Now open: Brown Deli brings bagels, Korean twists, toasties and coffee to Geelong’s Waterfront

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Now open: Brown Deli brings bagels, Korean twists, toasties and coffee to Geelong’s Waterfront

The bright new spot is a go-to for satisfying your cravings for bagels, toasties, and coffee.

Tucked away on Geelong’s Waterfront, Brown Deli is the new pint-sized cafe to draw in the locals with its Korean-inspired bagels, toasties, coffees and good vibes throughout the week. 

Taking over a hidden spot on Cunningham Street, previously home to Beside The Point Cafe, the deli-style outpost is the first Geelong venue from award-winning Melbourne chef Jack Lee, the brains behind Point Cook’s dining destination Bean Smuggler by day and contemporary dining restaurant Nook Dining by night.

Keep up with the latest food and booze news across the region here.

Lee’s impressive resume includes a stint working for a prominent two-chef-hatted restaurant in Adelaide as a senior sous chef before coming to Melbourne to open Bean Smuggler. Lee also represented Australia for the Chaine des Rotisseur international junior chefs competition in 2016 in the UK, and was also crowned Chef of the Year 2018, after three days of competition at Foodservice Australia.

Hailed as one of the best brunch spots in Melbourne’s West, riffing on Asian, French and modern Australian cuisines, Lee is now bringing the best of his Melbourne offerings to Geelong with Brown Deli. 

A no-fuss spot on Geelong’s waterfront, Brown Deli is intimate and small but big on quality and flavour with an impressive menu boasting exciting ingredient combinations. Opening in April, Lee’s latest labour of love is dedicated entirely to coffee, sandwiches and bagels. 

With coffee beans from Five Senses Coffee and Mork chocolate for the hot choccies, toasties span from the classics to more adventurous offerings: there’s ham, cheese and tomato; a Tuna Melt with jalapeno tartare and dill; a chicken avo chilli toastie, and a beef and Kimchi toastie make with housemade pastrami. Plus, there’s also a truffle mushroom melt toastie packed with roasted mushroom, Truffle mustard, pickled onion and mozzarella.

With bagels having quite a moment across the city, it is here where Brown Deli shines. There’s everything from the breakfast egg bagel and the Miso Salmon Lox bagel, to a Korean fried chicken bagel and Halloumi and beetroot bagel, topped with avo, super seeds, rocket and salsa verde.

Other delicious bagel creations include the matcha and blueberry bagel, my personal favourite with the nutella and banana bagel, alongside gluten-free and plant-based options abound (hello vegan beetroot and cheese bagel), so bagel enthusiasts of all stripes can satisfy their cravings.

While you can’t go past the bagels, Brown Deli also offers peanut butter porridge, Avo seed on toast, and egg and bacon muffins.

In addition to the delicious food and coffee, the café has a welcoming atmosphere with a stylish and modern interior with warm wood accents, bright whites and earthy branding, with staff that epitomise Brown’s ethos of only good vibes.

You can even order ahead if you’re in a rush for lunch, so we love that.

Find Brown Deli at 5 Cunningham Street, Geelong. Open weekdays 7am to 2:30pm, and weekends 8am to 2:30pm. Order online, or explore the menu, here