For Melbournians, brunch is the best meal of the day. Well, it certainly was for me and I enjoyed countless classic morning dishes during my six months in the city. Don’t worry, I’ll be back and they’ll be plenty more to come but I’m taking a brief “vacation” to work on a cattle ranch in Western Australia’s vast outback.
During my six months in Melbourne I managed to visit over 100 – yes 100! – eateries. Many of these have been for brunch and therefore, I consider myself to be quite an expert when it comes to this morning delight. I’d like you to enjoy the same delicious goodness as I have enjoyed – because I’m nice like that – so I’m going to reveal my best Melbourne brunch. Ta da!
The mother of all Brunches
The Kettle Black – 10/10
In my eyes, the best brunch in Melbourne can be found at The Kettle Black on St Kilda Road just south of the river. Sister branch Top Paddock was one of my first ever brunches since arriving in October and I was blown away by their signature blueberry & ricotta hotcake, fruit, maple, cream, nuts, seeds and flowers. This beautiful dish is also on the menu at Kettle Black which to me, is in a more attractive setting, winning awards in interior design. The food tastes as good as it looks and my parents were impressed when I took them here recently. We enjoyed the hotcake, an incredible polenta porridge with berries, maple and nuts plus a delicious coconut yoghurt with poached pears, fruit, nuts, seeds and flowers. Great coffee, service, setting and food to die for. Go with a group of friends who like to share everything!
Up there with the best
Three Bags Full – 9.5/10
We had to wait a while for our food and coffee but when it finally came it was well worth the wait. My pour over coffee by Industry Beans came with a tasting note and sparkling water to cleanse the palate. I ordered what I consider the best dish on the menu – beetroot cured salmon, smashed avocado, rocket, dill & sour cream on a pea, corn and feta fritter plus a slice of pumpkin loaf. Go for a good hearty brunch!
Ascot Food Store -9/10
Phoebe and I went out of our way to visit Ascot Food Store after seeing pictures on Instagram. The food was of excellent quality with favourites being the fritters and smoked salmon. Prices were high but we agreed it was worth it. We picked up a novelty test tube doughnut to take home but unfortunately this looked better than it tasted scoring AFS down a notch. Go for for a lighter brunch with big flavour!
Hidden down a small Carlton lane-way, Vertue Coffee is not only a fantastic space but the owner Mike is a cracking bloke. His passion for great tasting food and coffee certainly shows, with almost everything being produced in-house. Read my full review for Feast Melbourne here. Go for the fresh speciality coffee!
The Grain Store – 9/10
The Grain Store has an interesting brunch menu with great combinations of flavours all well presented on the plate. The warm interior almost feels like I’m having brunch in the comfort of my own home without the burnt piece of toast. My favourite dish is the polenta corn fritter, avocado and smashed greens with poached eggs, garden peas, kale, gazpacho, hazelnut dukkah. Go, relax and never leave!
Scarvelli Cafe – 9/10
New (ish) kids on the block may be in a place you’ve never even heard of (Balwyn) but it’s worth making the trip. Quality of food, coffee and service are second to none and it’s obvious that the staff care. I loved the torn wood-fried smoked salmon with a poached egg, salad of crisp polenta gems, avocado, quinoa, cress and seaweed mustard salsa. Scarvelli employs the “paddock-to-plate” philosophy with all products coming fresh from their own farm. Find out about my day at Scarvelli Cafe here. Go for a fresh, quality brunch with friendly staff.
Didn’t quite cut it but still pretty awesome
Aunty Peg’s – 8/10
Aunty Peg’s has such a cool vibe and I love sitting at the bar with a cold coffee on tap. I’ve engaged in many a conversation with the friendly baristas there and although limited, the food selection – an array of cakes – is of good quality. Those who can’t eat cake for brunch (not me!) may deem Aunty Pegs unsuitable which is why it hadn’t quite made the cut, however, there is mothership Proud Mary Cafe just around the corner. Find out what happened when I went behind the scenes at Aunty Peg’s here. Go for a taste of hipster and the hot barista!
Industry Beans – 8/10
Free wifi makes Industry Beans a winner for workers or bloggers like me. You’ve probably tried the coffee before, it’s good, as is the well-presented food. Go for the coconut crusted brioche, pineapple crushed peanuts, lime curd and coffee caviar.
District Brewer – 7.5/10
District Brewer scores highly on a number of menu options and presentation, with an Instagram post being the sole reason for my visit. Despite pouring hot ketchup on my fig French toast instead of strawberry bitters, the problem was quickly rectified by our waiter (bonus points) and flowers spread across my plate – quite literally!
Little Big Sugar Salt – 7/10
I like to consider brunch at LBSS “guilt-free” when I order a huge bowl of acai which is both filling and healthy, so I’m told. It’s a cool little place to chill out with free wifi too, plus the staff are pretty cool. Go for a Monday morning brunch after an overindulgent weekend.
Café BÜ – 7/10
Café BÜ was my local in Carlton North and I can only describe it as ‘cute’. Coffee is good, cakes are also and baristas friendly. The brunch menu is limited but the roof top is a lovely spot to enjoy the fresh air. Read my full review of Café BÜ here. Go for a taste of suburbia.
Living life, loving brunch,