It's no secret that Melbourne is Australia's one-stop-shop for everything coffee-related.
While a perfectly brewed batch has an exceedingly important role in our quotidian lives, stunning interiors, bright natural lighting and expertly plated dishes are also exceedingly important in choosing the perfect café to upload your latest Instagram post.
Luckily, Melbourne's coffee-oriented culture is not limited to simply strong lattes and flat whites and extends to the interiors and ambience of the many instagrammable cafes scattered around the city.
Here, the best cafes that meet all the prerequisites in crafting the most picture-perfect Instagram moment (while making seriously good coffee and food in the process).
14 Most Instagram Worthy Cafes In Melbourne
The food in Melbourne is some world-class grub. We’ve built a bit of a reputation for having one of the richest and most diverse culinary scenes on the planet. The question on our lips, though, is—does the carpet match the plates?
We went in search of some of Melbourne’s most aesthetically delicious cafes to see if the venues themselves stack up against the edible beauty that is their dishes. And let’s say we weren’t disappointed.
Two Fat Monks
One of the best ways to describe Fairfield’s Two Fat Monks is simply as ‘very Melbourne’.
The polished cement floors are complemented by low-hanging rope features, soft wooden trimmings, classic subway tiles and a bloody delicious pastries cabinet. The space itself is enormous, and the open-plan layout has a killer vibe on a busy Saturday morning.
The most 'Grammed' feature of this venue is the mural painted on the wall outside. Do yourself a favour and check it out.
How about a side of 15-metre high ceilings with your quinoa bircher muesli?
Higher Ground isn’t one of the old dawgs on the Melbourne cafe scene, but it is one of the most handsome.
Walking into the venue, you’re met with the vibes of a modern combination of Gringotts Bank and an old greenhouse. In a good way. Somehow the stripped backed walls, arched windows and strategically placed greenery make that $40 iced chocolate go down just that little bit easier.
The Kettle Black
Owned by the same [wealthy] peeps as Higher Ground, The Kettle Black also has a rep for its stellar decor.
Just a plain white Victorian terrace on the outside, this modern cafe is a shrine to a Forever New-style lounge room on the inside. With plain white walls, metallic trimmings and fringes of green shrubbery, Instagram takes itself.
At first glance, this seems more like a breakfast restaurant than a café, with immaculately plated food that could rival any high-end restaurant. However, this little shop tucked away inside two buildings has a very relaxed vibe. A modern interior with wood accents, white walls, a touch of greenery and the intoxicating aroma of freshly ground coffee fills the air the minute you step in.
Hot favourites include the soaked muesli and the homemade coconut yogurt with nuts, fruits and citrus powder. There’s just something about microgreens and edible flowers that can make any shot look amazing even without the use of a filter.
Nothing screams high class like a train carriage which is why Collins Street’s Sensory Lab takes the gong for the most creative venue.
Once you slip through the carriage door, you’re greeted with a simplistic interior featuring wood-topped single benches aplenty and a mint-infused theme that bleeds along the floor and up the counter. Everything about this venue is well thought out. Even the sugar matches your coffee here.
Middletown café is elevating the brunch experience in Melbourne with its refined and elegant interior.
This fresh café has a striking navy colour palette with terrazzo tiles, brass trims and hints of marble. Middletown pays homage to Kate Middleton, whose humble nature and unpretentious beauty embodies the design and personality of the café- Yas Queen!
If you’re feeling circle-deprived lately, then head straight to Workshop Brothers in Glen Waverley to get your year-round fix.
The smoothed edges and peach pastel tones of the cafe’s interior are the perfect backdrops for a ‘Gram of their Sweet HK Waffle.
Abacus Bar + Kitchen
If ritzy’s what you want, then Abacus Bar + Kitchen is what you need.
Their high ceilings, dark marble tabletops, carefully contoured wooden benches, cement walls and scattered pastel throw cushions breathe life into a Sunday morning brunch. If you can raise your plate against one of those fab sub-tropical plants, then you’ve got yourself the perfect ‘gram.
Abbotsford's AU79 has a similar greenhouse vibe to Higher Ground. Instead of stripped-back cement walls and dark woods, think pink tables, marble benchtops, polished cement floors, soft wooden furnishings, watercolour wall art and beige leather booths.
You can order water here and still have an amazing time at AU79.
As every Melburnian knows - Black is the new black, and Fitzroy’s Industry Beans has this fashion rule down pat.
The cafe’s sprawling benchtops are plastered in black subway tiles, while the whole venue’s framed with black timber slats. It’s not good enough the courtyard is covered in exposed brick, but lush greenery hangs from the walls, giving you the perfect backdrop for your new Facebook DP.
Crux & Co
Lobster bisque benedict and fairy floss French toast? It must be South Melbourne's Crux & Co. You'll spot the queue out the door on weekends, but we promise it's worth the wait.
The space is everything you want from an Insta background: slick branding, lots of greenery, blonde timber and brassy copper highlights. Save a spot on your feed for the house-made pastries, courtesy of Louis MK Lee. Pretty as a picture.
Long Story Short
Four words: fairy floss dessert burger. Port Melbourne staple Long Story Short pretty much built their Insta rep on this dish alone. It arrives at the table like a giant ball of pink fluff, bigger than your head.
Pour over the pitcher of coconut milk and watch the whole thing melt to reveal a Sicilian brioche stuffed with honeycomb gelato, fruit salad with white choc matcha sauce, fairy floss popping candy and ‘magic dust’. What the actual...
White Mojo Plus+
Glennie's newest kid on the block. This is the third instalment of the White Mojo empire, and it's made for Insta porn.
Here's how to do it: grab a seat in their alfresco deck garden (good natural light), then order up a plate of the Bad Mojo Waffles: fluffy Belgian-style waffles, topped with peanut butter semifreddo, passion fruit curd, vanilla ricotta, freeze-dried fruit, black sesame gel and sprinkled with peanut butter powder. And let the likes flow in...
Good Times Milk Bar
Good Times is a brand new, pastel pink, California-style neighbourhood cafe and brunch bar. The site used to be a run-down convenience store, and the team have spent a few months gutting and refurbing from the ground up.
The food and drink reflect the space—this isn’t about scoring points or looking cool. It’s about good times and good coffee. Tuck into a GTMB Beef Burger with beer-battered fries (or crispy potato gems).
Smash a plate of ricotta hotcakes, drizzled with berry compote and a meringue crumb. There’s an all-day brekky menu (nice) and a few heftier lunch plates from 11 am (the Moroccan eggplant with harissa is our pick).
Vacation's interior is a mix of pastel pinks, royal blues, and funky furniture Kael calls “an ode to the 80s”.
With a customer base of mostly office workers, Vacation's menu is simple: mostly snackable sandwiches with meat sourced from Meatsmith. There’s avo on toast, turkey with Swiss cheese, and toasties. It’s food the team can create as quickly as possible for people on the go.
FAQs About Melbourne Cafes
To respond to this story,
- Leverage visuals to grow your coffee shop with Instagram
- Be irresistible to new customers who find you on Instagram
- Know how to use hashtags
- Speaking of hashtags, don’t forget about geotagging
- Show you appreciate your customers’ loyalty
- Stimulate engagement with contests
- Find influencers who love coffee
- Tell your coffee shop’s story
- Interact with your followers
- Draw them in with coffee, win them over with your personality
Eight ways cafes can take Instagram to the next level.
- Quality Matters
- Create A Theme On Your Page.
- Use Captions With Personality
- Interact Like You Would Behind A Coffee Machine
- Use The Right Hashtags To Extend Your Audience
- Keep It Fresh With Stories
- Put Your Profile Page To Work
- Run Contests And Exclusive Deals
- Stay true to your Café and stay consistent.
- Have a narrative around your social engagement - never make it about your Café or you're menu.
- Post when you have something to say.
- User-Generated Content can be a great way to promote engagement.
You need to post consistently to keep your audience engaged and growing. We recommend one image post a day with three or more stories. The post can be any time of day. Try testing a few different times to see when you get the best engagement. For the stories, try and spread these out evenly across the day.
ways to attract more customers to your coffee shop
- Look at your pricing.
- Start a loyalty card scheme.
- Get active on social media.
- The good old A-board.
- Run a competition – particularly if you can get the local press to give you coverage.
- Tap up your suppliers for marketing materials.
- Consider branded takeaway cups.
9 Most photogenic Melbourne cafes
Let’s face it. We’ve reached an era where it is a commonplace to first snap a picture of our food before eating it. With the sheer amount of work going into getting a decent picture, choosing the right filter and even thinking of what caption to write, it helps if the food is photogenic, to begin with.
All of us can admit to visiting a café not because of the food but because of the gorgeous images on our feeds. To save you the time of researching and stalking various Instagram accounts, here is a list of Instagram worthy cafes in Melbourne where everything from the food to the drinks and even the cutlery will look great in a frame.
Top Paddock is practically an icon on Instagram, with their signature ricotta hotcakes never failing to appear on my feed. The owners, Nathan, Ben, Diamond and Sam, are no strangers to the café scene, having previously opened the highly successful Three Bags Full and Two Birds One Stone, with Top Paddock being the best of the lot.
The interior is spacious with plenty of natural lighting and modern décor made of numerous recycled materials. The menu is extensive and creative with locally sourced ingredients. This is one café where both looks and taste are equally ranked.
Address: 658 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
Donuts! Plump pillowy soft donuts, dusted with icing sugar and finished off with a syringe of homemade custard wedged in the centre. I’ve probably never seen a more Instagrammable doughnut. Take note, though. These sugary confections sell out fast; they were gone before noon when I visited.
Apart from their desserts, their main menu also offers photogenic meal options. A gorgeous little house-turned eatery, the café itself is sleek and minimalist, with black lacquered floors and wooden communal tables.
A must-try would be the 62-degree eggs with shaved grana, pickled truffle and brioche soldiers. The eggs are served in an egg cup, and the soldiers are arranged in a way that reminds me of Jenga – definitely a dish that is both pretty and fun to eat!
Address: 320 Ascot Vale Rd, Moonee Ponds VIC 3039
Having recently celebrated their 2nd birthday, this hole in the wall café is a hot favourite amongst city dwellers. Located in a heritage-listed telephone exchange building with phone cords decorating the ceiling, it has a cosy vibe with communal earth-toned tables and mismatched brick walls.
Focusing mainly on brunch, the menu changes depending on what’s in season, so you can try something new whenever you return. What’s unique is that the food features global influences such as congee with pickled ginger and poached soy egg, which is currently on their autumn menu. Aside from the food, the latte art here is also nothing short of amazing.
Address: 25 Wills St, Melbourne VIC 3000
It seems that Fitzroy is the place to go to for brunch, and when you throw together two amazing ex-St Ali chefs behind this relatively new café, it’s no wonder you’ll get a café that has the crowds coming back for more. The café may look simple, but don’t let that fool you. The food here is beautifully plated, down to the very last crumb.
A popular choice would be the potato hash & mushroom duxelles with roasted field mushroom, poached egg & caramelised onion – a flavour-packed combination served in a photogenic stack. Vibrant, tasty and healthy, head on down to Addict Food & Coffee to get a taste of it yourself.
Address: 240 Johnston St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
This unique ice cream is frozen using nitrogen fumes and is constantly featured on Instagram feeds. Sometimes the ice cream has a cloud of cream or meringue on top.
How Instaworthy is that! The menu changes weekly with seasonal specials. Recently, in honour of Star Wars, they had a ‘Date’ Vader flavour – milk gelato with date puree, bacon crunch, buttery shortbread crust, topped with a blackened whipped cream, more bacon and a caramel syringe. Just the description alone makes it worthy of being on any feed!
Though you can satisfy your chocolate craving by picking up their chocolates at any of their stockists, you need to head down to their main café to try their desserts. These indulgent yet guilt-free desserts will surely add a pop of colour to your Instagram feed.
Specialising in raw, vegan desserts, Pana Chocolate whips up gorgeous layer cakes in various colours. It’s a classic pose to hold up the case against a white background to show off the various layers. They also serve gourmet chocolate truffles, ice cream and many more treats that are also nourishing and healthy.
Address: 491 Church Street, Richmond VIC 3121
Pillar Of Salt is no new kid on the block, but it's delicious food and aromatic coffee make it a popular coffee choice three years down the road. The café has a very earthy feel with brick walls, an outdoor courtyard area, greenery and open space.
Almost anything on their seasonal menu is photogenic enough to be on Instagram. Hot favourites include the fluffy American buttermilk pancakes, 15th-century Turkish eggs, porridge and just about any dessert!
Address: 541 Church St, Richmond VIC 3121
Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this industrial space has constantly been ranked as one of Melbourne’s best cafes. Stepping into the blue bricked building, the first thing that strikes you is the space.
The massive warehouse has split levels and wide windows that allow lots of natural sunlight to stream in, making the cafe appear even more spacious. A lovely ambience is created with dim hanging lights accentuating the dark timber walls and concrete floor.
It’s easy to see why this remains a favourite amongst locals with an ever-changing menu and food presented like artwork on a plate that just as easily satisfies not just the eyes but also the palette. With brunch specials, including a breakfast board and brûléed French toast, this place is perfect for just about anyone.
Address: 103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051
A mix of modern yet rustic, there is something about Tall Timber that makes one feel at home. With white brick walls, outdoor courtyard seats, and plenty of potted herbs, it is the perfect setting for capturing a perfect shot.
The menu is healthy and adds a twist to breakfast classics, such as beetroot hummus with smashed avocado on toast. If you cannot decide what to get, try the mixed breaky board of dukkah poached eggs with hummus and smashed avo on a pumpkin loaf, muesli with berry yogurt and fruits, plus a side of OJ.
Address: 60 Commercial Road, Prahran VIC 3181
Vary your angle — it’s better to have more options than not enough, though don’t overdo it. Try a flat-lay, side angle or a high-ish angle of an action shot, and play around with your focus with other objects on your table.
Use what you’ve got — your cutlery, your friend’s meal and your cup of coffee are your props, the cafe’s interior decorating, or your table is your backdrop; if they’ve got a feature wall, don’t be shy; use it! Play around with the focus here, and be mindful about your balance and placement of objects within your frame!
Imperfections — decide on if you’re going to have untouched food in your image or not. This dictates if you order your coffee before or with your meal. No one likes looking at a half-empty cup of coffee with a new plate of food, especially when you’re going for the perfect flat-lay look (besides, coffee art is pretty!)
You might need to edit your Instagram post with the in-built editing tools (i.e. brightness, contrast etc.) or use a filter that best suits your post. Of course, filters are not always necessary (which is just a bonus!)
Caption — writing your caption is easier than you think; try to link it to something to do with the meal's name or the cafe you’re in, or give it a raving compliment. Hashtags are appropriate if you’re someone who uses them.
All Hail — don’t forget to mention and geo-tag the cafe; your post is for you, but you’re also praising this cafe for making food their art-form that you’re sharing happily with the world!
So grab your closest pals and make this list your cafe bucket list for some of the most Insta-worthy food in Melbourne! Do you have any other local eats that are just as worthy as these?