Saturday was hot. Stinking hot. So it wasn't until 4:30 that Cindy and I found the energy to leave the house (to be fair to her, she was at least doing something productive, while I was just slumped on the couch reading the paper). After a couple of hours enjoying The Queen in the relative cool of Nova Cinemas, we went for a stroll to Fitzroy to find something for dinner. I'd earmarked a couple of Asian places from the Cheap Eats guide, but our wandering took us to Smith Street and past Bebida Bar and Cafe. After walking for another few blocks, the call of the tapas menu (and a cold drink) overpowered us and we retraced our footsteps.
The sign promised us an inviting courtyard, but we were told there were no free tables. The front section of the cafe was largely deserted, so we set up at a table looking out onto the street and sat back to people-watch while we waited for our drinks and browsed the menu. The front section is cozy and comfortable, all rich colours and spanish-themed decorations. It all makes for a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere - perfect for anything: brunches, quiet drinks and nibbles or late-night cocktails.
The tapas options were extensive - about twenty choices, with probably half of them meat-free! There were too many choices for us, so we opted for the Tapas Combinados, a plate of five random* tapas artfully arranged around a dozen pieces of lightly toasted bread. The tapas chosen for us were: the Tex-Mex chilli beans, a chickpea salad, a spinach tortilla, a baked ricotta slice and some roast capsicum dip. The chilli beans smeared onto bread slices were my favourite, while I think Cindy preferred the ricotta slice. Everything was fairly tasty, and the quantity was perfect for two people who'd visited the snack-bar at the movies. By the time we'd finished our second drinks, the front of the bar had started to fill up and some low-key live music had started up. With cheap, tasty food, a good range of drinks and a welcoming vibe, Bebida was a good find indeed.
Address: 325 Smith Street, Fitzroy
Phone: 9419 5260
Price: Tapas: $3 - $8, plate of five: $22
*Random meaning the five easiest/cheapest to prepare