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 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. Truth be told, there’s quite a few cafes that I’ve visited with great food and coffees that don’t make this list simply because (for some reason) the place itself doesn’t linger in my heart. The cafes are sorted according to alphabetical suburbs, and clicking the cafe link will take you to its corresponding blog post.
~ last updated in June 2014
Cafes that have caught my heart
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
Cute and cheery cafe that served one of the best tasting bacon (by Melbourne Pantry) I’ve ever had. The menu is simple but beautifully done. I’ve only visited this cafe once.
Captains of Industry, CBD
This laneway’d / shophouse spot caught my heart simply because of its truly unique, lost-in-time / off-the-beaten-track interior. Food and drinks-wise, it isn’t anything special.
Mina No Ie, Collingwood
Minimalist Japanese cafe in a warehouse along Peel St. The Japanese lunch dishes may be a touch Westernised, but I like it’s simplicity and wholesomeness.
Red Door Corner Store, Northcote
I initially removed this cafe from the list because my friend, Lachy, used to be part owner there (he now co-owns Little Chloe in Malvern). Since he has left Red Door, there’s no longer a conflict of interest… and my recent visit in May 2014 showed that the brunch fare there is still top notch. They also use beans from Proud Mary, one of my favourite roasters.
Beatrix, North Melbourne
Tiny little nook of a cafe specialising in sandwiches. But I mainly remember this place for their wonderful selection of homebaked cakes. They’re very good.
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.
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. Try their pork belly BLT.
Duchess of Spotswood, Spotswood
The Duchess has got lots going for it. Quiet, remote location, warm staff, great food. The menu is filled with English puns, go visit to see for yourself. The coffees have gone down in standard in recent years, but the menu has stayed top notch.