Voted as one of Melbourne’s best-designed cafes (designed by Studio Esteta who also finessed Lune and Sensory Lab), I was itching to visit Via Porta as soon as possible. I was also over the moon to learn that it’s a local Italian eatery and deli a stone’s throw from me, in Mont Albert. It’s everything I’ve been hoping for: classic, minimal style; warm ambience and neutral tones; and a refined Italian-inspired menu with excellent, distinguished dishes.
Via Porta translates to ‘through the door’, reflecting the welcoming nature and community feel of the family-owned business. With a nod to Italian alimentaris (café + grocery + deli in one), you’ll find shelves stacked with pickled vegetables, pasta and coffee, as well as a deli selling Australian and Italian cheeses, cured meats and homemade takeaway meals—including favourites like lasagna and eggplant parmigiana.
Our top menu picks are the fried eggs in spicy Arrabbiata sauce with nduja, sweet peppers and side of buttery toast and the fresh, European take on avocado on toast: hunks of avocado with cherry tomatoes, pickled onion, capers, broad beans and citrus salsa, carefully arranged on a spread of skordalia (a Greek delicacy of puréed garlic and potato) on toast. Their house blend coffee is by Five Senses and there’s also a tempting display of Italian sweets (holy cannoli!) and croissants at the front counter.