It’s a little hard to believe this light and modern cafe was once a milk bar, but when you’re presented with your brunch you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store. Looking at the menu, it’s hard to ignore the Nutella pannacotta, which comes with house-made salted caramel doughnuts. If you’re in the mood for something savoury, the truffled mushrooms with spinach, walnuts and goat cheese will have you equally as chuffed with your meal.
Getting there Bus route 216 or 219 to Elphinstone Street/Barkly Street
This recently opened Richmond brunch spot rapidly rose up the ranks to become a local favourite. The decor is swish and the food delish, with healthy options like the black porridge of black rice, organic rolled oats, caramelised banana, toasted coconut, blueberry, chia compote and more. For something heartier go for the Greek board, a breakfast that combines scrambled eggs with Greek flavours, including tzatziki and saganaki. Team your brunch with an Indonesian iced coffee, made with condensed milk, and you’ll leave grinning.
Getting there Tram route 78 to stop 55
The powerhouse team behind brunch-time hot spots including Tinker in Northcote, Penta in Elsternwick and Legacy in Camberwell has brought us another winner frequented by many an influencer. Go for the chilli scrambled eggs to kick-start your day or the renowned Golden Gay Time pannacotta. The aroma of Inglewood coffee fills this industrial-chic cafe making it hard not to order a latte or flat white with your meal.
Getting there Tram route 11 to stop 15
It’s decked out with slick marble fittings and its floor-to-ceiling windows let in plenty of natural light, but it’s the Asian influences added to classic brunch dishes that gives Light Years its edge. The miso scrambled eggs are a must-try and come with soy roasted mushrooms, seaweed, nori, spring onion, charred corn and milk bread sticks. Avo lovers should go for the Pixel avocado on sourdough — additions of chilli air-dried cabbage and kale, edamame hummus, pickled radish and nori give it a point of difference.
Getting there Alamein, Belgrave or Lilydale train line to Camberwell Station
This local institution on St Kilda’s buzzing Fitzroy Street serves up of the heartiest and surprisingly best-looking brunches in the south. Its meals lean on the British side of cuisine, sprinkled with Italian flavours. For brunch, you can enjoy sweet potato and caramelised onion fritters or thick-cut bacon with a Gruyere potato cake. Pair your brunch with one of its Melbourne-made, organic and fairtrade teas or take some with you to enjoy later.
Getting there Tram route 96 to stop 132
This place roasts its own beans, so you know it’s good for a coffee. Its brunches, though, are equally impressive. Take a seat in its contemporary cafe and be delighted by its menu that offers something for everyone. If it’s a filling meal you’re after, order the chorizo and chilli bean big breakfast that features fried eggs, spinach, avocado, crispy tortillas, corn and jalapeño relish. Go for the bagel topped with salsa verde scrambled eggs, house smoked salmon, whipped cream cheese, fennel and capers, for a New York staple with Mexican influences. Need a sugar hit? The buttermilk pancakes won’t disappoint, topped with caramel, banana, candied popcorn and vanilla ice cream.
Getting there Alamein, Belgrave or Lilydale train line to Glenferrie Station
The humble bagel, along with top-notch coffee, is the focus of this popular laneway cafe. The building was formerly home to a printing press and retains a lot of its historic charm. The eatery perfectly complements this with a carefree yet modern vibe. Choose from its selection of sweet and savoury bagels like the mixed berry — a blueberry bagel, berry mascarpone, fresh strawberries and pistachio dust — or the picked pork garnished with applesauce and herbs.
Getting there Tram route 19, 57 or 59 to stop 3
The aptly name Plain Sailing is in the perfect location for enjoying brunch just a stones’ through away from Elwood Beach. Positioned on the bustling Ormond Road, enjoy watching the trendy shoppers and diners of Elwood pass you by as you tuck into your perfectly Instagramable brunch. A menu highlight is the house-made doughnuts, garnished with coconut, raspberry mascarpone, chocolate granola, Nutella, freeze-dried berries and pistachio. If you really want to fuel up, go for the slow-cooked beef short rib; a fried egg, spiced black beans, broccolini, beetroot hummus and more make this a flavour-packed, hearty meal.
Getting there Bus route 600, 606, 922 or 923 to Pine Street
You might recognise White Mojo’s theatrical dishes from your social media feed. Its menu items are culinary works of art, with each element of its dishes arranged so nicely, they’re almost too pretty to eat. For something a little different, go for the Big Mac. Far from a McDonalds drive-thru order, this version consists of smoked paprika mac and cheese, cauliflower florets, jalapeño mayo, smoked belly bacon, pickled green tomato, a fried egg and buttery croissant. Or, let your taste buds take a trip to the tropics by ordering the Tropical Mille-Feuille: an orange sponge with caramelised banana, passion fruit curd, potato crisp, candied orange, chocolate crumb, salted caramel and mango sorbet.
Getting there Tram route 19, 57 or 59 to stop 3