Melbourne’s Top 20 Spots For Brunch
We love brunch and so does Melbourne. Is there anything more iconic in this great city than a lazy Sunday morning sipping (good) coffee, reading the paper and hanging out at our favourite café in between the magical hours of breakfast and lunch. To celebrate this authentically Melbourne experience, here is a list of some of our favourite places to indulge in the ultimate weekend ritual.
Top Paddock - Richmond
There is a reason why there are hordes of people standing around on any given weekend morning waiting for the euphoric moment their names are called. The food is good – that’s why. Their hotcake has pretty much reached legendary status and has single handedly turned a second course of ‘brunch dessert’ into a thing.
Seven Seeds - Carlton
Carrying on the coffee obsession, Seven Seeds in Carlton is also known as one of the best places to medicate your caffeine addiction. Alongside their state-of-the-art in house roasting facility and their exceptional knowledge of the humble bean, their menu gives into our on-trend Nutella obsession by offering French toast with house-made Nutella, hazelnut crumb and an orange reduction. Move over Nutella doughnuts.
Two Lost Boys
Hiding down a side alley way off Chapel Street and overlooking Windsor station, Two Lost Boys lives discreetly among the food obsessed suburb of Windsor. The food reads like most brunch menus (muesli, pancakes, smashed avo…) but the execution is stand out. Their baked eggs come highly recommended as one of the best around.
Journeyman – Windsor
Three words. Honey. Candied. Bacon. There are many wonderous options at the café previously known as ‘Dukes’, but their bacon is what causes waiting lists to happen and people to lose all sense of themselves.
Tall Timber – Prahran
Got a table at Tall Timber? Lucky you. Chances are there are masses of people waiting on the sidewalk – coffees in hand – willing you to hurry up so they can have their turn devouring one of Chef Ryan’s amazing breakfast creations. Personal favourite? The cured salmon gravlax with poached eggs, smashed peas, beetroot relish, black tahini and croutons. Cameras at the ready. It’s too pretty not to.
Pope Joan - Brunswick East
Pope Joan feels oddly familiar and kind of like your second home. Dishes are created around seasonal products and the produce is treated with the upmost respect. The menu is simple, yet refined and thoughtful with an English influence. Rice Pudding, Boiled Eggs, Potato and smoked salmon hash – just wait and see how something deceptively simple can be translated into pure magic.
Treehouse – Balaclava
Situated further down Carlisle Street than the majority of breakfast eateries in Balaclava is Treehouse. It’s a bit of a local secret but laid back vibes, cold pressed juices and one of the best smashed Avos going around means this place won’t be a secret for long though.
Touchwood – Richmond
Every weekend there are people loitering out the front of Touchwood waiting for a table at one of Richmond’s best brunching hot spots. Vibes are hipster-y chic, and the food is familiar yet exceptional. Expect smashed Avos (two varieties to choose from – how thoughtful) a good chili scramble and an excellent morning grain salad for all those clean eaters out there.
Hobba – Prahran
Laid back warehouse vibes and a menu that conveniently provides that BEST hangover food. French toast with candied bacon. YES. Spicy chorizo omelette with Sriracha. PLEASE. Chili con carne with poached eggs. PERFECT. Or maybe just go with the dish fittingly dubbed the ‘morning after cure’… and a Bloody Mary. Obviously.
Bowery to Williamsburg – Melbourne
Can’t afford a trip New York? Well chowing down on the bagels from Bowery to Williamsburg is pretty much the next best thing. Pretend you’re in the city that never sleeps by devouring a Lox Bagel (cured salmon, beetroot horseradish, dill ‘schmear’ and Swiss chard) or go all in and attack their legendary Reuben sandwich complete with sauerkraut, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and pickles.
Hammer & Tong – Collingwood
Make sure you leave your brunching expectations at the door and leave behind those friends that always order poached eggs on toast when you go out (Seriously? Why do you do this?). Hammer & Tong isn’t for brunching beginners. Breakfast ramen, prawn and black bean omelette, mushrooms with coffee crumbs… get ready to broaden your brunching horizons.
Green Park - Carlton North
Since taking over the space of the old St Ali North, Green Park has been utilising the space with a split personality. Exceptional breakfast offerings during the day in a casual sunny café setting and a moody Spanish themed tapas bar once the sun goes down.
Three Bags Full - Abbotsford
Once belonging to the Top Paddock/Kettle Black family – Three Bags Full has since changed hands but has continued to remain as one of the best brunch spots around. Revert back to your childhood and indulge in their signature Green Eggs and Ham (scrambled eggs with crushed peas, grilled leg ham and salted ricotta). You can eat them in a box. Or with a fox.
Axil Coffee Roasters – Hawthorn
This buzzing Hawthorn café is home to one of the most recognisable dishes in the Melbourne brunching scene. Surely you’ve seen the countless photos of their legendary red velvet pancakes – the ideal dessert for breakfast option. Served with cream cheese ganache, raspberries and black sesame ice-cream, there is a reason why they are the ‘must order’ amongst an already impressive menu.
Barry – Northcote
From the same team behind Touchwood in Richmond, Barry is their Northcote outpost and a well-known local favourite. Once you manage to nab a table make sure you don’t overlook the crunchy peanut butter and heirloom tomatoes on toast – because the message of this delicious combination needs to be spread.
Photo by @agiasidi.
Short Round - Thornbury
A local favourite – Short Round has been satisfying the crowds of the North with an ever changing seasonal menu and breakfast that defies the norm. Any place that serves waffles and bacon & egg sliders alongside congee and kimchi and tofu eggs knows what’s up when it comes to Melbournians’ eclectic taste buds.
Industry Beans – Fitzroy
A roastery, a cupping lab and coffee training facilities, yes – they do take their coffee seriously at Industry Beans. This passion for coffee is also translated into their food. One of their most recognisable dishes is their rosewater compressed watermelon served with passion fruit panna cotta. Dangerously pink and oh-so-pretty, this dish was made to impress.
St Ali - South Melbourne
Renowned for their coffee and for being one of the best cafes in Melbourne – St Ali has been upholding an impossibly high reputation for years now. Favourites include their delicious buttermilk pancakes stack and their scrambled eggs with soft shell crab and Yarra Valley brook trout.
Operator 25 - Melbourne
A city hideaway with a big reputation. Operator 25 provides a relaxed hangout within the busy bustling streets of the CBD’s business district. There is a Reuben sandwich with poached eggs for when your day ahead looks particularly challenging, or if you’re in need of a 3pm sugar fix treat-yo-self to some Dr. Marty’s crumpets with banana butterscotch and berry compote. No regrets.
Auction Rooms - North Melbourne
This inconspicuous yet well-known café has been providing locals with adventurous brunches and specialty coffee blends for a while now and regularly finds themselves on lists such as this one. Breakfasts are substantial and reasonably priced – think pressed pork shoulder, seared ocean trout or corned beef brisket to start your day.