Favourite Cafés

Favourite Cafés

Melbourne has often been touted as the coffee capital of the world. I think this statement is only true insofar if one actually knows where to go, and that’s where it gets tricky. While I do sense that most visitors seem to think that the coffees here are almost uniformly good, as a ‘local’ I beg to differ. A really really good cup remains hard to find.

I only started loving brunches after a barista friend cultivated my love for coffees circa Autumn 2011. Readers of this blog will know how mad I have been over this humble bean, just read any brunch post to find out to what extent. In terms of time-line, I’d like to make it clear that any posts dated before mid 2011 indicates less tasting knowledge around coffees. I became more of a coffee geek only after that period.

If you’re reading any of my brunch posts, let it be known that as of 2012, I’ve grown more ‘polite’ with my opinions regarding each venue’s coffees. I’m very finicky with my beans and how they’re extracted, I admit it. To avoid being too harsh with cafés that make sub-standard coffees, I’ve decided to hold back my punches with so-so coffees, and just give short comments only. Generally, if a place doesn’t serve good coffees, You’ll find I’d order teas or juices instead (big hint).

This shortlist of brunch places are the ones that I personally love, you shouldn’t think of it as one of those all-encompassing “Melbourne’s Best Brunch Spots” lists. The cafes are sorted according to alphabetical suburbs, and clicking the cafe link will take you to its corresponding blog post.

~ last updated in July 2013

Cafes that have caught my heart


Favourite Cafés

The Petty Officer, Albert Park

An immaculately handsome café with spectacular coffees (by Axil) and a simple but nice brunch menu.

Coin Laundry, Armadale

While I’m not a fan of the coffees, the brunch fare here is very good. It can get quite crowded on weekends.

Le Petit Prince, Armadale

Simple, cute and cheery cafe that served one of the best tasting bacon (by Melbourne Pantry) I’ve ever had.

Captains of Industry, CBD

This laneway’d cafe caught my heart simply because of its truly unique, off-the-beaten-track interior.

Ora Cafe, Kew

If this cafe was closer to home, I’d visit a lot more often. Excellent excellent coffees (from Proud Mary).

Beatrix, North Melbourne

Tiny little nook of a cafe serving amazing sandwiches and a wonderful selection of homebaked cakes.

Market Lane Coffee, Prahran / CBD

It’s more a place to have coffee than a brunch cafe, but I have to add this place to the list. Of all the beans available in Melbourne, I love Market Lane’s boutique roasts most. Simply delicious.

Top Paddock, Richmond

Bustling place opened by the people who were behind Three Bags Full in Abbotsford. Good coffees (5 Senses), spectacular brunch fare. Be prepared to wait for a table on weekends.

Common Galaxia, Seddon

This is the sister cafe to Dead Man Espresso in South Melbourne (see below). Coffee and food’s pretty similar in both places. You should also stop by Sourdough Kitchen down the road to takeaway their delectable sourdough croissants.

Dead Man Espresso, South Melbourne

I really like the fit-out and vibe around this café. Coffees are from Seven Seeds and they make it well here. Solid menu that rarely disappoints.

Duchess of Spotswood, Spotswood

The Duchess has got lots going for it. Quiet, remote location, warm staff, great food and good coffees (Candyman – Auction Rooms). The menu is filled with English puns, go visit to see for yourself. On a side note, I last heard that Duchess is now half owned by the St Ali ‘chain’ of cafes. So let me know if things get less cosy here over time.

10 Responses

  1. Sharking for chips and drinks
    Sharking for chips and drinks February 27, 2012 at 1:43 am · Reply

    Lovely list – still ones on here that I still need to visit. But a good blog to start the new year list.
    My recent post Sharking for Chips & Drinks 2012 Most Anticipated List

  2. Bethany
    Bethany February 27, 2012 at 1:43 am · Reply

    Re – meaning of the word “flaneur”, you’re actually pretty much dead on! It’s someone who strolls around, which is a perfect name for a cafe as lovely as this :)

    Incidentally, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and absolutely love it :) As a newly-converted Singaporean food addict, I really appreciate the juxtaposition of nostalgic food posts and those concerning new and interesting Melbourne eateries. I’m based in the city about 70% of the time so this blog has often saved me when I’ve been on the verge of resorting to mounds of “Shitalian” or “Crapanese”, haha.

    - Bethany
    My recent post Everytime I think of how little money I spend compared to other people…

  3. Fatboo
    Fatboo February 27, 2012 at 1:44 am · Reply

    Thank you for reading, Bethany. It’s very nice getting feedback from people!

    Sadly, I have more or less run out of Singapore food posts, so they may not feature much more after I push out the last few. Hope you continue following fatbooo!

  4. Conrad
    Conrad May 30, 2012 at 12:39 pm · Reply

    Have you been able to try 8 days in High Street Armadale yet?
    We went there last weekend and the place was pumping and the food was fantastic. They had 5 senses coffee and single origin from gridlock which I thought was very interesting.

  5. Lauren
    Lauren August 17, 2012 at 10:08 am · Reply

    If you are ever in the area, Tanck’s Corner in Yarrambat is brilliant. It has all the charm of the country but also reminds me of Fitzroy and Northcote! My ‘local’ :)

  6. catherine
    catherine July 23, 2013 at 1:55 am · Reply

    Great round up of cafes!

  7. Miss SL
    Miss SL July 23, 2013 at 9:44 am · Reply

    Great write up! It’s funny how one good cup can change your perspective on coffee! The line up above are a good choice – only Coin Laundry no longer serve All Press and are unfortunately not as great as they were when they first opened :( change in owners & beans does that unfortunately!
    Miss SL recently posted..Brunching with ThievesMy Profile

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