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lona exterior by louise AveryTAKING THE YOU OUT OF QUEUE IN ST KILDA

When I returned from queue crazy London to Australia 15 years ago there was barely ever a line to contend with in Bondi or St Kilda or other similar hip inner city suburbs.

Now, partly due to urban Australia’s obsession with public breakfasting – oh come on an egg is an egg and kale is kale however you (Masterchef) “juj” it up – queueing is common place in Melbourne.

Here are some relatively queue free alternatives to some great but currently over popular St Kilda and surrounds favourites.

  1. If you can’t get your rightful pavement place in the summer sun on Acland Street…


Wake up and smell the rose at the incredible bargain that is Lona (next to Dog’s Bar and opposite MacDonalds) on Acland. Great value authentic tapas AND all house drinks all only $2.50. All day. All Mondays!!!


  1. Elwood’s latest health food phenomenon THE LITTLE SUNFLOWER. Yes it’s innovative and great and the best health food south of the river but…is it worth standing in line like a plonker for 15 plus minutes at weekends to get a table.


Instead go for sorely underrated and underutilised WORLD VEGETARIAN CAFÉ on Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick.


  1. Have the dog or just fancy catching some of summer’s last dying rays so need an outside table at LENTIL AS ANYTHING on Blessington Street in St Kilda. Forget it, those backpackers are not moving till they have got the very last microgram of nicotine out of that micro rollie. And the very last drop of free tap water from their plastic beakers.


Instead go for the old St Kilda faithful BALAS off Acland alongside Luna Park.


  1. Can’t get in at any of the umpteen potentially a little up themselves Balaclava barista battlefields on Carlisle Street. Or the occasionally somewhat twenty something centric MONK BOHDI DHARMA (about as Zen as Justin Bieber!)


And instead plump for the cosy, comfortable, friendly and distinctly delicious JIG’S KITCHEN – the “Cheers” of Carlisle Street cafes.


  1. Love the Classic Cinema Elsternwick but sometimes feel like avoiding the slow moving queues of sometimes-just-a-little-crotchety clientele.


For only an extra $5 a head you can sit in old world secluded grandeur in the almost forgotten Art Deco local wonder which is The Astor Cinema in Windsor.


  1. Pink Flake exteriorOk so Tommy Tuckers does the best fish in St Kilda. And they know it…hence their prices. And most people in St Kilda know it…hence the almost inevitable queue.


The new fishy kid on the block PINK FLAKE on the other hand, on the other side of Acland Street, may not have quite as good quality fish but it’s chips are excellent and it’s salads even arguably superior. While it’s $10 daytime (till 5.00pm) Fish and Chip special means you don’t have to push the boat out quite as far, in order to afford it.


  1. And finally the beautiful original Art Deco filling station on Glen Eira Road, Glover’s Station.


Though I cannot say anything about the food because I have never been able to eat their without avoiding the necessity to queue, presumably all those customers can’t all be wrong?


Le Petit Lapin ExteriorHowever, for my (very limited) money I would instead recommend walking 100 metres up Glen Eira Road till you reach the homely heaven that is Le Petit Lapin Café. Where you will receive a warm Gallic welcome and an instant table.


Much more befitting your dignity.


From April Le Petit Lapin will also be offering a monthly book club – Club De Plume – as well as French Speaking and Creative Writing sessions. With fine/French wines and cheeses INCLUDED in the very reasonable $20 only price. Call and ask for Christina on 9528 2788 or 0400503630



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