In a city where it feels like there’s a café on every corner, these are the coffee shops you must visit when exploring Melbourne’s central business district.
Melbourne and coffee go together like bread and butter. Don’t be alarmed if your perfect cup of coffee is located down a lonely laneway – that’s the Melbourne way. From coffee shops that roast their own speciality blends to nooks that double as cafés, here’s a guide to the best coffee shops in central Melbourne.
Brother Baba Budan is named after a 17th-century Sufi, who is said to have smuggled seven coffee seeds from the Middle East to India Courtesy of Brother Baba Budan
Industry Beans Lt Collins
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Fitzroy-based Industry Beans is one of the best-known speciality coffee roasters and cafés in Melbourne. And now, travellers finding themselves in the city centre can enjoy brews from Industry’s store on Little Collins Street. Try the Rose Street blend for milk-based espresso beverages, or go for the fortnightly rotating single-origin blend for black coffee. Industry Beans Lt Collins also stocks a range of Fitzroy Iced and Bubble Cup drinks – perfect for a caffeine hit in summer.
With facilities in both Melbourne and Perth, Dukes Coffee Roasters is a leading Australian speciality coffee-roasting company. All coffee at Dukes is ethically traded and sourced from either individual farms or small cooperatives around the world. In Melbourne, the roaster is located in Richmond, but the flagship coffee shop is fortunately found at Ross House on Flinders Lane. Established in 2013, Dukes in the city centre has both espresso and single-origin blends available.
The husband-and-wife duo behind Axil Coffee Roasters believe in fair trade, sustainability and great-tasting coffee. Axil Coffee Roasters actually has three central locations for you to choose from: Flinders Lane, Southern Cross Lane and Lonsdale Street. However, the Southern Cross Lane location might win, as it includes a selection of jaffles and pastries as well.
Patricia Coffee Brewers crafts some of the best coffee in Australia. So make sure you head to the corner of Little Bourke and Little William streets in the central business district to enjoy a cup for yourself. Black, white and filter coffee is on offer at Patricia. All blends are roasted by the company at Bureaux Collective in Abbotsford. The friendly and knowledgeable team at Patricia Coffee Brewers are also always happy to share their love for coffee with their customers.
Brother Baba Budan lattes are worth the wait | Courtesy of Brother Baba Budan
Brother Baba Budan was the first city-centre store for the Seven Seeds family. It’s named after a 17th-century Sufi who is said to have smuggled seven coffee seeds from the Middle East to India. Brother Baba Budan has both the Seven Seeds house coffee blend and a coffee of the day available, which is usually a single-origin blend. You can expect a 10-minute wait time (that’s how good the coffee is), and there are perhaps more chairs on the ceiling than on the floor. But Seven Seeds is always worth the wait. Plus, there’s always Traveller, Baba Budan’s sister store in central Melbourne.
Speaking of families, Little Bean Blue is a part of the Cafenatics empire. Located near Parliament Station, the café offers a Little Bean Blue house blend and a selection of single origins. Aeropress and cold drip are available, and a wall of diagrams demonstrates coffee-brewing techniques. Little Bean Blue also offers a small selection of sweets and pastries.
Sensory Lab is focused on showing its customers new ways to appreciate coffee. This includes offering various brewing methods and taking customers through sensory tests with tasting notes, so everyone finds their perfect coffee blend. Sensory Lab has several locations throughout central Melbourne: at the Rialto, on Collins Street, in David Jones on Bourke Street and on Little Collins Street.
Market Lane Coffee is another popular boutique coffee roastery and retailer in Melbourne. Three of its six Melbourne locations are in the city centre – two coffee shops at Queen Victoria Market and one on Collins Street. Market Lane Coffee sustainably sources its beans from the best growers in the world, and it roasts the beans in small batches at its Prahran Market roastery.
Cosy Everyday Coffee Midtown is known for its minimalist decor, sweet treats and good coffee. The aforementioned sweets include Loafer pastries, as well as biscuits and banana bread that are baked in house daily. Everyday Coffee roasts its beans at both Coffee Supreme and Bureau in Melbourne. Noteworthy brews include the All Day Espresso Blend and single-origin selections from Ethiopia, Kenya and Guatemala.
Sbriga calls itself a Roman-inspired espresso bar with a Melbourne soul. Inside you’ll find a timber-panelled wall, artichoke-shaped lights handmade by the owner, and a bicycle hanging from the ceiling. Sbriga Espresso Bar uses Melbourne-based Allpress house coffee blends and single origins. Food-wise, there’s bread from Noisette, Dolcetti biscottini and pizza lingue, which is an Italian-inspired pizza made in house.