When it comes to brunch, Melbourne really pushes the boat out. Competition is stiff in Australia’s cultural capital, with new venues refurbished by the world’s top interior designers and bringing in expert chefs.
To help you be selective, Booking.com reviewed some of the city’s most in-demand brunch spots, from family farm cafés to sophisticated, Scandi-style townhouses.
Kettle Black in South Melbourne
Address: 50 Albert Rd, South Melbourne VIC 3205, Australia
A small, white, Victorian house with a classical, cast iron verandah, with its roof skimming the next door skyscraper by about a metre, this listed treasure is a surprising treasure among South Melbourne’s tall tower blocks.
The painfully trendy interior of Kettle Black
The interior isn’t quite as traditional as the exterior - think subdued Scandi colour palette, lots of natural light, pale pine furniture, and artfully-placed, exotic potted plants.
Colourful presentation at Kettle Black
The menu is also forward-thinking, making Kettle Black a stand out establishment on Melbourne’s culinary scene.
Chilli scrambled eggs with house-cured kangaroo, feta, and leaves
Dishes include ‘Tataki ocean trout with a raw kale & pickled vegetable salad, seaweed, almonds, and poached eggs’ and ‘Confit free range pork, compressed pear, poached eggs, butter emulsion’.
Find a unique, communal atmosphere at Workshop Brothers
Workshop Brothers Speciality Coffee
Address: 4/190 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Owned by Joe La and brothers Brian and Nolan Taing, Workshop Brothers is a café that was borne out of genuine appreciation for, great food and coffee. The aesthetic is minimalist, with white tiles, exposed brick, and communal tables, making it a space you could while away hours in.
Expertly-developed branding and custom blend coffee at Workshop Brothers
With a team of expert roasters, Workshop developed its fruit-driven, custom blend, with the ingredients changing seasonally but the philosopher and flavour remaining constant. Either accompany your brew with a glazed, pistachio-sprinkled doughnut or pastry, gourmet baguette, or soaked granola.
A warm welcome at little CBD café, Frances
Frances Food & Coffee
Address: 1/245 Franklin St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
Sister and brother team Sofia and Stefan Soltys set up France Food & Coffee right in the city centre, just opposite Queen Victoria Market. Which is where they source all their produce, creating a stellar variety of seasonal recipes.
Smashed avocade with tomatoes on the vine, poached eggs, whipped ricotta on sourdough toast at Frances
Regulars ordering their usual makes the welcoming, family atmosphere apparent as soon as you walk in.
Sauteed field mushrooms with polenta, broccolini, goats cheese at Frances
The menu offers everything from pork belly, truffled scrambled eggs, and lots of bacon, to ornately-decorated bircher muesli and chia puddings.
Enjoy brunch al fresco in bustling South Yarra at Ned's
Ned’s Bake Café and Restaurant
Address: 134 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
On Toorak Road in South Yarra, the relatively new Ned’s Bake is already a popular Melbourne stomping ground. The owner, Ned, is a frequent, friendly presence, chatting to customers and getting to know everyone who stops by. The patisserie counter has both style and substance, with melt-in-your-mouth croissants glazed red and green for decoration, irresistible-looking tartes framboises and lots of expertly-baked bread. We never wanted the chorizo, pepper, and egg white omelette to end.
Egg Sundae Royale at the Grain Store, with soft boiled eggs, avocado, parmesan, tomato salsa, and spiced brioche
The Grain Store
Address: 517 Flinders Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia
The Grain Store really encapsulates the ‘honest cooking’ concept. The dining room is a softly-lit, open space of timber, marble, and decorative bouquets. The European-inspired menu makes choosing one brunch option tricky; the head chef picked up techniques from time spent in kitchens abroad, putting his own spin on them.
Portobello mushroom and Gruyere potato rosti at the Grain Store, with poached eggs, spinach leaves, and hazelnut hollandaise
We were torn between dishes including the Portobello mushroom and Gruyere potato rosti, Halloumi gnocchi and crisp zucchini flower, sticky date banana loaf, and ricotta and passion fruit pancakes.
The Collingwood Children's Farm is a great spot for brunch
The Farm Café
Address: Collingwood Children's Farm, 18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford VIC 3067, Australia
In the rustic setting of Collingwood Children’s Farm, Pip and Tom Hay set up a humble little café, which has grown to a fully-fledged brunch spot. Though the Hays have moved on, the family-friendly, honest grub ethos and great service remains. As you sit on the outside decking, surrounded by the clucking of chickens, it really doesn’t feel like you’re in a city. And the food is bliss too; try the hearty Farmer’s Breakfast (poached eggs, Berkshire bacon, pork sausage, potato rosti, maple baked beans, thyme button mushrooms and grilled tomatoes with sourdough toast) or the Waffles (with maple cream, Berkshire bacon, maple syrup and pecan crumb, yoghurt cream, pistachio crumb, and blood orange segments) for a real treat.
Cool down with a smoothie in the Stables at Como House
The Stables of Como Café
Address: Cnr Williams Rd & Lechlade Ave, South Yarra VIC 3141, Australia
Within the splendidly-sculpted gardens of grand, Italianate Como House, you’ll find the charming Stables of Como Café. The grounds are a Melbourne must-see, while the renovated Stables offer delectable brunch dishes. You can have a sit-down meal in the secluded courtyard but the café also provides high teas and picnic baskets to take with you as you wander around the property.
A smorgasbord at the Stables Café, Como House
The menu includes melt-in-your-mouth toasties with Pastrami, Gruyere, and other delights, while lighter options include ‘Tropicana Diva’, a verbena-scented tapioca pudding with fresh mango, passion fruit, and coconut.