Melbourne’s Coolest Cafés & Coffee Shops

st ali

It’s no secret you can’t move for good coffee in Melbourne but what makes some coffee shops stand out above the rest? For me, it’s a combination of great atmosphere, funky décor, good service, quality beans and drool-worthy cake. On that basis this is my selection of the coolest cafés/coffee shops found in Melbourne.

Brother Baba Budan

Brother Baba Budan is one of the Melbourne’s most loved coffee spots. Situated on Little Bourke Street, within spitting distance of H&M, it’s a relatively small café that’s big on warm welcomes. Watching the baristas at work it seems they know all their customers by name, as well as their coffee order.

The décor here gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘pull up a chair’ – the ceiling has wooden chairs dangling from it. They serve coffee by Seven Seeds, a speciality Melburnian coffee roaster created by Mark Dundon,who was the original owner of South Melbourne coffee hotspot St Ali.

Brother Baba Budan Melbourne

Brother Baba Budan Melbourne

Find it: 359 Little Bourke Street

St Ali

Which brings us to St Ali. St Ali has been a South Melbourne coffee institution since 2005. Situated in an old warehouse in Yarra Place, the St Ali team take their coffee very seriously – their baristas tour the world winning championships and hosting master classes. The St Ali family includes a number of coffee brands including Sensory Lab and Deadman Espresso, which can be found incafés across the city, but the food and atmosphere at St Ali South Yarra make this flagship worth a visit.

Fans of street art in particular will love the way the artwork on the walls outside extends into the café, and the lack of windows in the front room means you can sit back and soak it all in.

st ali

Coffee at St Ali

Find it: 12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne

Good 2 Go

Good 2 Go is a new coffee shop with a charitable heart. Located on Melbourne’s most famous laneway, the street art strewn Hosier Lane, Good 2 Go is an initiative by Youth Project whose profits support the city’s homeless. Not only are Good 2 Go churning out good coffee and biccies but they also offer training to the unemployed so that they can go on to work in coffee shops around the city. There’s also a small selection of souvenirs on sale as well as a second hand clothing rail where items are priced at $3 each.

Find out more about Kirsty, the delightful Youth Projects worker who came up with the idea for Good 2 Go, in this interview.

Good 2 Go Hosier Lane

Good 2 Go Hosier Lane

Find it: 7-9 Hosier Lane

1000 £ Bend

1000 £ Bend, located in what was once a motorcycle repair garage, is not so much a café as a gallery, cinema, events and work space in one. The ramshackle furniture and retro styling make this a great place for creatives – the free Wi-Fi is also a big bonus. Breakfast is served all day (the smell of bacon wafts around the warehouse) and drinks are served until 1am on weekends.

1000 £ Bend

Coffee at 1000 £ Bend

Find it: 361 Little Lonsdale Street

Captains Of Industry

Captains Of Industry is another versatile converted warehouse space, which serves as a café, barbers and gentlemen’s outfitters in one. Men can have their suits, shirts and shoes made to measure whilst sipping a flat white and munching on a cheese toasty, but women are very welcome too. With large windows overlooking Elizabeth Street, it’s a great spot to escape the frenzied rush in the shops below and enjoy a more old-fashioned retail experience.

Captains Of Industry Melbourne

Captains Of Industry Melbourne

Find it:  Level 1, 2 Somerset Place

Kinship & Co

Kinship & Co is a new café I discovered whilst on my quest to try a Doughboys Doughnut. Tucked away on Gallagher Place, it’s vibrantly decorated with street art outside and filled with charming pot plants on the inside. The staff are incredibly friendly and those famous Doughboy Doughnuts are exceedingly good. Mexican owner Goran serves locally roasted Five Senses coffee as well as a selection of hearty baguettes for lunch.

Kinship & Co Melbourne

Doughboys Doughnut at Kinship & Co Melbourne

Find it: 11 Gallagher Place

Where’s your favourite place to grab coffee in Melbourne?

21 Comments

  • Tash says:

    Ohhh, there is a few here I didn’t know about! Need to get reacquainted with my city!

  • I wish I had had this list before I went in January! The coffee culture can be quite overwhelming–so many choices! One of the main reasons I loved Melbourne so much 🙂

    http://www.adventurousappetite.com

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      I’m lucky to have been a few times and have local friends who can point me in the right direction as there certainly is a lot of choice! Hopefully you’ll get a chance to go back and try some more 🙂

  • Elizabeth says:

    I love the street art in that first photo! What a great spot to sit, enjoy coffee, and do work!

  • Laura says:

    Adding all of these to my list! I honestly think you could try a different coffee shop/breakfast spot every day here in Melbourne and never try them all. It’s a good problem to have :).

  • Oh, this post makes me miss Melbourne so much, Jayne! One of the things I loved most about living there was the huge amount of cool coffee shops. I mean, obviously I live in east London and there are a ridiculous amount of cool cafes around here but, still, Melbourne always has a place in my heart when it comes to quality coffee in quirky cafes 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Melbourne does do quality coffee in quirky cafes rather well doesn’t it. At least there are Antipodean places popping up in east London all the time!

  • Leonie says:

    You really cant beat Melbourne for its Cafes

    Leonie ♥ IkonikBeauty

  • Carly says:

    Oh man this makes me miss home! I’ll be back over Christmas after 4 years away so have no idea of the hottest hipster spots anymore. Am bookmarking this for future reference – thanks heaps for sharing, now my old friends won’t think I’m a total tourist in my own city hahaha.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Haha there are so many to choose from that I’m sure your friend’s favourites will be completely different. Enjoy exploring them all!

  • Jodie Young says:

    Oh this post makes me miss Melbourne so much, there is just something magical about the laneways and cafes there. I had many favourites while living there but Manchester Press has to be top. The food and coffee is delicious and the interior is quirky and beautiful.

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      I love Manchester Press too! Not sure why it didn’t make the list this time – how good are their bagels?! There are just too many good cafes to mention!

  • I went to Melbourne for a day in between flights last year and loved it. I wasn’t actually planning on going back to Australia but I’ve been thinking about it more and more lately. All your posts and instagrams on the food and culture there are very tempting 🙂

  • Neil Fahey says:

    Great list! It’s hard for people visiting Melbourne because they end up going to one of the ritzy looking places along Southbank or Lygon St and getting absolute crap coffee, then saying ‘I don’t know why everyone raves about Melbourne coffee’. Good idea for a blog post. There’s a couple there I’ll be checking out that I haven’t been to yet.

    Cheers
    Neil

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Thank Neil! I know every local has his or her favourites for different reasons but you’re right it can be overwhelming for a first time visitor. Hopefully visitors will get why we love the cafe culture there a bit more with this guidance 🙂

  • Cest La Vibe says:

    I don’t care for drool worthy cake. When I go for coffee, I’m all about the coffee!

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