If we lived in Footscray, we would eat a pulled pork panini from Footscray Milking Station every day. Alongside a Padre espresso and a Jarritos mandarin soda, lunch doesn’t get much better than this.


Footscray Milking Station can be found on a sleepy residential street corner and has been bustling from day one. This cafe and deli is the baby of Jess Tumbri, who runs a friendly but tight front of house, and chef Aven Watson, whose background includes a stint at The European.


The menu features some intriguing breakfast options like sago porridge with coconut milk, cardamom and coriander, and baked beans (haricot, lima and cannellini) with house made sugo, both of which are vegan. In fact, the menu is generally very respectful of differing food requirements.


The Footscray Milking Station is cosy – bench seating invites the afternoon sun through the front window and there are a handful of small tables and chairs. There’s also a nice communal table to spread out your newspaper and a few pavement tables to boot.

Back to that pulled pork panini; the bread is from Brasserie and alongside tender slow-cooked pork, you’ll find pickled cabbage and caramelised apple. And some kind of magical mayonnaise. Eat one now and see if it doesn’t make your heart sing.

Photography: J Forsyth