The Best Cafes in Ballarat for a Coffee Catch-up or Brunch

by Kate Stewart

Searching for the Best Cafes  

Higher Society Ballarat

I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in lovely Victoria, visiting fabulous cafes in Ballarat.  

After a really hard couple of years. Cafes are doing it tough. You can walk through any town in Australia and see cafes who’ve had to close their doors.

I want to help in 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 North Melbourne, amazing cafes in South Yarra and brilliant cafes in Preston. Now, I’m discovering wonderful cafes in Ballarat.

Ballarat is bursting with great cafes, serving delicious coffee and incredible brunch and lunch options. The city has a thriving local cafe scene to rival nearby Melbourne. But there’s nothing worse than heading out for a delicious brunch and being disappointed with what you receive. So, I’ve done the hard yards. I’ve visited cafes all over Ballarat, from the lively spots to the hidden gems. After so many lattes, bacon and egg rolls, pastries and avo on toasts, I’ve narrowed it down to the five best cafes in Ballarat.

I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.

Where is the Best Cafe in Ballarat?


Cobb Coffee Ballarat

Located at 2 Lydiard Street Ballarat Central. Cobbs Coffee is a neighbourhood cafe from the team behind Rumble Coffee in Melbourne. Located within one of Ballarat's heritage buildings and named in honour of the Cobb and Co coaches that once lined the Ballarat streets. Cobbs Coffee serves amazing coffee, excellent sandwiches, and the most delish pastries.

On the menu, you will find delicious coffee blends from Rumble Coffee Roasters. You can have white, espresso, batch brew, chia, or hot chocolate. To eat, there is a ham, cheese, and tomato toasted sandwich with special sauce. A mushroom melt and an amazing three cheese toasted sandwich.



Higher Society Ballarat

Located at 413 Sturt Street Ballarat Central. Higher Society is an open and inviting cafe offering the best in local produce and coffee. The café is light, bright, and full of staff with great personalities and huge smiles.

The coffee is the delicious Darkhouse blend, from the very talented Five Senses Coffee Roasters. An all-day brunch inspired menu, features so many fabulous local products and specialty items. On the menu you can find Eggs on Toast, a delicious Brekkie Roll and the always popular Eggs Benny. But when I visit Higher Society, I go for either the Brunch Bowl which comes loaded with chilli beans, purple cauliflower, broccolini, chipotle corn, poached eggs, avocado and kale chips. Or the Pumpkin Smash which is outstanding. It comes with roast pumpkin, hummus, goats’ feta, poached egg, almond dukka, watercress and beetroot chips.

There is also a delicious selection of fresh pressed juices, teas, hot chocolates, and milk shakes on offer.



Common Ground Ballarat

Located at 306 Howitt Street, Ballarat North. Common Ground is one of Ballarat’s newest cafes offering all-day breakfast and delicious lunch options. Housed in a wonderful shopfront in Ballarat’s north, this lovely café has a real community feel.

The delicious menu is designed to spice up the ordinary Eggs Benny and Smashed Avo. The café is inclusive to vegetarian and vegan customers, giving them more options than the typical one or two dishes. On the menu, there is an amazing Turkish Eggs with garlic and dill yogurt, fresh herbs and chilly butter, served with toasted Turkish bread. The Miso Mushroom Burger is to die for. It comes loaded with slaw and sriracha aioli, served on a fried boa bun with fries.

But my favourite dish at Common Ground is the Pumpkin Salad with freekeh, beetroot hummus, fresh herbs, Meredith’s goats’ cheese, and seed cracker. Add some delicious halloumi, you won’t be disappointed. 



Fika Coffee Brewers

Located at 36A Doveton Street, Ballarat Central. Fika Coffee Brewers serve some of the best coffee and delicious eats in Ballarat. The café has been beautifully fitted out using Tasmanian oak and natural stone. Their friendly staff and attention to detail really set Fika Coffee apart. They focus on the simple things, making the dining experience a special one.

The coffee is sourced from St Ali Coffee Roasters and there are plenty of options on offer, including white, black, filter or single-origin espresso.

On the menu, there are fabulous dishes including a delicious Bacon and Egg Roll, which comes loaded with egg, thick-cut bacon, rocket, and special sauce, served on a buttermilk bun. There is a delicious Smashing Avo, with salsa verde, radishes, goats’ feta and herb salad, and a great Smoked Salmon dish. There is also a wonderful selection of baguettes and toasted sandwiches. My favourite is the Boy from the South, which comes with cheddar, house made pulled pork, coriander, apple and coco mojo.


Hydrant Food Hall Ballarat

Located at 3 McKenzie Street Ballarat Central. Hydrant Food Hall is a wonderful rustic warehouse café, serving Modern Australian cuisine for brunch and lunch. Located within a heritage laneway in the CBD of Ballarat, you will be surrounded by lush greenery, polished concrete and iconic red bricks.  The massive open space boasts so much natural light and a relaxed feel, best suited for an amazing weekend brunch.

The all-day menu changes seasonally and features only the freshest local produce. On the delicious breakfast menu there is pesto eggs, spiced porridge, a wonderful breakfast board and a pretty special Chilaquiles. It comes loaded with corn tortilla crisps, spicy tomato sauce, fried egg, avocado puree, sour cream, pickled onion, feta, baby coriander sprouts, and radish.

For lunch, there are so many delicious eats its so hard to choose. There are beef tacos, ramen, a harissa roasted pumpkin salad and my personal favourite, the Slider Board. It comes with a mini pulled pork burger, a mini southern fried chicken burger and a mini cheeseburger and sweet potato chips.

Kids aren’t left out of the equation here either. My two, loved the fluffy hotcakes with vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and sprinkles.

The team at Hydrant Food Hall is also able to cater to lots of different dietaries, from dairy-free to nut-free and gluten-free.

Seven Seeds provides the delicious coffee blends. But, if is something else you’re craving, there are plenty of other options including cold brew, teas, fresh pressed juices and delicious smoothies.