Sometimes, you just need your espresso brewed express. It’s on a special kind of morning—the one that deserves a comedy confession reel and camera crew on standby. Your alarm’s been snoozed a few (12) times, a lipstick smudge is staining your right front tooth and you’ve donned two odd socks again. Dammit.
But, like all flawed attempts at adulting, it’s nothing a strong cup o’ joe and some good barista banter can’t combat. We’re rounding up the coff’ connoisseurs specialising in the art of a no muss, no fuss caffeine injection. Some are tucked behind concealed laneways, others are planted conveniently train-side. The running trend? They churn out good stuff by the gallon.
Two Bob Snob
This monochromatic hole in the wall means business. Parked a hop, skip and throw away from Cheltenham station, Two Bob Snob's specialties include stellar caffeine and (if you’re feeling a little wild) a mean Nutellacino. The capp and Nutella were always two star-crossed lovers destined to meet where it matters most—the coffee cup.
Cup of Truth
Degraves St Subway
Add this underground Melbourne icon to your liquid gold hitlist. Cup Of Truth is all about setting the pace in the hullabaloo of the underpass. You’ll have your fix faster than you could saunter off to clumsily top up a Myki and drop all of your loose change.
Entrecôte’s Le Derriére
Our favourite Parisian Steakhouse has a backyard coffee haven. Quoi?! Emblazoned with a rainbow ‘Oui Oui’, this francophile’d X marks the spot will unlock a trove of $3 brews. It’s an excuse to do your pitstop à la the frenchies—in style, with a cheeky croissant and perhaps even beret-clad (it’ll hide the bed hair!)
Taiyo Sun is a lesson in minimalism. We’re talking a tidy 12-seat deployment with concrete and cappuccinos abound, akin to a cool, cafe bunker. You’ll notice copious amounts of natural light spilling in from the north-facing window, and of course a premium blend spilling into your cup. Up and at ‘em.
Milkboy Espresso and Kitchen
Is people and/or puppy watching prowess on the top of your resumé? Milkboy is for you. Hang bench-side and watch the commuters and active wearers spill out in the morning shuffle around you. Earphones in, bottoms up.
Little Bean Blue
Adorned with blackboards spelling out your coffee's journey from cradle to cup, Little Bean Blue's streamlined set-up will take you back to the classroom. Pendant lights allow for the perfect newspaper peruse as you catch up on the world (nah, we all know you're reading your daily horoscope).
The mantra at Inward Goods? Keep it simple, stupid. This place emerges each morning from behind a Richmond roller door. There are turquoise mugs, emerald splashbacks and even coffee cup decals adhering to the colour code. Just look for the massive ‘coffee’ signpost.
While Combi boasts a little more wriggle-room than most petite coffee corners, it's tuck shop style window promises a swift caffeine heist. Grab a few raw treats from the front window while you're at it—because no one wants a hangry you rocking up to the office.
The gang behind Crepes for Change have opened up this bricks-and-mortar iteration. This coffee cove will give you a different kind of buzz. While you’ll feel the pick-me-up from the flat white, the true magic distilled here is that profits go towards Melbourne’s homeless and hungry. Good coffee and good deeds.
Flip open the paper and prop yourself on a stool at Little Rogue. There’s cookies to compensate for your brekky bypass, and a bunch of eclectic artwork to propel your morning daydream. Wake up call coming in approximately one piccolo.
The Hideout will see your coffee run mingling with a little salt spray in the air. And let’s be real, there’s not much more intoxicating than a sip of your morning bev with a backdrop of bay views. Talk about a sensory overload.
It’s the perfect post-workout coffee stint, surrounded by a crop of fitness joints like F45 and KX Pilates. Work up your sweat and then refuel with this uber friendly crew. The Archie Pasco boys may even increase that polyamorous barista relationship count. Ooooh yeah.
As the name would allude to, Standing Room is all about the stand, order, retrieve and leave method. A cool timber fit-out makes this a mandatory Insta Story upload. Wait for your name to be hollered by the barista and go forth with your liquid loot.
$4 for a coffee, regardless of milk type, is a pretty decent offer these days. Doomsday also runs a successful retail fashion space, but this time we're all about the hole-in-the-wall cafe. The baristas are friendly, the caffeine comes quick, and there's even a drop-box to get your film rolls developed. Hipster AF.
Tucked on Elgin St you'll find Soap Bar, you're friendly neighbourhood coin laundrette. But you'll ALSO find the pint-sized Aurora Espresso bar in there—the perfect spot to refuel while you people-watch and wait for your delicates.
Worked up a proper hunger? Try these: the 50 best brunch dishes in Melbourne.
Image credit: home.one | Annika Kafcaloudis