Whether it’s planning a road trip with your best mate or a fully fledge suit-and-tie affair, choosing the perfect spot to meet can be a nightmare. Do you want somewhere lively or quiet? Just drinks or dessert too? Whatever your intentions are, we’re sure you’ll find something to like in this list of the best Melbourne cafes for a meeting!
Open when birds are still sleeping and the sun isn’t quite up, 1000₤ Bend is one of Melbourne’s favourite city cafes. An ex-motorbike garage, two-wheeled machines have been replaced by sleek vintage couches and a quirky mix of mismatched ornaments. Offering a range of cheapskate drinks for the appropriate hour of the day (five o’clock is dubbed beer o’clock), there’s no reason to feel guilty for chugging those four lattes (and beers) on this particular occasion. A fabulously casual CBD meeting spot, this warehouse cleans up quite nicely.
Hidden in plain sight, Migos is one of Melbourne’s original hole-in-the-wall cafes. In fact, you’ve probably stepped past this gem on more than one occasion without noticing, shame on ya! There’s barely enough room to fit an overzealous extended family in this tiny Italian café, making it the perfect spot for a cosy lunchtime meeting. Choose from a range of daily lunch specials and homemade sandwiches on crispy Turkish bread. If you’re donning a white shirt, maybe save the bolognaise for your next visit.
A boutique, multi-storied café, Flipboard is ideal for impressing your meeting-ee with your outstanding foodie knowledge. Offering all the staples for a smooth morning meeting (coffee, caffeine and coffee), huddling upstairs with one of Flipboard’s warm cuppas is a guaranteed good start to any brainstorming sesh. The kind Flipboard team will leave you to your business-y business, occasionally offering you very appropriately timed caffeinated refills.
Just off Little Bourke Street sits a quiet Little Mule, one of Melbourne’s rare spots that serves come-back-every-week good cappuccinos without the extra fuss. A homely, bright space serving an equally bright menu, the snacks and food here is ideal business meeting size. Not too small that you’re dying to order two of everything, not so large that it makes it awkward to talk around your mouthfuls of deliciousness. Ideal portioning. Because these are the things some people (me) are genuinely concerned about.
The Petty Officer
Albert Park’s favourite sun-facing café is sure to brighten any dreary ol’ meeting. An inviting industrial chic interior featuring quality pale timbers and bursting wall murals, Petty Officer is dangerously charming and handsome to the boot. And he’s not just about appearances. From Supa Greens’ cold pressed juices to Greek style frappes, you might spend more of this so-called meeting perusing one of Melbourne’s best drink menus. Milk options shant be forgotten either, with Bonsoy, almond and coconut milk available for a petty extra.
Market Lane Coffee
Skip the ‘I’m awkwardly early’ walk around the block with Market Lane Coffee. Nestled on the edge of Prahran market, you can use your pre-meeting time productively eyeing some of Melbourne’s best local produce. Market Lane’s flagship café and one of Melbourne’s best stops for a caffeine hit, the team here are very particular about their coffee. All beans are meticulously roasted and quality-tested, guarantying a quality cuppa regardless of the quality of your meeting. Pick up some fresh beans on your way out.
Take the casual meeting feel to a whole new level with Giddiup café in South Melbourne. With seats and tables made out of ordinary milk crates and an expansive bare floor, Giddiup is endearingly minimalistic with an industrial edge. Seat yourselves up at one of the built-in benches for a secretive, bubble-like meeting. If you’re going to be staring at blank white walls, you might as well be starting at Giddiup’s one.
Grub Food Van
Fitzroy’s favourite grubby café, the Grub Food Van, is ideal for showing your ability to work as a team player! By sharing. Food. Reminiscent of summer picnics and spring harvests, the Grub café is unpretentious and relaxed enough to quell any pesky nerves. Order up a storm with a menu including share plates with Melbourne’s best seasonal produce. Remember what we said about sharin’ when you see this feast.
Penny Farthing Espresso
One of Melbourne’s favourite northside cafes, the waitresses and waiters at Penny Farthing won’t bat an eyelid if you choose to set up (laptop) shop for hours on end. In spring the outdoor courtyard is ideal for sun-soaked meetings, because tanning and business-ing is true multitasking. There’s also a boutique bar menu complete with original cocktails for celebratory post-meeting drinks (it’s a thing, we promise).
Simply one of Melbourne’s most beautiful cafes, if the tranquillity of Auction Rooms’ interior doesn’t inspire productive work, it’s a lost cause my dear friend. Fortunately if you are throwing your office work out the figurative window, a plethora of ways to entertain yourself awaits. From the bustling communal tables (cough eavesdropping cough) to the open kitchen, at least you’ll be entertained if you’re not working. Visit outside of peak times because there are bound to be queues at one of Melbourne’s best cafes, even during the workweek.
We know how hard it is to work in an environment filled with food. There’s coffee, then a meal, then maybe a sweet and oh look here’s my second coffee, disappearing along with the last two hours of productive nothing. So if you’re still searching the ideal spot, Collingwood’s Everyday Coffee is pretty fuss-free. As the name implies, the focus here is on coffee with no meals in sight. Admittedly there is a range of sweets from some of Melbourne’s best bakeries, but there’s nothing wrong with a croissant as a reward, amirite?
One of Caulfield’s best cafes boasts an open roof and plentiful seating. Perfect for a brunch-time meeting, even better for a lunchtime catch up. A favourite local spot, don’t expect your meeting to be a quiet affair here. Everyone on the eastside seems to more or less migrate to Mr Brightside, so you’re more than likely to encounter lively conversations and raucous laughter. Take it in stride, after all, not all meetings have to leave you drained!
If you're getting ready for a breakfast meeting, you want to make sure that the breakfast is good! Head to one of these 65 Melbourne cafes you should have had breakfast in.
Image credit: Justin McLean for The Urban List