There is no doubt that Melbourne boasts one of the most impressive lists of cafes and ever-so-indulging brunch spots scattered all around the city. It’s one of those places that would leave any indecisive traveler (raises hand slowly) with quite a bit of anxiety: where shall I go for my morning coffee? How about for a good brunch? I asked this question recently on Instagram thinking that it would make my decision-making easier; yet, I was faced with an even larger predicament. All the globetrotters that offered their advice were so passionate about the places they were recommending, I now had pretty much all the reasons in the world to have three brunches and a whole lot of mocha all in one morning. Needless to say, that’s exactly what ended up happening. I’ll be highlighting five of those cafes below (in no particular order).
Three Bags Full
This chic cafe, located about 15 minutes away from Melbourne CBD is the perfect place to relax with a good cup of gourmet coffee. I enjoyed the oversized windows and the industrial design. If you’re lucky enough to get a table by the corner, you can sink into the cozy pillows and get a head start on your morning while the sun is warming you up. This is also a perfect spot for an afternoon siesta. Either time, you’ll be glad you came.
Seamstress (Drystore Espresso)
I was strolling through Chinatown when I encountered this intriguing little cafe, with beautiful textiles hanging from the ceiling one may find in a market somewhere in the Far East. I couldn’t help but step inside and over an iced mocha try and find out more about the story of the place. It turns out this is a former textile factory turned restaurant, cocktail bar and cafe (all spanning across the three floors of the building). I absolutely love when a place stays true to its heritage through the design and ambience so for any of you cultural lovers out there, I would recommend giving this fusion place a try. P.S. Sit by the open window and enjoy one of their freshly-roasted beans, but I’ll warn you – their espresso is one of the strongest I’ve had! Pretty good for a wake-me-up!
You might actually miss the graffiti-filled alleyway leading to this tucked-away place if you’re not paying close attention. Located in the heart of CBD, it might very well feel light years away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Manchester Press is the definition of urban hipster with a touch of modern homey. It is housed in what feels like a renovated garage-warehouse, with plenty of exposed wooden fixtures and cool decor, including items like an old-school coffee filter, something that seems taken right out of the lab of a caffeine madman. Come and order their breakfast bagels and delicious roasts. If you’re lucky enough, you might even get a visit from one of the few curious hummingbirds roaming around through the large, open windows.
I was lucky enough to get a table on the patio at this popular French-inspired brunch place. Located on a sunny alley right in the heart of downtown, you can come here to enjoy nothing else than comfort French dishes, with a modern twist. I had the Gribiche and the housemade ice tea, which were both delicious. Apparently its birthplace is actually in Paris (this is just an Aussie branch), so you know you’ll get an authentic experience. À la prochaine!
If you do decide to hop on the train and venture out to one of the eclectic suburban neighborhoods of Melbourne, I encourage you to stop in the Seddon area and visit Common Galaxia. The place is actually named after a local fish, Common Galaxia, a perseverant tiny species that is known to adapt even in the worst conditions. As the landscape of suburban Melbourne changed from industrial to residential, so our conservation efforts towards the nature around. The species of fish survived through all these changes and can still be found floating around at the bottom of the riverbank. As the story of the cafe so beautifully put it, the ‘Common Galaxia is a reminder that nature will survive everything we build and you can only ever borrow a spot on the bends of a river.’ Come and check out this place for yourself and while you’re pondering over images of quiet suburbia, do sip on their Acai berry smoothie. It’s a perfect, delicious morning filler!
What are your favourite Melbourne cafes?
Special thanks to @ajpradipta & @stevenswonderlands for some of the suggestions!