The world’s most liveable city is also home to Australia’s best cafes and coffee shops. While Melbourne’s city centre is already home to a sheer number of cafes and coffee shops, the inner suburbs such as South Melbourne and Fitzroy have a lot waiting to be discovered.
A whole new world awaits when you are ready to venture out of the CBD grid system. Please share with us your favourite cafe haunts too!
From Seven Seeds Specialty Coffee to South of Johnston, an alternative guide to our Favourite Cafes in Melbourne’s Suburbs.
Cafes In Melbourne’s Suburbs That Are Worth Travelling For Out Of The City Centre
As a city of opportunity, rife with countless discreet laneways bustling with culture and a sense of purpose and individuality, Melbourne is often considered the cultural capital of Australia.
Within a city such as this, quality cafés abound. In case you get overwhelmed in this great city, here are a few top picks to get you moving in the right direction for your java hit or breakfast wake-up call.
Addict Food & Coffee
This minimalistic space in Fitzroy is both photogenic and cosy. It has a menu of all-day breakfast items and healthy grubs for clean eating – which is precisely what we love about Addict Food And Coffee. Try the chia puddings while you are at it!
The coffee here is serious business too. Axil Coffee Roasters blends for the milkier coffees and roasts from Sir Charles for the black coffee lovers. Filter coffee options are available too.
240 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
Located in North Melbourne, the beautiful Auction Rooms is a popular brunch spot serving all-day breakfast from 7 am onwards. Coffee beans are supplied by the Small Batch Roasting Company, which is also owned by the same owner who owns the Auction Room.
We particularly enjoyed their bestseller Brûlée French Toast (A$16) served with passionfruit labné, poached mandarin, macadamia crumble and white chocolate ganache. Those who prefer something savoury can consider ordering their signature Pressed Pork Shoulder (A$18) served with white bean puree, morcilla, pickled carrots and sweet potato.
103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne
Who would have thought that a seemingly simple focus on fresh local goodness could be the recipe for a cafe’s success? A meal at Breakfast Thieves is easily one of Melbourne’s best, and residents of Fitzroy could vouch for that.
The delicious menu offers gluten-free and vegetarian options, think gluten-free Spicy Baked Eggs (A$19), vegetarian Spanish Croquettes (A$19) and whatnot. Aussie flat whites (A$4) are lovingly prepared with Haymaker’s Blend from Rumble Coffee Roasters.
Shop 1, 420 Gore St, Fitzroy
Crabapple Kitchen serves hearty breakfast items throughout the day, and its comprehensive menu is largely influenced by the Mediterranean. Visitors can expect an ever-changing seasonal menu that reflects the culinary team’s vast travels.
Do not miss out on their signature Crab Apple Sliders (A$8 for one, A$15 for two)! The palm-size baby brioche milk buns are stuffed with breakfast radish, Kewpie mayonnaise, mustard cress and delicious spanner crab. Divine!
659 Glenferrie Road
Chez Dré + Bibelot
Tucked away in an alleyway near South Melbourne Market, Chez Dré has made quite a name for itself with its delectable variety of French-inspired sweet and savoury all-day breakfast items. It has recently split the warehouse cafe and adjoining patisserie, Bibelot, into two separate brands.
Bibelot has evolved into a multifunction venue where it is essentially a chocolate shop, espresso bar, gelateria, high tea salon and patisserie. We recommend visitors have breakfast at Chez Dre before heading next door to Bibelot for coffee and desserts.
285-287 Coventry St, South Melbourne
Dead Man Espresso
Using only the best blends from Market Lane, Sensory Labs and St Ali etc., coffee snobs can rest assured that their cuppa will be nothing but heavenly.
Their seasonal menu features a delightful selection of gluten-free and vegan options. Our favourite dishes include the Deadman Chicken Burger (A$18.50), which contains buttermilk fried chicken with homemade pickles, vegemite mayonnaise and coleslaw.
Oh, and no worries, you certainly won’t find any dead man at Dead Man Espresso.
35 Market St, South Melbourne
Grub Food Van
People sick of cutting-edge cities’ lifestyles would find Grub Food Van’s peculiar disregard for the outside world extremely heartwarming. Think food served through a retro 1965 airstream van and a bizarre exhibition of bodiless dolls.
Grub Food Van is, after all, located in Melbourne’s bohemian district and we dare say that its interiors and decorations truly reflect its eclectic neighbourhood. Food and beverages are relatively affordable, where pastries start from A$5.50, and beers start from A$6.
87-89 Moor Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Coffee connoisseurs must pay speciality coffee shop Industry Beans a special visit. From single-origin espressos to cold brews, you can indulge in a delightful mix of caffeinated beverages.
Complement your drinks with their hearty selection of brunch items such as Coconut Crusted Brioche (A$20) and Cured Salmon (A$22).
3/62 Rose St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Located just along the Yarra riverside walk, Kitty Burn’s ambience is impossibly relaxed, and it is one of the most Instagrammed cafes in Melbourne in recent times.
Greenery, geometry and minimalism are the cafe interiors’ key characteristics; it was the gorgeous design that lured us in. Think pastel hues and high ceilings – how do you resist a place like that?
24 Acacia Place, Abbotsford VIC 3067
On closer look, one would notice that Mart 130 Café is named after the word ‘tram’ – except that it is spelt backwards. Indeed, Mart 130 Café is housed within a refurbished stationmaster building and located directly beside an operating tram stop in Middle Park.
The brilliant concept is one-of-a-kind and provides diners with a memorable experience. The only tram stop going through the café is tram number 96, and visitors can easily board the tram from Bourke Street Mall (the direction headed towards St Kilda Beach).
107A Canterbury Road, Middle Park VIC 3206
Located just a stone’s throw away from Prahran train station, pooch-friendly Oscar Cooper is the go-to place for Melbourne’ best jaffles. But we say, go for the entire dining experience.
Nocturnal creatures rejoice! Oscar Cooper serves awesome breakfast items till 3.30 pm, which means you can savour their Breakfast Burrito (A$16) and vegan Twice-Cooked French Toast (A$17) even when it's way past brekkie.
The fine cafe prepares superb coffees with Small Batch’s high-quality beans, and if you would
like an extra kick, try their Espresso Martini (A$10).
160 Greville Street, Prahran VIC 3181
Pepper Café is an unpretentious rustic-looking café located in the quiet residential area of New Market. We have dined at this quaint spot countless times, for we love how affordable and delicious everything is here.
While Pepper Cafe remains relatively unknown amongst many, the neighbourhood establishment has served the locals for over a decade. All-day breakfast items are the popular ones here.
44 Pin Oak Crescent, Flemington VIC 3031
Proud Mary has every right to be proud of what they have achieved. They are the rightful owners of the world’s only six group Synesso espresso machine. They have been unanimously hailed as Melbourne’s Best Café by reputable press and foodies from all over the world.
From all-day breakfast, artisanal cakes to award-winning coffee, there is surely something for everyone at Proud Mary. However, expect the café to be packed even on a weekday as crowds flock there to get their caffeine and brunch fix.
172 Oxford Street Collingwood
Neighbourhood cafe Rudimentary offers a unique dining experience unlike any other. The premises feature sleek shipping containers – characterised by shades of black and brown – surrounded by brick tiles and AstroTurf. These containers are mobile; Rudimentary can pack up and relocate anytime.
The menu is affordable, simple and healthy. Gluten-free options are available, too, upon request.
16/20 Leeds St, Footscray VIC 3011
Seven Seeds Specialty Coffee
Seven Seeds Speciality Coffee has firmly established itself as one of the best cafes in Melbourne. Discerning diners visit the industrial-chic cafe for two reasons: Premium coffees and exceptional brunch.
Coffee is serious business here. The passionate folks at Seven Seeds roast their coffee daily, serve them freshly right at the cafe and also export their flavourful blends to other Melburnian cafes.
106-114 Berkeley St Carlton
Sir Charles is undisputedly one of the best cafes in Melbourne. The huge space is modern and minimalistic, with touches of white and plants hanging around sporadically. A roastery sits within the compound too, and you bet these guys are true coffee connoisseurs.
On its menu, the Eton Mess Waffles (A$17) is what everyone goes for. Essentially Belgian waffles topped with colourful meringue kisses, marshmallow, jelly tip ice cream and fresh berries, this is one stunning dish to love.
And we have to say the Special K (A$18) – corn fritters with poached eggs, kale, avocado and tahini yogurt – is one of the best we’ve tried.
121 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
One of our favourite breakfast places is Small Victories, though they have menus for lunch as well. This is such a popular spot in North Carlton, and it is perpetually packed in the mornings. You will learn why after you’ve sipped their aromatic coffee. They are smooth with a nutty aftertaste.
On the menu, breakfast is a lot about eggs. Poached Eggs on Toast variations are aplenty, and you can add on sides such as our favourite avocado with miso and sesame dressing.
617 Rathdowne St, North Carlton VIC 3054, Australia
St Ali Coffee Roasters
St Ali Coffee Roasters’ Head Barista Matt Perger was ranked first in the 2014 World Coffee & Good Spirits Championship. That fact alone has attracted countless press visits and coffee snobs who want to sample one of the world’s best coffees.
Coffee aside, the bustling cafe does an equally fantastic job in the kitchen too. This is surely one of the best cafes in Melbourne!
12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
South Of Johnston
South of Johnston, aka SoJo, was previously an old factory that was resurrected to life after undergoing a renovation made possible by owner Stuart McKenzie and Carver Design. The transformation is almost magical, and dog-friendly SoJo is now a frequent haunt amongst Fitzroy residents for both dine-in and takeout coffees.
We highly recommend the Zucchini and Corn Fritters (A$18.90) served with homemade kassoundi, guacamole, sour cream, poached eggs and either smoked salmon or grilled bacon.
46 Oxford Street
The Farm Cafe
As its name suggests, The Farm Café is located within a farm’s vicinity. While admission to The Farm Café is completely free, entrance fees to the farm (A$5 per child, A$10 per adult and A$20 per family) will be collected, where you can get up close and personal with domestic farm animals.
Everything served at The Farm Café is amazingly fresh, and those with dietary restrictions will be pleased with the menu’s gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Their fluffy scones served with jam and cream were one of the best we ever had!
18 St Heliers Street, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Kettle Black
Quite possibly the hottest and most crowded cafe in Melbourne, The Kettle Black has garnered an insane following. Get there early, or be prepared to wait in the perpetually long line.
Assuming you managed to secure a seat, we suggest you fill your tummies up with the Benedict Style Eggs with Braised Pork Shoulder (A$17) or Tataki Ocean Trout with Raw Kale Salad (A$20).
50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne
FAQs About Melbourne Cafes
The best coffee in the world
Melbourne's espresso culture stretches back more than half a century. ... Italian roasters still add robusta to their espresso blends, and its inner-tube sweetness gives Italian espresso its distinctive quality. Melbourne prefers 100 per cent arabica, and that's reflected in the flavours here.
At the end of the financial year 2020, there were 44,679 cafés and restaurants in Australia. The number of cafés and restaurants in Australia has increased steadily from around 41,500 businesses in 2017.
"Generally, the roasts used by Australian venues are much smoother, lighter and more caramel than a lot of US coffee which is a much darker roast and more bitter. "There has been, especially in the past five years, a much greater appreciation for quality espresso coffee.
There are 1025 suburbs in Greater Melbourne, some without postcodes, shared or names of railway stations.
A Relaxed Social Space. One of the primary reasons why coffee shops have become so popular over the last decade is the feeling of comfort and relaxation they can provide. This feeling is especially prevalent when comparing coffee shops to other competing locations, such as restaurants, pubs and fast-food chains.
Cafes You Must Go To In Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs
They say that South Yarra is king, Richmond is the best, and Carlton is great for brunch, but there are some top-notch cafes near the watering hole.
Yes, that’s right, the Eastern Suburbs are also delivering the goods. That’s why scouted the local area for quality smashed avo, delicious coffees, and other delightful treats. If you’re a city slicker, there’s no need to worry—most of these delightful places are along the train line!
The Honey Thief Bakery
This bakery boasts some of the best bread in the state! The Honey Thief Bakery in Blackburn South produces some of the best loaves, cakes, pastries and other treats from its traditional bakery. It’s always a cosy spot to enjoy a coffee and a croissant or a salted caramel doughnut—if I’m feeling naughty!
Dark Horse On The Brit
This Dark Horse is a popular brunch spot for locals! There’s good service, great food and exceptional coffee (hard to find in the east). The Horse has an all-day menu filled with fresh, delicious meals! There’s also plenty of outdoor seating, making it a good spot to graze in the sun. This Mitcham café is also one of the rare spots in the east where you can try a tasty golden latte.
Two Brothers café brings all the things we love about inner-city cafes to the Eastern suburbs. This Mitcham café is cozy, family-friendly and has plenty of outdoor seating. If you’re not sure what to order, Two Brother’s does a great classic burger with grass-fed beef, triple cream cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.
The Peddler Café
This chic café is always bustling with patrons, particularly on weekends. The interior is filled with inner-city style and features hanging lights, retro chairs, and a big communal table.
The Peddler Café also has an extensive menu with meals ranging from classic eggs on toast to more interesting dishes like the French fruit toast, with banana, blueberry maple syrup, cream and walnut crumble. If you’re not sold, Peddlers makes delicious (& big) fresh muffins and homemade lemonade!
Mister & Miss
Mister & Miss will satisfy your tummy and your Instagram! This massive contemporary warehouse-style café has all our favourite brunches on the menu: crushed avo, zucchini and corn fritters, buttermilk pancakes and soft shell crab burger (you know the drill). The outdoor deck area makes this a local hot spot for brunch dates, chilling and many hours of gossiping!
Station Street Café
Station Street Café is a simple café with plenty of comfy spots for you to rendezvous. The menu is small and simple but filled with delightful dishes, including the breakfast quesadilla with scrambled egg, bacon & chorizo sausage, in a crisp folded tortilla topped with cheese, avocado, sour cream and tomato salsa.
This café is easy to get to and is conveniently located next to Nunawading Station.
I honestly don’t mind a good burger, especially from this boutique burger restaurant! Burger Burger crafts delicious burgers with premium meats and fresh ingredients. The burgers source inspiration from surrounding local suburbs, providing a true window into the burgers of the East. Burger Burger is a great spot for a lunchtime feast (or dinner date).
This cheerful café has a vibrant menu with classic meals and intriguing brunch dishes. Indulge in the sweet bircher muesli with hazelnuts, almonds, apple, honey, yoghurt and a delinquent poached pear. Watts cooking is also a short walk from Surrey Hills Station; it is a warm and welcoming café with a lovely courtyard to relax in on sunny days.
This simple suburban café is the go-to place for delicious food and ethically sourced coffee. Prospect Espresso offers a mouth-watering range of coffee from cold drip to Vietnamese iced that would impress any Melbourne-raised coffee aficionado. The food menu offers delicious classics with inventive twists such as banana bread with walnuts and espresso butter.