Coffee and comfort food – Melbourne’s top cafes

Melbourne's top cafes

It is an undisputed fact that Melbourne is Australia’s one and only coffee capital.


This started way back in the 1830s during the temperance movement, when the city attempted to rather attract patrons to ornate coffee palaces than to pubs. 100 years later, with the immigration wave that followed WWII, Mediterranean coffee culture was brought to Victoria by Greeks and Italians and Melbourne’s fate was sealed. In 2024, it has one of the most iconic coffee scenes in the world, an exquisite international reputation for delicious blends and hundreds of premium coffee spots. Here are Melbourne’s top cafes. 


Seven Seeds – Melbourne’s top cafes

Seven Seeds – Carlton

As one of the pioneers of the third-wave coffee movement, Seven Seeds has shaped Melbourne’s coffee scene tremendously since its opening in 2008. Back then, owner Mark Dundon transformed an old warehouse into a modern roastery featuring lighter blends that contrasted the dark-roasted beans dominating Melbourne around that time. With its fruity Espresso Blend and the famous Golden Gate Blend that has a touch of caramel in it, Seven Seed’s brews are unique and delicious. But not only the coffee is a must-try when coming to the Carlton coffee shop. The all-day menu features some yummy treats, like the popular espresso-infused French toast or the coffee-braised brisket hash. 


Dukes Coffee Roasters by – Melbourne’s top cafes

Dukes Coffee Roasters – CBD

The brand Dukes Coffee stands for organic roasting, naturally grown coffee beans and crafting innovative blends that taste amazing. This theme of sustainability has also been fully adopted by their coffee shop in Flinders Lane. Here, the interior features recycled tiles and reclaimed timber, that add a simple but cosy vibe to the cafe. Dukes staff are known for their expertise on coffee, so don’t be shy and ask them for their personal recommendations and opinion on the various blends they offer. Try the signature Dukes Blend for both black and white coffees and have some delicious carrot cake on the side to enjoy the homey vibe of Dukes cafe. 


Ona Coffee – Melbourne’s top cafes

Ona Coffee – Brunswick

Founded in 2008 by former World Barista Champion, Saša Šestic, ONA Coffee is a haven for coffee drinkers that love to experiment with fancy brews. Here, the coffee menu is twice the size of the food menu, featuring standard single origins from numerous countries and unique blends like the famous Raspberry Candy, which won the World Barista Championships in 2015. The flagship cafe in Melbourne is spacious and modern with a generous outdoor seating area. Locals venture here everyday for delicious brunching options. Try the fruity chia pudding or the salmon gravlax with confit beetroot and horseradish cream to start the day just right. 


Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird – Melbourne’s top cafes

Omar and the Marvellous Coffee Bird – Gardenvale

This industrial-style cafe gets its name from the Yemeni tale about Sheikh Omar, who, in his exile, discovered how to boil beans to make coffee that saved him from starvation. Omar’s mission is to “get people excited about coffee” which they achieve everyday at both their cafe and their brew classes at the venue Next Door. They cater to coffee connoisseurs and newbies alike with an abundance of different blends that the baristas know by heart. Other than great coffee, the Omar’s serves affordable food options that blend Arabic cuisine with modern breakfast and lunch classics. For instance, don’t miss out on grilled banana bread with toasted nuts, honey and cinnamon labneh, a favourite among many customers. 


Market Lane Coffee – Melbourne’s top cafes

Market Lane Coffee – Brunswick

Open since 2009, Market Lane Coffee now has eight venues in Melbourne and is officially one of the top players in the city’s coffee league. Their most recent flagship is located in Brunswick and was designed by Studio Goss that used Australian hardwood and warm-tone terracotta that give the coffee shop a welcoming and relaxed vibe. From pour-overs to high-quality espresso or even a delicious iced cascara tea, made with the dried skins of coffee cherries, the baristas will be happy to serve you the perfect brew. For a treat accompanying your coffee, Market Lane has partnered with Austro Bakery, who supply the cafe with mouthwatering pastries like the delicious rhubarb and hazelnut streusel. 



Patricia – CBD

Patricia, founded by Bowen Holden (formerly of Seven Seeds) and Pip Heath, offers a refreshing escape from the corporate bustle of nearby office towers. The cafe, named after the duo’s grandmothers, combines elements of traditional European coffee bars with a modern Melbourne twist. The cafe space might be small, but visually striking with its contemporary neon light installation and modern design. And, most importantly, it excels in its primary focus: serving exceptional coffee. The menu is simple, focusing on straight-up black, white, and filter coffee, perfectly complemented by a small selection of pastries. So next time you’re in the CBD, don’t forget to make a coffee run to Patricia!


Core Roasters by the City Lane – Melbourne’s top cafes

Core Roasters – Brunswick East

Core Roasters embodies the essence of a quintessential Melbourne coffee experience. Tucked away on a small street, the cafe’s unassuming exterior gives way to a warm and inviting interior, complete with a long coffee bar featuring three machines from Decent Espresso. Here, especially the long blacks are a favourite amongst Melbournians. Made with a lungo-style extraction method, they offer a distinct taste that sets them apart from traditional espresso drinks. Another notable coffee creation is the kaya latte with house-made kaya, steamed milk, and topped with toasted coconut and gula melaka. The uniqueness of Core Roasters is also reflected in the food menu. Here, delights such as pandan-spiked kaya toast, char siu pork tarts, and mushroom rendang pasties can be found alongside the usual croissants and cakes. In addition to the exceptional food and drinks, Core Roasters also provides take-home condiments, including chilli oil, tea-infused fermented marmalade, and fruit ketchup with nectarine and jalapeno. With its dedication to quality and creativity, Core Roasters is a must-visit destination for coffee lovers when in Melbourne.

If you enjoyed reading about Melbourne’s top cafes, you’ll love our guide on Brisbane’s best coffee spots!


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