I love when we go back to Melbourne! Not only do we get to spend time with Justin’s family and friends but we get to take in one of the best parts of Melbourne — the food!
We’ve been back together several times so this post is a “best of” list of our absolute favs. When we stay we are based in the Inner East, so there is a slight geographic slant to our spots, but check them out!
What’s really important to know
Brunch is A THING in Melbourne. Perhaps partially because Melbourne has some of the best coffee in the world, coupled with an amazing culinary scene, brunch is serious. Some of you know that I was historically pretty anti-brunch. I didn’t much like breakfast food or want to eat at that time of day…but Melbourne has really changed that for me.
The traditional Melbs brunch dishes
Every good brunch spot will have some combo of the following dishes (check it out next time you go out):
- Smashed avo on toast — usually with feta, poached egg, beets and plenty of herbs
- Hotcakes — often ricotta with berries and lots of seeds
- Chili scrambled eggs — period. Yum.
Our favorite brunch spots in Melbourne
The top prize goes to my absolute fav restaurant called, Top Paddock on Church Street in Richmond close to South Yarra. We came here during my first ever visit to Melbourne and haven’t missed it during any of our subsequent trips.
If you are looking for an Instagram-worthy brunch, this is your spot. The lattes here are top notch and they always have unique takes on eggs or veggies. The best dish might be their blueberry and ricotta hotcake, complete with berries, seeds and double cream. It comes in American-supersize portion which we learned the first time and only after we finished it (which was awesome) we were told you can order a small version. It’s not on the menu so you’ll feel like a local if you ask for the small one.
We also use it as our fav spot to meet friends (because then we can try more food).
It’s consistently on the list of top brunch spots so if you want a classic spot, head to Top Paddock.
While we love Top Paddock, we recently had the absolute best dish at Kettle Black, a super popular spot right near the Botanical Gardens. The best dish by far is a gingerbread waffle with hazelnut crumble, berries and a maple carrot ice cream. It was beyond insanely amazing.
Like most places, they make great coffee, have decadent folded eggs and a stunning hotcake. It as like a bird feeder erupted with so many seeds — but was SO good.
I should be used to it by now, but I can’t get over every single brunch place being so darn hip — and having amazing coffee!!
We also loved Proud Mary in Collingwood. We came here with our dear friend Maria, especially after I got jealous of the pictures of Maria and Justin there during his last visit without me :(.
In Brighton, our fav spot is Brighton Schoolhouse. We went there on Juliette’s first birthday. We celebrated with insane mushroom toast and chili crab croissant.
And since we were celebrating Juliette’s birthday, we got her a babyccino (cup of frothed milk).
She wasn’t so into the texture.
Just a suburb away is our fav spot in Elwood called Plain Sailing. Once again, a super cool vibe, plenty of seating, and like most places, very family friendly.
There are two great spots in Malvern. One is called Clubhouse — with one of the most decadent hot cakes we have ever had — if that is possible. And of course some very solid smashed avo. There is no changing table there (boo) but the food was quite good.
The other spot is called Millstone. Known for its pastries, it is a small cafe with great food. Save room for dessert!
Staying in Inner East, we stopped by Rustica in Hawthorn with Juliette one weekday morning for lunch. Like most cafes, they had high chairs and was super kid friendly. Also like most cafes, they had a stellar brunch. Not a bad quick stop for some smashed avo and chili scrambled eggs. (For a fun time, check out the pictures of the brunch dishes on their website — much nicer than mine!)
I found the other hot spot called Industry Beans from a “best brunches in Melbourne” list and is in the super cool, hipstery neighborhood of Fitzroy. We thought their spot looked like a great place to chill and indulge in some Instagram-worthy dishes. They were slightly more beautiful than delicious, but still a fun experience. (Seriously, that is charcoal panna cotta).
So take your pick (and take lots of pics). I’ve never seen brunch food as gorgeous, complex and delicious as I’ve had in Melbourne. It’s quite outstanding and has made brunch my new favorite meal.
A note on Melbourne coffee
You’ll notice lattes in all these pictures. That is because Melbourne may be the single best place to get coffee in the world. I welcome the debate but the espresso culture in Melbourne is so sophisticated and the drinks are so amazing, we had them constantly. And, there is no way to pick a favorite because the excellence is consistent anywhere you go.
Here’s the map of all our spots. We’ll keep adding to it.
What brunch spots do you love? Where else should go? Is it possible for Aussies to live without a poached egg, avo or hotcake? Comment below and follow us for new notifications.