Six Barrel Soda Co's factory cafe upstairs on the corner of Eva and Dixon Streets (where, I'm told, the old Eva Dixon's once was, and sometime after that a place called Bambalina's and then, I think, maybe a sushi shop??) has been open just shy of a year but it feels way longer than that. It's fast worked its way into the Wellington fabric and is a favourite spot of mine.*
It isn't hard to see why: it's an airy, light-filled space (having a north-northwest outlook certainly helps here), with shared counter seating along the windows and extending from the kitchen area; there are board games, magazines and free public wi-fi; the food is simple but good; the soda, of course, is exceptional.
Six Barrel's small-batch soda syrups (which have, of late, been working their way into various cafes and bars around the country) are made on-site so you're pretty much guaranteed to be able to choose from the full range of flavours available at any given time - my favourites include cherry & pomegranate, vanilla, and the new and intriguing / totally awesome celery tonic (if you're reading, guys, please never stop making this!). You can add vanilla ice cream - the real stuff, as good as it gets, proper vanilla - to make your soda a float for a couple dollars more. I cannot recommend the ginger soda float enough.
Like I said, the food is simple: there are a handful of "little burgers" which are, essentially, pared-down versions of some of sister bar Monterey's burgers. There's the beef and cheddar, easily my favourite (if only because it's what I inevitably start to crave when feeling a bit iron-deficient), the halloumi burger, easily the favourite of any halloumi lover, and the smoky tofu burger, easily the favourite of... any tofu lover? (It really is good); there's a breakfast-y burger with chorizo and egg. They're small - so just the right size for a substantial snack or a not-so-hungry person's dinner and they come with just enough really good potato chips (I'm pretty sure they're Proper Crisps) to make me happy. I don't know, you may want to order more - they're available as a side, too.
They also serve other snacks and bagels, and on the weekends there's "scram" - scrambled eggs with delicious things like chorizo, or smoked salmon, or lemon and cumin. If you make it a combo, $15 will get you a plate of eggs, a bottomless cup of filter coffee and the soda of your choice. Ace. And for those sweet-toothed souls for whom a soda or float isn't enough sugar, fear not: Six Barrel also do sundaes which, I'm told (am yet to try!), are pretty damn good.
Um, what else makes Six Barrel special? An ever-changing selection of bottled craft beers, cocktails made using their own soda syrups, the fact that it's just a nice, friendly place to sip on something tasty and locally made, or get a bite to eat, or drink a coffee and look down at the people walking along Dixon Street below. It's the kind of spot that's as easy to pop into on your own as it is to visit with a few friends. Great place.
|Smoky tofu burger + proper crisps ($8)|
|Halloumi burger + proper crisps ($8)|
|Chorizo scram, bottomless filter coffee, ginger soda ($15)|
|Cherry & pomegranate float ($6.5)|
|Celery tonic ($4.5) (TRY THIS)|
Upstairs, Cnr Eva & Dixon Streets
Open seven days until about 8 or 9pm
Six Barrel are on Facebook and Twitter.