Reminiscent of a modern country cottage, this little gem in Hawthorn is sure to warm your insides, no matter how grey the skies. Here, all the cafe classics are served, some with a Mediterranean twist that will make you forget what season you’re in. The ingredients used at Crabapple Kitchen are of the highest quality — think Meredith Dairy feta and pure Canadian maple syrup for starters — and tea lovers aren’t forgotten with a range of delicious T2 teas served nice and hot. With an open fire on the inside and blankets available for those who prefer to dine outside, it’s the perfect place to escape the cold with some quality food and friends.
This Collingwood favourite is situated in a repurposed warehouse, which is not something you would immediately link with cosiness. Somehow it works. It’s big, with a range of seating options and spaces for you to choose from (if it’s not too busy, of course), but the warm atmosphere, knick-knacky decor and freestanding fireplace will make you feel right at home. With an all-day breakfast menu, plus separate brunch and lunch offerings, even the most discerning cafe goer will find something that speaks to their tastes. Be sure to pick up a warm muffin before heading out into the chilly Melbourne weather — you won’t regret it!
Is there a meal more wintery than a delicious, hearty soup? If you agree, Soul Soup Cafe is a must. Your choice from the rotating menu of piping hot goodness will be served in a nice big mug, with Turkish bread for dunking on the side. There are also pies, toasties, jaffles and foccacias for those after something a little more solid. It’s hard to resist going back to seconds, especially if you’ve managed to nab a seat in prime position in front of the heater.
No trip to Melbourne is complete without paying a visit to one the city’s many great laneway cafes. Dukes Coffee Roasters is a perfect place to enjoy an excellent coffee in a cosy space, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. It offers arguably some of Melbourne’s best specialty coffee, perfect to perk you up and warm your insides after braving the elements for some city exploring. It’s popular with locals, so seating might not always be available but if you have the patience to wait, or you’re just after a hot drink to go, it’s a great little spot.
Another big space that still offers a homey vibe to its patrons is The Grain Store. Although it’s conveniently located right near Southern Cross Station, you might still have to do a bit of work to find it. After all, Melbourne’s best gems do tend to be hidden! The Grain Store menu has a full range of tasty eats from pancakes to pasta, however, a special mention goes to the chocolate chip cookies with milk. They’re baked to order, so when you get them they’ll be fresh out of the oven with the choc chips perfectly melted — what a wonderful winter treat!
Going to Grigons & Orr Corner Store is like paying a visit to your eccentric, but oh-so-welcoming aunty’s house, who just so happens to make a mean latte and a solid eggs Bennie breakfast. Chock full of cosy, kitschy charm, this corner store will take you back to your childhood with all the favourite, old-school sweets (Redskins, anyone?). Beat the winter chill with one of the yummy jaffles – the Tradie comes with egg, bacon, tasty cheese and tomato chutney. If you come on a sunny winter day, snuggle under a crochet blanket to enjoy the outdoor tables minus the chill.
The one thing bound to bring cheer when you’re suffering from the winter blues is, of course, chocolate, particularly the hot variety. Mork supplies many of Melbourne’s great cafes with its majestic hot chocolate mixture that’s both ethically sourced and amazingly delicious. Get into the winter spirit by testing out one from its signature range. Our pick is the malted hot chocolate, which comes with malt caramel, dehydrated malted meringue and caramel snow. Delish!
Are you looking for somewhere with bottomless filtered coffee and free Wi-Fi to kick back for a few hours? Perhaps you need to squeeze in a bit of work during your stay in Melbourne? We get it. The Queensberry Pour House offers both of these things and more. With large windows, so you can watch the weather pass as you tuck into some delicious food and consume copious amounts of coffee, it’s winter heaven.
If the rich burgundy walls, the scent of delicious warm pies and the welcoming atmosphere don't make you feel cosy enough, rest assured the menu at Cafe Alcaston certainly will. Just a short walk from Parliament Station, tucked away in the Alcaston House building, is arguably one of Melbourne's most underrated cafes. Regulars love the pies and there are a few options — beef and red wine, chicken and leek, and pumpkin, spinach, feta and pesto for those who prefer a vegetarian option.