Why I love Yarraville

I recently wrote about some of the culinary discoveries I made around Melbourne during our exile from Yarraville. Now that I am back in the cosy bosom of Melbourne’s inner west I have loved returning to some of my favourite food haunts and stumbling upon some new ones. Here are a few of the reasons I love eating and cooking in Yarraville.

Aaaah… there’s no place like home…

Rocco’s Deli
122 Roberts St

Rocco’s is everything a small suburban deli should be. Run by Rocco and his wife Adriana for more than 30 years, Rocco has served prosciutto, olives and provolone to just about every household in the neighborhood. There is so much I love about this place: the bouncy bustle of Italian accents, the way Rocco greets his customers by name, and the old dears who shuffle through Rocco’s door with their push-trolleys as they must have been doing for the past, well, thirty years. This is the perfect neighborhood shop to have on hand when the urge for antipasto takes hold.

Cafe Urbano
43 Anderson St

I found heaven on a plate at Cafe Urbano, and it comes in the form of Italian Chocolate Cake. I noticed this cake sitting on the counter one day when I was about five months pregnant and had a finely tuned hormonal radar for chocolate. This cake is not much to look at – it appears to be a plain chocolate loaf – but what it lacks in glamour it more than makes up for in personality.

Warmed through until the centre of the cake melts into a puddle of puddingy sin, this cake is the perfect solution for those days when your taste buds speak louder than your waistline. Indulging in a slice is one of my favourite ways to turn a frown upside down.

32A Ballarat St

Hausfrau takes the cake (pardon the pun) for authentic German baked goods. Now, having never been to Germany, I can only assume they’re authentic. But even if they’re not, this is a truly great bakery, and is my favourite place to pick up a cake when it’s my turn to bring dessert.

The Bee Sting is so light it practically floats like the proverbial butterfly, and they have a great selection of lunchtime nibblies too (try the pumpkin fritters and the potato pizza slices). Other notable mentions include their entire range of cheesecakes, Proust-worthy Madeleines and the world’s most perfect sacher torte for those moments when only a dirty great big chocolate cake will do.

My only criticism of Hausfrau is that the service can be a little terse at times. But it’s terse in that German, (dare I say Soup Nazi?) kind of a way. But let’s face it, with cake that good I can forgive just about anything.

James & Dean Meat Supply
22 Wembley Ave

Most people think that the ultimate in Yarraville butchery is Andrew’s Choice, the golden child of Yarraville’s butchery circuit. Of course Andrew’s Choice is great if you’re fond of a bit of swanky sausage, but for excellent value and the most personal service I have ever received in a food store, you can’t go past James & Dean.

This is a tiny butcher tucked away in a small shopping strip off Francis Street. There’s only a limited display in the window, and for good reason. George and Helen will cut the meat BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES! This was a revolution in butchery to me. Need some diced beef? Easy. Just select the fillet you would like it from and Helen will cut it to your specifications. Want some mince? Fine. Just choose the meat and watch it come out of the mincer. Helen even carried my bag out to the car for me as my hands were full with Bubba Lunchalot.

You’d probably expect this kind of service to cost the earth, but the prices were actually on par with the butcher stands at Footscray markets. And to top it off, you can even place your order by phone and have it delivered to your house. Now that’s what I call service.

Domenic’s Fruit Supply
27 Anderson St

The only thing as important as a good butcher is an excellent grocer, and it’s really easy to spot a fruit and veg shop that has taken the time to cultivate good relationships with excellent suppliers. Domenic’s range of fruit and veg never fails to impress me. The produce is so fresh the entire store appeals to my senses – I just love the beautiful ripe colours, and the fresh clean smell of quality seasonal fruit and veg. Check out the fridge down the back for the punnets of meaty olives and fresh herbs.

9 comments on Why I love Yarraville

  1. Duncan | Syrup&Tang
    June 19, 2008 at 9:09 pm (11 years ago)

    Lovely list! I should make it over to Yarraville more often, but just sort of forget. Silly, as I’m not tooooo far away. Must go to Hausfrau!

  2. Michael
    July 11, 2008 at 2:41 pm (11 years ago)


    Great web site and great list of hidden tresures. Im Michael, Rocco and Adrians son. Thank you for the comments you have made, my parents i know appreciate what you have written – dad has it for all to see on the deli fridge! My folks love what they do and have served the yarraville and west community very well over 30 years with passion and love. Both are great cooks – dinner and Sunday lunchs are a treat!!! Readers it is very much a unique Italian deli – come and visit Yarraville.

  3. Laura
    May 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm (10 years ago)


    Great blog!

    My names Laura and id love to get in contact with you regarding a new Australian Entertainment website. wordonthestreet.com.au focus on unbiased reviews of events, shows, products, restaurants etc

    Have a look at what its all about here;www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=52099551626&ref=ts

    We’re currently approaching the bloggers we feel will add the quality and interest we need to the Food & Wine section of wordonthestreet.

    If your interested i’d love for your blog to be involved, give me a buzz on laura@wordonthestreet.com.au.

    Thanks! Look forward to hearing from you soon!

    :) Laura

  4. Lyn
    May 25, 2009 at 3:12 pm (10 years ago)

    Sigh, this blog entry just made me feel even more homesick for Yarraville than I was. Moved out of my little home in Yarraville just over 12 months ago and and plotting and scheming to get back there as soon as my pocket permits.

    Hausfrau’s make the best hot chocolate ever! The owners are nice once you get to know them.

    Was saddened to see last time I was there that L’Ucinellos Pizzeria (forgive spelling if it’s incorrect) had disappeared. They made the yummiest pizza I’d ever tasted.

  5. Ruby Anne
    August 4, 2009 at 6:18 pm (10 years ago)


    I visited your site and found it very interesting. I appreciate the way you talk about food and do the reviews on restaurants. With this, I’d like to give a $10 discount voucher to your site which your visitors could use in their take-away orders placed on Menulog (from 500+ restaurants Australia-wide). All they have to do is just type the voucher code (which I will provide you upon response to this message) at the check out.

    Ruby Anne

  6. Zoe
    September 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm (10 years ago)

    Lady Lunchalot, how I miss your insights into melbourne food and life in general. I do so hope that one day soon after bubba two has been weened that you will pick up your quill again.


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