Big on charm, Candelo General Store and Cafe delivered everything I want from a cafe. Housed in a striking setting dating back to 1904, it could easily have relied upon “ye olde” charm rather than well-made coffees, and an interesting breakfast menu delivered equally fast. Seated in the stone courtyard, I’d barely had a chance to take in the historic setting when my cappuccino ($4.50) and flat white ($4.50) arrived. Temperature perfect, they both made good use of Wild Rye Roasting Co. beans showing balanced bitterness and good strength.
The brekky burrito ($18) looks deceptively simple, but from having made a few of these at home, can easily become a sloppy mess. Insulating the pliable wrap with baby spinach leaves gave this one great structural integrity, standing up to scrambled eggs and a tasty mix of diced chorizo, corn, onions, capsicum and coriander bound with a great, smoky chilli barbeque sauce. You can also get a tasty chorizo add-on ($4) with the plump potato, leek and thyme roesti ($17) moistened with poached eggs and salsa verde. It just wanted for some salt, but that was available on every table.
The tiny town of Candelo was established when settlers found good grazing land inland from Pambula. It fills up with people on the first Sunday of each month for the Candelo markets, where stalls wind along the bank of the Candelo creek. If you pop into this cafe for lunch after your market, there are burgers and tacos backed with a fairly pedestrian selection of wines but a good list of craft brews including some that use locally grown (Bemboka) Ryefield hops.