very keen to go in when I have a chance so this post was very timely.

  2. Wow, these all seem like great places! I really would love to check them out whenever I'm in the CBD. Thanks for a great post! x

    1. They really are, hope you get a chance to visit! :)

  3. That Totoro! Ha! Love it :)

    And, how good was the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate? Maybe a bit too rich for you, but I loved it. I still need to try out the cheesecake though!

    I always walk past Chuckle Park and I adore the whimsical feeling of that place! Gorgeous :)

    1. Hehe I think the PB hot choc could have had more of a peanut butter flavour, I'm a PB addict!

  4. Ahh this post reminds me why I love Melbourne so much :) We always have the best new cafes open ~ I made it to Bowery and Williamsberg but didn't really have a meal that is blogable so will need to go back hahaha but like you said hope that they will open on weekends or close a bit later ~ Don't know how they manage with two such popular and successful cafes!

    1. I hope they open on the weekends as well!! I love the bagels there!


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