Melbourne is a city that loves food and coffee, with thousands of eateries tucked above, below and in laneways between its many popular streets. With a café scene that shows no signs of slowing down, take advantage of Melbourne’s huge range of brunch and coffee spots each with their own unique offerings.
Here are our top 10 picks for the best cafés in Melbourne:
1. Hardware Societe
Nestled in a laneway in Melbourne’s CBD, Hardware Societe is a favourite with local foodies and tourists alike. Enjoy mouthwatering breakfast dishes such as their famous baked eggs with chorizo and pimento, or sample European tapas to share. The counter is also adorned with sweets and pastries, with mouthwatering savoury tarts and empanadas that change flavours daily.
2. Industry Beans
Enjoy a unique coffee experience from across the world at Industry Beans in Fitzroy. Decorated in a spacious warehouse, the cafe is a specialty coffee roaster, brew bar and café all in one. Although the focus is on their coffee, the café keeps their food offering up to scratch with most of the things made in house including their bread, butter and chocolate. From tamarind blue swimmer crab omelettes to fried chicken creole burgers, there’s something for everyone on their impressive dining menu.
3. Top Paddock
From picture-perfect blueberry pancakes to delectable chilli scrambled eggs, Top Paddock café is undeniably one of the best spots for brunch lovers. Located in Richmond, the popular brunch spot uses a mixture of Five Sense coffee as well their own in house roaster to compliment their food. The menu covers a large variety of dishes and head chef Jesse McTavish personally sources all the quality ingredients, right down to the eggs.
4. Hammer and Tong
Situated off busy Brunswick St in Fitzroy, Hammer and Tong is anything but an ordinary café. Instead of the usual Eggs Benedict, treat your tastebuds to something more off-beat with exciting dishes such as breakfast ramen, chorizo bravas and soft-shelled crab burgers.
5. Shortstop Coffee and Donuts
As the name suggests, Shortstop is all about keeping it simple with good coffee and donuts. The busy CBD hole-in-the-wall café offers a variety of donuts which are made fresh onsite to match with some of Melbourne’s best specialty coffee. Enjoy donuts in flavours including sticky date, earl grey and rose or an Australian Honey Cruller. The simplicity and convenient location of the café makes it a perfect spot for a catchup over coffee or takeaway on the go.
6. Chez Dre
Start your morning at Chez Dre and get the best of both worlds with French-inspired sweet and savoury delights. Tucked away in a laneway, Chez Dre in South Melbourne boosts an extensive all day menu featuring dishes such as their house made brioche french toast, ratatouille baked eggs, boeuf bourginon and spiced lamb jaffles. If you’re in a hurry, grab some freshly baked pastries and baguettes to take away.
7. Proud Mary
Praised by Jamie Oliver and highly regarded as one of the best coffee spots in Melbourne, Proud Marys is a specialty coffee roaster and café run by Nolan Hirte. Serious about their coffee, this Melbourne café boasts an extensive list of single origin coffees and blends to from cold drips, pour overs, chemex, aeropress, syphon and more – making it a coffee snob’s delight. The café also offers an all day menu and homemade sweets to match their award-winning coffee, meaning you won’t go hungry.
Built on the heritage site of Melbourne’s first telephone exchange company, Operator25 in the CBD has you covered with a broad range of impressive all-day dishes. Dig into a comforting bowl of three rice congee, smoked sardines, elderflower sago or spice chickpea fritters. Alternatively, go for something sweet such as their ginger and date pudding to match with your morning cup of coffee.
9. Stagger Lee’s
Winner of Good Food’s 2014 best new cafe award, stop by Fitzroy’s Stagger Lee and see if it lives up to the hype. Open by the team behind Proud Mary’s, Stagger Lee differentiates itself by combining good coffee and food with a great offering of alcoholic beverages too. The food menu is packed with meals helmed as “simple but sexy comfort food” with dishes such as Mexican tortillas, truffled polenta and American corned beef hash.
For something a little different than the usual offering, visit NORA, a bakery turned café in Carlton which became famous for their distinctive black shelled tarts. Their tarts combine Western techniques with southeast Asian flavours such as coconut, tamarind and pandan, making for a delicious and light treat. Breakfast and lunch menus are also available with tea pairings, Small Batch coffee and freshly baked sourdough bread on site.
Planning a trip to the unofficial cafe capital of Victoria? Use Webjet to book your flights to Melbourne or find a place to stay nearby one of these prime café spots so you’ve got your morning pick-me-up sorted.