Since moving to Melbourne I’ve realised that brunch is taken very seriously. On the weekend brunches are slow, lazy affairs. You can order multiple coffees. Or even a bloody mary. You can stick to simple menu choices. Or you can go for the weekend brunch feast.
In London I struggled to find good brunch places. In Melbourne, you are definitely spoilt for choice! There are a lot of cafes, new and old favourites, all over the city! I love finding new cafes, chatting to friendly baristas and sipping on my skinny latte.
So where are some of my tried and tested favourite brunch places in Melbourne?
Auction Rooms, Errol Street, North Melbourne
Located right in my hood, Auction Rooms used to be the WB Ellis Auction House and has now been transformed into a busy weekend brunch spot. There is usually a line of brunchers forming outside on Errol Street on a Saturday morning. On a clear autumn day, the glass doors open up and sunshine streams onto the front tables.
Auction Rooms takes brunch from your standard eggs and toast to another level. The menu has its own take on shakshouka with paprika, chorizo and beans and perfectly poached eggs. Another popular dish is the seared salmon with potato cake. These brunch dishes fill you up until dinner!
Auction Rooms has its own coffee roaster and offers a range of specialty coffees. I loved the house brew and my skinny latte however I did wish my latte was just a little bit bigger so I could savour more fine coffee!
Fitzrovia, Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
Fitzrovia is an urban gourmet cafe on Fitzroy Street. It’s also got a lot of rave reviews online. I brought my best friend who was visiting from Perth for her verdict. Fitzrovia is an airy, light filled cafe with floor to ceiling shopfront windows overlooking the green of Albert Park. There is no toast with jam and butter on this breakfast menu. It’s a well crafted brunch menu featuring hearty dishes with a creative twist.
I ordered zucchini and halloumi fritters with poached eggs, spiced cauliflower salad and green tomato relish. My bestie went for the rather rich but tasty thick cut bacon with Gruyere potato cake, fried eggs, chipotle, baby spinach and a beetroot remoulade. Definitely not your normal brunch experience. Each dish was warm and a mix of well matched flavours. However my fritters were a tad overdone. Other than that, we had a very tasty brunch served by a rather cute Italian waiter.
Manchester Press, Rankins Lane, Melbourne CBD
Manchester Press serves up epic brunch dishes. Located down a Melbourne CBD alleyway, Manchester Press has a rustic feel with its wooden tables and friendly, attentive staff. It’s a little out of the way from the hustle of the city and doesn’t have a noticeable sign on the front door. So if you see a nondescript glass door and Melbourne weekend brunch crowd inside – you’re in the right place!
The brunch portions at Manchester Press are huge plates of healthy, delicious food. I ordered the avocado and feta cheese on toast which was almost like eating a whole avocado with a lightly dressed green salad. This seemed to be one of the most popular dishes on the menu! Although my friends can also vouch for the bircher muesli. I liked Manchester Press for its no fuss approach to food and warm customer service. There are also communal tables which are great for single diners – you never know who you might meet over your cappuccino!
Market Lane Coffee, Prahran Markets, Prahran
There are a few Market Lane Coffee branches around Melbourne and they are reknown for its coffee. The largest Market Lane Coffee branch in Prahran is located near the Prahran Markets. The only thing to order for weekend brunch is their mushroom burgers. You can smell the garlic and mushrooms sizzling outside on the barbecue. Served on a sourdough bun, how could you not devour the juicy mushroom burger? Seems healthier than a normal burger after all!
There is usually a line for coffee at Market Lane Coffee. It’s worth the wait! For coffee lovers they even serve drip blends, roasts and hold coffee tastings each Friday and Saturday at 10am.
Di Bella Cafe, North Melbourne
Di Bella is a specialty coffee roastery warehouse. That’s right Di Bella actually roasts its own coffee in the cafe! Di Bella is an ethical coffee brand stocked in many Melbourne cafes. In its namesake cafe you can see a rather impressive looking roastery and drink the roasted blend too.
Since I felt like a full brunch feast I ordered the eggs benedict. Poached eggs are one of my favourite brunch meals because I’ve never managed to perfect making this at home. The perfectly oozing egg yolk onto my ham and corn fritters was utterly delicious. Prompt customer service and a lively atmosphere makes Di Bella worth a second visit.