Auction Rooms is a standout café in Melbourne and exudes industrial chic as well as being a serious coffee haven. Housed in the old WB Ellis Auction House it is an oasis of coffee perfection in trendy North Melbourne. Loads of serious coffee lovers descend on Auction Rooms in its accessible location on Errol Street.
Admire the blue façade then enter into a massive warehouse style building featuring the rough texture of exposed brick along with fine dark timbers and concrete floors. Ambience is also created from unusual aspects such as Six Degrees lead lighting and pendant low hanging PVC lamps. Come here on a lazy sunny day and be inspired by the natural light that pours in from the large front windows.
Auction Rooms is a spacious café with split levels and a charming courtyard. When you are done soaking up the ambience and architecture, call on the helpful hipster staff to engage you with an outstanding coffee experience. The coffee here is consistently rated among Melbourne’s best. Auction Rooms recently won an award for Melbourne’s best coffee over a 6 month period by a panel of The Age newspaper judges.
Auction Rooms roast their own coffee and so are a roastery not just a cafe. This sits them in the place of coffee royalty. Enjoy single origins of the day; a syphon or pour over or cold drip. Admire the gleaming Synesso. And of course score an irresistible espresso. The coffee here is silky and velvety and resonates with nuances of the blends. I enjoyed the Candyman blend by Small Batch which is one of Melbourne’s best.
It’s famous for its serious coffee but Auction Rooms also serves great food! Hearty interesting meals are prepared with flair. The menu selections feature inventive names playing with the auction theme such as “opening bid” (two free range poached eggs on sourdough with bacon, field mushroom, grilled tomato and sautéed spinach on Dench sourdough) and “shady deal” (Moroccan style tomato and chorizo stew with eggplant served with poached eggs, olives, dukkah and feta and flatbread).
The home made toasted muesli and the Pain perdu with pear and walnut cream, apple and fennel puree and poached pear are other standout brunch options. Three cheers for brunch being served all day.
At lunchtime the Roasted pork belly served on a corn crepe with coffee BBQ sauce is a popular menu item. Then there are the fine cakes to go with that coffee!
A recent addition has been the evening fare from Thursday to Saturday – which depends somewhat on the chef’s selection for the night. Come for great shared meals. I considered this a superb alternative to brunch and found the evening ambience of Auction Rooms fascinating, if not more engaging.
There are so many dining areas here such as the outside street tables, the high stools at the bar, the small tables in the lower level, the communal table behind the counter and the courtyard.
Auction Rooms is a powerhouse café in a coffee mad city. Well worth a visit as a great example of the Melbourne coffee scene.
Auction Rooms, 103-107 Errol St North Melbourne – Café
Food 8.5 Coffee 9.5 Ambience 9