Another month, another wave of cafe openings.
These are the ones you should know about, whether it’s for a leisurely Sunday breakfast or a decent new coffee spot when you’re shopping in the city. Happy brunching.
Cafe, restaurant, wine bar, deli – Scott Pickett’s newest at the Queen Vic Market is whatever you want it to be. You can pull up a stool and drip a bacon-and-egg butty over the newspaper in the morning. Come by around lunchtime and it will still be heaving with customers – order a cut of roast chicken right off the rotisserie. Pickett’s will still be going strong right through dinner with oysters, charcuterie, pasta and wine.
After moving from Daylesford to Melbourne, Liam Thornycroft and his partner Dan Condon found a former milk bar left unused for more than 20 years in West Footscray.
Referencing the building’s heritage, Dumbo now not only serves brunch and coffee but also bread, milk, fresh flowers and old-school treats such as coconut ice.
Try the ricotta doughnuts, served with fresh fruit, cocoa custard and rhubarb.
Remember when STREAT was just a little coffee cart in Federation Square? Now the social enterprise, which tackles youth homelessness by training and supporting disadvantaged young people, has opened an enormous cafe, bakery and roastery in Collingwood.
The 150-year-old site, known as Cromwell Manor, has past lives as a pub, a brothel and an art gallery.
There are plenty of spaces to sit outside on sunny days. Order the sweet burger with crumbed ricotta and strawberry compote on brioche for something different.
You can spend a lot of time at this new bakery just staring. Glass displays with gold trim run down a long marble bench. Inside there are perfect rows of almond croissants, lemon-cheesecake escargots, peanut-butter-and-jelly doughnuts, mille feuille and eclairs.
There are savoury ham-and-gruyere croissants and stuffed Reuben brioches, too.
Take a seat while you figure it all out – there’s a surprisingly good selection of teas, each brewed at the tea style’s optimal temperature.
What does the Duchess of Cambridge have to do with a new cafe in Prahran – aside from one letter difference in their names? We’re not entirely sure, but there is something about the luxe design of Middletown that makes you sit up a little straighter – whether it’s the royal-blue colour scheme or the abundance of white blooms and pink roses everywhere.
There’s a house-made iced tea with lemon sorbet to try if you start to break a distinctly un-Duchess-y sweat on warmer days.
The breakfast pasta is never coming off the menu here. How could anyone introduce the idea of eating the world’s best comfort food in the morning – then take it away? There’d be riots.
At Small Axe, a Sicilian influenced cafe in Brunswick, it comes with guanciale (Italian cured pork), salted ricotta and a slow-cooked egg. After eating that you’re in danger of going right back to bed, so wake up with a Sicilian blood-orange juice.
At the original Everyday Coffee in Collingwood you’ll mostly find heads buried into Macbook Airs, and people nurse big mugs of black filter coffee over a couple of hours.
The new Everyday Midtown on Little Collins is different – it doesn’t have any tables. It’s really geared for takeaway, with just a few seats and nooks for a spare five minutes.
Coffee is Everyday’s own roast, served espresso or batch-brewed. Pastries, choc-chip cookies and banana bread are all ready to grab and go, too.
Owners Luke Taylor and Jen Nguyen have bagged one of the coolest locations for their cafe we’ve seen in recent times. Poolhouse is tucked beneath the Melbourne City Baths, drawing a mix of uni students, office workers and the slightly damp.
There’s not a full kitchen menu to order from, but there are decent readymade lunch options such as Bánh mì filled with crispy pork or lemongrass chicken. There’s also a counter full of sweet treats by Rustica Sourdough.
Poolhouse Coffee is closed on weekends.
Written with contributions from Anna Webster, Anastasia Tsirtakis, Sherryn Groch, Tim Grey and Caterina Hrysomallis.