Coffee and bagels is a classic breakfast combo, but at Migrant Coffee your daily fix is given a delicious twist.
Melodee Malazarte and Stacey Earsman met in their early 20s at a breakdancing competition in New York City and became firm friends and flatmates back in Melbourne. After dabbling with the idea for many years, they decided to open Migrant Coffee in October 2019.
Melodee and Stacey are both first-generation immigrants – Filipino and Thai-Maori respectively – and they founded Migrant Coffee primarily as a dedication to their hardworking migrant mothers.
As such, the cafe menu pays homage to their heritage by adding versions of Filipino, Thai and Island flavours to their New York style bagels (sourced from Melbourne’s NY Bagels).
Their bestseller and signature dish is ‘Bok Bok Manok’ (“manok” means “chicken” in Filipino) a bagel filled with a salad of shredded chicken breast with onion, carrot, mustard and pickles topped with tangy mayo and cheddar.
Another popular favourite is Pastrami Mama with Swiss cheese, cream cheese and atsara (a Filipino pickled green papaya).
Migrant Coffee is not just a hip cafe though. These best friends aimed to create a community space that replicated the family togetherness they both felt growing up. So there are plans for language classes, cultural dinners and even breakdancing events in the back car park.
“For us, family and community is everything,” explains Stacey. “No matter who you are, or where you’ve come from – we want you to feel right at home at Migrant Coffee.”