May 05, 2023
Impress Mum this Mother’s Day and bring her on the ultimate cafe crawl.
Come with us on a journey to discover some of our favourite cafes in and around Melbourne CBD. From slick espresso bars to cozy neighbourhood cafes and big, bold brunch institutions, we’ll help you navigate some of the best coffee spots this city has to offer.
Our favourite haunts in Melbourne:
While Melbourne may not have invented coffee, we’ve done a pretty amazing job in perfecting a quintessential cafe culture to impress the masses. If you are on the hunt for a delicious brew, then look no further than our curated list of exceptional coffee spots.
Tucked away in Collingwood is Aunty Peg’s, a warm brew bar and roastery run by the Proud Mary family. Hospitality and extraordinary coffee are second to none at this spacious warehouse-style cafe. This is a spot for those serious about their caffeinated bevvies. Indulge in a curated list of rotating single origins from around the globe. Milk drinkers should note that this cafe only serves black coffee to further highlight the quality of the coffee but their sister cafe, Proud Mary, is just up the road if you’re craving a flat white and a bite to eat.
© Proud Mary Coffee Roasters
Moving onto another Collingwood institution is Cibi, run by husband and wife dream team Zenta and Meg Tanaka. Transport yourself to Tokyo with offerings of homestyle Japanese cooking, aromatic teas plus an insanely good coffee offering. Enjoy Japanese style breakfast plates inspired by the owners grandmother’s home cooking, and round off the experience by browsing through their impressive collection of grocery smallgoods, Japanese homeware, and lifestyle catalogue.
© CIBI Instagram
ONA’s core values are all about community, innovation and excellence, and a coffee at their gorgeous Brunswick space. You’ll be spoiled for choices at ONA coffee, with over 20 coffees to choose from. Prices range from $5 to upwards of $25 for more premium sips. Milk coffee lovers ought to get their hands on Raspberry Candy, the infamous blend curated by Saša Šestić, winner of the 2015 World Barista Championships.
© Broadsheet | Photography: Kate Shanasy
Bench Coffee Co
This slick, minimal espresso bar is located on the corner of Little Collins and Elizabeth Street, and keeps city goers caffeinated with some of the best-made coffee in the area. Simplicity is the key to how Bench Coffee Co is run, and the menu is kept short and sweet with a handful of coffee options and snacks on offer. You’re lucky to get a seat in this popular city joint, but milk crates in the neighbouring laneway is always an option for those looking for that quintessential Melburnian experience.
It’s always a vibe over at Operator Diner, the newest venue by the Operator25 family. All-day breakfast is the way to go, such as fluffy buttermilk pancake stacks slathered with maple pecan butter and pure maple syrup, a hot dog stuffed with an aromatic Thai-style pork sausage, or the ‘Usual Suspect’: a savoury sausage patty complete with creamy scrambled eggs, and the best bacon chutney on the block. Code Black Coffee is being slung on the espresso machine and served in retro diner-style cups.
The Kettle Black
You’ll be savouring some of the best brunch dishes in Melbourne at The Kettle Black, a natural-light filled brunch cafe by hospo legends ‘The Darling Group’. Relax over some expertly-made 5senses coffee, and be sure to give their blueberry and ricotta hotcakes a shot!
Step back in time at Florian, an unpretentious European-style eatery in Carlton North. Cosy, cluttered, and brimming with character, Florian is all about fresh produce and simplicity. Coffee is provided by Allpress and is perfected by the baristas to an art. A blackboard menu changes daily, boasting scrumptious offerings of freshly-made seasonal sandwiches and salads. Come for the coffee, and stay for the Farmer’s Breakfast, a treat consisting of cured meat, cheese, boiled eggs, house-made pickles, and toasted sourdough.
Wander down an unassuming laneway and into Small Batch, a roastery-takeaway cafe hybrid dishing up delicious coffee, freshly baked pastries and hearty sandwiches. It doesn’t get more Melbourne than this roller door hidden gem. Andrew Kelly is the mastermind behind this iconic roastery, and his dream of sharing his discovery for remarkable coffee. Do yourself a favour and experience it for yourself at this North Melbourne staple.
© Broadsheet | Photography: Jake Roden
With over a decade of experience, Dukes Coffee is at the forefront of Melbourne’s specialty coffee scene. With a strong focus on ethics and sustainability, you can be well assured that every brew enjoyed at Dukes comes with full transparency. You’re in for a show as you nestle into this warmly-lit corner of the CBD as you watch some of the best baristas in the scene pump out coffee after coffee in this busy and intimate espresso bar.
© Dukes Coffee Roasters Instagram
Dark wooden accents, moody exposed brick, and stellar coffee makes up this warehouse-style cafe/roastery. Enjoy a no-frills bagel brekkie with coffee roasted in house. Make a note to try out the NOLA: cold brew, milk and syrup over ice. You’re welcome!
The crew over at Path Melbourne are pretty serious about their coffee, and it really shows at their espresso bar sanctuary opposite Queen Victoria Market. Expect a comprehensive list of rotating single-origin espresso and filter roasts ranging in meticulously written flavour profiles, and at times a premium price. Path reminds us of a well-oiled machine, with all the cogs and gears intricately working to create a seamless hospitality venue in pursuit of pure coffee excellence. You can’t go wrong with a sexy single origin here, and peek at their tasty selection of food offerings in their fresh pastry display.
© Path Instagram
Round off your cafe crawl with some of the best brews in the area over at Calēre Coffee. Helmed by Alicia Feng, this Gertrude St gem dishes up an impressive array of Asian-inspired toasties and sweet treats, plus a premium range of brews from ONA and rotating guest roasters such as Manta Ray and Her Secret Santa. We recommend a fruity filter coffee to pair with their Lap Cheong and Fried Egg toastie.
© Calēre Coffee Instagram