Nestled among the main strip of shops in Ballarat, Yellow Espresso isn’t your typical regional cafe. In an area famed for its 19th century gold rush, Yellow Espresso brings another touch of gold to town with a bright and bold testament to great food, specialty coffee and everything in between.
When owners Leo and Santina Trigazis returned to Ballarat from St Kilda in 2014, they brought the city’s coffee culture with them. Opening Yellow Espresso seemed like a natural progression for the duo – they’d both enjoyed working in hospitality for many years, and Santina’s parents owned several cafes and restaurants while she was growing up. One of the first styling choices they made for their new venture was painting the letters ‘espresso’ in the front window – they chose yellow, and stumbled upon a name that stuck: Yellow Espresso.
Head Barista Santina has been behind the yellow La Marzocco machine since the cafe first threw open its doors. The coffee comes courtesy of Axil Roasters, true pioneers of Melbourne’s ever-evolving caffeine scene. Leo and Santina chose Axil for its dedication to fair trade, sustainability and supreme quality.
The seasonal blend makes for smooth milk coffees and rich espresso, while the rotating single origins offer fun and variety, giving customers the chance to expand their coffee vocabulary. Cold drip is also on offer for summer days and if caffeine’s not your thing, don’t fret – you’ll also find Matcha Maiden lattes with almond milk, Prana Chai and teas from Larsen and Thompson.
Serving up all-day breakfast, the menu is an ode to produce that is fresh, local and seasonal. Smallgoods are sourced from Istra, cheese comes from Meredith Dairy and Goldfields eggs are served up alongside bread from Geelong’s La Madre Bakery.
Tuck into an avocado and Meredith Dairy goat’s feta smash or Irrewarra granola with banana, cinnamon, honey and Greek yoghurt. There is also a range of lunch options including chicken and mushroom linguine with truffle oil, spring onion and pecorino.
However, the house specialty is the souvlaki – choose from lamb, chicken, falafel, or mixed, all served in warm pita bread with lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion and house-made garlic sauce.
And if you’re in between meals, make a beeline for the smoothies. Try the power-packed Greenie with banana, mango, spinach, organic vegan protein powder and organic kale powder. Or try the Salted Caramel for a deceptively healthy indulgence.
There’s no mistaking the colour theme throughout, but it’s communicated in a subtle, tasteful way. Hanging air plants, earthy ceramic tableware and modern light fixtures restore a sense of balance, while tables line the busy footpath with people enjoying the weather and their four-legged friends.
With a bright and sunny vibe, Yellow Espresso is one of Ballarat’s best spots to while away the day.