Best Cafés in Melbourne | Top Universities

Best Cafés in Melbourne

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Chelsea Davies

Updated Apr 23, 2019



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If you're off to study in Australia, chances are that you’ll soon be delving into the wonderful world of brunch. One of Australia's favorite pastimes, brunch is an integral part of any student’s weekend, often including a strong flat white, perfectly runny poached eggs and of course, smashed avocado. There's an amazing café around every corner in Melbourne, so here's a list of some of the best to help get you started…

Grainstore - Best for food and ingredients

Tucked away in the corporate end of the city in the Central Business District, this classy café has an excellent menu and gorgeous cakes to match. Rarely without a queue, a friendly member of staff will greet you and put you on the waiting list - but fear not, you'll be sipping on a delectable cold drip in no time. As with most Melbourne cafés, their menu is seasonal. But Grainstore goes the extra mile to make sure as much as possible is locally sourced and organic. Team this with their original menu, amazing chef specials and you're on to a winner.

Higher Ground - Best venue

Take a table upstairs or downstairs in this huge venue and you're guaranteed a cracking view of the vaulted ceiling, arched windows or open kitchen, so you're always in the middle of the action. If you do have to queue, there's a lovely outside area complete with a coffee and cake cart, which definitely takes the edge off waiting. Their coffee beans are supplied by their own roastery, Square One Coffee Roasters, who only supply them and their sister cafés, Top Paddock and The Kettle Black- also worth checking out. Last but definitely not least is their inventive menu which provides a unique twist on the Melbourne brunch classics.

Roller Door- For the best (and cheapest!) smashed avo

Rising above the rest with its sheer simplicity and powerful flavors, Roller Door is a tiny, unassuming café tucked away in North Melbourne. Zingy goat’s feta, fresh avocado, organic sourdough and a drizzle of chilli oil are all you need to perfect this Aussie breakfast classic. At only AU$15 it's a bargain compared to elsewhere, leaving you spare change to spend on coffee and cake!

Darling Street Espresso- Best specials

Well worth the easy train or tram journey to Moonee Ponds, this place always seems to have a surprise up its sleeve. The weekly specials are some of the tastiest and most inventive around, as are the changing drinks offers. A personal favorite was the Triple Chocolate Lamington hot chocolate - as amazing as it sounds - but if that's not what you fancy, there's a new hot chocolate special every week in winter! Their Instagram page, darlingstespresso, will keep you well informed of the weekly offerings.

Au79 - Best concept

Au79's mission is to be 'the Gold Standard' in everything they do, with an onsite roastery, patisserie, bakery, chocolatier and huge function space making this no easy feat. Able to accommodate over 200 guests, you can bring the whole crew here to get a feed. They really have thought of everything and it is all beautifully housed in a venue that looks like it came straight out of a modern day fairytale and popped up in the trendy streets of Abbotsford.

Industry Beans- Best coffee

The name says it all at Industry Beans, a Fitzroy favorite that takes its coffee seriously, providing a separate menu just for the sacred beans. They concoct coffee blends for each season, keeping you awake all year round, and even have a new selection of single origin coffees on offer every fortnight. Started back in 2010 by two brothers who began roasting their own beans in their garage, this place has come a very long way and is now an industry leader in Melbourne's internationally renowned coffee scene.   

The Premises – Best for peace and quiet

If you’re looking for something a little further out of the hustle and bustle of the city center, The Premises is your best bet.  Located in Kensington, a friendly, family suburb, this café has recently become a popular hide for midweek brunch.  They offer a limited but quirky brunch menu and a selection of homemade cakes, including plenty of gluten free and vegan options. The smoothie bowl comes highly recommended, perfect to restore all those nutrients after a busy weekend.

The Hardware Societe – Best for curing a hangover

If you’re not one for fancy brunches and just fancy a good feed to wane off that hangover, The Hardware Societe should be your go-to.  The food is big, greasy and filling. Think breakfast burgers, eggs benedict and the good old Full English Breakfast. Couple that with one of their soul-restoring coffees and you’ll be set for the day. We’d highly recommend taking advantage of their phone up and take away service - an absolute winner after a night out.

Cumulus Inc – Best for special occasions

Got a potential employer to impress or a hot brunch date? Cumulus Inc is your place to go. A bit more upmarket than the other brunch haunts you’ll find in Melbourne, Cumulus offers an air of sophistication to a brunch, and at pretty good value. Their beechwood smoked bacon is drool-worthy, make sure it’s somewhere on your plate.

Gingerboy – Best for all you can eat

Fancy a bottomless brunch coupled with bottomless booze? Well, that’s exactly what the guys at Gingerboy offer you every Sunday. With a slight twist on the average Melbourne brunch, they serve up Asian style dishes alongside bottomless mimosas. Expect to be heading home for a tactical midday nap after this absolute feast. How much can you eat in two hours?

Additional reporting by Lily Jones.

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