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
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.