(Photos: Kai Burkhardt)

The white brick and neon pink sign of Ruby’s Cafe is a welcome sight in the East Village, especially on a rainy day. The Australian cafe just opened its third New York location on Saturday, October 5, ready to provide East 11th Street with a welcome plate of vegemite toast or their famous panini-style Bronte Burger.  

Ruby’s Cafe was founded in 2003 as a cramped spot in Nolita. Its following slowly grew, but in the early 2010s the tiny Aussie eatery exploded in popularity. Ruby’s was forced to expand their original store to fit more diners in 2014, and have since opened locations in Murray Hill, Santa Monica in California, and now the East Village. 

The fresh location is their biggest yet, so you won’t have to worry about elbowing your neighbor while digging into avo toast. The interior is spacious, and the painted tropical foliage along with pastel pink tiling gives it a trendy yet casual feel. The most exciting feature is the low-counter breakfast bar with taps set up behind it–though don’t come in expecting booze just yet; Ruby’s is still waiting for its liquor license. 

Tim Sykes, one of the managing partners for Ruby’s Cafe, told Bedford + Bowery they designed the new restaurant to be more functional and elevated than the previous ones, while keeping the homey, Australian-cafe vibe they’re known for. The menu has a few tweaked items, but eventually it will be consistent with all the restaurants. However, Ruby’s will bring their best beverage and beer selection, including mimosas, bloody marys and their Ruby’s Spritz, to the East Village (who said brunch?!). 

Ruby’s took the place of pizza parlor Martina, on the corner of 11th Street and Third Avenue. And if you’re thinking, “Wait, I thought I just saw that pizza place,” you’re probably right, because Ruby’s went from signing a contract to fully open in about three months. Sykes said the rapidity was the most stressful thing about opening the location, especially since the rebuilding process—from demolition to completion—took a ridiculously short six weeks. 

Sykes said the driving force behind opening the new location is to form a relationship with the community and carry on the local feel of Ruby’s to the East Village. “We want to be on a first name basis with most people who come through the door,” he said. “Hopefully the neighborhood loves us as much as we love the neighborhood.”

Ruby’s Cafe East Village 198 East 11th Street, New York, NY (646) 998 4265