A visit to Melbourne will give anyone the quick insight that Victoria’s capital city is a melting pot for everything good. From world-class dining to art galleries to home-grown fashion, and from the perfect weather to numerous sports events, it should come as no surprise that Melbourne is often named as the world’s most liveable city.
Meanwhile, one visit to Melbourne will also educate visitors about the city’s lavish coffee culture and café scene, ranging from innovative coffee beverages (flat white and coffee drips, among others), and from exotic flavours to rich coffee beans. The flourishing coffee culture in Australia actually began way back in the 1880s when Melbourne turned its back on alcohol. As a result, the restrictions on alcohol sale introduced city dwellers to a new meeting place: grand coffee places that started popping up across town and which drew citizens to visit and chat.
Fast forward to today and Melbourne is by far the world’s best coffee city, packed with a throng of authentic coffee shops competing to craft experimental beverages every day. Here, we have handpicked five of the best coffee shops everyone needs to visit, at least once, while they are in Melbourne.
Market Lane Coffee
A specialty coffee roastery and back-to-basics café, Market Lane is known as the best coffee shop in town, and serves high-quality coffee derived from exotic beans. Located on Therry Street, Market Lane boasts whitewashed bricks, communal tables and coffee bean papers stacked on the wall shelves. Don’t miss out on its espresso drinks brewed using seasonal espresso blends. Next, try its poured over filter coffees made from filter brewing methods that produce complex, aromatic and clean tastes. Also serving iced filter coffee, patrons can enjoy a cup of Mbilima (orange marmalade and baking spices) or Coffee Spritz (espresso, tonic water and ice) served in a paper cup and stencilled with “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it.”
Patricia Coffee Brewers
Nestled on Little Bourke Street in the CBD area, Patricia Coffee Brewers is a cosy, stand-alone store that brews high-quality coffee beans from four different roasters in town and serves it to those lucky enough to know its location. From Candyman Espresso to Coko Rwanda to Cascara blends, coffee lovers are free to choose from three basic coffee services: black, white and filter. Not to forget that Patricia also offers affogato served with soft canelé pastry Clouds Mountain that many have sworn is to die for.
Auction Rooms Café
When you explore North Melbourne, the chances are that you will see Auction Rooms Café located on Errol Street. The coffee shop-cum-café has a new-meets-old ambience as seen in its distressed brick walls, industrial roof and pipe chandeliers, and brews its own roast by owner Andrew Kelly who also owns a coffee-roasting business, Small Batch. Auction Rooms is so named because it operated as an actual auction room back in 1864 and it serves impressive and locally favourite caffeinated beverages like Candyman espresso blend, Ndocha and El Pilar and Duromina—harvested from Africa and Latin America. It also provides an impressive list of brunch menu items, beers and even a wine selection. However, no one can go wrong with its coffee, which is probably why St. Ali, a giant coffee empire, acquired it in 2016.
Brother Baba Budan
Another favourite down Little Bourke Street in the CBD area is Brother Baba Budan, which is known by almost all Melburnians. The popular coffee place draws patrons in a crowd that buzzes in cosy and innovative décor (look up—there are swirls of chairs on the ceiling). But stay for the coffee and you will realise that its single-origin coffees, originating from respected coffee roaster Seven Seeds, make it worth the trip. Although Brother Baba Budan (short for BBB) offers fresh batches of pastries, it is a coffee-focused shop known for its espresso (shorty or long black), milk-based (flat white, mocha, cappuccino or piccolo) and filtered coffees.
The Kettle Black
Now, it’s time to go to South Melbourne, where The Kettle Black is located. Open all week long, the posh coffee shop is attractive even at first glance: a white terraced house façade is followed by a fresh, all-white interior, a handsome marble bar and green plants that are enveloped by floor-to-ceiling windows. Once you’re done admiring the décor, go inside and be prepared to be amazed by its menus. For beverages, there are filter coffees from Small Batch beans or espressos from Five Senses blend, and even cold-pressed juices and cocktails. Elsewhere, for food, the selection ranges from breakfast/lunch menus (coconut set chia, chilli scrambled eggs and cape grim beef) to the world’s best ricotta hotcake, served with blueberries, maple syrup, double cream and seeds. Who doesn’t want to enjoy a cup of coffee with some sweet treats?
Get Your Cup of Melbourne
With an eclectic selection of coffee menus, fresh décor and a buzzing crowd, a trip to any of these coffee shops is worth the trip. If you are already planning to visit Melbourne, log on to wego to book your air tickets the most practical way. The award-winning travel search website and mobile app automates the process of searching and compares results from hundreds of travel products to provide you with the best deals.
Meanwhile, one of the many things to love about Melbourne is the proximity of its hotels and the most happening places to visit—in this case, the amazing coffee shops. Whether you’re planning to stay in the CBD area or in South Melbourne, wego provides a wide range of hotels, resorts and even apartments that cater to your travel needs.
So, pack your bags, book your flight and hotels, and be prepared to indulge in myriad scrumptious brunch menus over a cup or two of good ole’ Melbourne coffee. Happy days ahead!