In the heart of Lygon Street, Cafe Cavallino cannot help but stand out. Perhaps it is the alfresco seating, one of the largest spaces to eat in Carlton. Or perhaps it is the Ferrari memorabilia that encompasses Cafe Cavallino from the ground up, speckled along the walls, across the bar, and anywhere else a Ferrari poster, uniform, or hat can go. Or maybe it is the endless patronage that it receives. The endless parade of Carltonites, Melbournians and tourists that come and go. Or the plates of food, the pizza’s spinning in the air, the desserts making your mouth water as they go past.
But we think that it is, at the heart of it, one man that makes Cafe Cavallino an experience, and one man that encompasses all of those things and more.
Gino Francese is that one man. The man who spins the pizza’s, who adores Ferrari, who welcomes and serves and who has built Cafe Cavallino into a Lygon Street staple.
Decades of experience and generations of food has made Gino a father of Italian cuisine in Melbourne. Cafe Cavallino, his child, has grown up to become an incredibly fun and delicious place to sit in Carlton, and we’re so glad we did.
There is something so characterful about this place. The decor, much of which is Ferrari based, adds a certain colourfulness that makes your experience, well, fun. And that’s what we absolutely love. Fun.
Dining has become so serious lately, so based on facts and traditions and influences and history, so very full of itself, that we miss those places which offer up good food, great service and good old fashion fun.
Cafe Cavallino is just that, and we cannot wait to return, wave at Gino, marvel at the memorabilia, and fill up on some crunchy pizza and some amazing desserts, finishing off with a classic espresso, and a conversation as we look out on the bustling Lygon Street to go by.
181-187 Lygon Street, Carlton, 3053.