How do you rate the best brunch Melbourne has to offer? That's like picking your favourite colour of the rainbow, right? Melbourne pretty much invented breakfast (we haven't checked the history books on that one), and there are about 1001 dishes around town that could lay claim the best brunch mantle.
A little smashed av, a little house baked beans with halloumi. Here are the best cafes in Melbourne for breakfast and brunch.
Barry is easily one of the best brunch spots in the northside, with a healthy twist.
Run by the team behind Pillar Of Salt, Touchwood, and Tall Timber, you know what you're going to be in for with a visit to Barry. Tuck into some of the best pancakes Melbourne has, made with ricotta and topped strawberry compote, vanilla cream, and crumble along with coffee from Five Senses.
If you're planning on hitting up Top Paddock on the weekend, prepare for a bit of a wait. This spot is still has a reputation for being one of the best cafes in Melbourne.
Top Paddock pumps out a heap of delicious dishes, but if savoury isn’t your thing, the blueberry & ricotta hotcake with seasonal berries and macadamias is sure to give Barry’s iteration a run for its money when it comes to the best pancakes Melbourne has.
A serious contender for the best brunch 2020, Terror Twighlight does a hearty brekkie and brunch menu. Try out one of their BYO bowls with either a broth (ie: chicken broth or veggie miso broth) or rice.
Top it off with some chicken, Angus beef, salmon and enough toppings to keep you hunger-free for the rest of the day.
The city’s centre can be a tough one when it comes to cafe fare, but Hardware Societe does what is arguably the best breakfast Melbourne CBD could plate up. The baked eggs here are pretty stellar, served in a pot for one, but exploring the Spanish and French-inspired menu is recommended for your second, third or fourth visit.
If you’ve been to Tinker, Bentwood, Penta or MOB, it's the same crew that's behind Clubhouse. The team here serve up coffee from the owner’s own Inglewood roastery, while the signature black forest pannacotta with cherry and dark choc, topped with the freshest berries and honeycomb make it one of the best cafes in Melbourne’s east.
Three Bags Full
We’ll take three bags of their delicious food and coffee.
A go-to at Three Bags Full is the smashed avo (naturally) with Meredith’s Feta, cherry tomatoes and grilled corn & quinoa salsa. The renowned industrial aesthetic paired with a considered and contemporary menu makes for the best brunch Melbourne has experienced in a long while.
Industry Beans is in a class all of its own, with an award-winning fit-out, premium breakfast fare and undoubtedly some of best coffee Melbourne has available.
The avo smash is a staple, but it’s offerings like cinnamon-dusted brioche with tonka bean ice-cream, maple roasted peanuts and coffee caviar that bring a new standard to brunch in Melbourne.
Axil Coffee Roasters
A staple for many, Axil Coffee Roasters attracts the crowd with their sweet corn and halloumi fritters that are so popular they’ll no doubt appear on the next seasonal menu. Sweet tooths are looked after with the peanut butter and jelly stack, but the menu covers a full spectrum if you’d rather find yourself somewhere in the middle.
It goes without saying when you’re going to a roasters for brunch or breakfast, you’re going to get some of the best coffee Melbourne can pour.
Proud Mary has a buzzing rockabilly vibe, great coffee and a smashing breakfast menu. Known to many as one of the best brunch spots in Collingwood, their avo on kimchi toast with wombok and daikon kimchi, and fermented sago is worth a run if you need a break from your smashed avos and brekkie burrito staples.
HAWTHORN, CBD, HIGHPOINT, SOUTH YARRA & FITZROY
The Rustica empire is continually expanding. You can either grab one of their bakery goods home (freshly made sourdough or a cheeky cronut), or if you’re dining in, get down on the bread-heavy menu at one of the best brunch spots across the city.
The Vertue Of The Coffee Drink
Hidden down Carlton’s Place, this one’s about as Melbourne and breakfast gets. Known to many as ‘Vertue’, the team roast their own beans in-house as well as having some of the cosiest interiors that make you want to sit and drink coffee all day. Go for their Umami mushroom, with house-baked cornbread, kale and a poached egg.
Archie’s All Day
It's a good thing Archie's All Day is open all day, because there is so much to get through on the menu here.
Archie’s has become somewhat of a benchmark when it comes to the best brunch spots in Melbourne. We highly recommend the poached eggs and daikon kimchi, enoki mushrooms and sesame dressing, but not before the rockling burger, and only if you’re not ordering roasted cauliflower and salted zucchini salad—don’t forget their signature bloody mary, either.
South Of Johnston
South Of Johnston is the bomb for all things vegetarian. Try out their mushrooms, ladled with juicy cubes of beetroot and silky fetta. They even have an open fire, so you can cosy up and drink your coffee in the chilly morn’.
St Kilda is in the middle of a renaissance but there are plenty of older venues that are definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for the best brunch Melbourne’s bay area is serving up. Miss Jackson brews with Allpress Coffee and a well-rounded, classic brekkie menu that will suit any mood you happen to be in.
Similar to the above, Bentwood in Napier Street serves up a charming timber interior with ultra-mod influences. The fluffy hotcakes with raspberry coulis should be on your order, otherwise take your pick from one of the classics—no doubt one of the best cafes in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.
Wide Open Road
Undoubtedly some of the best breakfast in western Melbourne, and one of the best brunch spots in Brunswick, which is at least partly due to the unique charm of the experience at Wide Open Road. This understated, industrial-chic charmer nails brunch, and the lines during open hours back that up—they also have a roastery out back, which usually means you're in safe hands when it comes to coffee.
Check out our Best Of Guides section for more of what's happening around Melbourne.
Image credit: Bentwood