It’s no secret you can’t move for good coffee in Melbourne but what makes some coffee shops stand out above the rest? For me, it’s a combination of great atmosphere, funky décor, good service, quality beans and drool-worthy cake.
I’ve rounded up some of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne that meet that criteria. These are the places I’d meet friends or take my family; the places I’d drink at everyday (or do if I’m working in the office or remotely!)
These cafes exemplify what I consider to be the best coffee Melbourne. Most of them are in the CBD but I have included a few unmissable favourites from the surrounding suburbs, many which have branches in the city too.
Brother Baba Budan
Brother Baba Budan is one of Melbourne’s most loved coffee spots. Situated on Little Bourke Street, within spitting distance of H&M, it’s a relatively small café that’s big on warm welcomes. Watching the baristas at work it seems they know all their customers by name, as well as their coffee order.
The décor here gives a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘pull up a chair’ – the ceiling has wooden chairs dangling from it. They serve coffee by Seven Seeds, a speciality Melburnian coffee roaster created by Mark Dundon, who was the original owner of South Melbourne coffee hotspot St Ali.
Address: 359 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
This brings us to St Ali. St Ali has been a South Melbourne coffee institution since 2005. Situated in an old warehouse in Yarra Place, the St Ali team take their coffee very seriously – their baristas tour the world winning championships and hosting masterclasses. The St Ali family includes a number of coffee brands including Sensory Lab and Deadman Espresso, which can be found incafés across the city, but the food and atmosphere at St Ali South Yarra make this flagship worth a visit.
Fans of street art in particular will love the way the artwork on the walls outside extends into the café, and the lack of windows in the front room means you can sit back and soak it all in.
Address: 12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne
AXIL Coffee Roasters
I was first introduced to AXIL Coffee Roasters when I studied at Swinburne, a short walk from their flagship Hawthorn store, and have been hooked on these beans since.
You better believe that this independent coffee roaster knows what they’re doing when they make you a cup of coffee. The co-owner, Dave Makin, is a two-time Australian barista champion!
There are several AXIL Coffee Roasters stores around the city so you’ll never be too far from a great brew, and some excellent pancakes… but that’s a story for another day.
Address: 322 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn
READ NEXT: The Best Hotcakes in Melbourne
Market Lane Coffee
Market Lane is a specialty coffee roastery, cafe and retailer, born in Melbourne. They are fanatically dedicated to high-quality coffee and their loyal following shows.
Their ethos is all about making good coffee accessible and exciting, and easy to brew and enjoy. Better still, they want to make a positive impact on the coffee industry by sustainably sourcing, roast and sharing exceptional coffee from some of the best producers in the world.
Market Lane Coffee regularly offer classes on brewing and roasting at home, including classes in languages other than English.
Address: Shop 13 Prahran Market 163 Commercial Road (Elizabeth Street entrance), South Yarra
Good 2 Go
Good 2 Go is a new coffee shop with a charitable heart. Located on Melbourne’s most famous laneway, the street art strewn Hosier Lane, Good 2 Go is an initiative by Youth Project whose profits support the city’s homeless. Not only are Good 2 Go churning out good coffee and biccies but they also offer training to the unemployed so that they can go on to work in coffee shops around the city. There’s also a small selection of souvenirs on sale as well as a second-hand clothing rail where items are priced at $3 each.
Find out more about Kirsty, the delightful Youth Projects worker who came up with the idea for Good 2 Go, in this interview.
Address: 7-9 Hosier Lane, Melbourne
Captains Of Industry
Captains Of Industry is another versatile converted warehouse space, which serves as a café, barbers and gentlemen’s outfitters in one. Men can have their suits, shirts and shoes made to measure whilst sipping a flat white and munching on a cheese toasty, but women are very welcome too. With large windows overlooking Elizabeth Street, it’s a great spot to escape the frenzied rush in the shops below and enjoy a more old-fashioned retail experience.
Address: Level 1, 2 Somerset Place, Melbourne