If you’ve ever been to Fitzroy Market (or Fitzroy generally), you would know Grace Café. It’s been there long enough! Eight years to be precise. Julia Debski opened this stand-alone café on Rose Street back in 2012, just after a stint managing the old Foxy Brown in Northcote. That seems like a lifetime ago, and a lot has changed since 2012. What hasn’t changed is the warm feminine identity at Grace, which was named in honour of females that symbolise kindness, and gratitude.
It’s a welcoming space designed to resemble grandma’s place; a space where all are welcome to enter and feel comfortable. The building itself has a fascinating history dating back to the 1950s, and includes a stint as a brothel. Julia’s partner Jan Sembrano left the role as head chef of Seven Seeds in 2018 to join her, and has made his mark in the kitchen, with the introduction of homemade crumpets, and a selection of homely rustic dishes that are a spin on some all-time favourites. What I admire most about Grace café and its owner, is the fact they have stayed loyal to their coffee supplier over the 8 years. It’s been a relationship as solid as Will & Kate; and one that’s allowed consumers to reap the rewards. Their blend is perfectly balanced, and works well with alternate milks, while also being a delicious black coffee option. I thoroughly enjoyed their Ethiopian Aladdo Guji as a batch brew, which was a clean juicy cup, with notes of apricot and nectarine. Come to chill, stay for a swill.