Tommy & Me, Macgregor

1 Sep

I love seeing suburban cafes grow and thrive, and better still there’s plenty of new ones in Belconnen making a real go of it (like Little Oink). Tommy & Me is ‘way out west’ in Macgregor, but rumours of enormous cupcakes (and I mean it literally), a great venue and good coffee sees us out there on a Saturday afternoon.

The Macgregor shops are all but closed, but on one side of the car park is the swim school, and the other Tommy & Me in what would be an otherwise unused space. It’s brightly signed with reds and whites in the corner of the building.

Did someone say coffee?

While it’s mostly empty when we head inside, the first impression I have is that it’s welcoming. The space is bright, lit by sun streaming in from a large window, with tables and chairs for adults and kids alike, and couches. The cafe’s designed for parents with kids and it’s evident everywhere you look; this isn’t a cafe crammed with tables and chairs, but one where there’s room for kids to roam and explore, and for strollers to be moved easily.

Straightforward, practical design inside

Dedicated kids’ play area where light streams in

The menu’s a bit simple, but I appreciate that they’re not trying to do too much.

And, it’s no fuss. There aren’t any fancy names;  you know what you’re going to get when you order – a real change from other Canberra cafes!

We order at the counter. I’m tempted by the literally enormous cupcake (a mere $60) but we settle on a Mars Bar cheesecake to share. Not surprisingly, we’re told they’re extremely popular – and it does taste great (though one is enough for two!).

Well-stocked cabinet

Mars bar cheesecake

Flat white

I order a chocolate milkshake ($4.50), which comes in a jar with a handle and a screw-top lid. While I’m sure (?) it’s designed for kids, it’s perfect for someone who might, ahem, be particularly clumsy (who, me?). It could almost pass as hipster. And, it’s very, very good – frothy, cold, creamy and chocolatey.

Outside, they’re making churros, with two free for every hot drink order. They’re light, cinnamony and crispy – and maybe just a touch doughy on the inside.


Tommy & Me is new, and there’s still some tinkering around the edges – it doesn’t quite run smoothly yet, but it’s still very early days. What I love is that Tommy & Me’s has a business model that’s clear and one they believe in, and they’re genuinely offering something different. You can SMS your coffee orders so it’s ready for you when you arrive (can’t help but love that), and I can’t recall ever seeing a cafe which is not just ‘kid friendly’ (which usually means has 1-2 high chairs) but largely about the kids – while keeping up the appeal for adults (including those like me without children!).

Do you have a favourite suburban cafe? I’d love to check it out. Let me know in the comments!

Date: Saturday, 23 August 2014

Where: Chalmers Place, Macgregor

Cost: ~$13 for a cheesecake, a coffee and a milkshake

Value for money: Reasonable

Worthwhile factor: Worthwhile, and highly worthwhile if you have kids, I’m sure

Want more? Tommy & Me have a very detailed website (which includes an explanation about where the name’s come from!).


One Response to “Tommy & Me, Macgregor”

  1. veronicashortandsweet September 2, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Suburban shops are one of the best things about Canberra for finding hidden treasures. They were so much better (quite) a few years ago before the shopping malls took over. My local fave is U&Co Cafe at the Kaleen shops. Unpretentious good food and friendly service. You feel like you’re welcome, kids and all and no rush to get out on a Sunday morning.

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