Loco Coffee in Elsternwick is my goto place for coffee, all-day-brekky and afternoon writing retreat. It's a funky little cafe with an eclectic mix of timber tables (old desks and kitchen tables -- round, square and oblong) and grungy old chairs. The scuffed-up brown linoleum floor means it doesn't get too noisy, and instead the place hums with comfortable chatter, the clink of china and the incessant grinding of beans.
There are so many things to like about this cafe. The service is fabulous -- within 30 seconds of me/us taking a table, someone has brought water, menu and taken a coffee order. Then coffee is usually on the table within a few minutes. Frankly, what happens after that doesn't much matter, but the good service keeps coming . . . and they never annoy you before you're ready.
But it's obviously not merely the service that maintains Loco's very loyal customer base. Its flagship offering is the coffee, which is consistently fabulous (and sold separately). I think it's the best on Glenhuntly Rd. They're renowned for their lovely latte art too -- some of their baristas create gorgeous little faces in the foam.
The brekkies are also excellent. Over the years I've tried many of them, although there are a few I keep coming back to. Usually it's poached eggs of some description for me -- a recent delicious addition to the menu is the 'combit', featuring poached eggs on pesto, olives, avocado and roasted cherry tomatoes -- but I recently tried the bircher muesli and every so often I order the french toast. Even when I go for lunch, I tend to order one of the all-day brekkies.
Loco is also a great place to spend an hour or so with a coffee and my baby computer -- particularly in the afternoons when the crowd slacks off a bit. I've been known to do this on the weekends, but have been able to enjoy the experience more often midweek while I've been off work. Somehow, writing in cafes is productive for me.
And, since Loco is opposite Coles, I sometimes take my book/kindle with me for a coffee before I go shopping. (Any excuse for a Loco coffee!)
Loco would definitely be one of the cafes I frequent the most -- now you know why. [And I've just discovered that the owners have started up a new cafe in the Melbourne CBD. It's called Manchester Press, at 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne (off Little Burke St). I better check it out!]