Welcome to Hobson's Choice Foods
In 1837, William's Town was laid out to the order of Governor Bourke. First named was Nelson Place, the main street that would face the Hobson's Bay Anchorage. Victorias first settlement grew & by the late 1800s, the street was familiarly known as 'The Front'. Here the fashionable promenaded & shopped, for Parisian millinery & silk from Mr McRobert, teas from China at Doig & Hall, renown in Andrew Riders' gallery of society photos & perhaps just one of the delectable pastries that chef Fred Woods of The Williamstown Coffee Palace was famed for.

The winds of change blew strong across Nelson Place, as the shipping moved to Port Melbourne, the houses & banks closed their doors & it was a hundred years before the street began to emerge from the mists of obscurity.

Amongst those who saw the potential of the street, was Graham Cleary. Behind the original shopfront at No 213, little was left of Williamstown's first bakery but Easter 1989, the antique ovens were lit, the cappuccino machine fired up & Hobson's Choice Foods opened it's doors. Today, amongst a bustle of restaurants, art galleries, antiques & gift shops, Hobson's Choice Foods honors the tradition of good coffee & food. At 7.30 the distinctive green & red Vittoria umbrellas are unfurled outside Hobson's Choice & the day on Nelson Place begins.

photo of Graham
Graham Cleary

The atmosphere at Hobson's Choice is relaxed. Our role seems to change hourly; a leisurely breakfast, a cappuccino for the drive to work or a short black after a long night, a business meeting, a healthy lunch, an indulgent afternoon tea, breakfast at 5pm! dinner with your favorite wine, or perhaps a hot chocolate by the fire on the way home.

The menu is extensive & while old favorites remain standard, there is a specials board - dependent upon the season & the whim of the chef. Select from the range in the deli fridge or perhaps something from the display of pastries & cakes baked on the premises.

Hobson's Choice Foods
Williamstown Victoria
Hours Open 7.30am til late evening. Seven days a week
Original Menu
BYO Licence
Take away available
Limited access
Shallow step to dining area
* Hobson's Choice Photo Album
photos by afactor
Our thanks to

mayu kanamori
Coffee Beings

Marion Rennie
Robert Langsford {ink drawings}
Phil Judd : The Egg {Acrylic}
Ding Bin : Horizontal Landscape {Ink & Wash}
Robert Langsford & Andy Doyle : HCF artwork

& to past exhibitors

Luke Devery : Mask maker

Peg Smith : Computer enhanced photos

Hobson's Choice : Peg Smith


Hobson's Choice Foods changed hands in January 2001
Graham and Anni wish to thank the people of Williamstown for their support.

Williamstown on the Web


Etymology of "Hobson's Choice"
Thomas Hobson was a liveryman in Cambridge who required customers renting a horse, to take the beast nearest the door. By 1649, the term Hobson's Choice was coined, an apparently free choice when there is no real alternative. Etymology : WWWebster Dictionary : Biography.com.


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Coffee Links

The Coffee Cantata

The Trojan Room Coffee Machine.
Mike Markowski's Coffee Page.
To Brew The Perfect Cup.
Coffee & the Rain Forests.
Too Much Coffee Man.
An Espresso Timeline.
The Coffee Experts.
Coffee Universe.
Coffee Break.
Water Joe.

Cyber Cafes

Australian Internet Cafe Guide.
CyberCafe Search Engine.

Restaurant Guides for Melbourne

Epicurious Food.
Fodor's Restaurant Index.
Melbourne Diners Guide.
World Guide To Vegetarianism - Victoria, Australia.

Food Links

Chef 2 Chef recipe archive
Chef of the month.
Cook's Thesaurus.
Cyber Kitchen.
iChef recipes
Sydney Fish Market.
Tokyo Food Page.
The Virtual Bar.
WebFoodPros.com Discussion Forums
Yahoo Food & Drink Listing.





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5 Angry Men

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Williamstown on the Web

Ganggang .au shareware guide

Anzwers .au Search Engine

ATourism Australia

Beyond The Black Stump Australian websites listing

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© information Dated: 11 July 1997 Updated: 23 January 2007

Welcome to Hobson's Choice Foods