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abbotsford, breakfast, casual, coffee specialist, restaurants and cafes, under $20

HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

P1040349v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

Three Bags Full is the latest addition to the industrial chic cafe scene that Melbourne does so well.

It comes with good credentials, as it’s run by the same husband-and-wife team (Sarah Foletta and Nathan Toleman) and their business partners Ben and Diamon, who are behind award-winning cafes APTE and Liar Liar. On the second day of opening the whole operation seemed to be running smoothly, with a steady stream of customers coming into the historic Denton Mills Hat Factory for breakfast – evidence that there’s always room for one more new white-washed warehouse eatery in Melbourne.

P1040353v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

Settling down to one of the small tables and cheeky stools made from old street signs, I was handed a bright yellow menu with at least twenty breakfast items on offer. However, as soon as I saw the specials board I knew what I wanted – a sticky black ginger bread with roasted plums, marscapone and praline  ($13.50).

P1040354v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

While I waited for my breakfast, I took the time to inspect all of the different decorative touches. Quirky lino prints are hung up on the walls and available for sale. I counted at least six different styles of lighting, from naked bulbs to Moroccan inspired lantern cages to these custom-made upside down tea-and-saucer sets. I loved the bursts of yellow in the decor (in apt choice, as in colour psychology yellow is cheery, warm and stimulates the metabolism), the striped fabric of the banquette and the cute succulents growing in the narrow window boxes. Antique scales are used as display stands for business cards and cupcakes. The staff all wear heavy duty cotton aprons fringed with kimono fabric.

P1040362v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

As for the food, my breakfast definitely had the wow factor. It was an unadulterated slab of cake, toasted, and slathered with a vibrantly hued plum compote sprinkled with crunch. It’s indulgent and certainly not a dish for those watching their waistline.

P1040359v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

To compensate, for lunch I also took away a large filling tub of the daily-changing selection of salad ($10): orange and fennel; tuna and penne with fresh basil and parsley; and chargrilled eggplant with juicy roasted mushrooms.

P1040364v1 HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

The cafe serves 5 Senses coffee and has a Clover machine, so while I’m not a coffee drinker I think you can be assured of some level of quality from your latte.

For other aesthetically eye-catching cafes, try Auction Rooms and Cibi.

minilink HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

pixel HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford


37 comments for “HOT: Three Bags Full, 56 Nicholson St, Abbotsford”

  1. Woah that breakfast looks awesome. Must go here I think. Yay!
    .-= Esz´s last blog ..The DareDevil is finally printed =-.

    Posted by Esz
    Twitter: kittysdrawings
    | January 27, 2010, 12:51 pm
  2. Great post- nice to have a new addition to the breakfast set on this side of town!
    Have just discovered your blog and absolutely love it!
    .-= Maree´s last blog ..Añada =-.

    Posted by Maree
    Twitter: mareelouise
    | January 27, 2010, 12:55 pm
  3. Diggin the decor of this place. And yes, that slab of cake is very indulgent for a brekkie! hehe
    .-= Adrian @ Food Rehab´s last blog ..Ethiopian food cravings at The Abyssinian =-.

    Posted by Adrian @ Food Rehab
    Twitter: food_rehab
    | January 27, 2010, 2:23 pm
  4. Pity you don’t drink coffee because Nathan and Sarah only have the best!!! As they do with their chefs. I’ll be travelling up from Bonbeach on Friday – just for a coffee! Deciding from the menu will be tricky – it’s all too good

    Posted by Lil G | January 27, 2010, 8:15 pm
    • Hi Lil G

      I’ll be interested to hear whether the coffee at Three Bags Full is up to scratch for you. And please share your thoughts on the food after your trip!

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | January 27, 2010, 8:58 pm
      • Well I made the 65 km round trip and was not disappointed!!! The coffee is sensational – had 3 lattes.

        The big breakfast was cooked to perfection – poached eggs oozing out onto the sour dough toast, perfectly cooked spinach, bacon just as I like (not crisp and not soft), mushrooms very tasty and the cheese kransky WOW! words can’t describe the quality and taste – sensational!

        Service – warm, friendly and very attentive to detail. Music – perfect – I felt younger than I really am. Decor is stunning, interesting & clever and I love the herbs etc. in the window boxes as well as the flowers around – even in the toilet! Prices – amazing, very reasonable. SO – A+++++++++ for 3 Bags Full – better than APTE & Liar Liar. Everything about this place will make me come back AGAIN and AGAIN! As many times as it takes to get through the menu and then start all over. Lil G

        Posted by Lil G | January 30, 2010, 12:05 pm
        • Wow Lil G, I think you take out the award for Most Devoted Customer of Three Bags Full. 65km for coffee and breakfast!

          I agree that the decor was one of the standout features of the cafe and the service was smiling and efficient. A wonderful place to rest and relax.

          Jetsetting Joyce

          Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | January 31, 2010, 8:31 am
  5. HOLY MACKEREL! *runs to Abbotsford*

    Ooo, I have a day off tomorrow so I actually can go there for breaky!
    .-= s-j´s last blog ..Daring Bakers: Nanaimo Bars =-.

    Posted by s-j
    Twitter: ess_jay
    | January 27, 2010, 9:33 pm
  6. the food looks so great!!
    .-= gloria´s last blog ..Golf Stand Bags =-.

    Posted by gloria | February 16, 2010, 6:09 am
  7. This place is great.
    I have been going there since it opened in January.
    Although lately – because of its success – portion sizes are getting much smaller.
    It aint cheap to start with so it is getting a bit on the ‘too expensive side’.
    Also, last Sunday we waited 50 minutes for a table. So I owuld avoid wherever possible on weekends.
    It is still a great place though – awesome coffee

    Posted by chris | March 31, 2010, 7:14 pm
    • Hi Chris,
      Sometimes one has to be patient to ‘get the best”. I have also been to 3 Bags Full about 5 times – Keep bringing friends for this gastronomic sensation! I haven’t noticed any change in portion sizes and I go there not just for the quality food, ambience, sensational coffee and awesome service – but because the prices are great – comparatively! Do you eat out a lot? Glad you still like 3 Bags!!
      Lil G

      Posted by Lil Griffiths | April 5, 2010, 10:00 am
    • Hi Chris

      Ouch! 50 minutes is too long to wait for breakfast for me, I’d be too hungry and grumpy. Luckily I’m an early riser so I tend to hit the breakfast places early…

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | April 8, 2010, 8:09 pm
  8. Very cute decor, great looking food, respectable prices.

    What’s with the sheep? I get three bags full as in from ‘have you any wool, yes sir yes sir’, but … why? Does anyone know?
    .-= Laura M´s last blog ..Hello world! =-.

    Posted by Laura M | May 4, 2010, 10:27 am
  9. The place definitely has got that X factor. My son’s just gonna enjoy this place.

    Posted by mary handbag | May 7, 2010, 10:03 pm
  10. uninspired

    Posted by Black | May 9, 2010, 12:21 pm
  11. by the cafe that is

    Posted by Black | May 9, 2010, 12:22 pm
  12. You’ve inspired me to wander across the city for a lazy Sunday breakfast. Great post! (Upon sight, the gingerbread has added an extra kg to my hips.)

    Posted by Tubbymistress
    Twitter: tubbymasu
    | July 2, 2010, 11:00 am
  13. Coffee good, sure. But I just paid $13.50 for a pork asianslaw that was inedible. If your going to cut pork up into 1-3cm size pieces, remove the fat & gristle first – otherwise you get pieces of tasteless fat/gristle with no meat attached floating around in your salad (which was dressed sometime early this morning so all the crunch was gone too). It was disgusting and I feel sick from it.

    Posted by Mel C | July 8, 2010, 1:14 pm
  14. Great coffee, I had two, one single origin and the Three Bags Full Blend, both really full flavoured, no bitterness.
    The food was imaginative, delicious and reasonable portions but I had to add a lot of salt as it was badly seasoned to get the flavour?
    Friendly staff.

    Posted by Nikki | August 4, 2010, 2:57 pm
    • Hi Nikki

      I went back to Three Bags Full last weekend and the crowds have really blown out but the food was just as good, and as you say, imaginative from the usual breakfast offerings. I had the Baghdad omelette, no extra salt needed and super-filling!

      Jetsetting Joyce

      Posted by Jetsetting Joyce | August 4, 2010, 3:13 pm
  15. The pictures look amazing, great decoration and tasty looking food, I’ll definitely be visiting as soon as I can.

    Posted by Claire @ freebeie jeebies | September 8, 2010, 12:05 am
  16. Great post! I hate being on a diet, the dishes you posted look so tasty!

    Love the interior design as well, with the wood and all.

    Posted by Kerry | September 23, 2010, 7:25 pm
  17. Lovely decor and the desert looks to die for! Will have to look it up on my next trip, one thing though the prices are bit steep for where it is.

    Posted by Rich | September 25, 2010, 5:40 pm
  18. After hearing so much about Three Bags Full since it opened I was worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I had the chance to check it out last week and i have to say….it was awesome!! There is so much to like about this place! Great food, coffee, atmosphere and service. It makes it hard for me to even think about going anywhere else!

    Posted by Elaine | October 8, 2010, 9:13 pm
  19. Ive heard a lot of good things about this but was wondering how their pancakes were? Does anyone know of any brunch places that make big and fluffy pancakes? yuuuuuuum…My fav place so far is Babble on Chapel.

    Posted by Grace
    Twitter: gracie.sia
    | November 15, 2010, 6:53 pm
  20. looks wonderful – warm, charming and just what the rainy weather ordered!

    Posted by Mike Bundrant
    Twitter: thehealthytimes
    | December 31, 2010, 2:40 pm
  21. When you are used to eating cold chicken while standing in front of the sink…well this place looks GREAT!

    Posted by Mike
    Twitter: bestnlp
    | February 11, 2011, 4:43 pm
  22. those bar stools are friggin’ awesome.

    Posted by tobi | March 20, 2011, 4:07 am
  23. Nice report from the café. It has such a nice look and great style – thanks.

    Posted by Hurtiglån | September 8, 2011, 10:17 pm
  24. Nice place – I love their furniture, but the food seems… Well, I’m not sure if I wanted to eat it. The thing on the first pic looks gross, but the second dish looks good.

    Posted by Jesper | October 18, 2011, 12:31 am

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