Best Cafes in South Yarra

Updated 3 months ago

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New apartment blocks have been going up at a furious rate in South Yarra. Consequently, there’s a lot of stylish-looking cafes.

These spots cater to a diverse crowd, from the activewear set to downsizing Baby Boomers and late-rising club kids who know every dance floor on Chapel Street. So whatever type of breakfast you’re after – a smoothie bowl, simple avo toast, fried chicken or waffles with popping candy – it’s easy to find. Here’s where to look.

  • This cafe is the Victorian flagship of a NSW specialty coffee pioneer, and take inspiration from Euro espresso bars. Come for its signature blends and single origins, plus pastries by AM Bakehouse.

  • This is much more than a bakery. Sure, the bread and sweets are great. But you ought to stay for a meal. With past dishes including mascarpone pancakes and chicken-liver pâté on brioche, brunch here is too good not to try.

  • A lush fig tree takes pride of place in this light-filled dining room. The all-day diner takes you from blue swimmer crab crumpets for breakfast, to slow-cooked beef cheek and Australian wines for dinner.

  • Cityscapes, nature and excellent food rarely coexist, unless you’re outside at The Terrace. Here, you can tuck into a scone or some Turkish-style eggs against the picturesque backdrop of Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

  • This is the flagship of the beloved bakery chain. Get lobster and prawn Benedict for breakfast and a buttermilk fried chicken burger later on (not to mention Bloody Marys all day long).

  • Sourdough, spelt, multigrain, and soy and linseed are among the bready delights at this respected outfit. And no visit is complete without trying the doughnuts, filled with rotating flavours such as lemon custard and rhubarb.

  • A cheese-centric spot at Prahran Market by an expert in fromage. Expect a walk-in cheese-maturation room, rare and boutique cheeses from around the world, and those signature grilled-cheese toasties.

  • This coffee shop may be small, but it has a big heart. Find coffee that’s roasted in Mornington and brewed in South Yarra for a good cause. Plus, snacks to go – from loaded bagels and cheesy jaffles to gooey almond croissants.

  • A nostalgic garden cafe in South Yarra’s historic Como House.

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  • French-born baker Quentin Berthonneau has trained at Vue de Monde and Chez Dre, and wants good bread to be as accessible as good coffee in Melbourne.

  • A day-to-night eatery with a refined, European feel.

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  • At this vegan-friendly bakery, you can get pillow-soft milk bread by the whole or half loaf, as a classic katsu sando, and more. It’s an extension of cafe Fuumi Fuumi, which has locations in West Melbourne and Port Melbourne.

  • Eat breakfast, then take lunch or a litre of milk home.

  • Whether you like raw greens or dessert for breakfast, this spot has it covered.

  • It's an indoor-outdoor cafe experience on a bend of the Yarra River.

  • A sophisticated but down-to-earth spot, with plenty of warmth.

  • A rustic spot specialising in more than 15 types of pide.

  • Having a local barista is very much like having another husband.

  • Fresh organic meals that taste as good as they look.

  • Whether it’s for breakfast at three in the afternoon or picking up dinner on the way home from work, Urban Provedore is here to remind us that local is still best.

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  • There’s something to suit everyone at this health-conscious cafe.

  • A tiny, 16-seater coffee and sandwich window by day and petite wine bar by night. Stop by for oysters with hibiscus mignonette, buttery pastries, cocktails, and a 50-bottle wine list.

  • This bright, canary-yellow spot has big Italian vibes. Come for fly-out-the-door focaccias (with cheeky names like The Roman Empire) and spritzes tweaked with Aperol and locally made limoncello, alongside beer and wines.