A restaurant and wine bar, Fasoli's was Melbourne's leading literary café in the early decades of the 20th century. In the words of poet and playwright Louis Esson:
Oh! That bottle-laden table!
Oh! The mixed and merry scenes! ...
Oh! 'tis Bacchus waves his thyrsus
Where the Latin Quarter dines.
Founded by Vincent Fasoli in 1897, it was located initially at 108 Lonsdale Street. After Fasoli retired in 1905, his daughter, Katharine Maggia, became the proprietor and in 1907 moved the café down to King Street, where it operated until 1933. The fare was homely, so-called casalinga style. There was usually only one main course, such as a stew, a braised or pot-cooked meat dish or ragout. Entrees consisted of a rich soup and ample servings of pastas. The old premises in Lonsdale Street continued as a restaurant, run along the same lines by Signor Casmusso. It later became the Ritz and remained a popular café until after World War II.