In the suburb of Thornbury, Northcote’s smaller and not as ‘hip’ neighbour, you find the gem of the northern suburbs – The Northern Soul (843 High street, Tram 86 stop 41). In an area where many cafes and shops spring to life just to see themselves dying shortly after their grand opening, the British owners have succeeded to build a flourishing establishment with a vast customer base by providing great food and excellent coffee (Toby’s estate), all to a decent price.
The modern interior and their iconic little owl in the window lures you in, the food keeps you coming back for more. British 80’s and 90’s indie rock accompanies you as you enjoy the meal of the day while reading the paper (all of the major daily publications are provided) or tapping away on your laptop. (WiFi available)
Besides their set breakfast menu they have a constantly changing specials board with their lunch offers, but hey, that’s not for us.
Toasted sourdough, white, multigrain or Turkish w/ butter, preserves or vegemite.$4.50
Fruit toast. $4.50
Porridge w/ brown sugar or honey. $7
Housemade toasted muesli. $8
w/rhubarb compote, poached pears and yoghurt. $10
Fruit tabouleh w/housemade labne, honey and roasted pistachio nuts. $10
Free range eggs, poached, fried or scrambled on sourdough toast. $8
Roasted field mushrooms w/ wilted spinach and marinated fetta on sourdough toast. $13
Spicy corncakes w/ tomato relish and sour cream. $12
Extras: Bacon, roasted tomato, spinach, mushrooms, chorizo sausage, avocado. $3
For me the obvious choice at the ‘Soul’ is usually the poached eggs on sourdough bread with extra mushrooms. I also recommend the spicy corncakes if you’re not in an egg mood, (it happens to the best of us) they are divine.
The only thing lacking on their breakfast menu are Eggs Benedict or Florentine. That’s obviously just a matter of personal taste, but also a reason why I sometimes venture out to other establishments. Because when it comes to eggs, service and atmosphere – not many cafes come close to the Northern Soul.
Since I’m not the only one who enjoys this cafe, weekends can get quite busy. Be sure to get there at either a decent or very indecent hour for breakfast – you don’t want to miss out on this one. Bookings are available and recommended for big groups.
UPDATE: The Northern Soul is now open 7 days a week.
(Image from Northern Soul)