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Melbourne locals love to brunch. Each suburb has its favourites – such as The Kettle Black in South Melbourne and Darling Cafe in South Yarra – but when you head into the CBD, the selection becomes truly overwhelming. Here’s 10 fantastic breakfast and brunch options in Melbourne’s CBD to help you narrow down your options.
Located on Flinders Lane, Cumulus Inc is one of the most popular restaurants in Melbourne’s CBD. Its breakfast menu includes both big and small dishes, like homemade crumpets with whipped ricotta and rooftop honey, and from Monday to Friday you can tuck into the Cumulus Inc Breakfast: a boiled egg with toast and spreads, yoghurt, organic orange juice and either coffee or tea. Cumulus Inc bakes made-to-order madeleines, which take 15 minutes and can be filled with either lemon curd or Nutella.
“Serving up mouth-watering artisan breads, handcrafted pastries and its very own First Love Coffee brand, Rustica is the destination for every food-loving Melbournian.” Rustica has locations in Fitzroy, Hawthorn and in the CBD at both Melbourne Central and Rialto Towers. Try and choose between the breakfast menu — designed by head chef Tristan White — and the pastry cabinet filled with sweet and savoury options. Rustica’s breakfast board is one dish you must try, as it features house-made granola, sweet labne, salmon croquette, crushed avocado and poached egg on sourdough; and you can add cold press juice for an extra $1.50. Don’t leave without a loaf of freshly baked bread to enjoy at home.
Favoured by both visitors and city workers, Hardware Société is another brunch spot in the CBD that often has a line out the door. The cosy café on Hardware Lane has a French-inspired breakfast menu, with popular dishes including the baked eggs, pork belly and fried eggs, and fried brioche with meringue, passionfruit curd and chocolate Chantilly. However, the favourite is undoubtedly the lobster eggs benedict on a charcoal bun with citrus hollandaise – a combination that’s hard to resist. Hardware Société also has a cabinet filled with fresh pastries.
Bowery to Williamsburg is the definition of a hole-in-the-wall café, with limited seating inside. Located down Oliver Lane, its name pays homage to the Bowery subway station in New York City. You can expect to find several American favourites on the breakfast menu at this popular café. This includes bagels – from local supplier 5 and Dime – with an assortment of spreads. Plus Southern fried chicken and waffles, lox and potato latkes, and the Good Morning Cubano sandwich. To accompany your brunch, why not sample a Texas Bloody Mary or some homemade mint lemonade?
The European is home to three venues opposite Parliament House on Spring Street. It mixes the traditions of rural France, Italy and Spain – hence the name. Although The European is famous for its wine list, its breakfast and brunch menu is just as luxurious. There’s a continental option, or you can opt for the hot smoked salmon dish that comes with poached egg and caviar. Meanwhile, the Huevos Madrileños includes baked eggs with black pudding and chorizo.
1932 Cafe & Restaurant is located in the arcade of the Manchester Unity Building, one of Melbourne’s renowned architectural landmarks. The building’s 1930 Art Deco appearance inspired the cafe’s interior as well. 1932 Cafe & Restaurant offers a seasonal breakfast menu and a selection of cakes. Dishes include the pumpkin and eggs with poached eggs, pumpkin hummus and hazelnut dukkah. The Manchester Breakfast Board is only for the hungriest of patrons as it includes eggs, chorizo, bacon, vegetables and toast. You can also participate in a breakfast tour of the Manchester Unity Building.