Say “flat white”, when asked what you would like to drink and you won’t get a strange look at Melbourne Cafe. Located in Plaza Sotomayor, in the heart of Valparaiso, across the street from Arturo Prat monument, Melbourne Cafe is the place travelers and locals go to for specialty coffee.
Valparaiso is known for its graffiti, music, and art. These three things are usually associated with artisan coffee. But finding a place that serves specialty coffee can be a challenge, particularly when near the Plaza and the harbor. There are a few cozy cafés up on the hills, in the tourist-friendly barrios like Cerro Alegre and Cerro Concepcion. On the hills, the narrow cobbled streets are dotted with art galleries, bars, restaurants, cafes, and motels on both sides.
Melbourne Cafe offers flat white, macchiato, espresso, cappuccino, Americano, latte, mochaccino, and a variety of iced Frappe.
The outdoor seats are best if you enjoy people watching – you can spot the countless tourists, students, and locals passing by the café. Some of them with selfie sticks, photographing themselves in the monument.
For a quieter atmosphere, go to the second floor. It is cozy and has windows that face Plaza Sotomayor. The spot is the ideal venue for an enthusiastic photographer practicing his art. Seats are also available on the first floor where you can watch the baristas and servers at work and be intoxicated with the aroma of coffee roasting at a corner.
If you’re hungry, Melbourne Cafe has a selection of paninis made in the same style as those found in cafes throughout Melbourne, Australia. One of the cafe’s owners is a certified barista from Melbourne. Inspired by the cafes in Melbourne, he and his partner set out to create a Melbourne-style cafe in Valparaiso. Melbourne Cafe was established in 2011. The owners’ goal is to create a chain of cafés in the vein of the best cafés found in Melbourne. Quoting from the company’s website (translated from Spanish):
“We want to convey that experience to the Chilean market, where the culture of boutique coffee has a lot to develop. We want to offer coffees made based on the classic shot of espresso – high quality, fresh, accompanied by good food and great atmosphere. Like the cafeterias in Melbourne neighborhoods.”
If you’d rather have something sweet with your coffee, there are the pastries, muffins, cakes and brownies. For the health conscious – get the salads. Kids can have a choice of sorbet or gelato.
To find out more about Valparaiso, Chile and Melbourne Cafe, check out the following resources:
- Melbourne Cafe location and website
- Recommended reading: Lonely Planet Chile and Easter Island
- Read 8 Things to Do in Valparaiso
Have you been to Valparaiso? What is your favorite coffee shop there? Please share so we can write better content to serve the needs of our coffee community. Thank you.