Melbourne foodies know everything in Richmond, somehow, always leads back to food. Understandably, there are just so many places here offering up a wide range of delectable dishes for every budget. Situated only a couple of stops southeast of Melbourne’s CBD, the precinct offers visitors looking for a place to eat rich pickings. Here are some of our favourite cafés.
Two Monks has a wonderful energy and warm setting. Cozy seats with pillows along the wall inside invite visitors to sit and relax, while the courtyard offers both privacy and a bit of fresh air. The food on display is as fresh and colourful as the venue’s details are quirky, mint leaves in the (free) water add freshness and a hint of flavour, while car batteries double as anchors for the tables outside. When you visit, make sure you try the lime-flavoured milkshake.
This cafe has established itself well on Bridge Road, close to the CBD and shopping but still decidedly in suburban Richmond. The building itself has historical street cred as a freshly renovated 1860s Victorian structure, exposed red piping and all. Conveniently open every day except Christmas, this cafe restaurant is the most accommodating, as the menu offers meals throughout the day, an extensive wine list, and the option to sign up for a cheese club, receiving decadent dairy deliveries at home.
Since the cafe culture in Melbourne holds itself to a higher coffee standard than the majority of the world, it’s difficult to tell the difference between them at times. Three One 2 One understands nuance and energy, and it feels like the staff genuinely like each other and choose the music based on their moods. Open late until, the cafe is shaded with big open windows and is ideal for people watching. Couches beside the tables add to the comfortable setting along with interesting ‘spiked [milk]shakes,’ including an Oreo Cookie and Kahlua concoction that is hard to ignore.
Expect to queue to sit down in Reunion & Co. but know that every minute will be worth the wait. The scene is busy, with one long bench of seating along the wall separated by pillows and real actual trees reaching down from the ceiling. Luckily, breakfast is served all day, and the special on the chalk wall bears healthy options like ‘watermelon crush with mint apple juice.’ In contrast to most other small cafes on Bridge Road, Reunion & Co. offers a long table in front for large parties, a reunion, perhaps.
Hidden gems exist in the Richmond cafe culture, but Short Black Cafe is, thankfully, one of the worst kept secrets of the precinct. With a friendly, free-flowing layout and a wider variety of food options, this is a popular spot with locals, so much so that you might struggle to find a seat. If you do manage to get a seat, be sure to try the Asian steak noodles.
Located conveniently on Swan Street right near the Richmond train station, Feast of Merit plays cool music and features communal tables and a rooftop bar. The Café prides itself on offering sustainable, seasonal produce that has been locally sourced. Try the Middle Eastern crumpets with vanilla and cinnamon labneh for a sweet breakfast, or if your stomach cries out for heartier food, tuck into the Hopkins River Minute Steak. Feast Of Merit proudly honours the Indian Nagaland tradition of sharing wealth and donates all profits to YGAP, a movement of entrepreneurs working to help people living in poverty.
The 69 Cafe is a simple bright, easy, open layout with interesting framed jokes about infidelity on the wall. The spot features an exposed platform above the main floor for a private place to get work done or people watch. Without a strong online presence, this cafe is a great place to get some reading done.
The food at Cuppa Tea is Italian inspired with a breakfast twist, including waffles with strawberry, banana cream, and chocolate sauce. An absolute must is the green matcha latte, which you can sip while looking at some of the best latte art around. Look for the large Hollywood lights reading ‘Cuppa’ from the outside, with a purple building and its combination of sea foam and robin’s egg blue trim on Bridge Road.