Shopping Spree: Exploring Hawthorn's Auburn Village

A busy day of shopping must start with a caffeine fix. I head to The Counter Espresso and sit at its namesake for a latte. These guys know coffee, and their house blend is smooth, with just the right amount of bite. If you skipped breakfast, you’re in the right spot; the menu includes inventive items such as blueberry and orange hotcakes and shakshuka baked eggs. Don’t miss the array of cakes and baked goods in the window for a sweet treat on the way out.

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9 of the Best Winter Breakfasts

SUPER SEED PORRIDGE FROM THE COUNTER | HAWTHORN

Our list of the best winter breakfasts would never be complete without everyone’s tried ‘n’ tried favourite, porridge. Oh-so-comforting on a dreary winter’s day. Up there with Melbourne’s best porridge is The Counter’s super seed variety, a creamy concoction made with almond milk, chia seeds and buckinis — yup, nutritious and delicious! The finishing touch? The peppercorn and rhubabrb compote which we are positively mad about here at TUL.

The Counter

With its blue and white striped awning and gold type on the front window, The Counter is a regal vision in a sea of suburban Hawthorn storefronts. 

Inside, colourful cakes and tarts fill the window display and countertop, and the compact space bustles with locals. Interior space is at a premium, but venturing through to the back courtyard reveals a tranquil retreat complete with plants growing from various pots and wall features.

The family atmosphere isn’t just due to the parents and kids tucking into slices of cake and mini meals from the kids’ menu. The Counter is the product of sisters Justine Curtis and Michelle Blyth, and there’s a close-knit camaraderie among the staff that ensures you’ll feel right at home. 

Brunch doesn’t get sweeter than their coconut quinoa porridge with seasonal fruit and candied walnuts, but the baked eggs are The Counter’s big drawcard. Whether you’re after a big breakfast or a quick fix, such as the rocket cookies at the counter (which pay homage to the rocket ship in the playground down the street), you’ll be sure to leave The Counter satisfied.