Chapel on Little Ryrie


The first thing that strikes you about Chapel on Little Ryrie is that the name is 100% accurate – the building is, in fact, an old Baptist church on Little Ryrie Street, just in from Fenwick Street. It boasts an outdoor area on the eastern side of the building that enables the whole inside / outside experience – on the day that I visited (a beautiful sunny Geelong day), the outside area was very well populated. The cafe offers both coffee and food from 7:30am and has a bar for those who might enjoy something a little more adventurous later in the day.

The coffee was served as it should be – in a tulip cup with a crema that was rich and, importantly, intact. I found the flavour a little sharper than I normally like but, that said, the coffee was still very enjoyable.

In regard to our new parameter of “stick around factor” (click here for explanation), I found that the cafe was a little loud, due, I suspect, to the wooden floor and very high ceilings that were the hallmark of churches in the days in which it was built. With lots of chatter and happy noise (which is a good thing), conversations bounce around and echo, making it much more appropriate as a social location than, for example, a quiet business meeting. That said, there wasn’t any perceived pressure for me to have my coffee and move on.

All of that said, it is a really good location with coffee to match. If you are in that part of the world – maybe having visited the adjacent Centrelink / Medicare office or the childcare centre next door to that, buying a coffee here certainly won’t see you “Crying In The Chapel”!


Address: 10 Litle Ryrie Street
Suburb: Geelong 3220
Web Site:
Telephone: 03 5222 6905
Open: Five days per week (closed Saturday and Sunday except during July)
Price: $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Adore Specialty Coffee
Headline: Great old location, well restored. Really good coffee, too!
Coffee Rating: Four stars
Stick-Around Factor: Four stars

For an explanation of “Stick-Around Factor”, click here or on the heading.

9 Grams


Those of you who read my recent review of Southside in Newtown will know that it has become my highest rating cafe in the region. Today’s cafe is 9 Grams which is situated two doors north of Southside. If I am going to go to the trouble of driving to 343 Pakington Street, 9 Grams is going to have to be really, really good to coax me away from my new fave.

9 Grams is situated on a corner which gives it two walls of natural light with windows that open onto Pakington Street. You would describe the interior decor as trendy with concrete floor and modern furniture. If anything, I found the tables a bit close together which meant, with the cafe more than half full, the noise level was quite high, making it difficult to hold a conversation with the person I was drinking coffee with. Not an ideal place to go during coffee peak times if you want to get some quiet work done.

The food selection is quite varied which means that if you were to go there for breakfast or lunch, there would be something for everyone, regardless of their particular eating preferences.

I found that the coffee was well-made and better than average – and that is reflected in my rating below. But, will it be enough to drag me two doors north of a regular basis? Unfortunately, I have to be honest and say that I prefer both the coffee and environment at Southside but that’s not to say that you might find that you have a different preference. What it does mean is that there are two very good options available to you within a few metres of each other – that has major implications for parking on weekends and first thing in the morning. Factor that into your planning, won’t you.

PS: One thing I really did like about 9 Grams is that they charge less for black coffee – it has always puzzled me why cafes charge the same amount for coffee made with milk as coffee made without. The cost of milk must surely be factored into the price of milk-based coffees, mustn’t it?

Address: Shop 1, 343 Pakington Street
Suburb: Newtown 3220
Web Site:
Telephone: 03 5222 2716
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $3.20 – $3.80
Coffee Suppliers: Veneziano
Headline: Coffee was certainly better than average. I found the cafe too noisy for a quiet cup of coffee.
Coffee Rating: Four stars
Stick-Around Factor: Three and a half stars

For an explanation of “Stick-Around Factor”, click here or on the heading.

Kyosk Cafe


Another recommendation – this time from Geelong Coffee follower, Kathryn of Ocean Grove. Thanks, Kathryn!

Kyosk is attached to the Kyo Yoga centre in The Parade in Ocean Grove. There a number of different areas within the cafe, including a couple of outdoor sections – ideal for a nice sunny winter day like today. Being Sunday lunchtime, there was a great mix of people enjoying each other’s company in a friendly, relaxed environment.

There was a little confusion about whether table service was offered or not – it appears that different parts of the cafe work in different ways. Either way, I ended up ordering my coffee and stepped outside to enjoy some sunshine.

Kyosk are promoting themselves as “Ocean Grove’s newest foodie haven”, according to their web site. I feel a bit uncomfortable with the whole “foodie” thing – my food tastes are relatively simple and so I was pleased to see that there were relatively unsophisticated items on the menu as well as few more complex offerings for the “foodies” of Ocean Grove.

The coffee was really good. Served in the correct cup with a good solid crema, it tasted as good as it looked. A rich and smooth flavour that would have seen me ordering a second cup had I not been to another cafe immediately beforehand.

The cafe is very much family friendly, wiht kids menu items as well. My main criticism relates to its location – right on the bend where The Terrace meets Hodgson Street. With the exception of a couple of disabled parks immediately outside the cafe, you will need to park in the shopping centre car park and walk across. Something to think about from a child-friendly perspective.

That said, I’ll certainly return for another coffee next time I’m in Ocean Grove.


Address: 91 The Parade
Suburb: Ocean Grove
Web Site:
Telephone: 0403 811 273
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Proud Mary
Headline: Tricky location but otherwise a really good, family-friendly place to drink really good coffee.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

McGains Cafe


I was encouraged to visit McGains Cafe by none other than Catherine, the manager of the aforementioned cafe. She said “We’d love you to pop in and try our coffee. People rave about it (and the food, and the ambience) but we’d like your opinion, too … It’ll be worth the effort. I promise.” Flattered to be asked, I took up Catherine’s invitation but in keeping with my modus operandi, did so without Catherine knowing I’d been in. This ensures that I am treated just like anyone else and can give you an unbiased opinion.

So, was Catherine right – was it worth the effort?

For the most part, yes, she is right – it IS worth the effort to drive to Anglesea to sample their fare. I chose to go for breakfast to see what their food was like as well and, since this is a coffee review and not a food review, I’ll just say that the food was really good. But to the coffee …

My heart sank a little when I saw the brand of coffee that they serve – as you will know from previous posts, I am not a great fan of the local Coffee Cartel blends. In the places where I have tried it around the district, I have found that the brew has been too bitter for my taste.

But, I am pleased to report that today’s version was very good – much smoother and less bitter than my experience in other places. I must note at this point that the coffee was not served in a tulip cup and with the larger top surface area, the crema was broken when the coffee arrived. But, at the end of the day, the taste was really good – the best Cartel Coffee I have tasted thus far. Maybe it was different blend. Maybe it was brewed by a better barista. Either way, it was a really good cup of coffee.

And as for the ambience – the cafe is set in the grounds of a nursery and adjacent to an organic food store. So rather than funky hipster or beach side shack, McGains is more earthy and “real” than many other places I have visited on this journey. Certainly somewhere you can relax with friends or family if you are looking for something good on a Sunday morning (or any other day of the week!).


Address: 1 Simmons Court
Suburb: Anglesea 3230
Web Site:
Telephone: 03 5263 3841
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Coffee Cartel
Headline: Set in the grounds of a plant nursery and adjacent to an organic food store, there’s something earthy and real about McGains. In my opinion, they brew Coffee Cartel coffee better than CC themselves.
Coffee Rating: Four stars

Seasons Cafe – Geelong East


Seasons Cafe is operated by local not-for-profit organisation, Karingal, in two locations in Geelong – one in Douro Street in Geelong North and the one that I visited in McKillop Street in Geelong East (corner of Humble Street). To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect – with a focus on inclusion for people with a disability or mental illness, older people and those who are disadvantaged, I was wondering how well the cafe would shape up.

I need not have worried – the cafe is bright and fresh, the staff I met seemed pleased to be at work (in stark contrast to some places I’ve been on a Sunday) and the food and coffee were very, very acceptable. I may have been fortunate to go there so early because I was the only person there at the start which means that my food and coffee arrived promptly. The coffee was rich in flavour and smooth in taste.

A few locals came and went while I was there – from what I can see, Seasons has little competition in the immediate area. If you live within walking distance, I would suggest that it would make a very good local cafe. If you don’t, I’d suggest that getting the car keys out and driving to Seasons would be well worth the effort.

I haven’t tried the Geelong North version yet but after my experience in the east, it’s on my list!


Address: 285a McKillop Street
Suburb: Geelong East 3220
Web Site:
Telephone: 5249 6100
Open: Seven days per week
Price: $4.00
Coffee Suppliers: Piazza D’Oro
Headline: Nice environment. Good food. Really good coffee. Give it a try and support Karingal as well!
Coffee Rating: Four stars