Searching for the Best Melbourne Cafe
Fancy sipping on the best coffee Melbourne has to offer. Well, keep reading and you’ll be soon enough.
I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. After a really hard couple of years. Cafes everywhere are doing it tough. You can walk through any part of the city and see cafes who’ve had to close their doors. Having a small family-business myself, I understand the challenges.
I want to help any way I can. I’ve decided to dedicate my blog, to finding the best cafes in Australia and shine a light on them. It’s time to get out and support these wonderful cafes. I’ve already uncovered fabulous cafes in Preston, amazing cafes in North Melbourne and brilliant cafes in Moonee Ponds. Now, I’m searching high and low for the best cafes in Melbourne.
Being Melburnian, I’m crazy about coffee. We live and breathe it down here. I’m always on the lookout for a great Melbourne Cafe. I love exploring new areas and discovering new cafes. I’m super passionate about Melbourne and a tiny bit biased when it comes to our cafes and coffee culture. I think it’s some of the best in the world.
Melbourne is bursting with world class cafes serving the most delicious coffee and mouth-watering dishes. But we all know, not all cafes are created equal. With so many great options available, deciding where to spend your weekend brunch can be a challenge. There’s nothing worse than heading out for a delicious meal and being disappointed with what you receive. So, I’ve done the hard yards. I’ve visited Melbourne cafes all over town, from the hidden gems to suburban roasteries. After so many cappuccinos, fluffy stacks of pancakes, bacon and egg rolls and avo on toasts, I’ve narrowed it down to the 8 best cafes in Melbourne.
Head into any one of these Melbourne cafes and I just know you’ll want to stay all day.
I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.
Best Cafes Melbourne
Prospect Espresso is a small Melbourne cafe that really packs a punch. Located just off busy Burke Street, squished amongst the shopfronts, the coffee here is a knockout. With the coffee grinders on constant rotation and the coffee machine’s consistent purring, the tiny takeaway window always has a line.
There is bench seating in the café window, as well as both communal and individual tables further in. The Coffee is a standout at Prospect Espresso. On any given day you can choose from a circulating filter, including Axil, Code Black and Maker, a single origin, or a house blend. Prospect even has its own delicious espresso blend called AU79. There is also a great selection of juices, smoothies and milkshakes.
The breakfast menu is great and includes a breakfast roll, an egg cheese and hash muffin and a tomato-based stew for those cold Melbourne mornings.
The porridge is also amazing, it comes loaded with mixed nuts and goji berries, topped with house fruits and yuzu ricotta.
A signature Chicken Sandwich and a pulled-pork roll are the cornerstones of the lunch menu, which extends to a soup of the day and a selection of panini.
CRAFT AND CO.
Craft and Co is home to one of the best cafes in the city. It is also home to a restaurant, bar, distillery, brewery, bakery, bottle shop, deli, cheese-making room and coffee roaster. It’s such a great place to hang out on weekends. The kitchen pumps out simple breakfasts, and crowd-pleasing favourites such as pastas, burgers and wood-fired pizzas.
The Line Caught Barramundi is one of my favourite dishes at Craft and Co. It includes a smoked eggplant puree, fennel, pickled kohlrabi, white wine and nduja sauc. I always pair it with the Italian Slaw which is shaved cabbage, fennel, sumac, radish, baby capers, mint, parsley, lemon dressing and parmigiano reggiano. The Gnocchi Funghi is also next level. It is fresh made gnocchi, seasonal mushrooms and parmigiano reggiano. For dessert my pick is the Orange and Rosewater Donuts – vanilla bean anglaise, ginger bread gin ice cream.
MARKET LANE CARLTON
Market Lane Carlton is a little coffee shop in one of my favourite pockets of Melbourne. Opened in January 2013, this is Market Lane’s third coffee shop in the city.
The size of their Carlton Cafe is what makes it so special! This small space with limited seating, creates a lovely sense of intimacy and community. People gather both inside and out, to wait for their takeaway coffee, or sit and enjoy their coffee in the sun with a croissant or Bombolini from Baker D. Chirico. I have spent many a day catching up with friends who live close by. There is such a lovely sense of community that you can feel surrounding the Market Lane coffee shop.
Market Lane sell coffee beans for home here. As well as brewing equipment and homewares, and of course, delicious espresso and filter coffee to savour on a lovely Melbourne day.
With a single focus on roasting, blending and brewing coffee. Market Lane Coffee is definitely one of Melbourne’s best Coffee Roasters.
ALLPRESS ESPRESSO ROASTERY AND CAFE
Allpress Espresso has grown from a coffee cart pushed around the streets of Auckland, into a worldwide coffee business that includes cafes in Sydney, London and Melbourne.
Established in what was once a disused warehouse. The fabulous large courtyard decked with greenery is the showstopper at Allpress Espresso Collingwood. With decor that’s equal parts industrial and natural, speciality coffee is served up thanks to their own beans roasted on site. I love to find a chair in this oasis for a delicious breakfast. It’s such a great start to the day.
The menu emphasises local produce and sharing options. Breakfast dishes which include hearty ingredients like provolone, ripe tomatoes and San Danielle prosciutto, are a wholly satisfying way to begin a day. A fabulous selection of sandwiches, sliced cold meats, and simple lunch dishes continue the theme into the afternoon.
There is also a naturally lit, open plan space above the roastery that has been branded Allpress Studio, and is available for neighbourhood arts, exhibitions and events.
VERTUE COFFEE ROASTERS
Vertue Coffee Roasters has some of the best Melbourne coffee. It’s named after a handbill, circulated in London in 1657, talking up the medicinal properties of coffee. Hence the different spelling of "virtue".
The food menu is innovative. Yes, you can get plain toast with spreads, or toy soldiers for the kids. But the focus here is unusual dishes. The Harissa Scramble is fabulous. Its house made harissa sauce, harissa scrambled egg, sourdough grain toast, fried shallots and Vietnamese mint. The Inca Salad is great if you’re looking for something light. Its organic quinoa, chickpea, battered cauliflower, cranberry, cashew cheese, shredded kale, baby carrot, pomegranate, capers, smoked almond, toasted pepita and grilled peach. But the Red Velvet Blueberry Hotcakes are my absolute go-to at Vertue Coffee Roasters. They are always so good. They come with black sesame and finger lime ice cream, salted chocolate caramel, ginger crumble, apricot gel and chocolate sesame shard.
Each dish comes with a suggested drink pairing. Vertue Coffee Roasters is a fabulous experience and well worth a visit.
ASCOT FOOD AND WINE
Co-owned by celebrity couple Shaun Hampson and Megan Gale. Ascot Food and Wine is the kind of venue you go for the food and stay for the warm hospitality. On the breakfast menu there are Corn Fritters with avocado, pickles, tomato jam and poached egg. The Chilli Eggs with chimichurri and garden herbs are delicious. For brunch you can have a delicious Ricotta Tortellini with Spencer Gulf whole king prawns and fermented chilli butter. There is also a Slow Roasted Cauliflower with cashew cream, mushroom XO, crisp chilli and chive.
The coffee is supplied by St Ali Coffee Roasters and is always on point. There’s also a selection of fresh doughnuts that go oh so well with your daily cup.
The Darling Café is a quintessential social dining destination in the heart of South Yarra. The breakfast menu features fun, creative twists on classic Australian dishes. The lunch menu draws upon influences from Southeast Asia. The relaxed atmosphere, eclectic soundtrack, and bright flavours create the perfect vibe for a get-together.
A few of my favourites here include the sticky date pancakes with butterscotch ice-cream, and a cookies and cream panna cotta. Another fabulous dish is their kale salad with broccolini, pumpkin and toasted almonds.
The smoothie selection is pretty dam impressive too. The Thomas Edison is next level. It’s a mango, guava and strawberry blend, served in a lightbulb. Yes, a lightbulb. Darling Café is also licensed and is a great place to enjoy a cheeky Mimosa, Bloody Mary or my personal favourite - Espresso Martini. Yum.
Superrandom is a great little Melbourne cafe, known for its friendly service, excellent coffee and delish toasties. The interior is so different to other cafes. There is a collection of construction materials acting as tables, held together with steel clamps. Pot plants hang on rope swings and fabulous art works line the walls.
Superrandon is really focused on take away, serving delicious jaffles, beautiful baguettes and a mouth-watering selection of pastries and sweet treats.
Breakfast at Superrandon includes Bircher Muesli with apple berry compote, yogurt and toasted almonds or delicious homemade crumpets. In terms of the flavoursome pressed jaffles on offer. There is one with mushroom, spinach and fetta, one with slow roast lamb and one with roast chicken, pesto and tasty cheese. If you are looking for something sweeter, don’t go past the Nutella and banana jaffle. It is amazing.
The delicious coffee blends are supplied by Cisco Roastery. Also on offer is tea, pressed juices and milk shakes.