Just when you think cafes are starting to outnumber people in this city...that’s when a new one pops up ‘round the corner. Of course if you’re going to open a successful Melbourne cafe in 2017, you need more than and Edison bulbs a killer smashed av’.
Enter our ‘Best Of’ list. We’ve scoured the streets to bring you the best new cafe food of 2017. We’re talking pickled wild mushrooms, fluffy crumpets with blueberry compote, pixelated avocados and bacon n’ egg rolls that’ll change your view of humanity (probs).
The big question: how many have you done?
- Bad Love Club | Footscray | The West’s badass new jaffle and cocktail cafe. An all-day affair with two scoops of attitude. Pro tip: go the ‘Dyfam’ jaffle with a wicked bacon crumb.
- Light Years | Hawthorn | All hail the Pixelated Avocado! This futuristic caff popped up on Camberwell Rd, and the locals can’t get enough. Special shout-out to the ox cheek eggs benny.
- Proud Sprout | Collingwood | Smith St’s button-cute Nepalese cafe. Their slow-cooked goat curry has become a cult favourite, but the wild porridge with rhubarb and raspberry coulis is also delish.
- Good Egg | South Melbourne | The guys responsible for popularising retro scotch eggs. Think pork and fennel sausage meat, crumbed in panko and served with roast tomato relish. Yum.
- Hector’s Deli | Richmond | Is this place a cafe? Wel, they sell out before midday, so you do the math. Their gnarly schnitzel on a pillowy white bap is still one the best things we’ve eaten all year.
- STN Northcote | Northcote | A northside Melbourne-London fusion. We’d travel a long way for their Vietnamese cold drip and a serve of beef cheek, rosemary hash and tangy apple slaw.
- Fort Green | Northcote | Health bowl sceptics, do yourself a favour and check this place out. The beef bowl with quinoa, tahini and kimchi is so delicious you’ll forget it’s good for you.
- Industry Beans | CBD | Industry’s new satellite cafe is like a little window into the future. Spacey-looking ‘Mod Bar’, bagels out the ying yang, and the city’s first bubble cup cold drip.
- AU79 | CBD | The most ambitious new opening of 2017? This place is MASSIVE. It’s got its own roastery, patisserie and gardener (you’ll understand when you see the plants).
- My Son, Joy | South Melbourne | It’s vegan, veggo, allergy and FODMAP friendly, but weirdly it’s the Euro-style sourdough that rocked our world. Comes out warm with a big wodge of salted butter. Hubba hubba.
- Sloane Ranger | Cremorne | Chilli Scrambled has become the new Smashed Av’, and nowhere does it better than Sloane Ranger. Think fiery chillies, feta and manchego...and about 1kg of butter.
- Egglab | Collingwood | The other egg-themed cafe to pop-up in 2017. These guys do nothing but breakfast rolls, and daaaaamn they do them well. Bonus points for the house-made potato gems.
- White Mojo Plus+ | Glen Waverley | White Mojo unleashed their new cafe in Glen Waverley this year, and the Insta-porn rating is R18+. Pro tip: go the Mad Mojo Waffles and a charcoal latte.
- Buenos Dias | Carlton North | A funky South American cafe slinging atomic-strength Columbian roast, not to mention our Brekky of the Year: the mighty Calentao Rolo.
- History Cafe | Essendon | Doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this place has some Michelin-level smarts in the kitchen. We still dream about their Seasonal Local Mushrooms with the garlic-herb emulsion.
- Terror Twilight | Collingwood | The guy’s from Bedford St traded in burgers for health bowls, and Collingwood effing LOVED it. Try the Sichuan-marinated tofu for a hangover-busting brekky.
- Murray’s Food Store | Prahran | A heritage Milk Bar saved from the brink of destruction, thanks to India and Jeremy (of Easey’s fame). PS. Did we mention the mac n’ cheese pies? Outrageous.
- Big Dog’s Deli | Richmond | An all-day sandwich bar and cafe, just off Swan St. Their ‘Big Dog’ is still one of our faves: 36-month prosciutto, salami, pickled peppers, spicy nduja and aioli, all wrapped in crusty ciabatta.
- Lillie Espresso | Prahran | A slick new cafe from the guys behind Grange Rd Egg Shop and Denis The Menace. Do NOT miss the crumpets with blueberry compote and vanilla mascarpone.
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Image credit: Michelle Jarni | Lillie Espresso