It’s been a big few years for Footscray. The small suburb to the west of the CBD has seen a rapid rise in popularity, as Melburnians realise its potential as a hotspot for cool cafes and remarkable restaurants. West 48 is one of the leaders, having delivered exceptional coffee and moreish eats since 2011.
When it came to naming the venue, Steffan Tissa turned to the street number and location of the cafe for inspiration. Despite originally having no gas supplied to the premises, Steffan opened a small panini bar, armed with a single sandwich press and plenty of enthusiasm.
Today, West 48 fills two shop fronts with brunchers and lunchers, a happy mix of locals and foodies from all over. The industrial space is constructed from repurposed steel, concrete and timber – designed and built by Steffan and the team from C8H10N4O2.
Inside the space, an enthusiastic team oversees the floor and kitchen, with the coffee machines looked after by baristas, Matt Wills and Taze Brodel, who both share a passion for the origins and science of coffee. They work with the Allpress Supremo blend, favoured for its sweet and bold flavours with a taste of red berries and cocoa. It blends beautifully with milk, but also holds its own in black coffee.
If you’re feeling like something a little different, batch brew and Vietnamese-style coffees are both available. Keep an eye out for seasonal single origins as well – Matt and Taze will be able to introduce you to some interesting brews.
Once drinks are sorted, look to conquer those hunger pangs with the breakfast and lunch menu. The team prepares delicious brunch and lunch offerings with local and ethically sourced produce. To the relief of late sleepers everywhere, West 48 features an all-day menu, meaning you can enjoy quinoa bircher muesli topped with an apple, goji and blueberry reduction, vanilla bean yoghurt and sweet dukkah crumble at 10am, and mac and three cheese with smoked apple bacon and fried egg on brioche at 2pm.
Lunch options also include the wholesome Yum Bowl, a mix of falafel, couscous, okra, crispy broccoli and cauliflower, hummus and pickled red cabbage, all drizzled with a turmeric and tahini dressing. Alternatively, take a journey to the other side of the globe with the sushi bowl, topped with calamari, edamame, wakame, avocado, crispy nori and sesame, pickled ginger and Kewpie mayo.
Steffan may have established a local brunch institution, but he’s not content to rest on his laurels. West 48 has now acquired a liquor licence, so you can sip a boutique wine or beer with your lunch. There’s also Mr Black cold drip espresso liqueur on offer, served over ice with burnt orange peel.
Come weekend mornings, you might find yourself in a queue for West 48’s famous ‘Our Benny’ – you’re not in Fitzroy, but in Footscray, where the foodie scene is rivalling the northern suburbs. In the search for the ultimate breakfast hotspot, West 48 is offering up some of the best of the west.