Running a restaurant or cafe is tough. Decent staff is hard to find. Margins are razor-thin. Attractive fit-outs are expensive and need renewing every five to 10 years.

That's why we're impressed by the venues on this list. In addition to foregoing profit to help those in need, they operate in one of the toughest, most competitive industries around.

Each spot works to a slightly different model - from training refugees in-house, to simply donating profits - but all deserve your business.

Sibling

Cafe

The volunteer-run sister cafe to the CBD’s Kinfolk has a mostly vegetarian menu that uses produce from friends’ farms, and it donates 100 per cent of its profits to charity.

611 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Tradeblock Cafe

Cafe

Training deaf year 11 and 12 students in hospitality.

597 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Feast of Merit

Cafe

Eat dinner here and you'll support programs in Malawi, Ghana, Rwanda, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Australia.

Rooftop 117 Swan Street, Richmond

The Final Step

Cafe

Helps starving kids in Argentina.

1C Murphy Street, South Yarra

Long Street Coffee

Cafe

Featuring refugees and asylum seekers behind the coffee machine.

45 Little Hoddle Street, Richmond

Cromwell STREAT

Cafe

More than 500 disadvantaged youths have trained at these cafes since 2010.

66 Cromwell Street, Collingwood
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ACspresSO

Cafe

A second chance for current or former prison inmates.

2 Regent Street, Richmond North

Wild Timor Cafe Coburg

Cafe

Buy a coffee, support farmers in Timor-Leste.

282 Sydney Road, Coburg

Wild Timor Cafe Carlton

Cafe

Spot number two for four soldiers turned philanthropists.

251 Faraday Street, Carlton

Home.one

Cafe

Coffee, porridge, bircher muesli, and bagels that help support Melbourne’s homeless.

6 Florence Street, Brunswick

All Things Equal

Cafe

This inclusive cafe gives people with a disability a chance to work in a supportive hospitality environment and earn a sustainable income in a dignified way. It’s fun, energetic and serves crowd-pleasing brunches that’ll keep you coming back.

263-265 Carlisle Street, Balaclava