The 8 Must-Visit Cafes in Melbourne to Experience the Best of Australian Coffee Culture

This is the ultimate Melbourne coffee cafe guide.

six cups of coffee on a table
Here’s everything to know about Melbourne’s coffee culture. Jordan Ryskamp/Unsplash

Melbourne, in Australia’s south-eastern state of Victoria, boasts a number of drawcards for visitors and locals alike: beachside esplanades, bustling urban laneways, extensive tram and train networks that enable easy access to and from various parts of the city, dog-friendly cafes, and—perhaps most importantly—a solid reputation for high-quality, uncompromized coffee.

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Whether you’re seeking a quick espresso before heading off to a gallery show, or you intend on ordering up a full breakfast and browsing the news for an hour or so, we’ve rounded up the best cafes to discover in Melbourne. Rest assured that you can’t go wrong with these recommendations, as our guide is both a Melbourne resident and a self-described coffee fiend.

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A large, industrial coffeeshop.
Auction Rooms.

Auction Rooms 

103-107 Errol St, North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia

Busy and eclectic Errol Street in North Melbourne is easily accessible by tram, and once you arrive, you’ll see why the venue is unmissable. Auction Rooms is (perhaps unsurprisingly) a renovated warehouse space that was once used as an auction house. The top-class coffee is partnered with a carefully curated menu (think chorizo scrambled eggs, black rice pudding, seasonal salads).

a coffee counter with displayed goods.
Little Rogue.

Little Rogue 

12 Drewery Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Located in Melbourne’s famed grid of laneways, Little Rogue takes pride of place in Drewery Lane. The Japanese- and Korean-inspired cafe offers small-batch roasted coffee from Shamble Coffee Roasters, as well as special-import blends and single origins from Netherlands-based Manhattan Coffee Roasters. This is not your average Starbucks-style sprawl—rather, there’s a blend of stools and bar seating that encourages solo visits and appeals to discerning coffee lovers. Bakemono Bakers is just a couple of doors away, so you can choose from an array of baked goodies to accompany your perfect latte.

A wooden coffeeshop with open layout.
Red Bean Coffee.

Red Bean Coffee

121 Plenty Rd, Melbourne VIC 3072, Australia

With an on-site roastery, Red Bean Coffee in Melbourne’s northern suburb of Preston is something special. Founders and hands-on managers Lou and Laura began their roastery-cafe hybrid while they were living in the nearby suburb of Thornbury, purely driven by a desire to share their love of ethically-sourced, carefully roasted coffee and homemade food. With a small, enthusiastic staff and a range of coffee and coffee accessories offered for sale, there’s plenty of reason to set aside a couple of hours to browse, sip and munch your way through a morning or afternoon at this local fave.

A coffeeshop counter with a coffee maker.
St Edmonds.

St Edmonds 

154 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181, Australia

St Edmonds opened in 2011, and while it has had several owners since, the cafe has still maintained its same buzzy, oh-so-cool personality. The blocky, graffiti-covered building was once a garage, and there’s an industrial feel to the polished concrete floor and spacious, open interior. The courtyard is great when the sun is out, and it is assuredly dog-friendly. The menu changes seasonally, but don’t miss their raw, vegan desserts.

A clean, minimal coffeeshop.
South of Johnston.

South of Johnston 

46 Oxford St, Collingwood VIC 3066, Australia

In the backstreets of Melbourne’s arty heartland of Collingwood, South of Johnston is a respite from the busy vibe of nearby Smith Street. The cafe is relatively close to houses and apartments, and it doesn’t immediately shout its nature as a deceptively spacious, modern cafe. This is perhaps its superpower, and why it is mostly locals who occupy the tables and armchairs.

Anyone with a sweet tooth should opt for a hearty serving of blueberry pancakes, or a Melbourne favorite: the crushed avocado with toast, marinated feta, heirloom tomato salsa and a sprinkle of dukkah. They serve a fantastic cold brew, but for traditionalists, the single origin filter brew is not to be missed.

A crowded coffeeshop with exposed beams.
Monk Bodhi Dharma.

Monk Bodhi Dharma 

Rear, 202 Carlisle St, Balaclava VIC 3183, Australia

Is there anything more quintessentially Melbourne than a cafe that is nigh-on-impossible to find without a local pointing you in the right direction? We admit, this cafe can be a struggle to suss out on your first visit, but if you can locate the alleyway entrance to the left of the Woolworths supermarket and resolutely tramp up it, you’ll be rewarded with one of Melbourne’s finest and coziest cafes. We love the all-vegan menu, and particularly the banana pancakes with dulce de leche ice cream and maple syrup, or the delicious toastie (pan fried potato, homemade chili mayo, roquette and pickles). Their own roastery provides the beans, and staff are knowledgeable about origins and stories behind the coffee, if you’re inclined to ask.

The inside of an industrial coffeeshop.

Axil Coffee Roasters 

322 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122, Australia

While Axil Coffee Roasters offers a number of locations in Melbourne, it is their flagship Hawthorn venue that boasts the most impressive interior aesthetic: light, spacious, glamorous and Euro-chic. Open seven days a week (with shorter hours on Sunday), Axil provides its own blend of in-house roasted coffee beans, in addition to providing barista training and selling coffee machines and home equipment. If you walk in knowing nothing about coffee, you’ll work out well-aware of the difference between single origin, and the flavor profiles of Colombia versus Panama. Settle in for baked eggs (with dukkah, spic pepernata, feta and grainy toast) and choose between a short macchiato, batch brew, cold drip or New Orleans Cold Brew with chicory root, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla and milk.

the storefront of a green coffeeshop.

Dukes Coffee at Ross House

247 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Sourcing and roasting organic coffee is the modus operandi at this cafe. Dukes Coffee opened in 2013 and a decade later, it continues to provide a brilliant haunt from which to watch Melbourne’s life buzz outside the expansive windows. In the inner city hubbub of Flinders Lane, you’ll find top notch baristas and an eclectic mix of local creatives, retail staff, students and locals. Each lot of coffee bought by Dukes has been ethically traded, sourced from individual farms or small cooperatives and is traceable down to farm level. There’s a small menu to complement the strong coffee focus, including freshly sourced pastries to eat in or pick up for takeout. We love the pure black Dukes signature blend, but if a milky latte is more your speed, staff will bend to your will.

The 8 Must-Visit Cafes in Melbourne to Experience the Best of Australian Coffee Culture