Michael and I both had good news at work on Friday, and he insisted that we breakfast somewhere fun to celebrate on Saturday morning. I suggested we check out Stagger Lee's, which our friend Lisa recommended a few months ago as a good spot for vegan options.
With exposed bricks and bulbs, two communal tables and serious, single origin coffee, Stagger Lee's fits the inner-north cafe mould. The menu is annotated with Vs, VG, VGOs and GFs (including the wine list!) but we couldn't see a corresponding legend. The V*s were all over the place, on lemon curd-covered crumpets, granola and bircher bowls with coyo and almond milk, ricotta-spiked avocado with corn and jalapenos, and a herby omelette.
Michael exclaimed over how great the coffee was, then tucked into the vegan version of the green garden ($20), a medley of cashew cheese, broccolini, avocado, fennel, radish, herbs, pomegranate seeds and sprouted lentils. The smoked ocean trout and poached egg of the original version were replaced with a bowl of sauteed mushrooms. Michael loved the salty and slightly astringent freshness of the salad. The mushrooms worked well, too, but perhaps didn't call for the same $20 price tag that the trout does.
On a day of celebration, I was compelled to order the Willy Wonka waffles ($16). The waffles themselves were plain and dry, but dressed up to the nines with a scoop of honeycomb icecream, miniature chocolate cone, soda pop jelly, strawberries, freeze dried raspberries, popping candy, chocolate sauce, and a laughable garnish of three green leaves. It was an entertaining one-off.
I'd be more likely to come back to Stagger Lee's to try the fancy little cakes or the croissants, while Michael had a flash of regret when he spotted the veggie breakfast burgers in the display cabinet. (The 'gangsta milkshakes', however, have my side-eye.)
Stagger Lee's has already won a fan of fellow veg blogger I Spy Plum Pie and numerous omni bloggers, see De-brief Me, A Tale of Two Bougies, A Melbournite, Simple Palates, Seriously, MEL: HOT OR NOT, Gourmet Chick, Brunch Addict, grazing panda, Eatingdiaries, Let's Get Fat Together, Verdict lobster, I'm So Hungree, Occupie Fitzroy, INLOVEWITHBRUNCH, thehangrybitch, Eat. Play. Shop., Never Too Sweet, A Chronicle of Gastronomy, Go to bread, not bed!, Lifes Merit, Vonderwoman in Melbourne, Couchfoodies, Yellow Eggs, Food Fable, Locked Loaded And Caffeinated, Gastronomical Ramblings, confessions of a little piggy, Eat Australia, foodie about town, Melbourne Vita, Hedge To The Downs, hungrycookie and Feed Reid. Reviews are ambivalent on Melbourne Patron, Miss Sage Sugar, Peat & Drift, and Lip's Temptations.
276 Brunswick St, Fitzroy
Accessibility: There's a shallow ramp through a wide entry. Tables are somewhat densely packed but there is a wide pathway through the middle. We ordered at our table and paid at a low-ish counter. We didn't visit the toilets.