The Best Cafes in Melbourne

Melbourne’s cafes are well-known worldwide, and it’s easy to see why. Melbourne cafes have chefs who had formerly worked in high-end eating establishments and interior designers with renowned companies and some of the best roasters and baristas. And make sure to remember that quick yet personable service has caught on in many locations throughout the country.

There are fabulous cafes in Melbourne, no matter how high the standards are. With creative, well-executed menus, their advancement is almost over the line to the quality of a restaurant. Their fittings are well regarded. It is not simply using coffee that has been locally roasted or roasting their coffee, and they also understand how to extract the best flavors from their beans in a wide range of brewing methods. For these reasons, they can fit the bill of all-arounders.

Melbourne is well-known for its excellent coffee and vibrant cafe culture. Melbourne has a multitude of fantastic spots where you can sip the best brew and eat the most exquisite food, from secret CBD jewels and suburban roasteries to the sleek and stylish cafés that line Chapel Street. The only challenge for you is deciding where to go. Choosing where to spend your Sunday brunch might be difficult with so many fantastic options.

To help you narrow down your choices, here is a list of some of the best cafés to visit in Melbourne.

In This Article

Melbourne's 15 Best Cafes

1. The Kettle Black

the kettle black

The unique atmosphere of South Melbourne is created by a Victorian terrace home and a modern apartment complex. Studio You Me’s Kestie Lane and Hana Hakim designed it. Another feature is the community table and marble bar.

The caffeinated treasure on offer ensures no dozing off. You have Ethiopian V60 filter coffee. The drink is light and bubbly, with no harshness. Each jug comes with a “Coffee Wanker” tasting card. Try the Five Senses house-blend espresso.

Ladies in Lycra are not welcome at a hungover brunch. Too few knives and forks, McTavish also sells ocean fish tataki and other unusual breakfast foods. Yummy homemade coconut yogurt with citrus powder and strawberries. It’s more costly than the Top Paddock-inspired ricotta hotcake on Instagram. Half for barre toning. Don’t. We won’t.

King Island crayfish, yuzu mayo, and brown top Paddock’s soft-shell crab burger are some of the choices you would like to relish. At nearly $3 per mouthful, you’d expect more.

2. Hardware Societe Katherine Place

katherine place

The Katherine Place restaurant seats 110 people and has a four-times more oversized kitchen than the previous one. The room is decorated with ivory paneling apple-chili, cane chairs, and green booth seats. Handmade alphabet boards advertise coffee deals over a glass cabinet holding pastries and other delights. 

French-inspired cuisine has risen in popularity throughout the area. Brunch classics like Bellinis and Mimosas are available and Boozy Tea, an iced tea with prosecco.

katherine place food

They’re more filling when topped with eggplant and ricotta, chorizo, or scallops with Jamon. The lobster Benedict is served with blinis and citrus hollandaise, as well as 64-degree eggs.

Various Euro-inspired appetizers such as veal and pig meatballs with piquillo pepper sauce and Jamon and Manchego croquettes are offered on Friday evenings.

3. Wide Open Road

Wide Open Road stands apart in a city full of Scandinavian cafes. Not only the building’s industrial charm or the staffs’ and customers’ distinctive looks, but it also has an X element. Hootan Heydari and Jono Hill began roasting coffee here in 2009. Their first café, A Minor Place, was too small.

They’ve been burning ever since. Bathysphere uses beans from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The cafe is perfect with milk. This may be done as a batch brew or a pour-over. Like coffee, Larsen & Thompson leaves are steeped at precise temperatures and periods. Chai La Lai is the in-house chai brand.

wide open road food

But food isn’t just a side note. One trip is worth it only for the bacon sandwich (provolone, smoked mozzarella, apple-chili relish). There’s also banana bread with cherries, mascarpone, popping candies, and a harissa-white-bean puree on toast.

The café is spacious, with plenty of hardwood communal seating and comfortable booths. Masonry is maintained to match the mint-green walls, terrazzo tiles, and ply ceiling. If you come in at the right moment, you can see the roaster in action in the rear window.

4. Ascot Food And Wine

Formerly a rundown Spanish delicatessen, this stand-alone suburban space has been reinvented as the Ascot Food Store: an always-buzzing cafe.

Owners Cameron Wilson and David Stewart spent nine months gutting the shopfront and three-bedroom residence. The end product is an open, modern space with polished concrete floors, clean lines, and minimal fuss. Pops of orange, retro-style light fittings and succulent-filled pot add a vibrancy that honors the 1960s soul of the venue.

A focus on quality is behind the menu. Stewart runs the kitchen and maintains strong relationships with suppliers to source local and biodynamic produce.

The result is restaurant-quality food at cafe prices, with dishes showcasing soft-shell crab, ocean trout, duck eggs and pork belly. A light touch and delicate presentation allow the rich ingredients to shine without being overpowering.

If overpowering is what you’re after, though, the homemade, syringe-spiked doughnuts will do the trick. They rotate regularly and include combinations such as the Chocolate Brownie: peanut parfait, salted caramel malt sugar, chocolate and almond soil.

Coffee is a St ALi blend for espresso, filter, cold drip and the constantly rotating single origins. Milkshakes make an appearance, taken up a notch with the use of St David Dairy milk. For the more virtuous, there’s cold-pressed juice and tea from Storm in a Teacup.

5. Top Paddock

top paddock

Top Paddock is regarded as one of the best, so count yourself lucky if you can get a seat in less than 15 minutes after arriving at this institution. Top Paddock is typically packed, and the food adds to the commotion.

The soft shell mud crab bun at this restaurant has to be one of the most popular dishes on the menu, and it certainly rates among the best in the region! The light and crispy soft shell crab is seasoned with fresh herbs and served on a soft bun to satisfy a range of palates.

top paddock food

If you want something sweet, the renowned ricotta hotcake is a wonderful option. This heaping slice of delectableness will leave you pleased.

If you’re searching for a snack, coconut chia pudding is an excellent option. Top Paddock also serves alcohol, which may be used to spice up your meal.

6. Rudimentary

Rudimentary’s no-frills attitude enables the restaurant to concentrate only on delivering excellent cuisine in a tastefully designed environment. Footscray’s long-abandoned and decrepit corner block has been converted into an AstroTurf field, complete with a café made of three shipping containers.

Desmond Huynh’s goal is to develop something that is both portable and durable. Rudimentary’s design makes it simple to carry. Furthermore, the building revitalizes utilized ambiance previously utilized materials.

This light and airy room are bright and airy, with a glass wall overlooking the lovely outdoor herb and lavender beds.

rudimentary food

The restaurant also has a full bar, which compliments the chef-driven cuisine on offer. The handmade saltwater fish with pickled cucumber, nashi, and crème Fraiche, which is produced fresh every day, is one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes.

Emily Keats’ La Marzocco machine produces coffee for Small Batch (formerly of Auction Rooms and Seven Seeds). Vietnamese coffee, as well as single-origin and filter coffee, is offered on a rolling basis.

7. Ima Project Cafe

ima project cafe

Ima Project Café skips the rice and instead tops the avocado with furikake. Breakfast has never tasted better in Melbourne.

Mitarashi syrup and immiso-infused tomato-baked eggs are also Japanese in origin. Breakfast is also served. Ima has done this previously. Please place your order before noon.

There’s a prawn-crusted burger on the menu. Cobb Lane’s large breaded prawns are accompanied by a Japanese-style tartare with hard-boiled eggs. No serviettes are required for this surprisingly light burger. The burger is served with whole deep-fried prawn heads, the shell of which melts in your tongue.

ima project food

The main protein course, pickled vegetables, miso soup, and sticky Koshihikari rice, Creamy mashed potatoes with ground beef and panko crumbs on top are the choices one can select from. Add as much tonkatsu sauce as desired, and don’t forget the onsen egg.

James Spinks and Asako Miura, a married couple, designed it. Despite its unpainted wood furniture and simple ambiance utilized appetizers, Ima Project Café seems to be here to stay, judging by its frequent individuals.

8. Hammer And Tong

hammer and tong

Melbourne has put its support behind the initiative, as shown by the delectableness of the dishes. This is without a doubt a much better option than the town’s congested cafés. Hammer and Tong is a popular café, and the experience there matches or surpasses the high expectations set by the numerous positive reviews.

hammer and tong food

The steaming bowl of deliciousness is a popular dish on the menu at this café, and it provides a wonderful oriental flavor to the menu that would otherwise have been lacking. Hammer and Tong are particularly well-known for their waffles, which come in both savory and sweet flavors. Aside from lamb ribs, omelets, and tiny snappers, there are sure appetizers. Apple-chili utilized their to be something on the menu to satisfy your appetite.

9. Light Years

light years

Light Years was established in August 2017 by Journeyman Café’s head chef Simon Ward. Ward’s love of Asian food shines through in his use of edamame, sriracha, miso, and nori. Scrambled eggs and toast are delicious. Creamy eggs with wakame, sweet corn, and nori sheets that have been broken. Three milk bread sticks’ are arranged over the roasted mushrooms. 

Light Years’ excellent soft-shell crab burger isn’t helping. A toasted brioche bun is topped with spicy sriracha mayonnaise. Shredded cabbage slaw, fresh coriander, and fried crab are all included. It’s refreshing, creamy, and light. It is served with sago chips. They’re like a superior rice cake, crispy and thin.

light years food

The décor of Light Years is as exact as the food. In keeping with the space theme, huge circular lights hover above floor-to-ceiling and windows resembling Saturn’s rings. Employees stop in for lunch and talk while lone diners nibble chocolate chip cookies and sip smooth Duke’s espresso.

10. Monk Bodhi Dharma

monk bodhi darma

Earlier, a bakehouse used to be located in this small brick cubby. But today, it serves guilt-free breakfast and lunch (as well as supper on Fridays). Everything is vegan, even down to the lack of eggs in the recipes. Instead, they provide great coffee, baristas that are knowledgeable about their beans and eager to assist you in selecting something that matches your specific flavor profile, and an animal-friendly cuisine that will satisfy both your stomach and your spirit.

It’s warm and inviting inside, with a refurbished workbench acting as the communal eating area and Singer sewing tables that have been converted for cozier tête-à-tête sessions.

Monk Bodhi Dharma offers some healing teas to help you refocus, but for spiritual healing. Try the Monk porridge, which has a pool of stewed berries in the center. Or the Bodhi bircher, which is packed with spices, pecan, and almond chunks, a colossal dollop of organic yogurt, and a rainbow of green and red apples.

11. Breakfast Thieves

breakfast thieves

The variety may seem to be restricted at first glance, but you’ll be astonished by how creative each item is. The intriguing titles of the meals stimulate your attention, and you become eager to learn more about each of the courses. There is no need to be concerned about vegans and vegetarians since this menu offers a wide variety of vegetarian meals.

breakfast thieves food

If you can’t decide between two options, go with The Breakfast Chain, which comprises yogurt with granola, soft-boiled eggs, and almond crumble. If you’re starving and looking for a filling meal, the Uncle Foo’s Fiery Crab Burger and the Seor Botak Chin are both must-orders. For a more conventional alternative, try eggs on toast, which is also delicious.

12. Lune Croissanterie

luna

Fitzroy’s most well-known warehouse bakery has lately acquired popularity. Kate and Cameron Reid’s Lune Croissanterie bakes crisp, golden croissants with transparent layers of delicate dough in a climate-controlled facility.

In late 2018, the Fitzroy couple decided to expand to Melbourne’s CBD. Their CBD store is more of a takeaway operation, perfect for inner-city coffee and pastry addicts.

luna food (1)

People almost kiss the glass of the store’s huge windows as they queue up to go in. There is no seating inside for that European, standing-room-only vibe. The majority of the croissants are prepared at the Fitzroy warehouse before being sent to the city for baking and sale.

It’s the aroma. In-store baking fills the air with an enticing buttery fragrance. Lune serves lemon curd cruffins, almond croissants, pain au chocolat, and the traditional plain croissant.

13. Oasis Bakery

Oasis Bakery, a three-in-one bakery, café, and grocery in Murrumbeena’s suburbs, has become a cult culinary destination. In 2016, it celebrated its 18th birthday with a makeover that turned the suburban store into a contemporary Middle Eastern open-air bazaar known as a souq.

When seen from the outside, Oasis appears nearly identical to its previous appearance. It’s a different tale inside. The makeover included a new dessert bar with a glass cabinet filled with Turkish delight, pistachio nougat, and halva. A crepe counter and a deep fryer produce fresh Lebanese doughnuts. The deli, located next to the dessert bar, sells cured meats and cheeses to go.

Lamb shawarma is a must. It’s pita-wrapped with salad (iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, and tabouli) and slow-cooked lamb shreds. The falafel platter includes creamy hummus, neon-pink radish pickles, dill pickles, and tabouli. When the restaurant is busy, the staff is courteous and patient as you debate whether to add tzatziki or hot fries to your shawarma.

14. Axil Coffee Roasters

Axil is more than simply a coffee shop. An old bowling alley’s broad strip has also been converted into an elevated communal table. Guests may also watch roasters at work in the cupping and training room next door, illuminated by powder-coated milk urns.

Design for the Environment Style designed a dark, masculine space with black walls, highly polished concrete floors, a corrugated iron ceiling, and a focus wall of white and green tiles. Succulents grow from the bench seating to the ceiling, which is supported by a metal lattice.

axil coffee food

From buttermilk pancakes with chocolate, pear, praline, and zabaglione gelato to smoked salmon wrap with scrambled eggs, avocado & tomato salsa, and snow pea tendrils, there’s something for everyone. Lunch is equally avant-garde, with four made-to-order sandwiches.

The name of a café is either apparent or well thought out. The botanical term axil was chosen since it refers to the space between the upper edge of a leaf and its stalk.

15. Sensory Lab Speciality Coffee

Because it is situated in the center of the city, it is an excellent choice for anybody looking to unwind after a long day of shopping. In addition, a fantastic chocolate bar (vegan and gluten-free) is provided to accompany coffee, which was a new and unexpected surprise.

sensory lab food

The chocolate is so tightly packed with many components that it doesn’t even taste like a chocolate bar. You get first mouthful chunks of dry coconut, crispy almond pieces in the second, and chips, perhaps even cereal, in the third. It is an array of all things crunchy.

Apart from that, it is one of those go-to coffee shops that is well-known for its dependability.

The Final Words

Melbourne boasts a plethora of cafes, and its coffee culture restaurants are a must-experience. Each café has a variety of snacks and meals to select from. You will be pleased and surprised to discover new items at the café regularly; today’s lunch will be pretty different from tomorrow’s. Every day, cafés offer the same high-quality food.

Look for a café that caters to your preferences and offers a wide range of food.

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