El Mirage


349 Lygon Street, Brunswick East 3057—View map


03 9388 0966



Monday to Friday 07.30am to 05.00pm Breakfast until 04.00pm
Saturday 08.00am to 05.00pm Breakfast until 04.00pm
Sunday 08.00am to 05.00pm Breakfast until 04.00pm




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Inside and outside





North-side Lygon comes alive

Claire Wiltshire 10 December 2007

Brunswick East is the new it-spot for breakfast. When you're driving down Lygon Street, don't blink, or you may miss the oddly positioned El Mirage. Although the shop front is set well back from the street, you'll notice the happy gathering of relaxed breakfasters and their dogs at the tables out front. And if all those tables are taken, the inside is cool and spacious with a family-friendly vibe.

Local whispers suggest this place serves the best coffee in the area, and they're not too far off the mark. There is also a fine selection of teas and juices to enjoy as you consider the hip industrial, almost stark interior design.

El Mirage is an oasis for locals who wake up to the aching consequences of a big night at the East Brunswick Club. The menu is stacked with a variety of hearty standards-muesli with berry compote and pancakes topped with poached fruit (the rhubarb ones come recommended). Word is the choc-cherry toast is a delight, if not a little rich, first thing in the morning!

There are plenty of poached eggs on the bill, but it's the way they're done that makes all the difference. If a restaurant proves itself with its hollandaise, then El Mirage is surely one of the best. Tangy, smooth and disinclined to turn to oil in a matter of minutes, this fattening indulgence is as rich as they come. Try it on the poached eggs and salmon-a salty stack finished with wilted spinach and a touch of perfection.

For sore heads or big appetites, opt for the plate that fits toasted chunks of bread stacked with eggs how you like ‘em, a seriously healthy serve of tex-mex beans, and home style fries.

Best of all at El Mirage is the service. Not too heavy-handed, but friendly enough to make you feel at home, the staff is welcoming, in a mature kind of way. They mingle with chatty regulars, happily guide you through the menu, and leave well enough alone if you're not the conversational type.

Remember to bring a flush wallet, as El Mirage is cash only.

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toast – French – chocolate – tea – juice – rhubarb – spinach – salmon – hollandaise – beans – bread – design – dogs – muesli –