Tucked away between the city and the beach is Balaclava, home to Las Chicas. Dishing up a wholesome and delicious breakfast and lunch menu, the cafe is a home-away-from-home, offering meals focused on nutrition as well as food that can soothe your Sunday soul.
Las Chicas translates to young woman or girl. Suitably, three passionate women opened the business together. Operating for 14 years, current owners James Olliver and Todd Skeggs have ruled the roost for the past nine. Both have vast hospitality experience, with Las Chicas being their first business venture. Working with Manager, Guendalina Grottoli, they are doing something right, winning multiple hospitality awards since opening their doors. Las Chicas is a modern space with a retro vibe, featuring walls lined with your favourite book titles, movie posters and a rustic exposed brick wall. Wide open doors create an open and airy atmosphere and Las Chicas offers a covered courtyard that is perfect for the warmer summer months.
With a commitment to sourcing local, fresh and sustainable food, the team at Las Chicas is dedicated to delivering customers delicious meals that don’t compromise on quality. Las Chicas uses Gippsland grass-fed beef and other meats from Felice’s Place Gourmet Butcher, as well as Country Pride eggs – one of the few egg farms that produce 100% of its feed. They sweeten the deal by using sustainable panela sugar, which is raw and unprocessed, and all their herbs and select vegetables come from their own kitchen garden plot at Elwood Secondary College.
To kick things off, you’re going to need caffeine: the coffee is from the ever- popular St Ali. It will be a feast for your eyes when the waiter places your meal down in front of you, and you’ll have Head Chef, Jeremy Drummond to thank.
If you’ve braved an early Sunday morning and need something hearty fast, opt for the big breaky, and if a summer body is the last thing on your mind, order the BBB – Bikini Blowout Benedict – full of crushed avocado, bacon, two poached eggs and hollandaise on a toasted bagel.
Fancy something a little lighter? We suggest the coconut bircher with a fresh fruit salad and coconut yoghurt, or the breaky greens with kale, red sorrel, broccoli, black turtle beans, pomegranate, activated nuts and dukkah poached eggs. Get your daily dose of superfoods with a Life in a Cup smoothie – açai berries, banana and apple blended with mixed berries.
Slept in and missed the mid-morning rush? Las Chicas has you sorted with lunch options aplenty. Try Vik’s vegan wrap loaded up with all the good stuff, or wrap your lips around the Double Double Burger, piled high with fried chicken breast, double bacon and cheese with a pineapple and chilli relish on a brioche bun with shoestring fries. If you are stopping by for an early evening visit, fetch the drinks menu and order a beer, wine, cider or spirit.
Are you hosting a dinner party and not an avid cook? Las Chicas offers a deli section that stays open every evening, selling ready-made meals perfect for individuals; salads and BBQ packs that are great for entertaining, roast and smoked meats for a protein hit, braises and curries for the cooler months or pasta and risotto for a romantic dinner date. There is even dessert, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.