One of the first brunch places I tried when I first got to Melbourne almost three years ago is Mart130. Even then, the food was great and I really liked the atmosphere, which might have partially contributed to my love for what I call ‘Melbournian’ brunch and coffee now. The cafe didn’t use to have EFTPOS facilities though, so that’s definitely a plus now, and it also feels like their service has improved. The cafe is at Middle Park and is convenient to get to, especially if you’re taking tram 96, because it’s right at the tram stop of – you guessed it – 130. It’s close to a lot of sports-related venues and parks, so Mart130 gives off an outdoor-y feel, and I’ve seen plenty of pet-owners and their pets enjoying their time here.
Melbourne is so saturated with cafes and brunch places that you’ll never run out of places to eat. And I love it. Although cafes that are in the CBD are generally more convenient to get to, some cafes, like Twenty & Six Espresso, are more peaceful and quiet. The cafe is located in a quiet environment in North Melbourne, fairly close to Fandago and the Auction Rooms, and several tram stops away from the University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital. Twenty & Six Espresso is quite easily accessible; just take Tram 57 and alight at the Curzon St/Queensberry St stop.
Cafe Lua is another cafe that is located close to the University of Melbourne’s Parkville campus, where you would find plenty of students and staff getting their coffee to-go. The environment is nice, not too quiet nor crowded, and there are plenty of other food places in that area to choose from. Personally, I thought that the food and coffee were decent – not bad but not amazing either – and even a little overpriced. It’s a nice place to talk and hang out with friends though, and you also get a loyalty card for buying coffee here.
One of the numerous brunch places located on (or near to) Coventry Street is Freestyle Espresso. One of the first impressions I’ve got was how pet-friendly the cafe was – I’ve seen several people enjoying their brunch after walking their dogs, while their pets sit comfortably next to them. The variety of food choices wasn’t very diverse, but the quality was good, albeit a little pricey.
Fandango is a popular brunch destination in North Melbourne, and just several stops away from Queen Victoria Market. Although it didn’t look particularly fancy on the outside, the cafe served one of the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had. It’s a some distance away from the heart of the city, so the neighborhood is peaceful and quiet, but still easy to get to. Just take Tram 57 towards West Maribyrnong from the city (and vice versa), and alight at the Errol Street/Queensberry Street stop. Take note that it’s closed on Mondays. Looking forward to coming back here again to try out the coffee and other dishes!
I’ve heard plenty of great reviews on Manchester Press so I was really excited to try it out one day. The cafe is located strategically – at the heart of the city close to the GPO and other cafes and restaurants – which is easily accessible and convenient too, since it’s opened everyday. Even from the outside, you could see some people waiting to get a seat since the cafe’s always crowded with people. Also, the food at Manchester Press is relatively cheap compared to other brunch places, although the quality is equally good. It definitely lives up to the name of being one of Melbourne’s top brunch places.
I went to Stove Monkey on a Saturday noon with my friends and I’m disappointed to say that it was one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had. The small cafe is located on Clarendon Street and it’s quite easily accessible, and although I genuinely thought the dishes here were decent, the portion were so unreasonably little that neither of us were remotely satisfied. Service was sub-par, food was extremely overpriced, and the cafe also didn’t give off a friendly and comfortable atmosphere. Definitely won’t be going back anytime soon.