Famous for its reputation as the nation’s coffee capital, Melbourne is the city to come to for a quality brew. Melbourners are obsessed with coffee. So much so that coffee snobs are likely to turn up their noses at the slightest temperature shift or sub standard coffee art. It’s no wonder that chains like Starbucks couldn’t survive the ferocity of the Melbourne market.
Recently, Melbourne has beaten Rome, Vienna and Sydney to hold the crown of the best coffee city in the world. So there’s no surprise that the bar keeps on raising higher and higher. Whether you like your coffee milky, strong, filtered, cold dripped or aeropressed, there’s something in Melbourne for the fussiest coffee connoisseur.
Melbourne’s CBD is the perfect spot to map a coffee crawl. Its cobble stoned laneways are literally bursting with quality coffee shops – ranging from hole in the wall style establishments to laid back alfresco eateries.
Here’s a wrap of my favourite coffee shops in the Melbourne CBD.
Brother Baba Budan
Brother Baba Budan is one of my go-to spots for a quality coffee in Melbourne’s CBD. It may be tiny, but it makes up for it with its funky charm and atmosphere. The house coffee is from famous Carlton based roastery, Seven Seeds. They have several varieties of coffees on offer and beans are roasted fresh and packed. If you’re lucky, grab a spot at the communal table and watch the masters at work as they churn out countless brews to the steady queue of caffeine hounds. And don’t be alarmed by the chairs hanging precariously from the ceiling – I am assured they are held on tight.
359 Little Bourke Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Dukes Coffee Roasters
With a sister cafe in Windsor, Dukes Coffee Roasters in Flinders Lane doesn’t miss a beat. Like Brother Baba Budan, seats are limited, but it’s a great option for a pre work takeaway coffee. Dukes pride themselves on environmental and social sustainability; all of their coffees are ethically traded and organically grown where possible. The result is beautifully brewed coffee which can appeal to the fussiest of f tastes – from a full-bodied latte to a clean filter coffee. Don’t miss the decadent selection of pastries on the front counter (my favourite is the white chocolate coated alfajores). Be prepared to queue a little at peak times.
Ross House – 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
For anyone who follows me on Instagram, you would know that specialty coffee roasters – Axil Coffee in Hawthorn – is one of my all-time favourite spots for coffee and brunch. Luckily for city dwellers, Axil has opened up a smaller sister branch in the CBD. The outpost has a small takeaway counter on street level and a small cafe upstairs which is easy to miss! It may not have all the trimmings of the Hawthorn establishment, but it certainly serves a good brew.
76 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
Cup Of Truth
If you’re after a quality brew near Degraves Street, then make a bee line the Cup of Truth. For a tiny hole in the wall, this coffee spot serves top class coffee using the finest beans. They offer an Axil blend daily plus some extra single origins which rotate during the week. Blink and you’ll miss this tiny spot in Campbell Arcade, the subway connecting Degraves Street and Flinders Street Station.
12 Campbell Arcade Melbourne VIC 3066
The League of Honest Coffee
A strong contender for best coffee in the CBD is The League of Honest Coffee. Aeropress, chemex, cold drip, syphon, pour over – these are only some of the techniques the specialist baristas use to carve a quality brew. They source a diverse range of premium single origin and blended coffee beans from traders around the world, who specialise in ethical and sustainable production. Tucked away on Little Lonsdale Street, this coffee store is the perfect way to get your morning pick me up.
8 Exploration Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
If you prefer a different kind of church to spend your weekend, then try St ALi, ‘The Church of Secular coffee’ at Rue & Co – one of the hottest street food precincts to hit Melbourne. Expect A-grade coffee, a tasty breakfast menu and sweet treats like salted caramel-filled profiteroles.
80 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Market Lane Coffee
Market Lane Coffee will always hold a special place in my heart. The Prahran Market shop was my first ever coffee experience in Melbourne. The Market Lane Coffee outpost on Therry Street is a small, bright cafe bordering the Queen Victoria Market. They specialise in coffee from East Africa and Latin America, roasted lightly with fruity tones.
109–111 Therry Street, Melbourne Vic 3000
Little Bean Blue
A fairly new addition to the CBD coffee scene is Little Bean Blue on Little Collins Street. Famous for their house blend coffee and their ever-changing exotic flavours around the world, you will always be tempted by a new array of caffeinated beverages. It’s a great pre-work pick me up – staff are friendly, the decor is cool and the coffee is superb. Just a stone’s throw from Parliament Station, Little Bean Blue is definitely one of the best coffee spots at the Paris end of Melbourne.
15 Little Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
With Scandinavian heritage, of course I am going to say yes to a Scandi themed cafe in Melbourne! At Fliter you can expect quality brewed coffee from Small Batch using funnels, plungers and AeroPresses served in Scandinavian style filter cups. There are also a selection of smørrebrød (open sandwiches) available topped with all the usual Scandinavian trimmings like pickled herrings, remoulade and cheese. And don’t miss the delicious pastries from Tivoli Road Bakery.
555 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Crowds of caffeine hungry workers descend on Pallet Espresso early on a weekday mornings to get their first caffeine hit before work. Sensory Lab coffee is top-notch and so are the pastries. At lunch time they even serve contemporary Japanese and Italian infused cafe dishes.
620 Collins Street, Melbourn VIC 3000
Other special mentions go to Patricia, Sensory Lab, Teeroy Browns, Black Velvet Espresso and Pellegrini’s.
What are your favourite coffee spots in Melbourne CBD? Would love to hear your comments below!