Any cafe within walking distance of an off leash park has a special spot in our hearts here at Pupbeat. So it won’t be surprising to hear that we’re rather fond of Mister Zen in South Yarra. This charming cafe is just one block from Fawkner Park and it’s a hot spot for local dogs and their owners.
Mister Zen’s menu is short and sweet. It’s all about wholesome flavours and customisable dishes. Opt for something simple like their classic Zenny Benny or amp it up with their Amazon Acai Bowl and their locally famous Pulled Pork and Duck Bao Buns. Dishes here are plated without much fanfare, a rather unusual choice for such a trendy suburb. While this may leave you feeling a little underwhelmed, their no fuss approach makes for fast and efficient service. And, the food is certainly full of flavour! For a real bargain, we recommend stopping by for their $15 express lunch special. You can eat in or grab to go and enjoy your food while your pups run around at the park. There’s a kids menu too if you’re travelling with the whole family.
Tasty food aside, the real highlight at Mister Zen is their leafy outdoor courtyard. From the lush planter boxes to the colourful cushions and the decorative bollards, it’s as beautiful as it is dog-friendly. Large tables are secured to the ground, a blessing for those of us with overactive pups, and there’s plenty of space between tables. A portion of the seating is undercover too and dog water bowls are plentiful. What’s more, the space is sheltered from the busy traffic of Commercial Road. So well sheltered in fact, that one lady even had her dogs off lead when we visited! (Not that we encourage this behaviour in any way – for their safety and the sanity of other patrons…)
Mister Zen isn’t the kind of place you’ll find hordes of camera-toting millennials. There aren’t any flashy oversized fancy dishes to wow your instagram followers. But if you’re looking for tasty food, dog-loving staff and an amazing outdoor space for your pooch, Mister Zen ticks all the boxes.
ADDRESS: 5 Commercial Road, South Yarra Hours: 7am-3pm Mon-Fri, 8am-3pm Sat-Sun
Features: Outdoor seating, dog water bowls, gluten-free options, vegetarian options, kids menu
Outdoor seating: 30+