November 24, 2012
Michael has repeatedly and confusingly referred to Hungry Birds as 'that NBN cafe'. Indeed it's Australia's first cafe with free high-speed wi-fi. I fear that their narrow tables and fine food will be the death of Brunswick's MacBook keyboards.
Narrow tables are probably a necessity when setting up shop in little more than a driveway. Hungry Birds' small adjoining kitchen cooks up Mexico-inspired breakfasts and lunches and keeps muffins on the windowsill. There's lots of beans and eggs and toast (though coeliacs can swap the latter for tortillas). Nothing appears straight-up vegan but we reckon a couple items, such as the pinto beans and the black bean ciabatta, might be be adaptable on request.
It was hot and we needed beverages. Thankfully Hungry Birds gives them as much menu space as the food. Michael appreciated Pru's Deluxe ($5), two coffee shots frothed up with icecream and milk.
I went for the taller juicier Jamaica ($5), a sweet and slightly herbal hibiscus cordial garnished with mint, lime and lots of ice.
Michael descended upon the pinto beans ($9.50) and fried egg ($3) with hot sauce and a hearty appetite. The tortilla strips and rich crema were particularly nice touches.
My Remolacha ($12.50) redefined the salad sandwich, teaming Aussie staples beetroot, lettuce and tomato with avocado, horseradish and thick slices of Gouda.
Hungry Birds is a cute, understated addition to the inner north brunch scene. Their affection for bike space, beans and cool beverages has us feeling fond of them too.
Hungry Birds has earned positive blog posts on Art Box Diary, Oh There You Are..., Little Bits..., two Munch and MELBOURNE CAFES PHOTO BLOG.
242 Victoria St, Brunswick
0401 540 872
veg meals $6-14.50
Accessibility: This cafe is pretty much set up in a drive-way so it's a reasonably smooth and wide entry. Tables toward the front are highly accessible (but also highly exposed to the weather); however tables are denser and the walkway is more fraught towards the back seats and the kitchen. We ordered at the table and paid at a high counter towards the back. We didn't visit toilets, presumably they are located inside the adjoining art gallery.