Seems the less signage, the cooler the cafe in Melbourne. We tirelessly researched and hunted for the best cafes in this hip city. Down laneways and unsuspecting alleys we traipsed to bring you The Yum List's pick of:
The Best Cafes in Melbourne
Silo by Joost - NUMBER 1 CAFE (according to The Yum List)
Shame we did this cafe first, as it turned out to be so fabulous that all cafes following just paled in comparison. Silo by Joost set the standard extremely high. This is by FAR our favourite cafe. Silo by Joost served the best coffee and food we had in Melbourne! We love that they make huge efforts to produce zero waste, but that aside, their food is delicious and the coffee... well... it's a tough market in Melbourne... even so, they came out the clear winners. Don't miss a meal or three here.
123 Hardware Street
+61 03 9600 0588
|Hardware Societe - yummy but not sure it justifies the hype|
Lines form at the door early morning gathering for Hardware Societe's brunch. Famous for their baked eggs, the hoards don't seem to mind waiting for a table. We tried some of their brekkie items and found them to be virtuous, but not worth waiting in line for. A short mention in one of the tour guides I believe, has the crowds running. The baked eggs were flavourful but had too much going on in the one bowl for my personal liking. Mushrooms too were good, but not rave worthy. Coffee was pleasing. Staff are incredibly efficient and polite. We were seated with a direct view of the kitchen buzz and what we saw was lightning speed efficiency and order. While we weren't disappointed with this cafe, the expectation had been set too high. It is indeed a great spot, but not mind blowing.
120 Hardware Street
+61 03 9078 5992
Sensory Lab - chic spot for a quick cup
|Sensory Lab, David Jones|
Cool surroundings, excellent service, well made coffee. The roast was a little on the dark side for me, but being part of David Jones, it's an easy location for a standard, hassle-free cup.
297 Little Collins Street
St. Ali - Excellent coffee, hit and misses with the food
St. Ali is the lastest rave in Melbourne. Seems a very sauve owner has the habit of turning everything he touches into gold. It's fun just trying to find this place. Little signage and a back alley location means it's a destination cafe, not something you'd just stumble across. The wagyu burger sounded gourmet but was really just a tummy filler. The grain salad however was excellent and the coffee too well prepared. It's worth a short adventure at least to traverse the back streets of South Melbourne, but I'm not convinced it merits numerous visits.
12 - 18 Yarra Place
+61 03 9686 2990
|Atomica Caffe - the local go-to place for a consistent brew|
268 Brunswick Street
+61 03 9417 4255
Grace - a nice hippy mix of food and pleasing coffee
No website, no telephone number, no big sign - seems these guys are hiding. I'm not sure how successfully though because the morning we visited it was full of people breakfasting and coffeeing. We like their goodies made with quark (a new cheesy creation for me - less processed than regular cheese with a yoghurty tang) and hubby was happy with the coffee too.
76 Rose St.
Jasper Coffee - Caffeine Dealers - coffee here is yum and you can pick up some goodies to take home too
|Jasper Coffee Caffeine Dealers|
These dealers have every contraption imaginable for brewing the best drop. An excellent range of beans and an alleyway cafe too makes it a fab spot for a quick pick-me-up or a more leisurely sip.
Jasper Coffee Caffeine Dealers
267 Brunswick Street
+61 03 9416 0921
Grub Food Van - undeniably a cool location, standard coffee, hit and misses with the food
|Grub Food Van|
We found the food here to be decent, but not fabulous. We'd return with visitors mostly for the ambience. Best to get some recommendations on what to eat here as they seem to have some great dishes alongside some very average ones. It's undeniably cool though with its recycled furniture and bearded waiters.
Grub Food Van
These are the cafes that made the list, all worthy of a visit for some reason or another. Criticisms aside, the above cafes have a reputation amongst Melbournites as being some of the best. We'd like to hear of your great discoveries and know if you have found your perfect cafe.
*** Also note our travels covered Melbourne city, Fitzroy and South Melbourne. We've heard tales of fabulous cafes in other locations, but we'll save that for another trip.