It’s called Lumen People, it’s yet another new reason to investigate the delicious goings on of North Melbourne, and this is what you need to order when you visit, according to owner Emma Sheahan.

Snag a hot location on the fringe of North Melbourne’s Errol Street, hire an inspired young chef like Stephannie Liu, call in premium biodynamic produce from small-scale farms like Dog Creek Growers, chocolate from Small Batch and bread from Bread Club, dress it all with as few bells and whistles as possible, and odds are you’ll have a wonderful, modern café on your hands. Add an intriguing list of minimal intervention wines and a lo-fi evening service, and you might just have everything the body needs.

How about a drink?
Our house blend is meticulously sourced and roasted by Seven Seeds in Fairfield, and is perfect for the latte aficionados. It’s perennially zero-fault and fresh-crop coffee, which is important to us, and always a delight to drink; we think you won’t find a more intentional and clean coffee paired with milk in all of Australia.

Our extended seasonal feature coffee menu offers the absolute best possible quality across all types of beverages. Filled with single origins roasted for filter and espresso, each one is quality assessed and graded weeks before we launch them, which allows us to serve exceptional quality coffees of 87-90 points and above. This translates to a better guest experience; we strongly feel that life is too short to drink defective, unethical coffee in 2023.

I’m here for a good time, not a long time.
We’re all about the guest experience at Lumen People, and sometimes this means dining in a hurry. We’d recommend the sardine on rye as our go-to favourite: fresh Bread Club toasted rye, sweet and sour onions, roasted hazelnuts, tea-soaked currants, ricotta, Dog Creek herbs and Pepus baby sardines. It’s the perfect combination of savoury meets umami sweetness, and if you’re really looking for decadence, then we think it’s best enjoyed alongside a ripe pu’er tea from Yunnan in China, by Kuura.

Got anything light and fresh?
We’re here for Steph’s delightful baked granola, with Schulz organic yoghurt, bosc pear and rhubarb. We’d pair this with a glass of Abruzzo’s finest light and zippy bianco from Vini Rabasco Cancelli for a mid-morning treat.

What if I like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
We’re all about real produce grown by real producers. Steph’s latest winter salad is so moreish, we’ve had guests ask us for the recipe several times a week. The hero of this dish is definitely the Dog Creek Grower’s herbs and chickweed greens, in blood orange vinaigrette. Coupled with fresh radish, kipfler potatoes, nori pangrattato and probably the most light and addictive soy aioli that we have ever tasted. It’s vegan, but with all this delicious umami flavour, you’d never know.

Name the dish that captures the essence of what you’re cooking at Lumen People.
We’ve just launched evening service at Lumen, as we look to provide a quality wine bar experience to our favourite local guests in the North and West Melbourne area. Our evening menu is built around tasty morsels and snacks with an elevated twist, like Yurrita anchovies with Mount Zero olive oil and blood orange, or LP’s Quality Meats’ saucisson with Westmont pickles and Bread Club baguette.

This week we’re serving Charles Arnaud 24-month Comté with Victorian organic honey and roasted hazelnuts. Lumen People are in love with the snacky approach to evening service and we couldn’t be more thrilled to pair this with our minimal intervention wine list.

And to close?
Each weekend our incredibly talented head chef, Steph, has been baking the most wonderful Cara Cara orange and mandarin curd cakes with citrus buttercream. We’ve topped these with Dog Creek flowers and poached rhubarb. They don’t last long so make sure you keep an eye on the ’Gram, as these are not to be missed if you have a sweet tooth. Perfectly paired with our delightful blood orange breakfast spritz or a coffee of your choosing.

Lumen People, 522 Victoria Street, North Melbourne, 7am-4pm Mon-Tue, Wed-Fri 7am-10pm, 8am-10pm Sat-Sun, @lumenpeople