Essendon Food and Drink Western Suburbs

History Cafe Grill, Essendon

Bold and bright, History will greet you with pops of orange before giving way to a more naturally styled interior and a menu that caters from morning until night!

History Cafe Grill– The Overview…

Food: History platter, pulled pork bao, chicken ribs

Food: 4.5/5
Atmosphere: 4/5
Service: 4.5/5
Value: 4.5/5

The details…

While History is probably more widely recognised for their brunch dishes, we were delighted to be able to head in and try some dishes from their lunch/dinner menu. Heavily meat inspired, their latest menu allows them to show off more of their Croatian heritage and sneak in some traditional recipes.

They really get the balance right, between wanting to highlight and use fresh local produce, but also pulling in those inspirations and memories from their childhood to put a slightly different spin on their menu. We sampled the pulled pork bao and the chicken ribs from the small bites, and the history platter from the Josper grilled oven. These options are from their lunch/dinner menu, served from 11:30am, however, there is an all day breakfast and lighter lunch only menu too – so there’s lots of choice.

History Essendon

The wonderful staff were always on hand to talk through their inspirations from the menu, and provide amble napkins (seriously, can anyone eat chicken ribs neatly?), share plates and anything else we needed throughout our meal. We loved the smokey bbq flavour that came through on the bao and I enjoyed that it was a bit unusual and they hadn’t just recreated the tried and tested flavours seen everywhere.

History Essendon

The chicken ribs had a lovely crisp, and were a shining example of exactly how to use salt to perfectly enhance a dish. The thin coating really added a great crunch, and I felt the chicken, while delicious, was secondary to the incredible batter which was so so moreish. The ribs themselves were so delicious we didn’t bother much with the dip, but when I did finally try it, the spice completely changed the whole nature of how it tasted and really did bring another dimension to this dish.

History Essendon

Finally we shared the History platter – now while our meal was very meat heavy, there were plenty of different options including a nice range of seafood and some veggie options – probably not one to bring you’re vegan bestie to, but you definitely don’t have to be in a carnivorous mood to find something you’ll love. However, if you are, this dish comes highly recommended. The Cevapi (grilled sausage), considered a national dish in Bosnia, was so juicy and one of the lightest meat dishes I’ve ever enjoyed. Recipes for these are closely guarded secrets, often passed down through generations or purchased for vast sums of money.


The pljeskavica (gourmet burger) really shows off the wonderful grill with a delicious char and strong meaty taste. The chorizo sausage adds a smokey, spicy flavour to the mix to ensure you’re still getting lots of flavour variety here. With pitta, dip, chopped onion and pickles on the side it’s a very typical Balkans meal. It’s a brave dish, there’s not much for that meat to hide behind, so History have put a lot of pressure on themselves to make their namesake platter live up to expectations, and we’re so pleased that their mouthwatering meats really did shine!

Everything else…


Address: 24 Leake Street, Essendon

Opening Times: 

Mon         8am to 4pm
Tue          8am to 4pm
Wed        8am to 10:30pm
Thu         8am to 10:30pm
Fri           8am to 10:30pm
Sat           8am to 10:30pm
Sun         8am to 4pm

Parking:  We easily got a short stay parking spot on Leake Street and there’s plenty of parking nearby.

Getting here on PT: It’s about a 12 minute walk from Glenbervie station on the Craigieburn line, or a 3 minute walk from the 59 tram – alight at Leake St/Mt Alexander Road

History Cafe Wine Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Disclaimer: We dined as guests of History, Essendon. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.

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