Coffee Crawl: Wide Awake in Melbourne

Padre Queen Victoria Market

Melbourne is hugely recognized as one of the cities known for good, I mean, great coffee.  Coffee aside, we enjoyed the city.  It is fast-paced but not as crazy busy as Hong Kong or Singapore.  The culinary scene may be a bit behind compared to Hong Kong but I’ve had one of the best brunches of my life here.  It’s a lot of things but coffee is what really stands out when you mention Melbourne.

There is a plethora of cafes and brunch spots around Melbourne CBD.  I would have wanted to try and visit them all but it was just impossible with the limited time we had.  We only wish we could have stayed longer and really soak up the cafe culture

Melbourne is, no doubt, the best city to do a COFFEE CRAWL.

Hardware Societe

One of the best brunch spots in the area.  There’s always a line here not only because the place is quite small but also because it’s really notorious for its delicious brunch dishes.  Not only do people flock to this place for breakfast but also for coffee to go.  I met the gang here but we ate in separate tables.  That’s the downside.  They don’t hold a table for you when your party is not complete yet.  The cafe doesn’t accept reservations either.   But all in all, we had a good brunch.  The coffee was what you’d expect in all the cafes in Melbourne.  Full-bodied, strong, hot and truly hits that sleepy spot.



I’ve had the greatest tasting coffee at Padre.  I always order Flat White so as to compare it to other Flat Whites I’ve had and will have and I must say, this is one of the best.  El Union still tops this list but Padre is a close second.  In fact, I bought a bag of coffee beans and I want to kick myself hard for not buying more.  I can’t really say anything about the interior of their Queen Victoria Market branch as it looks like a pop up more than a cafe.  But the great coffee more than compensates for its lack of aesthetics.  Actually, it’s not that bad.  I kind of like it.  Industrial and very cold.  I heard that the Brunswick location is very hip.  Too bad I didn’t have the chance to visit.


Market Lane Coffee

Our coffee hang-out.  We were here at their Queen Victoria Market location for our usual morning Flat White and Iced Latte every single day of our stay except for that one time we went on The Great Ocean Road tour.  And I love their motto “We love to make coffee for the city that loves to drink it” which is written on all their cups. It’s a reminder of their commitment to give us the best coffee one cup at a time. The baristas are also accommodating and not at all snobs like the ones I normally encounter in Manila of all places.  Unpretentious bunch these Melbourne baristas.  I love them!



Hannah St. Kilda


Ok to the tune of Rosanna by Toto.

All I want to do when I wake up in the morning is drink a cup
Oh Hannah, Oh Hannah
I never thought that a coffee like you could ever care for me, Oh Hannah
All I want to do in the middle of the morning is have brunch
Oh Hannah, Oh Hannah

What can I say?  If I had a cafe, it would look a lot like Hannah’s.  Bright, enough space to move around, high ceiling, wood interior, great music. If we stayed at St. Kilda, Hannah would definitely be our hang-out.  I’ll probably be there all the time and not only for brunch and my fave Flat White.  A lot of ifs…Too bad we only ate there once but we loved everything about our food.  From the fresh mushrooms to the slightly stinky but flavorful cheese and the brioche bun from MG’s order.  It was an amazing meal.  And my Flat White, how cute is this…

I would definitely stay in St. Kilda next time we visit Melbourne and only because of Hannah.


Higher Ground

I think everyone who’s anyone goes to Higher Ground, or more like anyone who’s arriving and leaving via Southern Cross Station must have dropped by here.  It’s very close to Melbourne’s main train station hub and the newer apartment buildings around the area.  This place is gorgeous.  You’d forget you went there for coffee. It’s like a Church with its medieval like windows, very high ceiling and somewhat unfinished walls.  Very chic.  Service is fast and with a smile.  Bonus is coffee is great as well.  All in all, I’d come back here in a heartbeat.


Shortstop Coffee & Donuts


This cafe definitely has my heart.  It does not only have great Flat White, it also has my all-time favorite food (aside from burger, of course), DONUTS!  Before coming to Melbourne, I already had a list of places to go to for doughnuts and so glad Shortstop did not disappoint.  I love the Earl Grey and Rose flavor as well as their original glazed.  They’re perfect with my Flat White.  It’s doughnuts galore here!  I highly recommend this cafe for making doughnuts that aren’t overly sugary.  They’re, in fact, gourmet or artisan without the pretensions.  Just real, delicioso donuts.


Soul Origin

Soul Origin

I like airports with a wide selection of shops.  But I LOVE airports with a great selection of cafes.  And Melbourne Airport has both.  There’s the more popular Toby’s Estates but we went straight for Soul Origin which is not available in Manila. The kiosk is manned by a young crew meaning younger than me which can be anywhere from 18 to 44.  Fast and straightforward.  Sometimes that’s all you need when waiting to board.


Queen’s Kitchen

Who would have thought that this canteen-like resto has great cappuccino?  We found that out when we were up early to catch our tour bus that would take us to The Great Ocean Road.  It was early and the family-run Queen’s Kitchen was the only resto open near our hotel.  And I wanted coffee so much to wake me up.  Actually any coffee would do at that time, it’s just a bonus that Queen’s at A. Beckett Street was unexpectedly superb.  Strong, foamy, with a smooth finish.  And the buttery croissants were also perfect.  And the iced latte, too.  And…and…This is why I believe in the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Oh, man!  If we had more time, I would definitely visit all cafes in Melbourne.  But given the limited time, I think I did good.  I had a glimpse of Melbourne’s cafe culture.  Lucky me.  If you should ever visit the city, the above are worth your time and money.  But here’s a list of cafes I didn’t get to try but will if I ever had the chance to go back.

Manchester Press — Bagels and Flat White. Yep, those are good reasons to go back.

Industry Beans — One word!  Fitzroy! Ok, two. Hipster.

Brother Baba Budan – Because everyone says to try it.

Proud Mary — The one that Third Wave.  I can’t believe up to this moment why I had not gone here.

Chez Dre — Good breakfast and coffee are the stuff of dreams and Chez Dre is heaven.

Cumulus Inc — Out of all the cafes I wanted to visit, I regret so much for not having gone here.

Dead Man Coffee — One of the cafes that uses Seven Seeds Coffee beans.

Seven Seeds Coffee — Of course, coffee plus that Double Wagyu Beef Burger.  What more can you ask for?!!

Grub Food Van — Why so out of the way?

Hammer & Tong 412 — One of the better brunch spots.

Mart 130 Cafe — Just because it’s located beside an operating tram stop.  How cool!

St. Ali Coffee Roasters — The one that got away.

The Kettle Black — The most popular of the bunch.  Always full and the reason may be the delicious breakfast options.  Tataka Ocean Trout and Burrata.  Sounds fancy, right?

The League of Honest Coffee — I will go here just because I’m intrigued by the name.

Top Paddock — I think they’re more famous for the food more than the coffee but it’s still worth a try.

…and so many others. Writing this made me realize that I should hop on the airplane the soonest.


Not fond of DIY tours?  You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentalsrooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!

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