MELBOURNE | Another near impossible list to compile is that of the best Melbourne brunch spots. It’s no secret that this city is famed for its world-class brunch scene. From humble cafes serving traditional early morning fare, to fancier spots doing all kinds of creative things, there’s no shortage of quality spots for what one could consider the best brunch in Melbourne.
It’s not just food that you’d typically expect to have for brunch that Melbourne excels at either. There’s bakeries that just happen to serve excellent eat in food, and restaurants serving up brunches from an assortment of cultures and cuisines, including thing you might not think to classify as ‘brunch’.
My list, updated as at early 2022, reflects all of the above. It’s a diverse list that you can’t go wrong with. I’ve placed them in alphabetical order, and to me they’re all worthy of being called the best Melbourne brunch spots.
What’s your favourite brunch spot in Melbourne? Are any of your favourite spots listed below? Are there any places that you think should be on the list?
Archie’s All Day
When I first moved to Melbourne, I loved a small bar called Southpaw in Fitzroy. It hit all the right notes with a great vibe, food, and drinks. When it closed, and was replaced by all day cafe, Archie’s All Day, I was very wary.
I needn’t have been. Seven years on and Archie’s has well and truly cemented itself as a Melbourne brunch favourite. As the name suggests, Archie’s is open from breakfast through dinner, offering delicious breakfast and lunch dishes throughout, as well as brilliant cocktails, in a light, bright space.
Bossa Nova Brazilian Café
Bossa Nova Brazilian Café is a Carlton cafe owned by Brazilian couple Gabriel and Gabriella Gebaile, who have put together a small menu of family dishes that remind them of home. The menu contains plenty of delicious Brazilian brunch options, many of which you won’t find elsewhere in Melbourne. If you’re not a meat eater, vegan versions of almost everything on the menu are available alongside their meaty counterparts.
Heading into it’s ninth year of operation, Code Black Coffee Roasters are still at the top of their game when it comes to exceptional coffee and brunch in Melbourne. They ethically source the best beans from around the world, roasted on site at their Brunswick HQ and served in a variety of ways.
For food, it’s a menu full of delicious options that riff off classic Melbourne brunch favourites. Exact options and flavours rotate with the seasons. The original in Brunswick is my favourite, but these days they also have locations in the CBD, North Melbourne, Southbank, and South Melbourne.
When Andrew McConnell opened Cumulus Inc. in 2008, it was ahead of the curve in many ways. So much so, that they’ve barely changed a thing in the 14 years they’ve been around, and the place still feels modern.
The menu is a mix of new dishes and old favourites, seasonally rotating using the best quality Victorian produce. Brunch options range from simple pastries, through to refined, unique larger dishes.
Head baker and co-owner Christine Tam worked at Loafer Bread, Tivoli Road Bakery, and San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery before Falco, and her experience shows. The baked goods here are exceptional. There are lots of delicious things to enjoy for brunch. Try the Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and pastrami toasted sandwich, the cheese, egg, and bacon muffin, and the famous peanut butter and miso cookie.
Melbourne’s hottest brunch opening of 2016 is still one of the best Melbourne brunch spots. Higher Ground is an impressive, spacious venue, housed in a former heritage listed brick electric substation with lots of natural light and greenery. The menu that features refined versions of Melbourne cafe favourites, taking inspiration from Melbourne’s diverse dining scene and cultures.
Higher Ground is part of the Darling Group. Their other popular brunch venues, Top Paddock, and Kettle Black, are also well worth visiting.
ima Project Cafe
Ima Project Cafe is a Carlton cafe that’s serving up breakfasts and lunches with twists you find elsewhere in Melbourne. The Japanese inspired cafe is owned by Japanese interior designer Asako Miura and her partner chef James Spinks. The food menu features Australian brunch favourites with a Japanese twist, along with more traditional Japanese fare. Visit for a unique Melbourne brunch experience.
Industry Beans is consistently one of my top spots for brunch in Melbourne. They’ve got a few locations across Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane these days, with a formula that hits all the right notes.
The brilliant coffee is roasted on site at the Fitzroy location, using the best quality beans sourced from around the world. Food wise, it’s an assortment of delicious seasonal all day breakfast and lunch options. The focus is on fresh, seasonal produce, and native ingredients.
This tiny Fitzroy gem is an espresso and wine bar that you might not think of as a brunch spot at first. You’d be mistaken though, as Napier Quarter serves up some of the best brunch in Melbourne. The focus is on local, artisan products and producers. There’s brilliant pastries and baked goods, and creative plates that put the quality of produce front and centre.
Vertue Coffee Roasters
Hidden down a laneway next to a service station in Carlton, Vertue isn’t a place you’ll stumble across without knowing it’s there. Those who do seek it out, will be rewarded with some of the best coffee and brunch in Melbourne. Coffee is roasted on site, using the best beans from around the world. For food, it’s innovative brunch dishes that eschew trends to focus on what the team actually want to make and think you’ll love.
As well as the original Carlton location, Vertue also have cafes in Cremorne and Port Melbourne.
Via Porta is a family owned and operated cafe, focusing on the flavours of Southern Italy with contemporary flair. Inspired by their Nonna’s home cooking and the small sandwich shop their parents owned in the 90s, siblings Sarah, Simon, Jonathan and Ryan aim to bring that taste of home to their guests. The result is honest, delicious food.
They also bake an assortment of Italian and French pastries on site, which supply several cafes around town.
White Mojo is one of those places that you look at and wonder if it’s going to be a matter of style over substance. From the fitout, to the aesthetic quality of the food and drinks, everything is extremely Instagrammable. Thankfully, it’s all as good as it looks. Creative, tasty brunch dishes and a very impressive variety of alternative lattes. Make sure you try the black sesame latte.
Wild Life Bakery is a bakery and cafe in Brunswick East from seasoned barista and self confessed bread lover Huw Murdoch. Murdoch was (and is) a huge fan of the bread at San Francisco’s Tartine Bakery and, after visiting the US and meeting with several renowned bakers, he decided to open his own bakery.
Bread is available to take away, along with croissants, cakes, and pastries – the raspberry and dark chocolate salted brownie is fantastic. If you want to dine in, there’s a small but mighty menu that highlights the bread.
Have you tried any of these best Melbourne brunch spots before? Check out my Melbourne City Guide for more tips on where to eat and drink, and what to do in Victoria’s bustling capital.