Melbourne is a bustling metropolis with many cafes to choose from. Cafes are the perfect place for workers and students to grab some coffee, tea, or food while studying or working on projects. We have compiled a list of five of our favourite Melbourne cafes that we think you should check out if you're looking for somewhere to work or study this year!
With the exam season looming for many (it always feels like it's threatening, even when it's months away), sometimes you just want to escape the house and go and study at a café. And no, this isn't brunch-fuelled procrastination—with Wi-Fi, a damn good coffee (maybe even a snack or two), you can conquer the world. And zero danger of naps. Now go and smash that assignment; it won't smash itself.
Some cafes have free Wi-Fi, outlets, comfortable seating, and many even offer discounts to students. If you're looking for a place with a great ambience that's both quiet and studious while also being well-lit, here are some of our favourite Melbourne cafes for working and studying.
There are also many freelancers and entrepreneurs calling the culture capital home. Fortunately, Melbourne is also Australia's coffee capital, so many cafes are set up for people who want to study and work away from home.
Naughty Boy Café
499-501 Lygon St, Carlton North, Melbourne, Vic 3054
Naughty Boy is the home of the 'freak shake—try it out for size and study simultaneously. Plonk yourself on one of their comfy chairs and get working on whatever takes your fancy. It gets a little busy here in the afternoon, but the late mornings are the perfect time to tick off your to-do list.
Located on Lygon Street – on the cusp of Carlton North and Princes Hill – Naughty Boy Cafe is famous for its freak shakes (free Wi-Fi). If a freakshake sugar high doesn't take your fancy, Naughty Boy Cafe also serves Allpress coffee, smoothies and has an extensive all-day food menu. Krispy chicken bao bun, or pulled lamb grain salad anyone?
6 Franklin Street Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3000
03 9639 6809
Another hidden CBD gem, Poolhouse, is known with the RMIT community as it's close to one of their major buildings. Located at the back of the CBD Poolhouse (hence the name), they'll have you wishing you were swimming in a pool of Coffee (yes, please). They offer various eats, including healthy salads and rice paper rolls and Doughboy Donuts on Thursdays. Even better? There is free WIFI all day.
28 Niagara Lane Melbourne 3000
03 9602 4554
Hidden away in Niagra Lane, Sun Moth is a firm favourite with RMIT City Campus locals. With spicy chai and a killer cappuccino, an extensive Asian fusion menu (with awesome healthy eats) and the 'Coffee to bar' attitude (meaning you can start with your Coffee in the AM and move onto the rosé come 4 pm), this place ticks all the boxes when it comes to studying. Be aware, though, and it gets rowdy during peak times.
Union Street Brewers
1/34 Union Street Brunswick, VIC, Australia 3056
03 9191 9857
Known to many as "that café near Jewell Station", Union Street Brewers is an absolute classic. There's a homemade rotating brekkie menu and some of the best chai lattes around (seriously, we've tried a lot of damn chai lattes). They also offer 10% off for students if you flash your I.D Card. RMIT Fashion Degree Students, it's close to your campus, so head on down. Free WIFI and a sunny courtyard round things out nicely.
328 Swanston Street, Melbourne
03 8660 5700
Mr Tulk is a firm favourite for many students, partly because it's located right next to the State Library. Soak up that sweet FREE library WIFI while you sip your capp and feast on a light meal. All those books lining the walls makes you feel extra studious; plus, the café is named after the library's first-ever librarian—how cute.
Mr Tulk has been a student favourite for as long as anyone can remember. Located on busy Swanston Street and inside the iconic State Library of Victoria, the quiet ambience and decor definitely create a studious vibe. The best part? The library offers free Wi-Fi, which you can access from the café!
52 Madden Grove, Burnley 3121
This sanctuary provides an escape from busy daily life with a nourishing eatery using a plant-based menu, located in a large space with hanging swings and neon signs. Feast on a naughty but nice peanut butter acai bowl as you revise those boring theories, or why not take it to the park across the road with a picnic rug? They even offer free exercise classes followed by post-workout chats and breakfast at the happiest place in Melbourne.
Everyday Coffee Carlton
36-38 Sackville Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
Everyday Coffee speaks for itself: it's a trusty daily. With free Wi-Fi and four different outlets around Melbourne, every day is a worthy mainstay of the coffee game. Northcote, Collingwood, CBD and Carlton all have Everyday localities. The Carlton venue doubles as a bookshop, which makes it an extra productive space — you'll be fully caffeinated and raring to get all the work done you need. Big communal tables and lots of suns (when it's out, that is) make for an inviting space, and good beans makes for good Coffee (s).
State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000
The State Library may be beautiful and seem imposing and cold, but don't be put off — there's warmth, comfort and productivity waiting for you in spades, especially inside Guild Cafe. Situated in a part of the library that's been closed for 15 years, the cafe sprung up as part of the huge refurbishments the precinct went through last year. Big windows make for plenty of light, while large communal tables lend themselves perfectly to remote working with just you, your laptop, and many other focused people. Plus, the folks at Guild know what they're doing when it comes to Coffee, and an all-day filter coffee pass is available for $10 (or hot tip: try the almond milk).
Two Birds One Stone – South Yarra
12 Claremont Street, South Yarra
03 9827 1228
Two Birds One Stone is arguably one of the best cafés in South Yarra. With the cool and quiet ambience and attentive staff, the café is favoured by local residents, students, and freelancers and workers in the area.
Manchester Press – CBD
8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
0426 987 017
Melbourne's laneways are full of surprises and hidden gems if you know where to look. Manchester Press is a good example. It's one of the best cafés in Melbourne's CBD, known for its specialty bagels, industrial design and cosy atmosphere. Come here on weekday afternoons to avoid the busy crowds that come in the morning and during lunchtime.
Faraday's Cage – Fitzroy
325-329 Gore Street, Fitzroy
03 8589 1568
Both a café and an artisan bakery, Faraday's Cage is a hidden gem located in the backstreets of Fitzroy. This local favourite serves great Coffee and some of the best hotcakes and pastries in Melbourne. And with free internet available, you can spend time in their outdoor courtyard studying and sipping your Coffee. Don't forget to grab a delicious flaky croissant before you go!
Project 281 Café – Brunswick
281 Albert Street, Brunswick
03 9080 6119
Project 281 café is a converted warehouse popular for its spacious interior and abundance of greenery. The house-roasted Coffee and brunch menu is kind, with the latter inspired by Korean and Japanese cuisines. The café is usually packed on weekends, but if you come here early and secure a table on the mezzanine, you can embrace the buzzy atmosphere without sitting on the crowded ground floor.
St ALi – South Melbourne
12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
03 9132 8960
It is located in South Melbourne's backstreets, ST. Ali is one of the pioneers of Melbourne's coffee scene. It's still one of the best coffee places in Melbourne. Aside from its award-winning Coffee, ST. ALi offers an inventive and delicious brunch menu. The famous South Melbourne Market is also within walking distance, so you can enjoy a quick visit to the market before settling down with your work at ST. ALi.
Little Tommy Tucker – Bentleigh
432 Centre Road, Bentleigh
03 9576 5174
Located on busy Centre Road in Bentleigh, Little Tommy Tucker was recently voted the best local brunch spot across Melbourne, Stonnington, Caulfield and Port Phillip. Aside from the fantastic food, the best part is that the café is only a two-minute walk from Bentleigh Station. Bring your work here on a Sunday and visit the local market next to the train station.
315 Montague Street, Albert Park Melbourne, VIC, Australia 3206
This quaint little cafe has got healthy written all over it, so Mum won't even be mad about you leaving the house if you've got your books with you. Urban Projuice is all about fresh ingredients, whole foods and eco-friendly products with a yummy list of smoothies and specialty hot drinks. Sit up top on the balcony and order the DIY spring rolls; freshly prepared veggies sitting in steamed Asian pancakes dripping with peanut sauce, delish.
27/29 Nicholson St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
(03) 9429 0138
Fancy studying amidst lush greenery and florals in a huge warehouse? We do, so grab your highlighters and head to the trendy area of Abbotsford, where Au79 is churning out prawn linguine and ricotta gnocchi…cause carbs fix everything.
Pillar Of Salt
541 CHURCH ST, RICHMOND VIC 3121
(03) 9421 1550
A long-time favourite for Richmond locals- study is guaranteed to get done in this Church Street cafe, where we recommend sitting out the back in their covered courtyard. Don't stray away from the classics here; these guys do mean scrambled eggs, with tonnes of sides, of course.
1150 High Street, Armadale, 3143
(03) 9509 2710
Located in the leafy suburb of Armadale lies Moby, which features a rooftop above the hustle and bustle of High St, perfect for catching up on those missed lectures. Go early in the morning for a coffee or settle in for the arvo and treat yourself to a cheeky chicken katsu burger and hand-cut chips with aioli.
385 High Street Prahran, VIC, Australia 3181
03 9510 2277
Prahran's Fourth Chapter is another one of those new pretty cafes serving up golden lattes, acai bowls, and, you guessed it, smashed avo. Space is filled with natural light and has an outdoor courtyard with perfect little tables for 2- you and your laptop, to smash out that essay you've been putting off.
103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Located in North Melbourne, Auction Rooms is part of the St Ali family, a pioneer in Melbourne's speciality coffee industry. They serve St Ali coffee, and their all-day menu includes brunch dishes with Asian, Mexican, and Middle Eastern flavours. Auction Rooms is also known for its industrial interior – from concrete floors to distressed brick walls. There's plenty of seating, power outlets, and Wi-Fi for workers and students.
A Minor Place
103 Albion Street, Brunswick, VIC, Australia
A Minor Place is where location-independent Brunswick locals and students hang out, thanks to its plethora of powerpoints and Wi-Fi. But this isn't the only reason people are drawn to the converted cottage. A Minor Place's all-day menu includes bagels, bubble 'n' squeak, and a Brazilian breakfast. Relax at a communal table with your laptop, and let the relaxing playlist of jazz and indie tunes inspire you for an afternoon.
The Queensberry Pour House
210 Queensberry Street, Carlton, VIC, Australia
All you need to know about The Queensberry Pour House is that it's modelled after an American diner, which means endless coffee refills. You'll instantly feel at home in the cosy cafe, which also has Wi-Fi and a hand-written menu filled with dishes including coffee-soaked pie and an American-inspired meatball sub. The cabinet is always stocked with cakes, pastries, vegan delights, and sandwiches, too.
Penny Farthing Espresso
206 High Street, Northcote, VIC, Australia
TimeOut calls Penny Farthing Espresso a freelancer favourite because there are 'two power outlets on communal tables, free Wi-Fi, and an eclectic mix of creative customers'. Located in Northcote, the Coffee at Penny Farthing Espresso is supplied by renowned local roasters, Industry Beans. Some of the delectable dishes waiting for you at Penny Farthing Espresso include sweet potato rosti, a halloumi burger, kasundi, bacon and fennel baked eggs.
128 Leicester Street, Carlton, VIC, Australia
Located in Carlton near several Melbourne University buildings, Stovetop is another excellent choice. There's plenty of seating in the modern space, which has white and pale timber accents, but the most important ingredient is the free Wi-Fi. Named after the stovetop burners the cafe use, Stovetop also serves alcohol and has a signature cocktails list. Food-wise, the large menu has offerings such as New Zealand king salmon, chocolate and espresso waffles, and kimchi pancake.