Melbourne’s coffee scene is world famous and a crucial component of the city’s culture. Explore the laneways and experience an array of different coffee experiences. Large chains have been rejected in preference of the European influenced local coffee shops. Recently more ‘hipster’ coffee spots have opened, building upon the city’s rich coffee traditions.
This fairly new addition to the Melbourne café scene serves up healthy café food and top-notch coffees. There’s the likes of a Californian superfood salad, comprising tri-coloured quinoa, shredded kale, organic wild rice, charred corn, salted ricotta, black turtle beans and heirloom tomatoes dressed in a lime and jalapeño vinaigrette. And to accompany that you can get a just-as-healthy banana smoothie made with almond milk, frozen bananas, cacao nibs and peanut butter.
Be a true Melburnian and drink fancy coffee in a renovated warehouse. They use a special, custom-built air roaster for the coffee, which is said to improve the flavour (and we believe it). Food-wise, these guys are all about fresh and seasonal produce, so you’ll see salads, quinoa and the like. The open-plan space is all-purpose and hosts exhibitions, galleries and tasting events, as well as just being a hub for caffeine fiends.
Hardware Lane is known for its busy vibe and typically Melburnian laneway vibe, and that’s where you’ll find Hardware Societé. It’s got a bit of an artsy feel about it with quirky wallpaper, giant hanging oversized light bulbs and teapots in woolly cosies. Although the menu’s seasonal, a firm favourite is the baked eggs with chorizo, piquillo peppers and queso de cabra (goat’s cheese).
You know a place takes its coffee seriously when it calls itself a ‘coffee roastery’ and café. Their very own speciality blends are roasted on site, and you can smell the stuff as soon as you walk in. Not to mention hear the sounds of the gigantic coffee roaster. Although it’s more about the coffee here than the food, they also serve some nibbles to keep you going between cups.
Although technically a diner, it’s café-like enough for us and too good to leave off this list. Breakfast is served here all day – always a winner. And it’s not just standard brekkie, either – they’ve got some funky offerings including a curried rice and rockling dish, called a kedgeree. But it’s not all about the brekkie as they also serve some pretty awesome brunch food, too, including slow-roasted lamb shoulder served with tomato, eggplant, basil and peanuts.