Photo Credit - Humble Harry Roasting Co
Hardware Société, Photo Credit - Peter Tarasiuk
King & Godfree Espresso Bar
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.
Photo Credit - Photo Credit Peter Tarasiuk
A decade of non-stop queues, thousands of lobster benedicts and a branch in Paris later, Melbourne brunch institution Hardware Société has finally moved to bigger premises. Lush with salmon pinks, deep greens and marble pendant lights, their new digs in Katherine Place also opens on Friday nights for spritzes and bar snacks. Come sundown, novel bites like jamon manchego croquettes and savoury choux will be calling your name, but if you head there during the day, the chorizo baked eggs are the best thing on the menu.
10 Katherine Pl, Melbourne
This pastel-hued café on Lygon Street serves zesty dishes sprinkled with Asian and Middle Eastern flavours – think vegan tofu scrambles with fresh chilli, mint and coriander, or harissa-spiced portobello mushrooms atop your bacon and eggs. In the evening, from Thursday to Sunday, they transform into a dessert café, spinning OTT sweet treats like matcha cheesecake and honeycomb waffles until 10pm.
46 Lygon St, Brunswick East
This generous big-hearted café is so worth travelling for, even if you don’t live in the outer north. Run by two local boys with a keen eye for coffee, they roast their beans onsite and serve up an array of vibrant dishes – think sesame falafels with sweet potato hummus and smoked shakshuka with eggplant, okra, goats curd and sumac. Drink options stretch from Turkish tea to mojito mocktails, but don’t forget to save space for their devilish French toast with espresso cream, maple rashers, frosted pecans and ice cream.
5/1100 Pascoe Vale Rd, Broadmeadows
Up your lunch game at Namoo – a cute and cosy inner-city café serving homestyle Japanese fare. Start with a snack plate of gyoza, tuna tartare or nasu dengaku (crisp fried eggplant with miso glaze), before moving onto spicy tiger prawns, soba noodle salad or tofu curry don. On colder days, we’d heartily recommend switching out your coffee for the earthy, nutty pleasure of a hot matcha or houjicha latte.
167 Queen St, Melbourne
Located in the heart of Carlton’s main strip, newly-opened Freddo Café is perfect for leisurely Sunday brunches. They’re giving the classics a novel touch, from eggs benny with orange-infused pork belly to savoury crepes brimming with goats’ cheese and prosciutto. We’re also loving their dedicated dessert menu – you can get any flavour combination in the form of a crêpe, waffle or pancake. Look forward to lashings of raspberry, rhubarb and mascarpone or the s’mores-inspired mix of marshmallow, biscuit crumble, Nutella and whipped cream. Share if you dare.
275 Lygon St, Carlton
Have breakfast Colombian-style at this colourful CBD café, where they serve ‘arepas’ – a traditional corn flatbread that’s a staple in Latin America. Eat it simply filled with melty mozzarella or grilled and topped with your choice of bacon, eggs, avo and feta. If you’re dropping in for lunch, there’s everything from light and fresh prawn ceviche on crisp green plantains to saucy pork spare ribs slow cooked in sugarcane.
118 Queen St, Melbourne
In the short time they’ve been open this pocket-sized bagel shop has become a firm favourite with nearby office workers, for their strong coffee and bouncy bagels. They’re available any way you like – be it toasted open and topped with avo, feta, pickled chilli and sumac, in a sandwich filled with pastrami, or simply smeared with lashings of indulgent cream cheese.
Rear 53-57 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
At their second location in Greensborough, Infuse with the delicious flavour-packed fusions they’re known for. There’s a breakfast bonza that stuffs five spiced roast pork belly, sriracha, slaw, crackling and fried egg inside a warm croissant, or wholesome Thai salmon, zucchini and corn fritters dressed in tangy green chilli dressing. With coffee by lauded Canberra roasters ONA and fluffy Japanese-style souffle pancakes for sweet tooths, there are plenty of reasons to return again and again.
91 Grimshaw St, Greensborough
New kid on the Highett block, Sons of Mischief is a health-conscious eatery, with a menu inspired by colourful and delicious dishes with Middle Eastern influences. Our pick: up your brekkie game with their hemp granola with sumptuous saffron poached baby pears and cinnamon co-yo. Just in case you need another reason to love these guys, every last Sunday of each month they donate 15% of profits well deserving charities.
326 Highett Road, Highett
For something a little different, try Japanese café fare at this adorably cosy spot down in Docklands. The helpful pictogram menu presents snacks including onigiri (pressed rice balls), katsu sandos and corn cheese spring rolls. For the super hungry there are also larger dishes such as tofu udon salad and rice bowls topped with soft pork belly, all washed down with a matcha latte or yuzu fizz.
103/673 Latrobe St, Docklands
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