A while back, we asked you to espresso yourselves about the hottest coffee shops in Melbourne, and the answers were pretty illuminating. How illuminating, I hear you ask? Well, one follower went out of their way to express ‘NOT Starbucks’, so you can see that passions are running high when it comes to the best coffee spots in town. You have spoken, and so here’s where you can find the best coffee in Melbourne, according to the readers of Secret Melbourne.
1. Market Lane
Starting off with a classic, Market Lane has spread to eight locations across the city since they first started roasting beans back in 2009. Their coffee beans are sourced from all over the world, including specialty roasts from Guatemala, Colombia, and Rwanda – and as a certified B Corp outfit, you can rest assured they’re sourcing them both ethically and sustainability. True aficionados can join their Coffee Club for exclusive merch (you’ve definitely seen their totes around town) and beans delivered to your door.
Multiple locations, see them here.
2. Levanter Café
A Middle Eastern café that scores highly for the brekkie & brunch dishes (check out the Levantine breakfast for a filling start to the day) and some highly-regarded baklava, the coffee here isn’t to be overlooked. You’ll find your classic long blacks and flat whites here, but the Turkish coffee, brewed with a warming hit of cardamom, is a standout pick-me-up.
298 Carlisle Street, Balaclava VIC 3183
3. King & Godfree
Let’s be honest, a Melbourne institution with Italian expertise is bound to produce some banging coffee. The only downside of popping into King & Godfree for an espresso is the danger that you’ll leave laden with cannoli, pasta, smoked meats, and much more – you have been warned.
293/297 Lygon Street, Carlton VIC 3053
4. Vertue Coffee Roasters
A bright blue façade welcomes you to Vertue in Port Melbourne and Carlton, and that theme extends to the trademark blue cups too. Their Sabertooth signature blend forms the basis of their brews, but if you’re not feeling coffee – hey, it happens – they’ve got an excellent selection of tea available too.
8 Raffa Place, Carlton VIC 3053 & 425 Graham Street, Port Melbourne VIC 3207
5. NAPA Glen Iris
Multiple nominations for this popular neighbourhood hangout, known for their friendly service and delightful brunch dishes as much as their coffees. At the very least, grab one of their mouthwatering cinnamon scrolls to go with your latte, yeah?
451 Burke Road, Glen Iris VIC 3146
6. Dose One Cafe
Your toughest choice here? Small, medium, or large. Dose One‘s spot opposite Hughesdale station makes it an all-too-convenient option for commuters, but if you’re not in a hurry, it’s well worth taking your time and dwelling over your cup on a lazy Saturday morning.
1 Willesden Road, Hughesdale VIC 3166
7. Dukes Coffee Roasters
No shortage of competition on Flinders Lane, but Dukes stand out for their smart, green-fronted shop and the frequent queues out the front door. One of Melbourne’s best flat whites is on offer here, and if you’re not fancying the trek into the centre, their Melbourne roastery supplies other great coffee shops across the city, such as Uncle Drew in Clifton Hill and Heart Bakes in Port Melbourne.
247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
8. Seven Seeds
Another joint boasting a double threat of roastery and café, Seven Seeds is perhaps best enjoyed at their warm and inviting industrial café space in Carlton. Not only can you shop their range of roasts to elevate your home brews, but there’s an enviable range of brunch and lunch dishes on offer (if you spot the Eggs Benedict on waffles, go for it and don’t look back).
114 Berkeley Street, Carlton VIC 3053. Traveller and Brother Baba Budan in the CBD are also part of the Seven Seeds family.
9. 1 in 20
Far out on the fringes of town, in the foothills of the Dandenong Ranges, you’ll find charming café 1 in 20. Ideally situated for a last pick-me-up before you head out into the wilds, their beans are sourced from The Bean Cartel, and the brews come iced or piping hot depending on the weather.
1305 Mountain Highway, The Basin VIC 3154
Another Melbourne coffee shop with a strong Italian lean, Saluministi operates locations on Flinders Lane and in the Docklands. A strong, hot brew on a cold day is just what you need, and if grabbing a sandwich to go is a side effect of your visit, so be it.
892 Bourke Street, Docklands VIC 3008 & 388 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
11. Collective Espresso
Camberwell’s own Collective Espresso is a smart little spot for brunch, but the rotating lineup of single origin blends mean you’ll be able to sample a range of top-tier brews every time you visit.
1/3 Cookson Street, Camberwell VIC 3124
12. Two Conversations
Is it the number of social interactions I can handle in a day? Nope, it’s a coffee shop. Tucked away between Collins and Little Collins, the vibes are strong at Two Conversations, especially if you can snag an outdoor seat on a sunny day with a couple of pals. Pastries come highly recommended, but even if you’re just grabbing a coffee to go, it’s an excellent option to have in your back pocket.
Shop 26/10 Equitable Place, Melbourne VIC 3000
13. Kit Espresso
A plum spot in the Royal Arcade guarantees Kit Espresso a steady stream of foot traffic, but it’s the coffee that keeps people coming back for more. The small but mighty coffee house boasts a range of filter coffees, and the staff are happy to suggest something to suit your tastes if you’re feeling spoiled for choice.
Royal Arcade, Shop 48/148 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
14. Axil Coffee Roasters
When you’re bringing the world’s best barista for 2022 – Anthony Douglas – to the table, you can have a spot on our best coffee shops roundup. You’re never too far from an Axil Coffee Roasters, especially if you’re wandering around the CBD, where you’ll find them on Flinders Lane, at Collins Arch, and at Melbourne Central. Meanwhile, Melbourne University students are glad of their on-site branch when those essays start to drag on.
Multiple locations, find them here.
15. Espresso Room
Easily identified by their eye-catching takeaway cups, Espresso Room in Northcote provides the ideal fuel for a long old wander down the High Street. Of course, the second temptation – their brilliant range of bagels – will do just as nice a job…
410 High Street, Northcote VIC 3070
You really are spoiled for choice on Flinders Lane, aren’t you? The delightful female-owned café Seedling stands out from the crowd thanks to a menu of 100% gluten-free food, and the beans they use to brew their coffees are Fairtrade too. Their outpost on Little Collins Street closed in April 2023, leaving them to focus all their energies on the charming Flinders store.
275 Flinders Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
17. ST. ALi
Another cornerstone of the Melbourne coffee scene, ST. ALi can count on five locations and the support of a celebrity fan: F1 driver Valtteri Bottas, who recently gave his likeness to a special roast named ‘The Mullet’. Simply iconic! ST. ALi & The Queen is their most recent addition to the brand, part of the new development at Queen Vic Market.
Multiple locations, find them here.
18. Gridlock Coffee Roasters
No two ways about it: this lot are serious about their coffee. Gridlock is primarily a roastery and wholesalers, but if you’re going to head to Heidelberg in search of beans – High Beam is the current seasonal favourite – you may as well pick up a takeaway cup from their hole in the wall shop too.
8 Beatrice Avenue, Heidelberg West VIC 3081
19. Brick Lane
Your Instagram will love the preserved redbrick frontage of Brick Lane, and your tastebuds and stomach are going to appreciate the rest of this lovely laneway café. Coffee beans are sourced from local roastery Rumble Coffee Roasters, and when you’re sipping on a steaming hot cup surrounded by the enviable array of plants, you’ll be in your happy place.
33 Guildford Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000
20. Holy Toast
Come for an iced latte, leave with a banging toastie. That’s usually the recipe for success at Holy Toast; as the name suggests, there’s an enticing range of toasties to pick through if you’re feeling peckish. A neat little courtyard is ideal for a iced late in the sun, we reckon.
4 Station Road, Cheltenham VIC 3192
21. Campos Coffee
So dedicated to coffee that they’ve even got a podcast about it, Campos Coffee are the suppliers for many of Melbourne’s favourite cafes. Still, if you want to go straight to the source, head to their vibey South Yarra shop for a powerful and enticing brew – and don’t be afraid to ask the baristas to recommend something!
572 Chapel St, South Yarra VIC 3141
22. Industry Beans
To my eternal shame, I’ve only tried the Industry Beans branch in Sydney, so that needs rectifying pretty sharpish. With three extremely aesthetic shops across Melbourne, there’s really no excuses for me or for you not to sample their ace coffees, whether that’s a natural coffee from Ethiopia or Costa Rica, or an intriguing salted caramel bubble coffee.
Various locations, see more here.
Three airy and conjoined shipping containers flanked by a community garden set in an abandoned car park in the backstreets of Footscray – it doesn’t get much more Melbourne than Rudimental. There’s nothing gimmicky about this Leeds Street go-to, though, which pumps out some of the consistently best coffee on either side of the West Gate Bridge. Pair your Small Batch-roasted brew with one of the considered brunch plates, many of which are elevated with fresh herbs and veggies from the on-site garden.
16-20 Leeds Street, Footscray VIC 3011
24. Code Black
From the backstreets of Brunswick to a mainstay of Melbourne’s coffee scene, Code Black has built its stellar reputation among our city’s coffee lovers for its dedication to detail and impeccable execution. Its expansive Brunswick HQ was near-revolutionary when it opened in 2012, with the on-site roaster complemented by a kitchen plating up clever and thoughtful brunch dishes that more than held their own. Now, more than a decade on, Code Black has cemented its place as a bucket-list Melbourne café experience, made all the easier given it now boasts no less than six standalone locations dotted on either side of the Yarra.
Various locations, see more here.