Melbourne is full of brilliant cafes, and anyone who's spent time there has their own favourites. But unless you live in the city, it can be hard to keep up with what's new. Expat Kiwi Chloe Milne takes a tour of some of the best cafes to have opened in the past year.
This luxurious European-style dessert cafe and coffee bar should be on every Melbourne gourmet itinerary. Whether you come for a memorable high tea, or drop by for a takeaway treat, it's a must-do. Seriously - this place is so good that its proximity to my apartment has become a real concern.
Between hand-crafted petites gateaux, macarons of almost every flavour, artisan chocolates and salted caramels – Bibelot has something for every sweet tooth. The only trouble will be in deciding what to try first.
I recommend starting with a Black Forest éclair, then a delicate rose-raspberry macaron filled with rose ganache and raspberry compote. And, if that isn’t too much of a sugar overload, a hot chocolate with 35% milk chocolate and house-made marshmallow to finish. To die for.
All Good Coffee
Looking for a coffee fix within the laneways of Melbourne’s CBD? You'll love All Good Coffee. This new cafe is the perfect place to recharge after a day spent exploring the city, but it's no run of the mill downtown pitstop. With locally sourced speciality coffee, a small menu of bagels, toast and sweet things – including a divine salted caramel macaron – this is a Fitzroy-quality cafe in the heart of the CBD
It's possibly the only cafe in town to offer mugs of hot Milo, but this place is really all about the coffee. My caffeine-addicted partner in crime for this cafe date confirmed it: the coffee is “the real deal”.
The Kettle Black
This hip spot, a younger sibling to South Yarra's Two Birds One Stone, has quickly become one of South Melbourne’s places to be seen.
And with a bright, minimalist fit-out and dishes like fresh crayfish rolls, chilli scrambled eggs with cured wallaby, and polenta porridge with “burnt maple and textures of strawberry and basil” (all in generous helpings), it’s not hard to see why.
On your way out, grab a sublime carrot cake cupcake to go, though I should warn you: after trying one, your grandmother's carrot cake will never taste as good.
The Kettle Black has an idyllic setting right beside Albert Park, making it the perfect spot for breakfast after a walk around the lake. There’s even a dedicated barista station out front for a coffee fix on the run. And for the health nuts, they serve fresh pressed juices too – but be warned, the kale juice tastes as healthy as it sounds.
Arbory Bar & Eatery
It's not exactly a cafe, but this super-hip hangout makes the list for its affordable all-day menu and stunning outdoor setting. With more than 100m of uninterupted riverside frontage, Arbory is officially the longest restaurant in Melbourne. You'll find it sitting snugly between historic Flinders Station and the Yarra River.
There's a breakfast menu – think crumpets, butterscotch pancakes and smashed avocado on toast – and an all-day selection, with smaller plates and big plates for those with appetites to match. My recommendation? Forget every burger you’ve ever eaten – the burgers at Arbory are in a league of their own.
I consider myself something of a French toast connoisseur, and as such I'm often left with nothing but regret and disappointment after ordering it at a typical cafe. Not so at Entrecôte, where I recently devoured one of the best French toasts – complete with champagne-poached strawberries! – I've ever had.
Opened in August 2015, Entrecôte is a French cafe and steakhouse is nestled on a quiet tree-lined street beside the gorgeous Botanic Gardens in South Yarra. Its breakfast menu would put many Parisian cafes to shame and the steak frites already are being talked about as among Melbourne's best.
If you go, there's no need to hurry. Entrecôte serves breakfast until 3pm and meals until midnight.
If there’s one new cafe to visit next time you're in Melbourne, this is it.
To view our Melbourne holidays, click here