Avocado on toast. It’s a simple recipe, but a big subject, as befitting what has evolved into one of Australia’s emblematic dishes. Sydneysider Bill Granger can claim to have invented the café-goer’s answer to Vegemite on toast – or at least popularised it at his eponymous Sydney café – but Melbourne has proven its love for the avo smash at these 10 venues.
It’s back to bare minimalism at South Melbourne café Kettle Black, where a perfect pesticide-free Barham avocado still in the skin – the emphasis being on perfect – arrives with a thick slice of sourdough toast, a segment of lime and a pile of kelp salt. DIY to taste.
50 Albert Street, South Melbourne; 03 9088 0721
Mayday Coffee and Food
The avo smash at Mayday gets an Asian rev-up with nori salt, pickled radish and a slice of pumpkin toast at this younger sibling to Hawthorn behemoth Axil Coffee Roasters.
410 Bridge Road, Richmond; 03 9421 0111
Health-conscious Barry café on Northcote’s High Street mixes its smashed avo with stracciatella (a stretched-curd buffalo milk cheese) instead of its usual bedmate feta, with roasted grapes on dark rye – plus you can add bacon if you’d like some yin to your yang.
85 High Street, Northcote; 03 9481 7623.
Friends of Mine
It’s the super-sized version of the smashed avo in the dark heart of Richmond - Friends of Mine adds a rainbow of beetroots, feta, a zesty green chimichurri dressing, serve it on grainy toast and then pops a poached egg on top.
506 Swan Street, Richmond; 03 9428 7516
Even Melbourne’s most convincingly Old World institution The European is happy to go native with the avocado – served simply on toasted nut and seed bread and crowned with the all-important poached eggs.
161 Spring Street, Melbourne; 03 9654 0811.
It’s Aussie avocado toast by way of the Middle East: sourdough piled high with red onion, feta, dukkah spice mix, labne (strained yoghurt), fresh coriander and jewel-like pomegranate seeds (and Advieh also does a classic avo on toast with feta, fresh tomatoes and basil leaves, finished with a drizzle of olive oil).
71B Gamon Street, Seddon; 03 9689 9684.
Go haute avo at this sleek Fitzroy designer’s paradise warehouse: think chevre (goats’ cheese), charred lemon, green tea-infused sea salt and beetroot chips on sourdough. So fancy you’d think there was a toqued chef hiding in the Industry Beans kitchen.
3/62 Rose Street, Fitzroy; 03 9417 1034
Wide Open Road
The powers that be at Wide Open Road, a Brunswick industrial-chic café double down on the green – adding a vegetable (peas, to be exact) to their smashed green “fruit of love” – along with a whole heap of feta, pistachio dukkah and a poached egg. Love, indeed.
274 Barkly Street, Brunswick; 03 9010 9298.
Monk Bodhi Dharma
Zesty yet pure of spirit, the MBD smashed avo keeps things simple with feta, mint, chilli, lemon and organic sourdough (and they’ll keep our vegan friends happy with almond feta). No tricks, plenty of kicks.
Rear 202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava; 03 9534 7250.
Head out to Rosanna's Miss Marie to get your smashed avocado fix with feta, mint, crunch-tastic sunflower seeds and a poached egg, on toasted multigrain.
45 Beetham Parade, Rosanna.