Gooey toasties and good coffee at the new cowboy café—Head Honcho



Remember the humble toastie? The gooey, cheesy ones that stretch apart in never-ending strings? It’s an iconic Aussie staple, a childhood rite of passage even—I remember there was nothing better than grabbing a cheese toastie hot off the press after school. Now the adult way is to pull out the big gourmet guns: stuffing the coveted sandwich with pickles, vegetables and spices (and loads if cheese still, of course). Head Honcho, the new cowboy café just off Chapel street, has tapped into this nostalgic sanga culture and offers the ultimate double act: gooey toasties and damn good coffee.


Kitted out with quirky prints, up-cycled décor and a touch of greenery, the western-themed café has fast become a favourite among locals and nearby retail workers. And for good reason: the Honcho team slings ethically sourced local brews and works closely with local suppliers to make tasty toasties and emphasise socio-economic and environmental responsibility.



Head Honcho is the brainchild of James ‘Chooka’ Pettenon and Fintan Redmond—two hospitality guns focussed on delivering sustainable food and coffee without compromising quality. The name ‘Head Honcho’ is not only a tribute to the Wild West, but also a nod to the café’s trail-blazing attitude in setting an example for the hospo community.


The refined menu currently offers seven appealing toasties for all moods: for cheese lovers, wrap your hands around the ‘Greenhorn’—a moreish, three-cheese trifecta stuffed with Swiss Gruyere, Australian Mozzarella and Cheddar; the more adventurous can’t go past the ‘Vaquero’—a Tex-Mex inspired toastie filled with black beans, avocado, smoked scamorza, jalapenos, red onion and crunchy, spiced corn from Savour & Grace; feeling more sweet than savoury? Then indulge in the ‘Cowprint,’ oozing with a decadent choc-hazelnut and white chocolate filling.



And all these fancy fillings are nestled between slices of milk loaf from STREAT bakery, adding the perfect crunch to every bite. Vegan or gluten free? There are still tasty toasties available for you too, like the quinoa loaf from Strada Bakery and the vegan STREAT sourdough packed with vegan cheese from Green Vie and Cheezley.


The team proudly serves ethically-sourced and expertly roasted beans from Rumble Coffee Roasters, with milk from inner-Melbourne’s only micro-dairy, St David Dairy. Plant milks are also available from Happy Happy Soy Boy, Oatly, or Milk Lab.


As featured on Onya Magazine.