Rumours Cafe has had several previous lives. Formerly Birdie Num Nums, a popular kid-friendly cafe that was popular for brunch with little folk it then became The Butchers Den a couple of years ago. The Butchers Den didn’t last long before closing. After a short hiatus the venue (possibly with new owners and/or management) reopened in 2018 as Rumours Cafe which is just as good as, if not better than, Birdie Num Nums.
Rumours Cafe Review
The strength of Birdie Num Nums was the rear (roofed) courtyard with a sandpit and a bunch of toys. Rumous has taken that courtyard to another level. Gone is the sandpit and in its place is a nice open area with even more toys, some little kiddy sized table and chairs, pencils and paper and jigsaws. Less sand, more fun, win-win.
While all that will appeal to the younger kids, older kids (well all kids) can enjoy the bean bags and large projection screen with cartoons. Indeed the courtyard is so good that Rumours holds its own compared to part st. which is right next to a playground and is only a few hundred metres to the north.
I think there’s fewer tables out the back, too, so it feels a bit more spacious and relaxed and helps a lot to make hyped up kids running around more tolerable for everyone.
When we went to check it out we were the only ones there, so after ordering I got to relax as everyone else ran off to play with the toys or watch TV while waiting for their meals.
The staff are nice and friendly which (as I say often about cafes) is a big factor in how welcoming and relaxing a place is. The courtyard is the cake and the staff the icing on top.
If I have one gripe about Rumours it’s their menu. There is a breakfast menu and a lunch/dinner menu. Together they’re enough but as I was there at 11:30 the lunch menu wasn’t available (it is from noon) so I was stuck with the breakfast menu which felt a bit small and limited in range, filled as it was with the classic breakfast and brunch options of a modern Melbourne cafe. Prices were normal, too, with just about everything in the $10 to $20 range (although the lunch/dinner menu was more expensive with things usually being around $20 or more).
That’s not to say the food was bad or boring – it was done rather well. I just would have liked some more options.
The lunch menu looked filled with the classics also but looked a little more appealing to me. It’s worth pointing out, too, that the rear courtyard has a bar and so lunch and dinner can be accompanied by a beer or a wine or even a cocktail to make the most of having the kids entertained.
Despite my gripe about the menu we’ll certainly be going back to Rumours. The fun and distraction filled courtyard and the relaxed atmosphere made it a wonderful choice to take my young kids for a stress-free meal.
Rumours Cafe is located at 745 Nicholson Street, North Carlton. Officially it’s open every day except Monday however hours seem to vary and I’ve seen it closed when it was meant to be open. The Rumours Cafe Facebook page has more details as to hours and menu items.
Kid Friendly: Very. Especially for littler kids.
Pram/stroller friendly: Yes, particularly the read courtyard. It’s nice and spacious.
Change table: Yes.
Getting to Rumours Cafe
Rumours Cafe is right by the #96 tram route (take trams going to East Brunswick from the city – they go down Bourke Street). It’s approximately 15 to 20 minutes by tram from the centre of the city. The nearest stop is the corner of Nicholson and Pigdon Streets, 100 metres away.
If you are driving parking on Nicholson Street out the front is limited and you may need to park in a side street and a short walk away.
Click here for more kid friendly cafes in Melbourne! Or read about nearby park st dining here.
Joshua is Melbourne born and bred, father of three who loves sharing the best city of the world with everyone on Melbourne Family.