Melbourne’s 10 Best Cafes
Melbourne is home to some of the top cafés in the entire world, which is not surprising given the superior quality of our coffee and brunch selections. It's understandable why Melbourne's cafes are known throughout the world. We employ some of the top roasters and baristas in the industry, along with fit-outs from renowned interior designers. Everywhere you turn, the bar is exceedingly high, yet Melbourne's top cafés stand out no matter the standard. Their innovative, expertly produced menus are approaching restaurant standards.
From places to get a quick coffee and pastry, Sunday brunch, to menus fit for a fine dining establishment, there is a wealth of options when you’re looking for the best cafes in Melbourne. To make it easier, we've compiled a list of Melbourne's top cafes for 2023 to assist you navigate this caffeinated world and get ready for your next weekend brunch.
Visit the Auction Rooms, one of Melbourne's most adored and acclaimed cafes, in North Melbourne for a coffee of the day in this rustic-chic cafe. The menu includes a variety of breakfast favourites including chorizo scrambled eggs and black rice pudding, which they serve to the packed weekend crowds. The coffee is as wonderful as it gets. In November 2016, the St Ali empire welcomed Auction Rooms and the nearby takeaway restaurant Counter. At Auction Rooms, Small Batch remains the preferred bean for both espresso and filter drinks.
Concrete floors, weathered brick, and a lot of steel combine inside for an industrial chic appearance. But conversation livens up the otherwise drab area. With the aid of regional wines, beers, and simple cocktails, the buzz comes readily. Despite being only one page, the menu contains a lot of tasty options.
Address: Auction Rooms, 103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051
Patricia Coffee Brewers
Patricia is a speciality cafe that consistently produces cups for its devoted following of CBD partygoers. Getting a coffee and pastry here is a real treat, and should be on your café list especially if you work in the city. You may either enjoy it while standing shoulder to shoulder with other customers in the store's designated standing area or in the busy laneway while sitting a milk crate in the classic Melbourne fashion.
All of their coffee beans are roasted in-house (off site) and provide daily worshipers with a rotating selection of delectable seasonal espresso and filter blends, all of which have contributed to Patricia's reputation as one of the top cafés in Melbourne. It's not the kind of place where you'd spend all day reading the newspaper and eating a late breakfast. But if you only need one thing—a great cup of coffee—this is where you can get it. The vibe is still laid-back even when it's busy.
Address: Patricia Coffee Brewers, 493-495 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Industry Beans, a well-known name in Melbourne's cafe scene, has expanded its empire around the city, with locations in Chadstone, Fitzroy, and the CBD – but our favourite location is definitely the Fitroy cafe. They have a top-notch, entirely in-house coffee business, and their food is completely delicious, making them a serious candidate for one of Melbourne's best cafés. Industry Beans is one of Melbourne's top cafés thanks to its superb seasonal brunch menu, which features dishes like coconut and pineapple brioche and soft-boiled eggs with peanut crust.
The coffee is also outstanding every time you visit this must-see Fitzroy location, which is also home to one of the best boutique roasters in the city. Industry Beans had no intention of leaving Fitzroy when the nine-year lease on its Rose Street flagship finished in 2021, despite the fact that it has grown quickly since its beginnings, opening six interstate cafes and a successful wholesale business.
The skylit warehouse is light and bright, with tables made of repurposed wood and lots of greenery to break up the white colour scheme. The sleek Modbar machine, which can prepare up to five coffees at once, is the centre of attention. The roastery, where the staff manufactures beans as well as canned and bottled coffee products, is visible beyond through large windows.
Along with a variety of tools for preparing coffee at home, they are stocked in the cafe's tasting and sale area. The coffee menu in-store is identical to what is offered at the cafe's other locations, with a focus on single origins. Another variation on bubble tea includes tapioca pearls that have been dipped in coffee and cold brew. The iconic coffee-rubbed Wagyu burger with chilli jam and pickled zucchini is a favourite for many.
Address: Industry Beans, 70-76 Westgarth St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
One of the originals in Melbourne's cafe culture, Seven Seeds constantly ranks among the best cafes in Melbourne due to their dependability. Although their coffee is now available in cafes throughout Melbourne, nothing compares to tasting it at their original headquarters in Carlton. Their menu consistently offers a variety of dependable and mouth-watering brunch alternatives in addition to high-quality coffee.
After selling St Ali in 2008, Mark Dundon relocated to Carlton and opened a roaster and cafe in a disused warehouse with his business partner Bridget Amor. When dark-roasted, untraceable, commodity-grade beans prepared exclusively for espresso predominated in Melbourne, the pair started advocating for quality, provenance, and lighter roasts to suit filter, cold drip, and other brewing methods. Visit Carlton for an expertly crafted cup of the Golden Gate espresso mix, which has flavours of toffee and cocoa, or try a rotating single origin prepared using the technique of your choosing.
The atmosphere is constantly upbeat and bustling with activity. There frequently is a wait for a table. If you're in the CBD and in need of coffee, stop by Brother Baba Budan or Traveller Coffee, two of Seven Seeds' more modest city locations.
Address: Seven Seeds, 114 Berkeley St, Carlton VIC 3053
The Operator25 team's diner-style cafe offers sandwiches, coffee, and breakfast items all day long. It is an inviting space with cosy atmosphere that looks out onto the park in Wesley Place.
Take advantage of traditional breakfast favourites including buttermilk pancakes and breakfast muffins as well as unique sandwiches with a Melbourne flair. Along with coffee from Code Black Coffee Roasters, there are also house-made speciality drinks like milkshakes, lemonade, and iced tea. Operator Diner, is a 40-seat refuge on Little Lonsdale in the CBD that pays homage to American style cafes. The place is quite retro with 70s-style colouring, a wood grain bar, and couched booth tables.
There is a heartfelt selection of comfort food on the menu, including fried chicken sandwiches, toasties, hashbrowns, cheeseburgers, and cheesy sausage egg muffins. The standout is the tried-and-true favourite of pancakes with thick squares of butter, crunchy bacon, and a dependable glass pourer loaded with maple syrup. Of course, you might just choose to have a plate of eggs and a cup full of black coffee.
Address: Operator Diner, Shop 2/130 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Good cuisine, good coffee, and good people best define Tall Timber, a modest yet wonderful cafe in Prahran. This delightful cafe is housed in a gorgeous location with a rustic-chic design and offers customers a menu stocked with crowd-pleasing favourites.
The owners of Coin Laundry and Station Street Trading Co. have opened Tall Timber, a welcoming cafe with a patio outside and seating on the sidewalk away from Commercial Road's busy thoroughfare. The concept is simple produce done well, so you won't be confused by sophisticated terminology on a menu when you first open it in the morning.
Locally, Niccolo coffee is roasted and served up here. White coffees are made with the house blend, while black coffees are made with beans from a variety of different guest roasteries. This is one tasty and trendy café to spend your weekend at where you can wile away the time with a good brew in hand.
Address: Tall Timber, 60 Commercial Rd, Prahran VIC 3181
Whatever your opinion of Melbourne's hyped-up cafe culture, some things are simply effective; in Proud Mary's case, they truly do work brilliantly. Even on weekdays, Proud Mary still has to constantly manage customer line-ups out front despite having launched way back in 2009.
Numerous cafes have opened (and closed) since that time, but this Collingwood institution still remains strong and proud. This popular cafe on the Collingwood side streets is organised in accordance with a passion for speciality coffee. The small kitchen and a large brew bar are both enclosed by a long, L-shaped, speckled stone counter. Here, three or more baristas can operate without interruption serving up some of the best coffee in town.
Proud Mary's own blends and single origins, which Aunty Peg's roasted a block away, are held in an army of grinders. These can be consumed using espresso, cold drip, V60, and other methods. No matter what day or hour you arrive, the raw-brick establishment is nearly never empty thanks to its combination of excellent food and coffee. As a result, don't anticipate receiving your takeout coffee soon away. A few locals or employees are nearly always gathered at the entrance, eager to score.
Address: Proud Mary, 172 Oxford St, Collingwood VIC 3066
In the heart of Melbourne, Higher Ground is housed in a magnificent heritage-listed building serving up a morning menu that is a welcome sight for hungry stomachs. There's a reason they have a reputation as one of Melbourne's best cafes with dishes like peanut butter waffles with chocolate and orange yoghurt mousse.
The crew behind Top Paddock and The Kettle Black opened this popular cafe in the city's CBD challenging our perceptions of what a cafe is like. The 15-meter-high ceilings in the dining area allow for a plenty of natural light during the day. There is a large stainless steel bar where wine and cocktails can be poured, as well as coffee and speciality teas. The upstairs level is a relaxed lounge where you may read, write, or eat a meal and has its own barista station.
When it gets dark, the atmosphere changes as dinner service takes over the operation. The lighting and ceiling lights are dim. On the tables is a new menu that includes items like slow-roasted lamb shoulder with hibachi-grilled eggplant and swordfish with pine mushrooms and seaweed butter sauce.
Address: Higher Ground, 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The Top Paddock line is an excellent idea of how amazing the meals are inside. With an emphasis on high-quality local ingredients, gorgeous décor is combined with flavourful and imaginative cuisine. Top Paddock is a well-known location around town and undoubtedly among Melbourne's top cafes. Top Paddock, with a chic interior and an excellent cuisine, is the kind of place that beckons you inside and tempts you to remain for a long.
There are several options that are sure to please even the pickiest of palates, such as pork belly with burnt onions and poached eggs, chilli scrambled eggs with shiitake mushrooms and goat's curd, and many others. Of course, the kitchen also has you covered if you're looking for traditional dishes like eggs Benedict or blueberry and ricotta hotcakes.
Similar consideration is given to beverages, which also include the renowned Darling Blend, cold-pressed juices, and the native, caffeine-free tea Gulbarn. Although there are more than 100 seats available, service is prompt and professional. As morning gives way to afternoon, take a seat at one of the long, communal seats or tuck yourself into a booth.
Address: Top Paddock, 658 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
The Kettle Black
This Southside landmark is known for its elaborate, visually stunning dishes as well as for its distinctive two-story terrace cafe in the Victorian style. The Kettle Black's seasonal menu is always vibrant and flamboyant, fusing the cafe's laid-back vintage vibe with fresh modern Melbourne cuisine. Go to The Kettle Black in South Melbourne for fine dining in a stylish atmosphere if you want to elevate your standard Sunday brunch.
This cafe, housed inside a stunning white terrace home, serves dishes like polenta porridge with burnt maple and scrambled eggs with house-cured kangaroo. The food here is just as amazing as the setting. The Kettle Black's seasonal menu is always vibrant and flamboyant, fusing the cafe's laid-back vintage vibe with fresh modern Melbourne cuisine.
There is a unique Darling Blend or a changing single-origin available for coffees. To prevent takeout orders from pouring in and out of the spectacular South Melbourne facade on good days, a coffee cart is parked outside the entrance to make it easier for a grab-and-go brew.
Address: The Kettle Black, 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205
Mammoth Cafe has been providing daily coffees, midweek brekkies, and long weekend brunches to the good people of Armadale for many years, establishing a devoted clientele over that time. What's not to love about a restaurant that emphasises locally sourced, high-quality ingredients and serves Inglewood coffee?
In spite of having new owners since 2018, the neighbourhood hangout has continued to serve its patrons well-known, beloved dishes, with a menu that draws inspiration from both Middle Eastern and Asian ingredients and flavours. Mammoth's excellent, straightforward meals and fine coffee continue to wow both residents and visitors. Avocado toast is topped with a dukkah-crumbed egg and house-fermented chilli, while eggs benedict with hoisin-braised pulled duck slathered in sriracha hollandaise.
The selection of drinks is equally diverse. Along with Vietnamese-style iced coffee flavoured with condensed milk, turmeric and matcha lattes, cold brew tonics, and traditional smoothies are available in addition to Inglewood Coffee's espresso and batch brew.
Address: Mammoth, 736 Malvern Rd, Armadale VIC 3143