Jackson Dodds

An excellent choice in cafe for north side families on the hunt for quality coffee, top notch food, a hip cafe vibe, and a warm, quirky and unique environment.

This has got to be one of the warmest, laidback, kiddie-loving cafes around town. It’s not obvious or mainstream in it’s kid-friendly approach, but what this understated cool cafe does offer is such a relaxed environment where tiny patrons are just as important and just as welcome as their adult counterparts. Nothing is over the top here, but instead, is just perfect in its simplicity.

Everything here (the staff, the menu, the fit-out) is top quality, but still has a very laidback, go with flow, understated approach. There is no specific kids menu with cutsey named items, but instead they are super flexible with the menu and are more than happy to adapt dishes for tiny taste-buds, offer half serves and make little toasties. There are no common Ikea Antilop highchairs here, but a well loved vintage one instead. No separate baby change room, but a fold down change table in the loo out the back. No pre-made gingerbread-men in plastic wrappers, but home made mini versions with just the one smartie instead. The perfect size, in my opinion, for a little sweet treat. Just a taste, and enough to be enjoyed, but not too much.

While we tucked into our breakfasts, our little ones barely sat with us at the table (except to devour their babycino, just perfect, not too milky and with a towering foamy top) and kept escaping to play in kids corner. And why wouldn’t they, when it’s complete with mini wooden table and vintage chairs, all kinds of fun toys, books, paper and coloured pencils. Being family run, and with other parents and little ones as customers too, we knew they were safe and not annoying other customers as they skipped between our table and the mini table. It meant we were able to sit back, relax and enjoy the excellent coffee and food; Jacks breakfast for me (toast, eggs, haloumi, relish, avocado and spinach) and dukkah eggs for the manny.

Being West Preston, it attracts young, hip families, who have bought out that way after perhaps renting closer north-side (Brunswick, Fitzroy etc), but being West Preston and at the end of the infamous 112 tram line (literally, as the last stop is right out the front), it also attracts a slightly more random and colourful clientele. Old one tooth McGee (just made that name up for the sake of the story, but he did only have the one tooth. Yep, just the one) was out the front having a coffee and a ciggie and we had a good old chit chat whilst I was taking some happy snaps. This is all just part of this cafes quirky charm.

Other quirky touches are visible in the fit-out, an upside down retro trike hanging from the ceiling, little toy aeroplanes hanging above the coffee machine, original exposed brick walls, a huge graffiti art mural outside, and a shadow box full of trinkets and collectables.

An excellent choice in cafe for north side families on the hunt for quality coffee, top notch food, and a warm and unique environment. Love it.

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611 Gilbert Road Preston 3072 VIC AU
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Mon-Fri: 6.30am til 3.30pm Sat & Sun: 7.30am til 3.30pm