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“Italy without the air trip!”
Review of Cafe on Bourke

Cafe on Bourke
Ranked #884 of 4,023 Restaurants in Melbourne
Cuisines: Seafood
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Neighborhood: Chinatown
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Italy without the air trip!”
Reviewed November 20, 2011

If you’re planning a short stay in Melbourne (and why wouldn’t you – just check what Australia’s original capital has to offer), eating out will not be a problem. The city is packed with good restaurants, of various ethnicity and cost – you really shouldn’t go wrong. But...if you’re in town just for a couple of days or so you don’t want your stay marred by the rare rogue roachpit. So here is one that won’t disappoint.

It’s the 'Cafe on Bourke', right on Bourke Street (#50), one of Melbourne’s iconic thoroughfares. If Italian fare pleases, this is a safe and tasty place to grab a pizza or even try for a more formal dinner.

Going for it is: price (low to medium); great pizzas made on the spot (unless you’re a glutton, ‘medium’ will fill two tummies; pasta that is as unctuous as only good cheese and butter can achieve; wine list OK (suggest perhaps not the house carafe but go for a glass or two of a named Australian red or white); but most of all ambience.

‘Ambience’ in a pizza joint?’ Well, yes, because this family – I like to think of them as a traditional Italian restaurant family, even though the very attractive waitstaff may well be uni students with only the boss (Papa, perhaps?), looking totally authentic – this family looks after you as though they really mean it. Hey, maybe they do! Clean and comfortable, 'Cafe on Bourke' delivers what so many ‘Italian’ eateries fail to do – satisfaction without zapping the plastic.

Didn’t get round to the meat and seafood offerings but if I had stayed longer I surely would.

‘Pizza joint’? Maybe, but one to which even Mama on her first visit from Naples would give a grudging nod of approval.

At least, that’s my opinion.

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank Roger M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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72 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Coffs Harbour, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Meals huge, excellent service”
Reviewed July 15, 2011

Were just passing when husband felt like pasta. Close to China town. Meals were large great value, and excellent parma I have had for a while. Meals priced well Entree: $6-$12, Mains: $11-$30 Dessert: $4.50-$7. Excellent service, great Italian atmosphere.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank coffs123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 29, 2011

After reading a few positive reviews, my husband and I decided to eat here. We both love Italian food and it was very close to our hotel, however as we approached we started to feel nervous. It was a busy night in Melbourne CBD and the restaurant was nearly empty. Never-the-less we gave it a go, as we hadn't been disappointed by any food in Melbourne so far. The menu seemed large and confused, with dishes such as Risotto (made with basmati rice) and curry sauce (hello?? Isn't this an Italian restaurant??).

My husband ordered ravioli with carbonara sauce and I ordered garlic prawns. Both dishes were around the $25-$30 mark which seemed expensive for what it was. When the meal arrived, the portions were piled high- though this was a case of quantity over quality. Unfortunately, the meal had no redeeming qualities. My garlic prawns were served on a mountain of basmati rice, undercooked broccoli and CHIPS!!! My husband's ravioli was undercooked and cardboard-like. It just wasn't fresh!

I know this review is negative, but I just wouldn't recommend here to anyone who wanted fresh, flavourful or authentic food.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
1 Thank kndpen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
1,983 reviews
706 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4,129 helpful votes
“Cheerful and cheap, but service variable”
Reviewed August 7, 2008

This pizza restaurant's prices are most reasonable.

The menu is varied.

Seafood pizzas are excellent.

Sometimes you do however have to work hard to get teh staff's attention.

1 Thank Victorianlad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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