Little Rogue

Hard to find but impossible to forget, Little Rogue Melbourne is a dinky coffee shop that is definitely worth seeking out for its superb roasts and divine pastries from sister venture, Bakemono Bakers across the laneway.

Little Rogue

Location: 12 Drewery Ln, Melbourne, VIC 3000

If there is a more typical Melbourne CBD ‘hidden gem’ than Little Rogue, we’d like to hear about it. Especially if the coffee is half as good as it is at this miniature temple to the ‘bean.

Quirky though the location and decor of this dinky but chic wee coffeehouse maybe, the team here take their brews very seriously. And that’s just what you might expect given that the place is the offspring of Leo Lee and Calvin Ko – a couple of ex-Plantation baristas.

The Space

Head down Little Lonsdale Street and take a sharp turn into offbeat Drewery Lane. Tootle down the cobbled alley, past Bakemono Bakers on your right – and perhaps buy a croissant for a mid afternoon treat – and you’ll come to Little Rogue on the left.

You’ll know you’ve found one of the finest coffee shops in this city famous for this delicious beverage by a number of indicators. Firstly, the cafe has a striking bright blue door. Secondly, (at present) there’s an equally arresting mural in flame colours on the wall next to the entrance. And thirdly, there’ll be a line of happy customers perched inside the front window, sipping great Coffee and sublime Matcha Latte.

Little Rogue Melbourne - Mural

Pass through the blue door, climb the steps into Little Rogue and you’ll find yourself in an unpretentious, yet definitely cool, cafe. Small and neat, it’s a mix of textural brick and white paint walls. The furniture is minimal and the lighting a blend of natural, spot and dinky pendants. Jars of cuttings line the window sills and a combination of paintings and line drawings dot the walls.

The ambience is chilled, but friendly. And there’s a definite backstreets of Tokyo or Seoul kind of vibe that’s hard to put your finger on.

The Food

When it initially opened, Little Rogue offered sweet treats from Butterbing and Mille and B. These days, the cafe has some of the finest pastries around from its sibling – Bakemono Bakers – just across Drewery Lane. And that really is something to celebrate.

Bakemono Bakers – as the name suggests – have a strong Asian spin to their buttery delicacies. If you crave the fluffiest of Shokupans or the most more-ish of Korean street-style Garlic Bread, make your way to this bakery. In contrast, if your tastes lean more towards towering puffs of Strawberry and Nutella Danish Pastry, Bakemono have your back. Similarly, their addictive Almond and Yuzu Croissants, sell out as soon as they emerge from the oven for good reason.

Little Rogue - Bakemono Bakers - Almond and Yuzu Croissant halved

Honestly, if you can think of anything better to go with a really exemplary cup of coffee, let us know!

The Drinks

As this first and foremost a coffee shop, we’re going to say, point blank, that the blends at Little Rogue are amongst our favourites.

When we pop in, both the 6oz and 12oz shot of Black Coffee set Eatability and friend back $4.20. Incredible! Especially as it’s seriously wonderful.

At the time, the Candyman blend seemed the way to go. Pleasingly, this batch proves true to its name with definite hints of chocolate.

Little Rogue Melbourne - Exterior and window

Whilst it’s not my preferred hot beverage, I have to make mention of the Matcha Latte or I have friends who will never speak to me again. Now I’m no expert when it comes to anything to do with this ingredient, but people I know who are tell me that the Matcha Latte at Little Rogue is amongst the best this side of Kyoto. And even better, the team sell it in powdered form for addicts to play with at home.

Overall

There are so many reasons to check out Little Rogue.

The location is charming, the cafe is the epitome of Melbourne/Tokyo chic, and the coffee (and pastries) are to die for.

Oh. And I hear the Matcha Latte is pretty amazing too.

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