Monk Bodhi Dharma

Repeatedly recognized for serving up the best Smashed Avo in town, this Balaclava institution is proudly serving up vegetarian and vegan meals that even carnivores will enjoy.

Price

$$$$$

Where

202 Carlisle, Balaclava.

Hours

Mon - Fri: 7.30am–4pm. Sat - Sun: 8am–4pm.

Phone

9534 7250

Good for

  • best smashed avocado in town
  • avocado lovers
  • brunch
  • healthy options
  • specialty coffee
  • vegetarian options
  • vegan options
  • gluten free options
  • fructose friendly

Monk Bohhi Dharma is a bit of an institution. Known for roasting their own coffee in-house and dishing out spectacular vegan and vegetarian meals, don’t let your lack of coffee knowledge or carnivorous appetite keep you from visiting this Balaclava icon.

Monk is a hidden local secret, located down an alley behind some shops and the Safeway carpark – it’s not the most obvious location and the little brick house can look very unassuming if you weren’t aware of its existence. It’s also tiny. So if you’re coming at peak brunching hour, be prepared to wait around outside with the hordes of take-away coffee addicts awaiting their next fix.

The interior is industrial yet cozy. Chances are you will be sharing your personal space with someone, either at the communal table or one of the smaller private ones. Space is very limited. The main feature of the cafe is the open bar, where you can watch the baristas work their magic (who knew coffee could be so complex?)

So yes, it’s a vegetarian and vegan café. So don’t expect bacon or eggs to make an appearance on their menu. To be honest though, you probably won’t miss them. Monk’s menu doesn’t really change a whole lot; not through lack of imagination or laziness but due to the fact that so many brunch items have a cult like following and removing them would definitely cause some kind social unrest in the community.

Signature dishes include their Smashed Avo (which is regularly listed as one of the best in Melbs) tossed with feta, chili and lemon and served on organic sourdough made locally at Woodfrog Bakery in St Kilda – we mean it when we say it really is one of the better offerings of avo going around. Other favourites include their Sweetcorn Ricotta Hotcakes with roasted cherry tomatoes, pesto and sour cream and their picture perfect Umami Mushrooms, served with house made pumpkin, spinach and sun dried tomato polenta bread and goat’s cheese, thyme and chili oil. One of their most original, and a personal favourite is their Hungry Jimbo – uniting the heavenly combination of avocado and vegemite on polenta bread with goat’s cheese and slow roasted tomatoes. Pure Genius.

Gluten Free options are available as well as sugar and soy free. All their food is also cooked without onion or garlic, which is good news for the growing number of people with fructose issues and of course, any vegetarian options can be adapted to vegan creations. It’s just all so inclusive and accommodating!

Photography by Monk Bodhi Dharma.

Price

$$$$$

Where

202 Carlisle, Balaclava.

Hours

Mon - Fri: 7.30am–4pm. Sat - Sun: 8am–4pm.

Phone

9534 7250

Good for

  • best smashed avocado in town
  • avocado lovers
  • brunch
  • healthy options
  • specialty coffee
  • vegetarian options
  • vegan options
  • gluten free options
  • fructose friendly
  1. 1Monk Bodhi Dharma
    202 Carlisle Street, Balaclava

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