Vic Books & Café

1 Kelburn Parade, Easterfield Building, Kelburn, Wellington
Opens 7am weekdays, 8am Sat; closes 5pm weekdays, 3pm Sat; closed Sunday
Granola $8; Supreme coffee (including filter), Libertine and Ritual teas

At the Victoria University Kelburn campus Vic Books has incorporated a café. There are tables within the bookstore area as well as many seating options in the covered ‘Hub’ that it faces. There is also a branch (open weekdays only) at the Pipitea campus, opposite the railway station, and this serves the same granola too. The Kelburn campus has other eateries as well, including The Lab and the more formal Milk & Honey. Here is a campus map to help you find your way around.

The granola is described as ‘Maple granola w/ nuts, seeds, dried fruit, Greek yoghurt and seasonal compote’ on the menu. It is served in a small, deep bowl, so you have to eat your way through concentrated amounts of compote, banana and yoghurt to get to the ganola below. I’d prefer a wider bowl where you can access all components at once.

The granola is definitely best described as such, as the oat flakes clump together in a way you don’t get with toasted muesli. It is also crisp and crunchy, as granola should be. I presume the maple means that the oats were baked with maple syrup and perhaps oil, but fortunately a sugary taste doesn’t dominate. I spied raisins, whole almonds and coconut shred in amongst the oat flakes.

I wouldn’t call the yoghurt as Greek for it was not thick and creamy, but that was fine, as it had a nice tangy taste to counteract the sweetness of the very liberal serve of compote.

The Americano coffee was good, but I meant to order the filter coffee they offer. Must do so next time. The granola was served with a jug of milk, and you can have plant-based varieties for an extra 70 cents. If you prefer bircher muesli to granola there is some in takeaway plastic containers (pity abut that) at the counter.

I feel a bit uncomfortable eating and drinking within a bookstore (how often are books stained here?), but there are plenty of other seating opportunities beyond the café right across the covered space to the Rankine Brown library building.

Conclusion

The granola is a bargain at the price (and you get far more fruit compote than at any other eatery). It has the bonus of not being laden with sugar too. Coffee, on the other hand, costs pretty much the same as anywhere else. The environment is very open and informal.

Reviewed November 2019.

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