a cup of coffee with a heart shaped foam

There’s no city in the world where you’re more spoilt for choice when it comes to excellent coffee and breakfast than Melbourne, Australia. Forget what you’ve heard about South America, Italy or any other destinations which call themselves coffee snobs – this is the ultimate.

In this city, coffee is the pinnacle of care, creativity and passion, leading to complete and total coffee snobs wherever you turn – and frankly, we love it. The standards are so high almost everywhere, really bad coffee shops just don’t exist; and even bad ones are “decent” compared to most city standards.

But we’re not here to talk about mediocre coffee…

If you want a sure thing, the next time you’re in Melbourne these 10 brilliant coffee shops will hit the spot for your morning (or afternoon) pick me up, and maybe a little something sweet or savoury on the side too…

a cup of coffee with a heart shaped foamJourneyman, Windsor

Chapel street is slammed with hip cafes, restaurants and shops, yet Journeyman manages to stand like an NBA basketball player above the rest. The friendly, attentive service, relaxed vibe, tasty menu and, of course, fantastic coffee make it the perfect spot to stay, or go. Walk ins are fine, but you may want to reserve for prime time brunch hours on weekends.

Dukes Coffee Roasters, CBD

Sitting in the heart of the CBD on Flinders Lane, this specialty coffee roasting company will serve you one of the best cups of coffee around. Extra care and detail goes into every step of the process. When you stop by be sure to also grab one of the delicately flavoured little cakes on offer too – you will not regret it.

a row of colorful beach hutsThe Tamper Trap, Brighton

After a lovely stroll on Brighton beach, make your way inland to The Tamper Trap for a much needed iced latte. The light, airy cafe offers an excellent selection of tempting dishes as well as cakes and pastries. Be sure to turn up with an appetite as the portion sizes are definitely generous.

Slowpoke Espresso, Fitzroy

A great little spot on Brunswick Street that focuses on quality and flavour over everything else. The drinks will keep any coffee snob happy and whether you’re there for a flat white to go or a full sit down breakfast, you can’t leave without trying the pistachio, lemon and orange blossom cake. Yum.

a cup of coffee with a swirl in the foamKinfolk, CBD

We are truly jealous at the level of Melbourne’s coffee shops and this is a perfect example. Kinfolk is a popular place that can get busy during peak times but is definitely worth the wait. The food is organic, the waitstaff are volunteers and the vibe is hip yet homey – add it to your list.

Proud Mary, Collingwood

It’s getting boring describing how excellent the coffee and food is at all these places, but it’s just so true. The inventive menu and house roasted coffee makes this place a must when in the neighbourhood. Aunty Peg’s is another part of the Proud Mary family and is also worth a visit.

Patricia Coffee Brewers, CBD

You may see lines coming out the door of this small, cute venue, but it’s easy to see why and it moves along quickly. The coffee is exceptional and people are hooked. It may not be a place to sit for hours and have a lazy brunch, but if you’re just looking for quality coffee and a pastry it doesn’t get much better than here.

a street sign on a street with cars and buildings in the backgroundBrother Baba Budan, CBD

Just a short walk up the road from Patricia Coffee Brewers, it may be hard to pick between the two. The pastry cabinet will definitely catch your eye and a flaky, buttery croissant will be hard to resist. But it’s the coffee that you will really love, whatever your order is.

Market Lane Coffee, Prahran

Although Prahran Market is the original venue of this roastery and coffee shop, there are a few other locations throughout Melbourne. Real care and attention goes into the whole process of their coffee from sourcing the beans to pouring it into the cup. A walk round Prahran Market is also a must whilst you’re there.

Top Paddock, Richmond

The decor, the food, the coffee, the atmosphere – there’s nothing not to love about this place. There may be a small wait for a table at peak brunch times, but once seated it’s the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the vibrant plates of food and an iced coffee – or cocktail if that’s more your thing.

Laura Burns

Laura Burns is a frequent traveller with an affinity for fine coffee, delicious food and the world's most beautiful sights. If she's writing about it, it's worth exploring. Happiest in Tokyo, Melbourne,...

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  1. Journeyman had great coffee and a comfortable outdoor patio suitable for meeting strangers from the internet, Dukes was our go to for starting our mornings, and Brother Baba Budan had such delicious flavor that I bought a pound of coffee beans to bring back to our favorite local barista in Las Vegas. This is a great list and I’ll have to reference it next time we’re in Melbourne!

  2. Love this! I’ll be in Melbourne CBD for a few days in August for the first time and you’ve saved me the effort of hunting out decent coffee haunts! Look forward to reading more of these lists – suggestions for Sydney and Tokyo would be most welcome!

  3. I’ve lived in Melbourne, the states and now in NZ. The coffee in Melbourne is average at best. Always weak (single shot) and always Luke warm. If you want real coffee come to New Zealand. Auckland has some of the best coffee I’ve had. Second best would be Georgia… Melbourne food and coffee are extremely overrated and overpriced for what you get. NZ kills Aus when it comes to food, but it never gets the credit. Take from an ex Aussie who believed the hype for far too long…cheers.

  4. mmmm not sure about that Mark, sounds a bit biased to me. There’s a reason Melbourne was the first city outside NY and London to host the World’s 50 best restaurant awards. If anything the reputation of Melbourne’s food and coffee scene is getting better (there are 2-3 restaurants in the world’s top 50 and it’s just difficult to get bad food these days, such is the consistency as the writers have pointed out)

    Also, having just moved here from the US, most cafes actually do double shots in their lattes as a minimum and always in long blacks . The coffee is clearly not “always lukewarm”. Nothing against Auckland food but Iv’e been there a few times and whilst the good places are excellent, there just isn’t the concentration you get in Melbourne.

    Outside of Melbourne, the best coffee I’ve had is in Oslo – notably good coffee per capita.

    I actually found this article surprisingly accurate given the writers don’t appear to have lived in the city for an extended period of time. They certainly made the most of their time here.

  5. The foods at the Tamper Trap are really colorful and creative like pancakes, cakes and etc.. Thanks for these awesome recommendations.

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