Weekend Brunch: The Best New Cafés in Melbourne for 2019
With a café culture that’s second to none, Melbourne’s coffee game goes far beyond pastries, cakes and roasted beans. These brunch barons are constantly pushing the envelope. Every month, buzzy new spots open on every corner of the city – from nostalgic neighbourhood gems to daring fusion diners. We’ll be keeping an eye throughout the year to bring you the best of the bunch. So drum roll please... these slick new openings are the ones to watch.
Hearts broke last year when beloved Brunswick East café Pope Joan closed after their eight-year reign serving modern British deliciousness. In a surprise twist, they’ve been resurrected in the old Mayfair site as a pop-up until April, with potential for something more permanent. So if you’ve been missing their signature Reubens, now’s your chance to get your fix.
45 Collins Street, Melbourne
Hot days call for cold gelato, and this new spot in Brunswick is making waves with its light and moreish scoops. Bico’s father and son team honed their craft in Bologna before setting up shop here, and their craft shines especially bright in fresh, fruit-based flavours such as lemon, mango and pineapple.
288 Albert Street, Brunswick
Time and Place’s huge windows grace the room with plenty of natural light during the day, though you can also opt to sit outside and absorb vitamin D as you brunch on nourishing dishes like falafel waffles with tahini yoghurt, avo, zhug, pickled red cabbage and a fried egg.
929 Centre Road, Bentleigh East
Exotic homewares store Zoobibi has opened an in-house café, serving dishes as globally-inspired as their showrooms. Enjoy Persian baked eggs, Turkish simit with sujuk or chickpea fatteh salad from their light-filled indoor courtyard that’s modelled on the riads of Marrakech.
646 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn East
The bowl trend shows no sign of slowing down in 2019, a fact that Bowls Baby is tapping into with their range of colourful, wholesome and nourishing bowls. For breakfast there’s scoopable acai and frozen fruit smoothies topped with healthy yoghurt, seeds and granola, while for lunch you can build your own or choose from options like the Hoke Poke, packed with veggies, salmon, and pickled ginger dressing over brown rice.
35 Rose Street, Essendon
For pastries with a side of whimsy, pop into this all-vegan bakehouse that’s perfected a plant-based butter made from macadamia, cashew and coconut oil. That means perfect flaky crusts on croissants, which also come in wacky varieties such as a cronnoli (a croissant-cannoli mashup), a vegan ‘ham and cheese’ number and in cube form. They also do pumpkin spiced lattes and ice creams in flavours ranging from strawberry to salted caramel to sweet potato.
241 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Carlton’s iconic Italian deli and grocer has reopened, adding a modern all-day espresso bar that services your every need, from coffee and freshly baked pastries in the morning to panini and pasta for lunch and spritzes and cicchetti at night. Our new favourite thing to do is grab one of their outward-facing window seats and watch as the endless activity of Lygon Street passes by.
293–297 Lygon St, Carlton
The brothers behind Vacation, Touchwood and Pillar of Salt have brought their magic touch to Brunswick, opening a light-filled café serving colourful, healthy and wholesome meals. Feel good while you feast on buckwheat pancakes with raw cacao pudding, crushed berries and granola or a brown rice bowl dressed in amino acid and miso. If you’re feeling a little cheeky they’ve got your back too, with cold brew martinis and Aperol Spritzes on offer if you choose to forgo that green juice.
589 Sydney Road, Brunswick
Word has already travelled far about this new CBD café’s signature offering – the ‘tradie slammer’ bravely sandwiches a full pie in between brioche buns and caramelised onion chutney. Even if your appetite doesn’t stretch quite so far, there’s plenty to love on the menu, including vibrant salads, decadent sweet pastries, oozy toasties, and of course, their full range of pies, encasing everything from humble beef to fancy confit duck with parsnip, honey and coffee jus.
18 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Drawing inspiration from their travels, the owners of Oppen have created a café with Nordic chic both in the décor and on the plate. Sit in an elegant, open space full of warm light and dusky pinks while enjoying wholesome, Scandi-inflected dishes like open rye sandwiches topped with pork liver pate and lingonberry ketchup or spelt granola with Icelandic skyr and sour cherry foam.
20/2 Maddock St, Windsor