by James Ridenour
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One of the greatest things about Melbourne is its multiculturalism.   Melbourne profited from a large migration of Italians who came post world war two in search of a better life for themselves and their families.   The majority of these new Melburnians settled in the inner north and Melbourne’s Little Italy, Lygon Street was born.

In 1985 Brunetti’s set up shop in Faraday Street just off the main strip of Lygon Street.  Brunetti’s quickly became a Melbourne favourite serving Italian coffee and cakes to an adoring public.  In many ways Brunetti’s became synonymous with Melbourne and for tourists it was one of the must visit locations when in town.  Brunetti’s have now taken the plunge and moved to a new location on Lygon Street.

The new café is much glitzier and larger than its predecessor.  Marble floors, copper fixtures, wall to wall pastry fridges and an impressive espresso station complete with three triple head espresso machines.  Brunetti’s is a café like no other.

You will still find all of your favourite pastries and coffee, this will never change.  The news is Brunetti’s now serve a full lunch and dinner towards the back of the café.  The dining area is in many ways like the café, an easy-going place for Italians and their friends to meet, socialize and enjoy la dolce vita! I was impressed with the sizeable menu which offers a very large selection of colazione (breakfast), antipasti, gourmet pizza, pasta and dessert.

I sampled Margherita and Calabrese pizzas which were delicious.  The crusts were perfectly done and the pizza sauce and toppings were well-balanced and full of flavour.   We also sampled gigli alla Genovese and tagliatelle al ragu Bolognese both were rich and wonderfully savoury.  Pasta done to perfection!  I rate the food at Brunetti’s as some of the best on Lygon Street and I will happily return when in the neighbourhood.

The café and restaurant are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.  Pizzas range from $16 to $27 and pastas from $19 to $25.  This is a great outing for the whole family (check out the menu bambini) and a wonderful new world Italian tradition in Melbourne that is not to be missed.

Brunetti’s is located at 380 Lygon Street, Carlton and can be contacted on 03 9347 2801.

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