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.

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