geelong's best cafes

Where To Find Geelong’s Best Cafes, Melbourne?

Geelong has a thriving arts scene and easy access to world-class surf breaks, but you can’t talk about the place without mentioning the Ford Motor Company. The automotive giant set up here in 1925, and for the better part of the century, the city’s fortunes rose and fell in tandem with the company’s. At its peak in 1985, the factory employed more than 4000 people.

The factory closed in 2016, and Geelong has been reinventing itself since. As Melbourne’s small bar legislation of 1994 kicked off a wave of urban renewal, Geelong’s (relatively) affordable real estate and dearth of handsome old Gold Rush-era buildings are driving an influx of new cafes, restaurants and bars. The internationally recognised Igni is the most famous member of this new guard, but there’s much, much more to explore.

20 Geelong Cafes You Need To Try

Geelong is alive and well with the smell of coffee. Not just any coffee, great coffee. This list has the best cafes in Geelong that have something worth seeing.

Though we’ve put thought into the positioning of each cafe on the list, this is not absolute. Every cafe on this list, no matter where it appears, has something worth making the trip for and will depend on individual tastes.

What we do guarantee is that you will find something on this list of the best cafes in Geelong that will delight you! The best cafes Geelong list is filled with specialty coffee, great baristas that know their stuff, friendly staff and distinctive and unique points of difference.

Cafe Go

Best CBD all-rounder

When you want a cosy spot with great food, a beautiful garden and a great vibe, Cafe Go Geelong is the place to be. Housed on the corner of Bellarine & Lt Malop Street in an original weatherboard dwelling, the cafe stays true to its roots with a central fireplace throwing off lifesaving warmth in winter and a cute hidden garden out the back. 

Food comes in generous portions using local and organic produce where available. Cafe Go is a top pick for CBD all-rounder on the best cafes Geelong list. Open Monday thru Saturday. 

37 Bellerine Street, Geelong VIC 3220.

Fuel Coffee + Food

Best for CBD morning coffee fix and work hidey-hole/meeting place

Fuel has been a favourite for the 5+ years since it opened. Greg set the tone for the Melbourne inspired cafe scene in Geelong. You don’t have to take it from us, though. It’s consistently number one on Trip Advisor as well, so it’s easy on the list of best cafes in Geelong. 

It’s hidden in Gore Place, a tiny laneway that’s now overshadowed by the TAC building, and housed in a converted garage that’s as bright and fresh as the day it opened. You’ll get an excellent Campos coffee and friendly service. Open weekdays only. 

2 Gore Pl, Geelong.

geelong's best cafes (3)

Geelong West Social Club

Best for Pako morning coffee fix and work hidey-hole/meeting place – Geelong West-end

Geelong West Social Club is pretty new to the Geelong coffee scene, but the fact we’ve spotted other cafe owners on this best cafes Geelong list having a coffee here says a lot. Ross spent four years roasting the beans he now serves up, so he’s on it. Before that, he was well known at other top cafes in Geelong.

 You’ll find them tucked away just off Pako on Yuille St, Geelong West. Look out for free sparkling mineral water, a simple but flavour-packed healthy menu, and great coffee from Coffee Supreme.

Coffee Cartel Brew Bar

Best CBD cafe for interesting brews of tea and coffee from all over the world

If you like to know the whole story behind the beans that made your coffee, then the Coffee Cartel Brew Bar is your spot, and that’s why it’s part of the list of best cafes in Geelong. Not only is it an extremely visually attractive place to sip a latte, but the knowledge of the staff and the variety of options are off the chart. Open Monday thru Saturday. 

Shop 1, 80 Little Malop Street, Geelong.

63 Degrees

Best Pako all-rounder cafe – Geelong West-end

63 Degrees Cafe has created a relaxed atmosphere that’s true to its values. Recycled timber is heavily featured throughout, extending out to a couch made from some old pallets. Their food is fresh and seasonal. 

Coffee is their blend from Roastcraft. They have many paleo options which suit us just fine. Paleo is still hard to come by in Geelong, pushing these guys up the best cafes on Geelong list. 

140 Pakington Street, Geelong West VIC 3218.

The Cottage

Best Pako all-rounder – Newtown end

The list of best cafes in Geelong wouldn’t be complete without The Cottage. The best use for an old weatherboard cottage on Pakington Street in Newtown is an award-winning cafe. 

Their strong points have always been its food and coffee in a cottage setting, but since a recent renovation, it’s much better functionally. With a big backyard, plenty of space inside as well as out front, and absolutely killer food and coffee, it’s a winner. 

359 Pakington Street, Newtown VIC 3220.

Little Green Corner

Best sustainable cafe in Greater Geelong

The Little Green Corner in Lt. Ryrie Street Geelong stands for three core values: Simplicity, thinking and acting locally, and operating sustainably. They’re popular values that are easy to proclaim but harder to live by, and often the wheels fall off before you make it through the door. That’s not the case here.

Hugh is the owner, and he’s infused those concepts throughout the building, the seasonal menu and his choice of staff. Housed in one of Geelong’s oldest buildings, there are visible signs throughout the Little Green Corner. 

The first thing you notice is the array of solar panels pointing towards our beautiful north-facing bay. As you walk through the door, your eye is drawn upward along freshly milled vintage hardwood to a row of fermented jars of veggies that frame the main counter. 

They pay backyard gardeners for their produce and work with the difficulties of inconsistent supply to deliver a truly seasonal menu. This delivery on their commitments earns them a spot on the best cafes Geelong list. Open Weekdays. 

42 Little Ryrie Street, Geelong

Kilgour Street Cafe And Grocer

Kilgour Street Grocer and Cafe Geelong was truly a pleasant surprise. Its recently restored facade is modern and attractive; however, its muted grey exterior barely hints at the pastel explosion waiting inside. 

Forget the coffee. The machine itself will make you nearly fall over, in the same way, necks almost snap when a freshly restored Monaro cruises past on a Saturday morning. 

That street machine got it on the list of best cafes in Geelong. On the menu are Coffee Cartel Geelong Beans, as well as breakfast, lunch and an extensive amount of treats spread out throughout. Open seven days. 

164 Kilgour St, Geelong VIC 3220.

Lavish Cafe

Professional Chef and master of the bean Shane Goodall have been at it for over ten years at his Belmont cafe. They make it high on the best cafes Geelong list even though they’re a bit out of the way from the centre of town because they know their stuff and have almost every coffee concoction you can think of. 

The coffee is well supported with an amazing array of paleo and vegan-friendly lunch options and treats. We were most impressed to find it’s also Geelong’s Bulletproof Coffee king. We’re yet to find anywhere else serving it, and in addition to grass-fed butter, it’s blended with nutritious homemade nut milk.

Pickers Union

Great coffee in industrial areas seems to be a thing in our region. Take Pickers Union Geelong as an example. Located at 3 Mackey Street, it’s set to a backdrop of North Geelong’s usual hi-vis vests, trucks moving stock in and out of Geelong Port and surrounding factories, and the (now beautiful) old Geelong Power Station.

 Yet from inside, you’d barely know it. If you’re a vintage fan, the real gem here isn’t the cafe itself but what it’s attached to. You might want to order takeaway so that you don’t scold yourself for throwing back a hot drink as the temptation of the Geelong Vintage Markets takes over. 

For the ability to retro shop, while having delicious coffee, they’re on the best cafes on Geelong list. Open seven days. 

3 Mackey Street, North Geelong.

Freckleduck

Freckleduck Geelong serves a Melbourne favourite, Five Senses Coffee. The beans are extracted by a stunning Synesso machine atop a deep red timber benchtop and served in pastel green crockery. As is often said, location is everything. If this is true, then Freckleduck Geelong has everything. 

Sitting on the corner of Malop Street and Yarra Street in Central Geelong, the passing traffic is unrelenting. Stop in and get away from the rush of Geelong CBD. For bringing Five Senses to the CBD, they’re on the best cafes on Geelong list. Open seven days. 

131 Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220.

Winter’s Cafe

Head to the river end of Pakington Street on the weekend, and Winter’s Cafe Geelong is arguably the busiest spot on the strip. This could be due to the hard work and dedication to quality that led the team to clean up at the 2014 Golden Plate awards. 

Winter’s Cafe Geelong were finalists for best local food and the best coffee and took out the people's choice award and best-licensed cafe. That’s an achievement worth paying attention to and earns them a spot on the best cafes Geelong list.

In terms of space, it’s a monster! Out front and inside on the bottom floor are almost always packed however they have a large open space upstairs that usually has at least one spare table waiting for you. This also makes Winter’s Cafe Geelong a family-friendly cafe with room for the pram. 

Find them at 330 Pakington Street Newtown.

King Of The Castle

King of the Castle Geelong West is located at 24 Pakington St in an old panel shop that’s been converted into a bright, welcoming space while staying true to its industrial heritage. The pit where undercarriage repairs and mechanical works were performed has been filled in and replaced with a brand-new kitchen. 

The panel beating tools and spray guns were traded in as well and replaced with a Resident Barber who’ll straighten out your hair and reshape your beard, leaving you good as new!

Like its sister cafe, Dirty Rascal inside Boom Gallery in Newtown, King of the Castle runs with Padre Coffee beans out of Brunswick and amazing raw treats from a handmade dessert business based in Barwon Heads called Natural Harry. The fresh new kitchen and rapid expansion without losing touch are definite reasons to be included in the best cafes Geelong list. Open seven days. 

24 Pakington St, Geelong West.

Analogue Academy

It may only seem like yesterday, but it’s been roughly 15 years since the widespread adoption of digital cameras took off, leaving behind film cameras and all the analogue oddities that came with it. Dan, James and Josh, who are the creators of Analogue Academy Geelong and always up for a laugh and a chat, point out that many of the limitations of the film are the very constraints that force you to know more about how to take a good shot. 

They even have super Nintendo on hand! Super Nintendo. That’s it, and Analogue Academy is on the digital best cafes Geelong list though we may have to print this off for them. Open weekdays. 

Rear 68-70 Ryrie St, Geelong.

Awkward

There’s no shortage of delightful oddities at Awkward Cafe Geelong. Yet somehow, it feels like home. It’s something genuinely different from many other cafes in Geelong. It also extends this point of difference to its menu. 

Everything is handmade on-site, and Tash strives to offer unique options that you won’t find anywhere else. The Nutella Cream Pie and Twix Caramel Tart are just two of the many examples behind the display cabinet.

Part of the reason the decor makes it feel like home is that many of the items are the everyday objects you would have found at your Grandparent’s place. On this point, Natasha says that while some of the items were picked up at markets from around the region, as much as possible was sourced from the family home. Awkward is on the list of best cafes Geelong for having similar taste in furniture to us! Open Weekdays. 

45 Malop St, Geelong VIC 3220.

geelong's best cafes (2)

Blue Door Espresso

Pakington Street’s rise to become the cultural centre of Geelong has been widely celebrated; however, there’s a dark side to that story as well. For years, many of the beautiful corner shops dotted along Pakington Street’s periphery have been overshadowed and left unviable. 

The heritage-listed ‘butchers’ (Butcher) in Skene Street Newtown was one such building that languished for years; however, seven weeks into its new life as Blue Door Espresso Geelong, it would seem that change is in the air.

Blue Door Espresso Geelong is attracting a crowd. It’s packed out with people that have ‘travelled’ that extra few hundred metres from Pakington Street, as well as many of the older locals that have fond memories of the building in its heyday. For great coffee and doing something beautiful with an unloved heritage building… they’re on the best cafes on Geelong list. Open seven days.

2A/105 Skene St, Newtown.

Launch Espresso And Kitchen

Jamie, Jerry and John believe in inequality. The right of every man, woman and child in Geelong to have access to high-quality specialty coffee (OK, maybe not the kids) and incredible burgers, no matter where they happen to be shopping. 

It’s that driving force that inspired them to open Launch Espresso and Kitchen Geelong. Located on the bridge at Westfield Geelong, they’ve realised something that the other cafes might not have cottoned onto just yet. 

Someone who shops at a chain store for homewares and food doesn’t necessarily want chain store style coffee. Their bespoke cafe on the bridge has cracker burgers and Axil coffee to match. For that, they’re on the best cafes on Geelong list. Open seven days. 

95 Malop St, Geelong.

The Usual Suspects

Ok, so if you’re from Geelong, you probably don’t consider Torquay as part of Geelong, but then if you’re this far down the article, you may not be from Geelong. Therefore we include this in the best cafes in Geelong as it’s in the region and only a short drive away.

Usually, the beans in the grinder have come from a roaster located somewhere else; however, at The Usual Suspects Torquay, they specialise in South American beans, and every single one is roasted on-site by Ross in plain view. Of the dining area! 

That’s matched by a completely vegetarian menu that’s served in generous portions and made from healthy ingredients that are as sustainable as possible. Open seven days. 

4 Baines Crescent, Torquay.

Mister Miller

Often we drink coffee to step out of our busy day, taking a moment to escape, reflect and refresh. At these times, a packed cafe with staff rushing around, pumping music and loud crashing plates is the last place you want to be. For a better experience, Mister Miller has what you need. 

And that intimate experience gets them a spot on the best cafes Geelong list. They, too, are busy but not rushed. They’re popular and busy, still maintaining a peaceful balance in a picturesque setting. This is helped by the secluded paved arcade recessed back from the traffic and features a water fountain and some greenery. 

Find them at 111 Pakington Street Geelong West.

Courthouse Cafe

If there’s one cafe that’s seen more action than most, it would be the Courthouse Cafe Geelong. Before, it was a pleasant place to meet with friends and have a coffee. It was the place to be if you’d broken the law. 

As the name suggests, the Courthouse Cafe Geelong is housed in Geelong's old courthouse after being replaced by the current one near the train station.

Popular with council folk due to proximity to the town, the Courthouse Cafe Geelong seems like it’s been serving up Byron Bay coffee for “20 to life”. It was sorely missed while it went through a $45 million redevelopment. 

Thankfully it reopened in 2012 better than ever. As an old favourite with a great menu and atmosphere, it’s on the list of best cafes in Geelong. Open weekdays.

60 Little Malop St, Geelong.

FAQs About Melbourne Cafes

Geelong is ideally located on Port Phillip Bay and the gateway to the famous Great Ocean Road. Situated only 75km southwest of Melbourne and as the most populous city in regional Victoria, Geelong offers a range of economic and lifestyle opportunities.

Geelong is a very liveable city with a relaxed lifestyle. It is close to beaches and the countryside, yet Melbourne is only an hour away. Geelong has affordable housing, is not as congested as other cities and has great healthcare and recreational facilities.

Geelong is famous for sport and leisure, with the second oldest Australian Football team and great opportunities to play a wide range of sports. As one of Australia's largest urban centres, Geelong provides the perfect environment for work/life balance.

Geelong is close to the stunning Great Ocean Road and copious surf-friendly beaches. This city is in transition, but its tourism potential is vast. It's worth paying a visit to see what it can offer.

Geelong is the second largest city of Victoria, Australia, and a major port on Corio Bay (an extension of Port Phillip Bay). Founded in 1837, its name derives from the Aboriginal word jilling, which means “the place of the native companion,” referring to a long-legged water bird.

Conclusion

Melbourne is renowned for its great coffee and cafe culture. If you're looking for a hip, trendy cafe to spend your mornings or afternoons in, then you'll want to check out some of the hotspots in Melbourne's CBD. But what if you're not interested in braving the city centre? No problem. 

There are plenty of great cafes located throughout Geelong too. So whether you're looking for a quiet place to relax with a good book or somewhere lively where you can catch up with friends, this blog post has got you covered. Read on to discover some of the best cafes Geelong has to offer!

Resources:

HERE WE GO – THE BEST CAFES GEELONG

Victoria’s second-largest city punches well above its weight.

24 Geelong Cafes You Need To Try ASAP

Scroll to Top