By Jo Rittey


De Clieu has become somewhat of an institution down on the corner of Gertrude and George Street. This little dark green café may have been around for a while and had a couple of owners, but the passion for coffee and good service remains consistent. Hence the fact it is always packed and hence the name.


De Clieu Café is named after French naval officer, Gabriel de Clieu who apparently used the last of his precious water rations to ensure the survival of his single inherited coffee bean from the Tuileries garden in Paris on his perilous journey to the Caribbean. De Clieu uses 5 Senses Coffee and Mailing room beans, offering a house blend, along with a variety of exotic single origin coffees which rotate according to the seasons.


The menu favours local produce and features some fairly interesting dishes such as red rice porridge; black pudding with poached egg, apple puree and eggplant salsa on soy-quinoa sourdough; or zoodle salad with zucchini noodles, red radish, asparagus, snow pea tendrils, mint, carrot and beetroot threads and salsa Verdi. Yum.


Their potato croquettes are often mentioned on social media and if you like a little bit of something sweet, they have one of the best-looking cabinets around; pastries and cakes by Little Bertha Bakery are very tempting.


One of the great things about De Clieu is the simplicity of the venue and offer. They just do what they do best in a good space. Sunny days are lovely when the sash windows are pushed up and you can sit in the windowsill with your coffee and a book and feel just a little bit Brooklyn.


187 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy


Daily 7am – 5pm



Jo is a French teacher, a freelance writer and needs good coffee to start her day. Armed with an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than roaming the streets of the northside in search of new and old food-related wonders.


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