A newly opened laneway cafe near Melbourne Queen Vic Market, bringing you brunch, desserts and hand made chocolates. It’s tiny size, and quiet location make it a perfect dine alone spot, for some quality me time!
Food: Smashed avo, Chicken burger, Cinnamon Oat Porridge, Charisma Waffle
Charisma is a tiny, but adorable laneway cafe that, while small, has a bright, crisp and clean interior with a lovely finish and modern feel. It’s a relaxing and comfortable environment that manages to embody a cute, homely personality despite its newness.
The first thing I noticed was, for such a small venue, they do a lot! The cafe maybe seats 25-30 people max yet they probably have more dishes than that on the menu, including a huge range of hot and cold drinks – which is both a blessing and a curse. While the food is pretty much faultless across the board, the variety of dishes on offer did affect the speed of service, and while staff were super friendly and accommodating the wait for our food was a little long and our meals didn’t arrive together.
However, that’s the one small criticism of an otherwise excellent new cafe, and honestly, given its size, they’re more suited to couples and solo diners anyway. It’s not somewhere you’d take the family to. It’s more like your secret hideout with a latte and a newspaper for some peaceful alone time – and I love that contrast from many of the more warehouse style cafes in the CBD!
With every dish that came out, I was sort of half thinking “this is the one that won’t work” as I just couldn’t comprehend how such a compact space could produce such variety – but each dish just greeted us with the most wonderful smell, looked fab and as far as the food is concerned, they pretty much nailed it. Having Queen Vic Market around the corner is clearly working well for these guys and there’s no scrimping on the variety of fruit and veggies they are including with each dish.
The porridge was flavoursome and warming. Lots going on on top to keep it interesting and the poached pear was a great highlight. Our other sweet dish, the waffles were fresh and fun. The matcha balanced well with the sweet waffles and fruit, and it works as a dessert or a small sweet breakfast.
The smashed avo was accompanied by spinach, delicious cubes of feta and crunchy dukkah. While the serves aren’t huge, they are packed with lots of good stuff and leave you feeling full.
Finally we tried the chicken burger which tasted lovely. Lots of flavour on the chicken and another option which leaned towards clean and healthy, instead of the overwhelming, stuff-as-much-as-possible-on-it variety, which are rapidly becoming the trend in Melbourne.
We loved the wide variety of options Charisma offered and its welcoming atmosphere. You’d struggle to visit here and not find something on the menu that takes your fancy. Our tip would be – make sure you leave room for dessert – or at least a chocolate!
Address: 3 Fredrick Way, Melbourne CBD (Off A’Beckett Street)
Mon 7am to 5pm
Tue 7am to 5pm
Wed 7am to 5pm
Thu 7am to 5pm
Fri 7am to 5pm
Sat 9am to 5pm
Sun 9am to 5pm
Parking: Usual CBD issues with parking. Vic Market is probably the closest convenient parking.
Getting here on PT: By train it’s a short walk (less than 10 mins) from both Flagstaff and Melbourne Central stations. You can also take City Circle tram along La Trobe street towards Docklands, or Route 58 tram along William Street and get off at the intersection of William Street and La Trobe Street.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Charisma Workshop. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting