When we first moved to Melbourne I had no idea how it would change my perspective on breakfast (and coffee). Up to that point it wasn’t really something I celebrated or thought about much. But I have to admit, breakfast in Melbourne really is life.
How Melbourne changed my view on breakfast
When you live in Melbourne you are exposed to so many awesome coffee places offering the most amazing creations. It’s one of the reasons why Melbourne is so livable (I have a separate blog post about that topic here) You can’t but fall in love with breakfast or brunch (how they call a late breakfast in between breakfast and lunch) – especially on the weekends. It’s still astonishing to me that even the smallest café offers the greatest variety of (mostly) healthy, creative and most importantly yummy dishes. And no matter how tiny or hidden a café, you can be sure to get excellent coffee. But what else did you expect when every place has one of those huge barista machines. Sometimes they take up more space than the tables – no joke.
Don’t get me wrong, Europe offers a great variety of breakfast options. Who doesn’t like a Bircher Muesli when overlooking Lake Zürich. Or a café au lait and a croissant when in France. Germany has probably the best selection of breads and rolls in the world and even though the breakfast in Italy is usually a quick meal – whose mouth isn’t watering at the thought of a strong Italian caffè and a cornetto (croissant). But I feel like it is always one or the other. Why not have the option to have a bit of everything. In Melbourne, you will get eggs your way, smashed avocado on toast, different sandwiches and all kinds of granolas and porridges. But they usually have their very unique twist – something you wouldn’t have at home. Needless to say, they incorporate the latest food and health trends and dietary requirements.
My favorite cafés you shouldn’t miss
As I said before, there are so many places where you can have great breakfast, it’s hard to name just a few. Below is a list of my favorite places. They are mainly in the CBD and the southern part of Melbourne simply because we lived in that area. But rest assured there are awesome places especially in the Northern suburbs as well.
Brighton Soul Espresso (Brighton)
One of my favorite places, if not my favorite place for breakfast is Brighton Soul Espresso. It is this cute little café on Church Street very close to the Middle Brighton train station only a 20-minute train ride from Flinders Station. If you don’t know it’s there you might miss it. They have a couple of tables at the front and a dog friendly backyard. The most important part though, you guessed it, is the coffee and the food. You won’t find more colorful and creative food; just another reason why I stay by the statement that breakfast in Melbourne is life.
And if you feel like you have indulged too much you can always take a walk to Brighton Beach with its picturesque beach boxes to get rid of those calories 😉 I actually highly recommend combining the two.
Brighton Schoolhouse (Brighton)
With a spacious outdoor area, this is especially popular once the first rays of sunshine are out. Just like every good Melbourne café they offer good coffee and food. And not just in summer is this a great place to take a little break from your shopping on Church Street, with plenty of room inside it’s also a good spot for colder days.
Both Brighton Schoolhouse and Brighton Soul Espresso aren’t too far away from the beach so if you are in that area, make sure to get your feet in the water or have a look at the famous beach boxes.
Higher Ground (CBD)
This place is my favorite spot in the city. I really like their modern and cool brick interior where you can either get a table on the ground floor or observe the scene from their mezzanine.
It’s really popular, especially on the weekends so don’t get discouraged by the wait. Grab some coffee from the coffee bar outside and relax. The food will make up for it. If you have a sweet tooth, I highly recommend the ricotta hotcake. This is really another reason why breakfast in Melbourne is life. Yes – it’s that good. It’s also a great dish to share so if you want to try both savory and sweet, order a savory dish first and get a hotcake for the table.
Kettle Black (South Melbourne) and Top Paddock (Richmond)
If you enjoy Higher Ground and are looking for a similar experience outside the CBD consider The Kettle Black in South Melbourne or Top Paddock in Richmond. They are part of the Higher Ground family and you therefore find the infamous ricotta hotcake on the menu. But don’t worry, the menus are all different so you will definitely find new, delicious gourmet highlights.
St. Ali (South Melbourne)
Hidden in a small alley in South Melbourne this gem is a must-go-to for coffee lovers. They are one of the pioneers in specialty coffee in Melbourne and been an important part of the coffee scene. Though their roots are in South Melbourne, they own other places in the CBD or have teamed up with other partners (Sensory Lab and Mercedes Me Store) and are even available at the Melbourne airport.
Parkdale Beach Café (Parkdale)
If you are on your way down the peninsula, make sure to stop at Parkdale Beach Café. It’s this cute little place with a great view over the ocean. You will get good coffee and the typical Melbourne menu with lovely sweet and savory dishes. If you are lucky you might even catch one of the beach chairs outside. If the beach view isn’t enough for you just take a walk along the beach.