Food & Drink

From Tinker To Joe Franks, Here’s Everywhere You Can Fill Up For Free In Melbourne This Week

By Morgan Reardon

It’s not exactly news that single-use plastics are seriously uncool and harmful to the environment. But while many of us travel with a keep cup and reusable straws, lots of us are guilty of grabbing a bottle of water when we’re on the go and looking to hydrate. In fact, Aussies spend more than $730 million on bottled water each and every year. Luckily, Yarra Valley Water (YVW) are here to change that with their Choose Tap ‘Be a Refiller, not a Landfiller’ campaign—and it couldn’t be easier to get on board.

Over the past three years, over 180 businesses have signed on to participate across more than 40 suburbs—ensuring that access to drinking water is more convenient than ever. Simply look for the blue ‘Refillers Welcome’ window sticker at your local cafe, pop in, say g’day and ask to fill your reusable water bottle and they’ll happily oblige. Yep, it’s really that simple. You don’t need to buy anything to access your refill either—they just want to help you ditch the single-use plastics. 

Looking for the coolest cafes across Melbourne to fill up at? We’ve sussed the ultimate hit list for you below (for a full list of participating cafes head here)—happy sipping. 

Two men standing in bakery.

Northcote Bakeshop | Northcote

Sitting pretty on High Street, Northcote Bakeshop's hearty bagels and buttery pasteries always hit the spot. Swing by and grab a bite to lunch, or go all out and cater for your next summer picnic. 

Joe Franks | Ashburton

Tuck into tasty brekky bites at Ashburton favourite, Joe Franks. We’re talking chocolate bread and butter pudding, sriracha maple bacon and harissa eggs benny with slow-cooked pulled pork. Trust us, you won’t regret a visit here.

Mr Hendricks | Balwyn

Come for the free water, stay for the French-inspired brekky menu brimming with mouth-watering treats like chocolate brioche French toast with blueberry poached pears, rice crisps and mascarpone at this adorable Balwyn eatery.

Aunt Billies | Blackburn

Located in the eastern ‘burbs? You can fill up for free at Aunt Billies, Blackburn’s hidden gem. Tucked away off the main roads, here you’ll find smooth coffee, homely vibes and a menu that brings a Middle Eastern twist to brunch. Pro tip: order the harissa scrambled eggs with whipped feta, avo and pomegranate on sourdough—it’s a game-changer.

Tinker | Northcote

Dreamy interior—check! Epic menu—check! There’s a lot to love about Tinker in Northcote (they also have worm farms and use a community garden for produce), so do yourself a solid and swing by. While you’re there, have the sticky date porridge, breakfast tostada and black forest pancakes for us. 

"We're proud to be partnering with Yarra Valley Water to encourage people to stay hydrated without turning to single use bottles. The Tinker doors are always open to stop by for a glass of water or refill on the house."
—Ben Argentino, Yolk Group 

Man putting sticker on window.

Sweet Evelyn | West Brunswick

Nestled on Union Street in West Brunswick, Sweet Evelyn’s loaded donuts, flaky pastries and moreish spanakopita are just waiting to be devoured. Just looking for some quick hydration? Swing by and these guys will fill up your bottle (or glass) for free. 

My Other Brother | Camberwell

If you’re strolling the leafy streets of Camberwell, be sure to duck into My Other Brother. Just look out for the red and white striped awning or clusters of loyal diners sitting curbside tucking into plates of fried chicken benny, Bounty grandola and okonomiyaki loaded rosti with chilli bacon. Yeah, we’re drooling too.

Old Garage Cafe | Camberwell

Operating out of a former mechanic’s garage, Old Garage Cafe's red brick building is your new hydration station. The crew at Old Garage are passionate about protecting the environment, so much so that on their menu you’ll find a plant-based alternative for every brekky option. Oh and doggos aren’t just welcomed here, they’re adored with their very own menu.

Hoppa & Joe | Fairfield

Find yourself thirsty in Fairfield? Swing by Hoppa & Joe, a former sandwich shop turned bustling local coffee institution.Hungry? You can’t go wrong with their towering toasties.

Golden Child | Glen Iris

Chic and sustainable, not only does Golden Child offer free water refills, it grows its own veggies on site. Tuck into their much-loved roti chicken wrap with rice bubble batter, Asian slaw, chilli jam and avocado while you sip.

Buba Sus | Glen Iris

Located just steps away from Burwood station, it would be remiss not to stop by Buba Sus on your morning commute. Our hot tip? Give yourself some extra time to dine at this pan-Asian cafe which seamlessly blends flavours from Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. The result? Flavour-packed delights like ‘The Piglette’–a ka-prao pork omelette, with chilli and asian shoot salad.

Short Straw | Hawthorn

Put simply, one visit to Short Straw and you’re guaranteed to return—the menu is that freaking good. The much-loved Hawthorn eatery will happily refill your water bottle for free, but don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to take a seat and tuck in when you see the likes of fried French toast with caramelised banana and loaded New York-style bagels coming out of the kitchen.


Tonic & Grace | Malvern

The menu at Tonic & Grace was built around sustainability and whole foods, so should you decide to grab a bite to eat while refilling your water, you won’t be disappointed. Dig into smoothie bowls, Japanese pancakes, and smashed avo with shallot and sesame crumb at this dog-friendly cafe.

Mr Sister | Malvern East

On a sunny day, there’s no better place to be than Mr Sister’s plant-filled courtyard. Nestled in Malvern East, the cafe will glady hydrate you, but don’t be surprised if you decide to linger longer when you sniff out some of their brekky staples, like ​​zucchini and ricotta fritters with hazelnut pesto, smashed peas and kasundi. 


Penny Farthing Espresso | Northcote

Fill your water bottle, sip smooth coffee and devour some truly special breakfast offerings at Penny Farthing Espresso. Ready to drool? Here you’ll find brekky birria tacos, corn and olive fritters, eggs benny with fig and bacon and tiramisu bircher.

Jack & Daisy | Pascoe Vale

This Pascoe Vale eatery is the perfect place to stop by for a water refill—and to load up on their amazing menu offerings. Case in point? The loaded cheeseburger toastie, chilli scramble and our fave, The Big Boi—fried egg, tasty cheese, bacon, avo and lashings of BBQ sauce on a pillow-soft brioche roll. 

Editor’s note: This article is sponsored by Yarra Valley Water (YVW) and proudly endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

Image Credit: Supplied

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