They say that South Yarra is king, Richmond is the best and Carlton is great for brunch, but I think there are some top-notch cafes near my watering hole. Yes, that’s right, the Eastern Suburbs are also delivering the goods. That’s why I’ve scouted my local area for quality smashed avo, delicious coffees, and other delightful treats. If you’re a city slicker there’s no need to worry—most of these delightful places are along the train line!
The Black Alchemy is my bustling local café. It’s legitimately ten minutes from my house! I love the modern, but simple interior. And often cannot resist a cheeky Instagram check in of their tasty (and highly photogenic) meals. If I’m looking for a decent soy chai in the area, I always stop here!
The Honey Thief Bakery
This bakery boasts some of the best bread in the state! The Honey Thief Bakery in Blackburn South produces some of the best loaves, cakes, pastries and other treats from its traditional bakery. It’s always a cosy spot to enjoy a coffee and a croissant or a salted caramel donut—if I’m feeling naughty!
Dark Horse On The Brit
This Dark Horse is a popular brunch spot for locals! There’s good service, great food and exceptional coffee (which is hard to find in the east). The Horse has an all day menu filled with fresh, scrumptious meals! There’s also plenty of outdoor seating, making it a good spot to graze in the sun. This Mitcham café is also one of the rare spots in the east where you can try a tasty golden latte.
Two Brothers café brings all the things we love about inner city cafes to the Eastern suburbs. This Mitcham café is cozy, family friendly and has plenty of outdoor seating. If you’re not sure what to order Two Brother’s does a great classic burger with grass-fed beef, triple cream cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles.
The Peddler Café
This chic café is always bustling with patrons, particularly on weekends. The interior is filled with inner city style and features hanging lights, retro chairs, and a big communal table. The Peddler Café also has an extensive menu with meals ranging from your classic eggs on toast to more interesting dishes like the French fruit toast, with banana, blueberry maple syrup, cream and a walnut crumble. If you’re not sold, Peddlers makes delicious (& big) fresh muffins and home-made lemonade!
Mister & Miss
Mister & Miss will satisfy your tummy and your Instagram! This massive contemporary warehouse-style café has all our favourite brunches on the menu: crushed avo, zucchini and corn fritters, buttermilk pancakes and soft shell crab burger (you know the drill). The outdoor deck area makes this a local hot spot for brunch dates, chilling and many hours of gossiping!
Station Street Café
Station Street Café is a simple café with plenty of comfy spots for you to rendezvous. The menu is small and simple but filled with plenty of delightful dishes including the breakfast quesadilla with scrambled egg, bacon & chorizo sausage, in a crisp folded tortilla topped with cheese, avocado, sour cream and tomato salsa. This café is easy to get to and is conveniently located next to Nunawading Station. It’s also an easy cafe to go to with my grandma!
I honestly don’t mind a good burger, especially when it’s from this boutique burger restaurant! Burger Burger crafts delicious burgers with premium meats and fresh ingredients. The burgers source inspiration from surrounding local suburbs, providing a true window into the burgers of the East. Burger Burger is a great spot for a lunchtime feast (or dinner date).
This cheerful café has a vibrant menu with both classic meals and intriguing brunch dishes. Indulge in the sweet bircher muesli with hazelnuts, almonds, apple, honey, yoghurt and a delinquent poached pear. Watts cooking is also a short walk from Surrey Hills Station; it is a warm and welcoming café with a lovely courtyard to relax in on sunny days.
This simple suburban café is the go to place for delicious food and ethically sourced coffee. Prospect Espresso offers a mouth-watering range of coffee from cold drip to Vietnamese iced, that would impress any Melbourne-raised coffee aficionado. The food menu offers delicious classics with inventive twists such as banana bread with walnuts and espresso butter.
This café ticks all the boxes! It has a minimalist interior, top-notch coffee and a menu that’ll totally knock your socks off. The menu has a yin and yang approach that will equally satisfy you with both an epic selection of healthy dishes as well as some delicious finger lickin’ dishes! There’s a buckwheat super food porridge that’s served with cranberries, blueberries, pepitas, banana and whipped pumpkin butter or buttermilk fried chicken served on a brioche bun with charred corn slaw, mustard and sriracha mayo. Not to worry both dishes are very Instagrammable! Legacy Café is the perfect spot for a brunch date.
My Other Brother
The leafy suburbs of Camberwell are filled with decent cafes and My Other Brother is no exception. This specialty coffee house is a coffee lovers delight. It’s buzzing with beans from some of the best roasters in town and has knowledgeable baristas to help get your blend just right. I love getting a coffee to go from here, before checking out the local markets!
Three Monkeys Place
Why drive 20 minutes into the city when all the pizzazz of an inner city café is right here? Three Monkeys Place boasts amazing food styling and a vibrant menu (that tastes good too!). There’s a small cosy interior and a huge courtyard filled with natural light. Sounds like the perfect spot for an Instagram pic, or two.
This quirky café is one of Eltham’s best-hidden secrets! Zen Den may look like an old run down house on the outside, but inside is a homely café filled with an eclectic mix of furniture and funky décor. This café offers a little bit of everything and even caters for vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free diets, (making it an easy choice for lunch dates with the girls!). There’s also a cute outdoor area to graze in the sun, whilst enjoying a delicious meal. Zen Den is always bustling and filled with positive vibes.
The Lilydale General
This one’s a bit of a drive away, but it’s great for a weekend adventure! The Lilydale General is hidden in the industrial area of Lilydale. It has a delicious all day menu with plenty of healthier vegan options that are full of delightful flavors. The coffee is spot on, and sampling the dessert cabinet before you go is a must!
Brioche by Philip
Brioche by Philip is a popular modern French bakery and coffee house in the inner city. This iconic eatery has brought it’s award winning sourdough and delicious treats to the Eastland Town Square. Brioche by Philip brings a unique Japanese twist to traditional french baking that is delighting locals. This bakery is in the perfect spot to relish in the sun. I love getting a Nutella bronut (brioche donut) and a coffee in the town square before a big day of shopping!
Aunt Billies is your fun, fast, fresh and friendly local café. It’s hidden away from the main road and is often buzzing with local brunch goers. There’s an all day menu with plenty of great options. This café also sports my favorite local smashed avo (it’s delicious!). If you’re looking for quality coffee, delicious treats, and chilled brunch sessions, try this place!
The Penny Drop
The Penny Drop is a huge contemporary restaurant with beautifully plated food. In true Box Hill culture, this café adds a fun Asian fusion to its modern Australian menu. If you’re looking for a quirky take on smashed avo, I suggest you try the smoked salmon with spring onion pancake, bean shoot salad, avocado and son-in-law egg, or the whipped avo (yes it’s a thing!). The Penny Drop is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s definitely worth a visit.
The Firehouse is restaurant set in a lovingly restored, heritage listed metro fire station and has plenty of places to dine, drink and laugh! There are plenty of dining spots and a large open air deck with a casual bar. This restaurant has a simple Mediterranean inspired menu and is available for breakfast, lunch and or dinner. It can get quite busy on weekends and has some drool-worthy brunch options like the potato rosti with huon smoked salmon with truffle scented scrambled eggs.
Image Credit: Three Monkeys Place via Facebook.