Melbourne is known for its cafe culture — attracting both locals and tourists to sit and enjoy the quirky and modern decor as they tuck into poached eggs or smashed avocado. But it’s not just the food they come for, this city is known for its coffee and, according to research by Roy Morgan, 63 per cent of people congregate at cafes purely to sip on a hot mug of this delicious beverage.
You’ll find cafes scattered across the city, nestled between Melbourne hotels, shops and bars. While the ambience varies depending on the neighbourhood, what cafes across this city share is a love for communal tables, transforming them into shared public spaces. As well as catching up with friends, this is the perfect place to sit back and get stuck into a good book or open your laptop and do your work.
There are so many cafes to choose from. To help you decide which ones to visit, here are six of the best:
Opening times: Weekdays – 7am to 4pm / Weekends – 8am – 4pm
Why visit? Situated in one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city, this cafe serves up healthy bowls including vegan and gluten free options.
What’s on the menu? All day breakfasts including acai bowls plus bowls and broths which you can create yourself from a selection of ingredients. There is also an extensive drinks menu with coffees, teas, smoothies, cold-pressed juices, fresh soda, coconut water as well as wine, beer and cocktails.
Where? Carlton North
Opening times: Every day from 7am to 4pm
Why visit? To experience this modern Turkish and Middle Eastern cafe and enjoy cocktails during happy hour from 12 to 4.
What’s on the menu? Sample dishes such as crab and halloumi omelette with cucumber, avocado, radicchio and kefalograviera dressing or roasted mushrooms, almond skordalia, medjool dates and poached eggs.
Opening times: Weekdays – 7am to 4pm / Weekends – 7.30am to 4pm
Why visit? The queue that forms outside this cafe is testament to how delicious and creative the food is.
What’s on the menu? All day breakfast such as banana and walnut bread and smashed avocado and peas on quinoa toast. Plus, dishes including BBQ beef brisket brioche burger and Middle Eastern slow cooked lamb. There is a selection of hot and cold drinks to choose from including smoothies and fizzy drinks as well as teas and coffees.
Where? South Melbourne
Opening times: Every day from 7.30am to 2.30pm
Why visit? If you love eggs then this is the place for you — it specialises in them and serves them in a variety of different ways.
What’s on the menu? Dippy eggs, poached eggs and avocado, scotch eggs, eggs and chips — are just a few of the egg-based meals on the menu. To wash it down, choose from coffee, smoothies, freshly squeezed OJ, organic cola and sparkling water.
Where? St Kilda
Opening times: Monday to Friday – 8am to 3pm / Saturday and Sunday – 8am to 4pm
Why visit? Perfect for vegans and vegetarians, this has a plant-based menu of colourful and unique dishes.
What’s on the menu? Matcha is a popular ingredient in both food and drink in this cafe. An extensive menu of lattes includes blue algae, charcoal, turmeric, apple pie and purple peanut butter. There are also acai bowls, vegan eggs and smoothies to enjoy.
Where? Hawthorn East
Opening times: Weekdays – 7am to 4pm / Weekends – 8am to 3.30pm
Why visit? For a unique twist on traditional dishes and all day breakfast.
What’s on the menu? Mushrooms on brioche, bubble waffle, smashed avocado, seared salmon bowl, almond and cornflake crispy chicken burger and green bowl are just a few of the delicious meals on the menu. To drink, there is a selection of espresso, iced and filter coffees as well as lattes, hot chocolate and organic artisan tea. Would you prefer a cold drink? There are smoothies and cold-pressed juices. If you’d prefer something a little stronger, choose from cocktails, beer, cider and wine.
You don’t have to worry about finding somewhere to stop for food or drink during the day, you just have to decide which one of the fabulous cafes on offer you are going to visit.