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 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 May 2015. I’d since retired as a food blogger / foodie around then, so caveat emptor! =D

Cafes that have caught my heart


Dead Man Espresso-6314Coin 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.

Nora, Carlton

Minimalistic cafe with really unique brunch dishes, delicately balancing creativity with light and unusual ingredients. They also have an eclectic selection of charcoal tarts there.

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.

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.

10 Responses

  1. Bethany
    Bethany at · 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…

  2. Fatboo
    Fatboo at · 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!

  3. Sharking for chips and drinks
    Sharking for chips and drinks at · 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

  4. Conrad
    Conrad at · 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 at · 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 at · Reply

    Great round up of cafes!

  7. Miss SL
    Miss SL at · 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!

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