Category Archives: Victor Harbor

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

The Top 5 – Christmas 2011 Update

  1. Paddy’s Lantern – Adelaide, SA: This place launched not long after I signed up to Twitter – and there was some hullaballo when it opened – and on my first try, I was not disappointed. Hard to find with crap parking – but a great comfortable interior, serving 5 Senses coffee from a sexy Synesso machine – and awesome light lunches.
  2. The Pantry on Egmont – Hawthorn, SA: In this little out of the way cafe in the leafy greenness that is Hawthorn, lurks Stef and the team – with a great love of coffee, serving the excellent locally roasted Dr Groot – this place is just wonderful. Russell does a great breakfast too!
  3. The Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA:  Whenever I get the opportunity or have the need to travel the 22kms down the coast to Victor, this is the place where I MUST stop and grab a latte.  Serving fantastic Zentveld’s from Byron Bay, The Two Bees has super friendly staff, great food and in good weather a great view down towards the Island.
  4. Coffee By The Beans – Lockleys, SA: Another one of these great places in strange locations – this is a must stop if you are going too or coming from the airport.  Roasting their own beans off site, Vincent, Daniel and Richard are serious about coffee and are serious about you liking their product.  The only draw back in the location and the fact that they don’t do online shopping….
  5. A’Vila Coffee – Adelaide, SA: The nearly not yet review place serves the legendary Campos Coffee – so this MUST make the top 5. Located near the old Academy Cinema City in Hindmarsh Square, these guys love their coffee – and so did I.

Boulevard Café on the Lake – Encounter Bay, SA

41 Bartel Boulevard, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

The unfortunate event of my wife and boys having a car accident (they are all Ok – Thank God!) turned into the fortunate event of me being able to relax lakeside, sip a latte and read a book doing sermon preparation, while waiting for them to pick me up (the crash repair place is within easy walking distance – not sure if this is a positive or a negative aspect in relation to the café itself – or whether I should include this stat as part of all future reviews…?? Let me know).

I have known about this place for quite a while, having driven past it on the way to other coffee places, church camps or just going to sit by the beach at Encounter Bay – and I can not really offer an excuse as to why I had never stopped before.  Even at the most recent CoC State Camp held down the road, people were commenting on their nice coffee – and yet I still never went.  But I am glad to say that I have rectified the situation.

While the Café itself is hardly “on the Lake” I assume they chose that name because the “Boulevard Cafe from which you can see the lake through some trees beyond the lawned area” doesn’t have the same ambience {see picture below} – but what it lacks in proximity to the man made fresh water lake, it more than makes up for in style and customer service.  Offering a full service menu from Breakfast through Dinner, the food comes highly recommended – and there is plenty of seating both inside and out.  Off street parking is available – which is a plus – and with a southerly wind blowing you can sometimes catch a whiff of the ocean.

If you are attending the Salvation Army ‘Encounters Conference Centre‘ then this place is across the road and away from the beach a bit….so to the review.

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The Avondale Deli – Victor Harbor, SA

25 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

The Avondale Deli, according to their signage and website, have been serving the good people of Victor Harbor “since 1888 and has just got better and better.”  Touted (again, by their signage) as “Victor’s Best Coffee” the Avondale is an old-school Delicatessen, that serves meals and also functions as a Lotteries Commission Venue.  Honesty in advertising is such a wonderful thing. Between 8:30am and 9:00am, it is one of the only places in Victor Harbor that is open – not just for coffee – but actually open.   I had a coffee from this place not long after we moved down to the coast (over 2 years ago now), but giving them and their signage the benefit of the doubt I ventured back again their this morning, while waiting for my favourite place to open whilst my car was being serviced.

Latte Quality – Passable – the latte I ordered, while having a truly wonderful aroma, tasted watery.

Cost – $3.40 – which is slightly cheaper than the average price these days.

Coffee Supplier – Mahalia Coffee – which is one of my all time favourites – pity.

Fairtrade – Mahalia do do some Fair Trade Coffee but the one used here – and in most locations (see previous reviews) – is their Blend No.2 which is not Fair Trade.

Special Notes – It was open when I needed coffee.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Probably not – for some reason, this place did not give me a good vide – but then again, that is just my personal experience – yours will most likely be different.

The Coffee Palace – Victor Harbor, SA

35 Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

Last week, I had made an effort to come and grab a coffee here at the recommendation of a congregation member – but when I walked past – the place was full and aesthetically it really did nothing for me – I commented that it seemed to be attached to the hardware store – so I went elsewhere, and discovered the Two Bees Café. However being back in the Harbor City once again, I thought that I would ‘suck it up princess’ and try out this other new place, so….let me begin my saying an emphatic

SORRY that I judged you on your appearance – serious hand slapping going on – because the experience was great!  While the place does look like it is an adjunct of the Victor Harbor Hardware Store – and for good reason – because it is, the customer service was fantastic and the coffee was great.  And once you are in there, the place is actually really nice and calming.  So, again, ‘Sorry.’  According to the website:

Nestled in one of Victor Harbor’s oldest buildings, originally opened as The Coffee Palace which was built in 1886, the aroma of freshly ground coffee and sumptuous treats await. Relax in our pleasant surroundings and reacquaint yourself with old friendships – or begin new friendships as Judy and the team pamper to your every whim.

Latte Quality – Excellent! – as I sat reading the aroma of the coffee actually lured me towards it – doesn’t happen very often, but it did here.

Cost – $3.50 – which is average for a regular sized latter – but this one came in an above average sized cup.  You may notice in the picture that it is a double lined insulated cup, which voids that occasional latte burnt finger syndrome.

Coffee Supplier – Aroma Fresh

Fairtrade – no indication instore that this is Fairtrade coffee, although Aroma Fresh to offer a Fairtrade blend.

Special Notes – You get a free coffee caramel with your cup; breakfast is served until 2:30pm and they also serve light meals and lunches and a wide variety of sweet things – including the all important gluten free options.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Depending on what time of the day it is. I drove past before having lunch and the place was packed, both inside and out on the footpath tables, yet when I went back at just after 2pm – I was the only person there for a large period of time….

Two Bees Café – Victor Harbor, SA

1A Ocean Street, Victor Harbor, SA, 5211

Having ventured down to Victor on a Monday during school holidays to collect my suit from the dry cleaners – it was never my intention to venture into the busiest part of town, and negotiate my way past families on vacation, to purchase a coffee.  I thought I’d grab one from ‘No. 58’ at Port Elliot as I have been waiting to try this place, after a glowing recommendation from one of my congregation, but generally finding it closed.  However, as I paid for my freshly cleaned suit and shirt, a conversation I had with another friend within our church community came to mind, when I was asked whether I had tried the new café which is down near the cinema…without wanting to leave you in suspense, my answer to the aforementioned question was ‘No’ hence the conversation popping into my mind and hence me writing about it here….are you still with me?  Anyway, I parked the car and walked to this new place – which on first impressions, did nothing for me – and they served ‘Aroma Fresh’ coffee – and it appeared to be an annex to the hardware store….so, I turned around and went back the way I came, because this little yellow place on the corner, with the magical word ‘café’ had caught my eye.

The Two Bees Café – named in honour of dual ‘B’s which commence the surnames of the owners of ‘2Bs’ – has only been in operation now for about three months – which is gusty, consider this is not the busy period for Victor, and three local food/coffee stalwarts have recently bitten the dust – but as I was told upon enquiry from the very friendly staff (I assume to be one of the owners actually) business has been good – and judging by the number of people in there, I would say she is right.  The Two Bees is on the corner of Ocean Street (the one way shopping strip) and Albert Place and for those who know the area – adjacent to Subway (sharing a wall) and across the road from Ninos. Decorated in the fairly obvious ‘honey-bee yellow’ the Two Bees Café is funky, without being pretentious, and is comfortable without being tired – the staff (or at least the one that I met) are friendly and highly competent baristas – and sweet sticky display case contains gluten free goods.

Latte Quality – Excellent! – I suspect that this will get a Lattastic upgrade upon a second try – but it was really great – and as a bonus, if you are a local they give you a loyalty card with every sixth coffee being a ‘free bee’

Cost – $3.50 – which is above average for a regular size – but between you and me, I think it is worth it!!  $4.00 for a large take-away, which is not too bad – although the large is not really that large.

Coffee Supplier – Zentveld’s – which was another new one – but comes out of Byron Bay in NSW, which promotes itself as being 100% Australian grown and real fair trade.  Zentveld’s website is also very informative including some great tips for making great espresso, which some cafes could do with reading [click on ‘Bad‘ or ‘Passable‘ in the Tags option to the left]

Fair Trade – Not really. They indicate that their coffee is ‘real fair trade’ – but that just means that their coffee is Australian grown and roasted, so in essence it is – but not in the way the Fair Trade association means it.

Special Notes – You get a free chocolate coated coffee bean with every coffee purchase – Yum!!

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat, Deep and Meaningful, Study – Not really any of these – it was the middle of the afternoon when I was there, and there were six other people in the café – and with the tiled floor and brick walls, I could pretty much hear every word said.  But if you want to grab a coffee and watch traffic, or grab one and walk through the adjacent reserve – then make this place your first stop!!

Nino’s – Victor Harbor, SA

17 Albert Place, Victor Harbor, SA

Nino’s have been part of the Victor Harbor fabric since 1974 (so says their signage) so I thought it was about time that I checked them out….it also happened to be that I was in Victor Harbor trying to sort out a Centrelink issue and had to walk past the shop on my way to the bank, and I could smell the freshly ground coffee. Situated at the business end of Victor Harbor’s busy Ocean Street precinct, almost facing the square, Nino’s is a great place for a coffee – and so, their menu would lead you to believe – a great place for a meal as well.

Latte Quality – Excellent.  Good colour, great aroma – and the perfect temperature.

Cost – $3.00 regular; $3.50 medium; $4.00 grande (takeaway only)

Coffee SupplierCoffeex

Fair Trade – No indication instore – however Coffeex do do a nice Fairtrade Blend.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful/Study and Reflection – all a possibility. I went there on the first day of schoolies (mistake in general), but Nino’s wasn’t that busy and were doing their breakfast menu.  I would think that is you can stay clear of school holidays and meal times – this place would be great.  Also it is quick walk to the seaweed covered beaches of Victor, which are generally a quiet place for reflection.

Yilki Store – Yilki, SA

60 Franklin Parade, Encounter Bay, SA, 5211

I rediscovered this series of three shops/cafés on the foreshore at Victor Harbor/Yilki/Encounter Bay last Sunday – when I attempted to go and worship with the Uniting Church congregation at Yilki, but was defeated by a change in their service start time, which meant I arrived as Rev. Steve was concluding…but I found these shops.  During this week – aka. Christmas Preparation Retreat Week – I ventured one morning down to Franklin Parade, to discover that only one of the three café has a life in the daylight hours of the work-a-day week – which, if I was about 15 years younger would have led me to the conclusion that the other two places are hangouts for vampires…but anyway…

Latte Quality – Good – and it came with small biscotti.

Cost – $4.40 for a large mug.

Coffee Supplier – Vito Coffee – at least that is what all their umbrellas and hoarding said, although after a thorough (3 mins) Google search, I am unable to find anything about Vito Coffee

Fair Trade – No indication – so I would assume not.

Venue Suitable for:

  • Quiet Chat/Deep and Meaningful – Definitely – for quite a while I was the only person sitting outside.  There is plenty of seating – either under cover, or under the umbrellas.
  • Study and Reflection – As long as you can work and not just stare at the bluff, or the ocean, or seal island, or granite island, or small yet un-named island (according to the font of all knowledge – Google Maps)
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