Oli Levi is a sensational find off Little Collins Street tucked away in a laneway and highlighted by a yellow awning. I want to celebrate this little beauty without giving away the fact this could be Melbourne's best kept secret.
Oli Levi has a cool name and a cool vibe. Owner Lloyd Smith named the cafe after his dogs. Fair enough to etch the legacy of your pets into Melbourne cafe legend.
Oli and Levi is a colourful vibrant space. The cafe displays some vibrant art including a funky French piece adorning the walls. Retro and quirky fittings abound including the green industrial lamps lighting up the kitchen.
Sit at a long communal table for 10 or even outside on a stool in the lane.
An open smallish kitchen enhances the ambience with several staff engaging all and sundry around them. They know regular customers by name. I was amazed to be greeted by name on my third visit.
Traffic is divided between a roaring take away trade from the La Marzocco doing overtime, and the eat in crowd. As I approached Oli and Levi early before 8am there was a line up on the lane for take away coffee, and inside the place was packed with suited up office workers.
Where else can you get gourmet breakfast tarts for as little as $1.50? You have to be kidding. This is music to the office workers' ears. Amazing combinations of chorizo and ham and plum jettison you into a productive day.
The Breakfast burrito is also a sensation featuring a thick burrito with smoky bacon, spinach, tomato and egg to name some of the ingredients. After 2 visits to Oli and Levi I was dreaming about the breakfast burrito...
This is a memorable burrito at an affordable price.
For lunch a Hot duck roll for $9.50 is again great value and is becoming famous in the precinct. The bread comes from Abbotsford Convent Bakery no less. Generous amounts of duck are placed in the baguette and plum sauce and slaw accompany. Bliss.
Oli and Levi is an exceptional cafe and has quickly become one of my favourites in Melbourne. Please don't tell anyone...