Are Cafes in the City Better than those in the Suburbs

by Kate Stewart

Your Favourite Local Café

Are cafes in the city better than those in the suburbs? Is your favourite brunch café the best Melbourne Cafe? You know the one. It’s the place I could find you every Saturday morning. Where do you get your a weekday caffeine hit?

Ask any Melbournian and you will get a different answer on where the best coffee is, the reality is the standard is exceptionally high all over. Delicious coffee can be found in cafes in Melbourne CBD. Amazing coffee shops hide down laneways and alleyways all over town. Melbourne’s inner suburbs are home to fabulous cafes and some of the best coffee roasters in Australia.  But who has the best Melbourne Coffee?

I focus so much on Melbourne as it's my home town. I also believe it has the best coffee in Australia if not the world. I'm on a mission to discover if this is my bias for Melbourne Coffee or is it actual fact. It's also a great excuse to explore and try coffee in and from as many different places through out Australia and the world.

Where is the best espresso bar? Who serves up a killer piccolo latte? Do cafes in the city have a better recipe for chai latte than those in the suburbs? What’s the answer the age-old question of cappuccino verses latte? I’m voting latte. Who serves the best bubble tea in Melbourne?

I’m returning to my discovery of the best Melbourne Coffee. This time in the city’s inner suburbs. The region stretches from my favourite cafe in Northcote. West to a fabulous cafe in Port Melbourne, and south to an amazing cafe in South Melbourne.

Discovery of the Best Melbourne Coffee

Fabulous Cafe in Richmond

Friends of Mine Café

Friends of Mine Café provides Melbournian’s with delicious food and amazing coffee in a comfortable environment. Always holding their arms wide open to newcomers. It’s the ultimate café nearby. Friends of Mine believe brunch is the most important meal of the day.  It’s a great place for your morning coffee hit. And an even better place to meet your friends, pop open some bubbly and sit back and relax.

 Friends of Mine Cafe


Veneziano Coffee Roasters

Veneziano co-founders Rocky Veneziano and Craig Dickson have been selling coffee from their Abbotsford roastery for more than a decade. Coffee is king here. Since their beginning in 2014, Veneziano Coffee Roasters have transformed from a small batch to a talented and growing team, committed to making a positive and meaningful impact to coffee businesses across Australia

When the pair moved operations from Abbotsford to Richmond in March 2014, they never imagined filling the huge warehouse where they once parked their cars. But a café nearby was always part of the master plan.


Veneziano Coffee Roasters


May Day Café

May Day comes from the very talented Axil Coffee Roasters. All the usual suspects are on the menu, such as smashed avocado and eggs Benedict. But coffee is the main game here. Be sure to sample a piccolo latte. It’s to die for. Aside from daily food specials, there's also cold-drip and batch-brew specials. May day also boasts a small pastry kitchen which produces a selection of delicious croissants, cronuts and cruffins.

 May Day Cafe


Lovely Cafe in St Kilda

Staple Café

Staple believes simple is best. They are passionate about providing an honest, top-quality food and coffee experience with exceptional customer service. Owner Evan Lindau is no stranger to quality coffee with 20+ years’ experience in the industry. Quality coffee is Staple’s focus. Rumble Coffee Roasters Shadow Boxer blend is used for coffees. At the mini providore you can buy great-quality organic produce sourced from local suppliers.  

 Staple Cafe


Miss Jackson

Miss Jackson is a great spot for coffee and conversation. Personality is the key at Miss Jackson. Their delicious coffee is from New Zealand roaster Allpress Espresso. It doesn’t disappoint. Miss Jackson is definitely one of the best St Kilda coffee haunts, perfect for when you just want to kick back, coffee in hand, and watch the sunset. Great coffee, honest food and friendly people is what Miss Jackson is all about.

 Miss Jackson Cafe

Sister of Soul

A lot of cafés claim to have a strong sense of community. Not many team up with community gardens to donate their green waste each week. Community and sustainability looms large at Sister of Soul. The team makes nut milks to complement the acidity of the award-winning blends from St Ali Coffee Roasters. The menu is also fully vegetarian with plentiful vegan and gluten-free options.

 Sister of Soul Cafe


My Favorite Cafe in Windsor

Journey Man

A regular port of call for many discerning locals.  Journey Man is from the team at Dukes Coffee Roasters. An icon of Chapel Street, and a staple amongst the locals of Windsor and Prahran. It was right here where Dukes Coffee Roasters shaped their identity and forged their reputation as an industry leader. Journey Man continues to deliver on this reputation.  Some of Melbourne’s best coffee and delicious food is served in an amazing industrial chic space.

 Journey Man Cafe

The School of 7 Bells

Named after a mythical Colombian school that teaches children how to pickpocket. The School of 7 Bells continues along the tradition of independence and cheekily straying from the rest of Melbourne’s cafe scene. Featuring its own unique blends as well as a rotation of carefully selected single origins. It is the perfect spot for your morning coffee hit. The School of 7 Bells serves a fabulous breakfast and even better lunch. Its are great reason for a trip to Windsor.

 The School of 7 Bells Cafe


Great Cafe in South Yarra

Market Lane Coffee

Market Lane Coffee are dedicated to sourcing, roasting and sharing exceptional coffee in a sustainable, responsible and transparent way. Founded in 2009, Market Lane’s mission is simple and still shines through. They sustainably source, roast and share the world’s finest coffees, and celebrate the incredible stories behind them. Market Lane makes great coffee accessible, exciting and easy to understand. Be sure to check out their fabulous recipe for chai latte.

 Market Lane Coffee


Two Birds One Stone

Simply one of the best cafes in South Yarra. Two Birds One Stone is a place where you can have a delicious vegan breakfast with all your favourite items. Whether you want to just have a cup of coffee or enjoy a delicious brunch. Two Birds One Stone has everything you need to make your day. Also known throughout Melbourne for their pancake parlor. Two Birds One Stone serves some of the best pancakes in the city. They take pride in serving quality foods and providing an outstanding customer service experience.

Two Birds One Stone Cafe

Tom Dick and Harry

Tom Dick and Harry is a small South Yarra cafe offering delicious and creative breakfast and lunch options. Their coffee is made with their own blend of beans that are roasted in Melbourne. Tom Dick & Harry is known for their iconic window for takeaway coffee, an ever-changing salad bar and a service area for made-to-order dishes. On weekends the cafe is a great spot for all-day, build-your-own style breakfast and lunch dishes.

 Tom Dick and Harry Cafe

Wonderful Cafe in Port Melbourne


Station Street Trading Co

Created to fit the needs of local residents, workers and commuters. Station Street Trading Co is my favorite espresso bar in Port Melbourne. An emphasis is placed on takeaway goods to satisfy nearby workers. From cups of Allpress Coffee to daily special eats, there is plenty on hand for those on the run, without compromising on quality. The menu is seasonal and created using high-quality, locally sourced products.

 Station Street Trading Co

My Sister Says

On a quiet strip of shops just around the corner from Port Melbourne's main street. You will find the lovely My Sister Says.  The coffee is great and the food is even better. Its generous, fresh and full of big flavours. The John Harbour ham with smashed avocado and tomato salsa is next level. Cauliflower fritters with carrot dip are big on the menu and the gutsy steak sandwich is a local favourite.

 My Sister Says Cafe


Best Cafe in South Melbourne

Aucuba Coffee

Aucuba brings coffee, food, and great service together in one spot. The coffee is roasted in-house and served as espresso, pour-over, batch brew, or even syphon.  The menu is mostly plant-based, though you can still get dishes such as pulled-pork and eggs benedict.

 Aucuba Coffee Roasters


Wynyard Cafe 

Located in a dead-end laneway and sharing a space with distinguished retail outfit Made in Japan. Wynyard is the place to be in South Melbourne. Assorted baguettes and sandwiches line the display cabinet, along with tempting cakes and brownies. Gluten-free bread, house-made muesli bars and granola balls complement other gluten-free options on the menu. The coffee is from Sydney’s Single Origin Roasters. It’s smooth, strong and always makes me have a second cup.

 Wynyard Cafe


Great Cafe in North Melbourne

Errol’s Cafe 

Nestled in a leafy street in North Melbourne. Errol’s Restaurant and Bar is a culmination of delicious, high-quality restaurant and café eats. Errol’s is a modern Australian café influenced by many different cultures from around the world. They specialize in high-quality, affordable and tasty food. Their divine range of desserts keep me going back.

 Errol's Cafe

Twenty and Six Espresso

Twenty & Six Espresso is tucked away on Queensberry Street in bustling North Melbourne. They offer a well thought out seasonal menu which delivers delicious food for the soul. They pride themselves on using mostly local and seasonal produce sourced from the nearby Queen Victoria Market. Coffee is sourced from the amazing folk at Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters. Twenty and Six Espresso provide delicious alternative blends and single origins everyday of the week.

 Twenty and Six Espresso

Great Cafe in Southbank

Bondstore Cafe 

A cafe at Southbank with a distinctive European feel. Bondstore is in one of Melbourne’s most original warehouses. Every time I go, I think I have walked into a little piece of Europe. A carefully crafted menu includes cold pressed juice and local beer and wine. It really is one of the best cafes in the city. Located opposite the Eureka Tower in Southbank. It’s the best cafe on Southbank for sure. Bondstore is one of my absolute favorites and has been serving honest food, sourcing only the best produce for over 17 years.

 Bond Store Cafe


Best Cafe in Collingwood

A Coffee

Transparency, clarity, and simplicity are guiding principles at A Coffee. Known throughout Melbourne for roasting their beans more lightly. Apart from the to die for coffee. They have the best recipe for matcha latte. You can also order one of their seasonal fresh juices or delicious pastries from Cobb Lane.

 A Coffee Cafe


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.

 Craft and Co Cafe

Wonderful Cafe in Fitzroy


Archie’s All Day

Archie’s All Day is fabulous. As the name suggests you can have a burger at 10am, or pop in for a coffee, wine or tap beer later in the day. It’s the total package. Archie’s is a place you can easily spend hours. I have spent hours there relaxing with a coffee (or three), all afternoon.

 Archie's All Day Cafe

Addict Food and Coffee

Addict quickly gained a loyal following when it opened in mid-2014. Addict Food and Coffee delivers an all-day breakfast and lunch menu, with solid offerings for vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free appetites. Clean-eating creations such as chia puddings, salads and the essential avocado are rounded out by more indulgent French toast, bacon and brioche. The coffee here is a serious affair with Axil Coffee Roasters award winning blends.

 Addicts Food and Coffee

Lovely Cafe in Carlton

Assembly Carlton

Assembly care about bringing customers delicious, interesting and meaningfully sourced products. Everyone is welcome at Assembly. The team is always confident they can serve you something you’ll love.  As well as coffee and tea, you can find a thoughtful selection of brewing equipment and lifestyle products that you can learn about, take home and love.

 Assembly Store Cafe

Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters

Melbourne is full of great coffee spots. Still, there are some that sit above the rest. Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters is undeniably one of the best cafes in the city. The place is always busy. It’s not uncommon to have to wait for a table. Melbourne Uni is a block away, so students often drop by while they kill time between classes. If you find yourself in the CBD looking for coffee. Check out Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters. You won’t be disappointed.

 Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters


Vertue Coffee Roasters

Vertue Coffee Roasters has some of the best Melbourne coffee. Named after a handbill circulated in London in 1657, talking up the medicinal properties of coffee – hence the funny spelling of "virtue". The food menu is innovative. Yes, you can get plain toast with spreads, or toy soldiers for kids. But the focus here is unusual dishes such as tamarind prawn toast with betel leaf, or brioche French toast with strawberry coulis. Each dish comes with a suggested drink pairing. Vertue Coffee Roasters is a fabulous experience.

 Vertue Coffee Roasters


Penny Farthing Espresso Bar

Penny Farthing’s approach to vintage is appropriately nostalgic, navigating a fine line between cool and warmly earnest. Locals love it for its simple food, good coffee and a courtyard filled with laptop-tappers or those soaking up the sun.

Penny Farthing Cafe

Espresso Alley

Established in late 2011, Espresso Alley has a calm, quiet atmosphere and a subtle Middle Eastern influence. Baked eggs are spiced up with harissa and finished with feta. The sumac yoghurt and za’atar mushrooms and scrambled eggs are next level amazing.  On weekends you’ll find locals enjoying a Melba organic coffee in the sun out the front.

 Espresso Alley Cafe

Delicious Cafe Brunswick

Foxtrot Charlie

Breakfast and lunch at Foxtrot Charlie is based on a few seasonal items, with a twist in flavour combinations and presentation. Poached eggs are more likely to be served with a spicy kasoundi and quinoa than in a typical eggs benedict or big breakfast style. Recognising Brunswick's health-conscious attitude, Foxtrot Charlie also caters to vegans, coeliacs, the lactose-intolerant and to those who simply prefer organic produce. It’s one of my favorites and a Brunswick best café.

 Foxtrot Charlie Cafe

Ona Coffee

Coffee is a real passion at Ona Coffee. As one of Australia’s most highly regarded specialty roasters. Ona Coffee have always had a simple goal: creating the best and most sustainable coffee in the world. Coffee is only one part of Ona’s dominance in Brunswick though. Food is another. On the menu there is fruity chia pudding, amazing Avocado toast and salmon gravlax with confit beetroot and horseradish cream. Ona Coffee is a great place for everyone, regardless of what they think about coffee.

Ona Coffee