brunch dates

What Are The Best Cafes In Melbourne For Brunch Dates?

Thanks to the strong coffee culture in Melbourne, cafes are the go-to place for a quick caffeine dose coupled with what can be called the national cuisine of Australia – an endless variety of brunch food! It is no wonder the city is scattered with cafes at almost every nook and cranny!

Attract people from near and far — from serious breakfast fans to lovers of a strongly brewed coffee — and it's showing no signs of slowing down. Every month, new bakeries, hole in the wall coffee shops, casual eateries, and bougie brunch venues pop up across the city, delighting guests with their originality in both dishes and décor. To keep you across the city's latest openings.

Checked out some of the best cafes in the different areas of the city, such as Richmond in the East, Brunswick and Fitzroy in the North and the Central Business District (CBD)! Featuring some of the most out of this world menu items, you definitely wouldn’t want to miss any of the eats on this list.

Melbourne Cafes for All Your Upcoming Brunch Dates

Cafes in Richmond (Eastern Suburb)

With many of the buildings in the Eastern suburbs still holding to their Victorian-style structure, it is a great place for art enthusiasts with art scattered all around the area. Richmond is also home to cheap deals with major label factory outlets and second-hand stores streamed all around Bridge Road!

Top Paddock – Birthplace of ricotta pancakes

These beautiful floral fluffy pancakes are on your Instagram feeds. Did you know that Top Paddock is the birthplace of the Ricotta hotcakes trend? Their Blueberry and Ricotta Hotcakes are topped off with what seems to be the equivalent of a mini garden! Imagine a variety of berries and nuts, complete with a splash of greens and flower petals – all surrounding a huge dollop of Ricotta. What a treat for both the eyes and your taste buds!

  • Address: 658 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
  • How to get there: 1-minute walk from Howard St/Church St Light Rail Station, Tram service 78

Pillar of Salt – For the perfect smashed avocado toast

If you haven’t already noticed, all-day breakfast is a huge thing in this city. Pillar of Salt, with its extensive range of breakfast, is just the place to go if you enjoy breakfast at all times of the day.

If you’re looking for something heavier, we’d go for their Gnocchi, also nicknamed the king oyster “scallop” gnocchi due to its appearance! Generously served with creamy mushroom sauce and soft dough dumplings, this dish is sure to satisfy. The cafe keeps it exciting for customers with their menus changing every season, so be sure to check out their Instagram for updates on their latest seasonal dishes!

  • Address: 541 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
  • How to get there: 1-minute walk from Gibbons St/Church St Light Rail Station, Tram service 78

Maker Fine Coffee – Artisan Coffee with Colombian Beans

Treat yourself to coffee cupped from seasonal single-origin beans that were all self-sourced by the owners of Maker Fine Coffee. True coffee connoisseurs will enjoy this cafe because of the high-quality brews! If you’re curious about any of the beans, we’re sure the baristas will be more than willing to share more!

Each cup is brewed to perfection to ensure the full flavour of the beans is served up with just the right balance of milk. More of a cold brew drinker? You will not be disappointed as they meticulously infused the beans into a smooth yet strong concentrated brew.

  • Address: 47 North St, Richmond VIC 3121, Australia
  • How to get there: 8-minute walk from Burnley St/Bridge Rd Light Rail Station, Tram service 48/75.

Cafes in Northern Suburbs

Graffiti walls, vintage stores and flea markets are just some of the charms of this quaint hipster district! It’s no surprise that the cafes here boost the same vibes, serving up some of the most creative and innovative dishes we’ve ever seen.

Long Story Short Café – Cafe for the ‘gram

Long Story Short Cafe is not just well-loved for their all-day breakfast menu, but also the range of Instagrammable sweet treats. The magical-looking Fairy Floss Dessert Burger, topped off with Fairy Floss, comprises a Sicilian Brioche filled with caramel mousse, pineapple and strawberry treats. All you need to do is pour the Banana Milkshake over the Fairy Floss to reveal the dessert burger!

Upgrade your breakfast pancakes with their Buttermilk Tim Tam Pancakes! This breakfast staple topped with the popular Australian biscuit that everybody loves and a scoopful of chocolate ice cream sounds like the perfect thing to wake up to.

Accompany your pancakes or fairy burgers with one of their in house speciality drinks. These spheres house marshmallows that appear when the ball is dissolved, and you can pick from flavours such as hot chocolate, matcha white chocolate or taro white chocolate.

  • Address: 6/10 Tripovich St, Brunswick VIC 3056, Australia
  • How to get there: 2-minute walk from Victoria St/Sydney Rd Light Rail Station, Tram service 19

brunch dates (3)

Son in Law – Cutest Dessert in Melbourne

Son in Law takes the best of Thai food and serves it with a twist. Their Insta-worthy House Made Magic Ball with Crepe Cake features everyone’s favourite flavours such as Thai milk tea, Coconut pandan or Nutella. Hidden within cartoon character balls of chocolate, the cakes hence reveal themselves when melted away by the rich warm sauce that accompanies the dish.

Two dishes we wouldn’t miss out on would be the Twice Cooked Crispy Pork Belly served with Kai Lan soaked in Oyster sauce and also the Deep Fried Chicken Rib! On top of that, couple your meal with their adorable Fairy Floss accompanied with a drink of your choice. Fill up on your sugar rush before heading out to conquer the day!

  • Address: 56 Johnston Street, Collingwood, VIC 3066
  • How to get there: 1-minute walk from Wellington St bus interchange, bus services 200/207

Naughty Boy – King of InstaShakes™

Everyone loves Naughty Boy for their invention of InstaShake™, better known as FreakShakes. Named InstaShakes™, since posting a picture of your shake on Instagram and watching the likes counter increase is all part of the experience, you definitely cannot leave this place without a photo! The cafe even loans out selfie sticks so that you can get a selfie with them!

If you’re counting your calories, another guilt-free option would be their Smoothie Bowls or their Breakfast Parfaits that are the perfect treat to try. Made with layers of house-made granola, chia pudding, black goji berry superfood, coconut yogurt and even seasonal fruits. You’ll definitely

  • Address: 499-501 Lygon St, Princes Hill VIC 3054, Australia
  • How to get there: 1-minute walk from Richardson St Light Rail Station, Tram services 1/6

Bentwood – Golden Gaytime Panna Cotta

For the uninitiated, Golden Gaytime is the Australian favourite ice cream snack of toffee and vanilla ice cream dipped in compound chocolate and wrapped in honeycomb biscuits.

 At Bentwood, their take on the dessert sees a chocolate Panna Cotta served with salted caramel, honeycomb biscuit crumbs, roasted peanuts, banana and berries – all made complete with an edible red velvet tulle! 

If that sounds too sinful for you, get the Butterfly Blue Tea Chia Pudding. The superfood – Chia Seeds is served with coconut milk yogurt, buckwheat clusters, coconut, pomegranate, strawberries and mango jerky. I’m sure you’ll hit your Vitamin C count of the day with this bowl of goodness!

  • Address: 237 Napier St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, Australia
  • How to get there: 2 minutes walk from St David Street – Stop 15 Light Rail Station, Tram service 11

Cafes in Melbourne (CBD)

The Central Business District (CBD), located at the heart of Melbourne, is constantly buzzing with activity. With tram sightings every other minute and heavy foot traffic, this is a part of the city you can’t miss, especially with restaurants and cafes at every turn!

P.S. We hear the Melbourne Central Shopping Centre atop an underground railway station is a great place to pick up souvenirs!

The Hardware Societe – French, Spanish & Australian Cuisine All In One

One of the most popular cafes in Melbourne, The Hardware Societe, brings French and Spanish influences with a local twist to your plate! The most well-loved dish on the menu seems to be the Baked Eggs Chorizo – a Spanish dish of baked eggs and beans served with toast.

For a fuller meal, opt for the French classic – Duck Confit! Although Duck Confit is a regular on the menu, the cafe brings seasonal twists to this classic, sometimes serving it with pork and leek sausages on a white bean, chorizo cassoulet or even in a cream and mushroom sauce. 

Don’t forget to check their Instagram page for updates, as you might just be surprised with a special version on the day of your visit!

  • Address: 120 Hardware St, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
  • How to get there: 3-minute walk from Melbourne Central Station

Hash Specialty Coffee – French Croissant with a Twist

Savour the best of both worlds with this perfect dish of salty and sweet. Hash Specialty Coffee serves up a wicked French Croissant with Bacon wedged in the middle, pistachio crumbs scattered all around, a golden bar of peanut butter parfait and maple syrup.

If that wasn’t enough to curb your sweet tooth cravings, also take a sip of their Fairy Floss Hot Chocolate! Coffee lovers, you won’t be disappointed either. The coffee is made from beans specially roasted by Reverence Coffee Roasters, ensuring high-quality beans in every cup!

  • Address: 113 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
  • How to get there: 1-minute walk from Hardware St Bus Interchange

Higher Ground

Higher Ground is one of the few in Melbourne that contribute to the list of cafes open at night. Expect a unique dining experience with hotel-style hospitality in this open-space cafe converted from a 19th-century power station.

A unique dish that you can try would be their minced lamb fry up with miso eggplant, fried eggs, barberry, smoked yogurt, pine nut, dukkah and sourdough – a perfect mix of a brunch dish perfect for dinner. Apart from the standard dinner menu, keep your eyes peeled to their Instagram for weekly/daily specials!

Higher Ground also has a wide range of cocktails split into two categories – Day & Night. If you need a caffeine boost, why not try something with a twist? Their Rum Espresso Martini is a mix of plantation original rum, coffee liqueur, square one espresso and chocolate bitters – great for that afternoon dose of coffee and alcohol. 

For dinner, try their unique cocktail – Ginger Honey Sour. A concoction of Starward Whisky, lemon, ginger-infused honey syrup, this blend is topped off with fluffy egg white and looks like a perfect dream!

  • Address: 650 Little Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
  • How to get there: 2-minute walk from Lonsdale St Light Rail Station, Tram service 86

The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant

If you’re in the mood for something fancier, end the day with a nice dinner near the city at The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant. Converted from a fleet of vintage W class trams, cruise around Melbourne on this unique fine dining experience. You will also be charmed by the singing chef that serves your food too!

Reserve your experience at The Colonial Tramcar Restaurant with Klook and save the hassle of a messy itinerary with all your pre-booked Melbourne experiences kept in one place! Plus, you’ll get a taste of all of the restaurant’s best dishes with the set menu. All you’ll need to do is flash your mobile voucher, and you’re all set.

  • Address: Tram Stop 125 Normanby Road, near the corner of Clarendon Street, South Melbourne
  • How to get there: Take the tram to Clarendon Street Junction, and walk for 1 minute (You must arrive at least 15 minutes before the tram departure)

brunch dates

8 Best Cafes In Melbourne CBD For Breakfast, Brunch Or Lunch

Melbourne's CBD is not usually the first suburb to roll off the tongue when you're looking for a great brunch spot, but don't discount it. Some of Melbourne's OG brunch spots were born on the cobble laneways of the Hoddle Grid.

Whether you're in the city to shop up a storm or to look for a quick stop during the 9-5 grind, here are the best spots in Melbourne's CBD to grab brunch at.

Vacation

The wonderfully designed Vacation had originally focussed on specialty coffee, but after initially seeing their spacious corner on Exhibition Street, the team decided to install a small kitchen. Everything on the menu has gluten-free options, and a decent amount of their dishes are vegan. Exhibit A: one of their most popular orders is toast with avocado, lemon, seeds, sprouts, and EVOO dressing. Or try their bircher muesli with yoghurt and seasonal fruit for a sweet but healthy morning bite.

White Mojo

If you're not familiar with White Mojo, you're in for a treat. Over the top brunch options abound at White Mojo. Choosing from classics, their signature croissant burger, soft shell crab, chipotle mayo with fried eggs and a chorizo crumb is a definite must. Or dig into their waffles topped with fairy floss topped and ice cream (cone included). The team has another outlet in Glen Waverley that makes dinner. Find out all about it here.

Lune 

No real explanation is needed here. We’re all aware of the primo pastry that pours out of the Lune CBD locale daily. Their sleek heavy-concrete outpost on the top end of Collins Street is the perfect start to a city-based day. Grab a coffee and a croissant and bask in the brilliance of simplicity.

The Grain Store

For Melburnians wanting to ensure there’s room for lunch, head to The Grain Store. Expect fresh, seasonal dishes like the blue swimmer crab chilli scrambled eggs in a croissant with chilli caramel and chipotle aioli—hands down one of the most underrated and the best cafes in Melbourne CBD.

Operator 25 

Stay on the line with Operator 25—they’re worth the wait. We recommended the Bubble Waffle for the brunch-venturous, a Hong-Kong style waffle served with white chocolate sauce, poached peach, berries, and matcha sauce. Proudly boasting innovative brunch options, skip the smashed avo on your next outing and try out one of Melbourne CBD's best cafes.

Tulip Coffee

This pink six-seater café on famous Degraves St is so cosy you’ll never want to leave. Tuck yourself in the corner and forget about life with a cup of coffee and select a pastry or cake from the mouth-watering display cabinet. 

Manchester Press

Manchester Press is your classic Melbourne laneway gem, tucked down Rankins Ln just near Elizabeth St. This place gets busy every morning for a reason—perfect toasted bagels (go the mixed berry bagel with mascarpone and pistachio on a blueberry bagel, it's nuts) plus some cheeky salads and a decadent takeaway counter. The coffee's by Ona, or there's frosty Liberty kombucha if you're feeling virtuous.

Brother Baba Budan

Brother Baba is still one of our favourite spaces in the whole city. It often makes its way onto best cafes Melbourne CBD lists, and for a good reason—this place screams Melbourne. Drop by in the morning when the espresso machine buzzes, and there's a line out the door. If you can snag a spot on the communal table, you're doing well. It's best to keep things simple here: a strong coffee and one of their epic ham and cheese croissants.

FAQs About Melbourne Cafes

The consensus is that brunch happens between 11 am and 4 pm. If you're eating before 11 am, it's considered breakfast, and if you eat after 4 pm, you're eating some in-between meal or possibly an early dinner.

Brunch is a meal that is eaten in the late morning or early afternoon, generally between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM. A typical brunch combines elements of breakfast and lunch, reflecting the fact that it is supposed to serve both meals. ... Technically, like breakfast, this meal can be served on any day of the week.

Brunch is a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning, but it can extend to as late as 2 pm and 8 pm on the East Coast, although some restaurants may extend the hours to a later time. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch.

A coffeehouse, coffee shop, or café is an establishment that primarily serves coffee of various types, e.g. espresso, latte, and cappuccino. ... A coffeehouse may also serve food, such as light snacks, sandwiches, muffins, fruit, or pastries.

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.

Conclusion

If you're looking for a great place to take your partner out for brunch, Melbourne has no shortage of fabulous cafes

The best cafes in Melbourne for brunch dates, according to locals. Whether you are looking for a cafe with great food, ambience or both, this list has you covered. From rooftop locations to hidden gems, these cafes will make your date one remember. So get out there and explore the best of Melbourne's cafe scene!

Resources:

Melbourne Cafes for All Your Upcoming Brunch Dates

The Best New Cafés in Melbourne to Brunch at in 2022

The 12 Best Cafes In Melbourne CBD For Breakfast, Brunch Or Lunch

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