[Main Image] From the people who brought you the classic crazy slice (made up of a crushed Oreo biscuit base, milk & white chocolate, peanuts, peanut butter and caramel that was featured on Getaway with Catriona Rowntree), the super peanut butter ice chocolate and jam donut muffin (long before donuts were cool) comes their newest creation of ‘The Sweet Tooth’. The new slice features a choc-chip cookie base, chocolate ganache, salted caramel, Tim Tams and white chocolate topped with candied pretzels. Sweets are what The Pickers Union do best and they often have a different sweet each week for you to try, with each one setting them a bar above the rest. The cafe also makes a damn fine coffee, has various lunch options and being located at the Vintage Markets makes it the perfect lazy afternoon escape. Head here for one of the best sugar rushes in Geelong.
Where: 3 Mackey St, North Geelong
When: Mon-Fri 8am-3.30pm; Sat-Sun 8.30am-3.30pm
Ph: 0447 531 844
It takes a while to build character in a café, and not everyone can achieve it. Though for Chapel on Little Ryrie, originally functioning as a Baptist church since it opened in 1857, the building simply oozes charm. Something else Chapel on Little Ryrie is known for aside from its iconic location, are the homemade treats lining the front counter. Made lovingly by the chef in-house, each slice is big enough for two and for an affordable $4.50 a pop. Of the six slices on offer (with Mars Bar slice, red velvet cheesecake brownie, Chapel’s rocky road, caramel ANZAC slice, peppermint cheesecake and S’More fudge bars the choices) each and every one is a nod to childhood nostalgia. Their spot on the menu is a welcome one, and there’d surely be no complaints if you took one home with a coffee for your loved one – our pick is the S’More fudge bars!
Where: 10 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong
When: Mon-Fri 7.30am-3pm
Ph: 03 5222 6905
As part of the Narana Aboriginal and Cultural Centre the cafe serves as a great spot to grab some replenishments while looking around the venue or as a destination on its own. Offering an all day breakfast menu and lunch options made from healthy and wholefood items, it’s easy on the wallet and the stomach. Part of the charm of Cafe Narana is that many dishes are inspired by indigenous ingredients and made lovingly by the talented chef. One dish for the sweet tooths and those who are feeling indulgent, is the Wild Bush Berries Pancakes: a mighty stack, drizzled with berries and sauce and topped off with a very inviting looking scoop of salted caramel ice cream and crushed nuts. It’s what dreams are made of. Grab a Seven Seeds coffee to wash it all down and you’ve got yourself the perfect start to the day, or perhaps mid-afternoon treat?
Where: 410 Surf Coast Highway, Grovedale
When: Tues-Fri 9am-4pm; Sat 9am-3pm
Ph: 03 5241 5700
The café at The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex is the ideal venue for breakfast, lunch, business meetings, catch-ups with friends, celebrations – and perfect for a cake and coffee.
The Geelong café at The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex is a stylish place to meet friends or business colleagues with huge windows bathing the restaurant in natural light.
Up to 100 people can be seated in the café, over two levels. As well as hosting weekday breakfasts and lunches, the café is also a Geelong function room for hire and is the perfect night time or weekend venue for special dinners, parties, corporate functions or even small Geelong wedding receptions. The Wool Exchange Entertainment Complex can also handle all your catering and drink requirements.
The Cafe boasts and extraordinary range of delicious sweets and treats in an open display fridge, it also offers High tea on Fridays.
Where: 44 Corio St, Geelong
When: Mon-Fri 8.30am-4pm
Ph: 5222 2322
The Courtyard Cafe could be one of Queenscliff’s best kept secrets, but not anymore! Follow the corridor and enjoy a beverage and sweet treat in their tranquil nursery and garden atmosphere. Freshly baked scones are made daily served with local home made jam and cream! Their ‘Best Ever Vanilla Slice’ is an absolute must try, with something else from their range of house made cakes and biscuits. You can relax with great coffee, Lindt hot chocolate or a pot of tea from their large range of herbal blends, or if you’re interested in a light lunch and gluten free choices – they’re both available.
Where: 58 Hesse St, Queenscliff
When: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm (excluding Good Friday, Christmas and Boxing Day)
Ph: 5258 2856
Experience Italian magic with Pane di Matteo’s enchanting cannoli. This dessert will make you believe in the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy and anything else you can think of! Coming in three flavours, each crunchy pastry shell is made fresh to order, and piped with either Ricotta filling (their most popular), chocolate custard or lemon custard. If you want a bigger or a smaller bite, they come in two different sizes and are sprinkled with icing sugar and chopped pistachio’s. This isn’t just a dessert, but literal art. Pane di Matteo also specialises in artisan baked goods, so make sure you pick up some of their baked daily fresh bread (the kind that’s warm when you buy!) and our personal favourite down at the Forte office – their hazelnut biscotti!
Where: 12 Porter Ave, Highton
Where: Mon-Fri 8am-3pm; Saturday 8am-2pm and Sunday 9am-12pm
Ph: 0421 821 449
Portugese tarts are said to have originated in Lisbon, but the way Saltbush Fine Foods in Queenscliff have perfected this delicacy, you would have us fooled. These light puff pastry cups filled with vanilla bean custard are baked on the daily, and one of Saltbush’s most popular sweets! Lightly dusted with icing sugar once hot out of the oven, they’re the ultimate treat over this Easter period, so make sure you get in quick.
Saltbush Fine Foods is located on Hesse St, Queenscliff and is known along the Bellarine for its eclectic variety of foods and local produce. With an open fireplace in Winter and walls lined with local jams and jars, it feels like walking into a loving home. Saltbush has fine foods indeed!
Where: Shop 3&4, 44 Hesse St, Queenscliff
When: Mon-Sun 9:30am – 5:00pm
Ph: 03 5258 4829
Housed in an invitingly converted roadhouse, PIKNIK started out making preserves from forgotten fruits ‘picked’ and ‘nicked’ from backyards on the Bellarine Peninsula! PIKNIK has now evolved into a unique cafe and store at the heart of the Bellarine Trail. Drop in this Easter for beautiful Allpress coffee, home-churned ice-cream in flavours inspired from the orchard next door, and some of the best value cafe food you will find! They’re fully licensed with a great list of local wines and beers as well! Much of their produce is grown on-site or sourced from the Bellarine, so expect freshness and quality. Drop in for a relaxed breakfast or lunch and enjoy the friendly service and surrounds at PIKNIK! Mention you saw them in Forte and you receive a scoop of their home churned ice-cream! Win!
Where: 1195 Queenscliff Rd, Swan Bay
When: Wed-Sun 7am-3.30pm
Ph: 03 5258 5155