While you’re in Melbourne for Spring Carnival, fuel yourself up in style at these delicious breakfast spots
Chef Andrew McConnell’s critically acclaimed Cumulus Inc. is open all day, and the maestro brings just as much A game to the morning as he does dinner. Treat yourself to The Full English, a hearty spread of farmhouse slab bacon, blood sausage on toast, fried eggs and smoked tomato. Complement that with a Spicy Tomato Juice with Ketel One Vodka, for the ultimate hair of the dog after those Melbourne Cup celebrations.
45 Flinders Lane, CBD
Bowery to Williamsburg
In the USA, breakfast often means bagels, and that’s what you get right here in this little Melbourne slice of Brooklyn. No little slices when it comes to the food, though – it’s all about great big, delicious bagels slathered in cream cheese and loaded with lox. The coffee is Melbourne excellent, but for a supreme morning jolt go for the Brooklyn-made Espresso Coffee Soda – fizzy cola with hefty coffee base notes. You may find yourself outrunning the thoroughbreds after two of those.
16 Oliver Lane, CBD
Auction Rooms Cafe
You know your coffee will be taken seriously in a space where various beans fill an entire wall – and Auction Rooms Café’s menu takes breakfast fare up a serious notch or two, too. Think brûlée French toast with passionfruit labné, glazed strawberries, macadamia crumble and white chocolate ganache. It’s a home of coffee excellence and obsession, with beans from Small Batch Roasting Co. and Filter of the Day, a rotating brew available by the cup.
103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Archie’s All Day
The clue’s in the name; after breakfast here, you might just want to stay all day until you’re hungry again, then dive back into Archie’s simply awesome menu. Breakfast bliss comes in the form of ricotta hotcakes with lemon curd, roasted white chocolate, coconut rice crisps, mascarpone and lemon verbena syrup. You’ll have to tear yourself away to get to the track on time.
189 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
Above: Image credit Rudimentary.
Don’t be fooled by the café’s ahem, rudimentary construction. Inside this conglomeration of three 40-ft shipping containers you’ll discover clever, innovative Vietnamese inspired food that translates beautifully to breakfast. Our picks: fried chicken and cornmeal waffles, or the kedgeree – one of the tastiest we’ve tried on these shores.
16-20 Leeds Street, Footscray
The experts behind Rustica Sourdough do pastry here, and so spectacularly that even the most carb-phobic paleo devotee would cave in for the Ispahan croissants and creme brulee donuts. If sweet isn’t your thing, opt for the Rustica Breaky Board groaning with smashed avocado, whole roasted heirloom tomatoes, poached egg, olive sourdough, Bircher muesli and a glass of OJ.
33 Guildford Lane, CBD
She may not be the most obvious inspiration for a café, but British Royal the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton) is the muse here, and amid the design based on her look (fresh and timeless), the breakfast is fit for a queen. Five Grain Porridge with lemon balm, compressed pears, apple and rhubarb compote? Yes please, ma’am.
229 High St, Prahran
Barry Coffee and Food
In this temple of health and vitality, guilt-free tastes decadent. Kale and quinoa co-exist with peanut butter, cheese omelettes and Wagyu beef burgers, too, so everyone’s happy. Mainly, though, the dishes are rainbow of fresh superfoods and you should take the chance to load up painlessly. Gluten free options include Thai coconut sago pudding with mango, lime syrup and strawberries. We love the banana loaf with coffee mascarpone and candied walnuts, and the giant banana milkshake that looks so much more lethal than it really is (almond milk and cacao nibs replace the fatty, sugary stuff).
85 High St, Northcote
This neighbourhood favourite is well worth seeking out for its Chicken Karaage Roll, dusted with togarashi, served with house pickles and slaw, and the creative Eggs Benedict served with smoked pork and quinoa crumbed croquettes. The cafe supports Demeter-certified biodynamic milk and sources it from Shelford, VIC. The café owners recently launched Frozen By A Thousand Blessings, Australia’s first frozen yoghurt to use biodynamic milk.
251 Highett St, Richmond
Above: Image credit Lennox Coffee and Kitchen Facebook.
Lennox Coffee and Kitchen
Here’s another tucked-away neighbourhood gem with a concise but excellent menu of produce-powered dishes, and a friendly, inviting vibe. In a city of intense breakfast adventures, we take refuge in the simplicity of the hearty-but-not-too-heavy dishes with names like The Baked Eggs and The Bircher, and the coffee (Industry Beans’ Fitzroy Blend) hits the spot, too.
163 Lennox St, Richmond
The Kettle Black
In this airy, pretty space, breakfast is elevated to an art form with carefully considered, refined dishes with unexpected native ingredients; you’ll find clever creations such as chilli scrambled eggs with house cured kangaroo, feta and leaves; or tataki ocean trout with a raw kale and pickled vegetable salad, seaweed, almonds and poached eggs.
50 Albert Road, South Melbourne