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Where to Find the Best Breakfast in Melbourne

These Melbourne haunts serve up your bougie brunch fare but also offer greasy egg and bacon buns, sweet and savoury pastries and just about anything you can add a poached egg to.
By Andrew Zuccala and Concrete Playground
September 19, 2023
By Andrew Zuccala and Concrete Playground
September 19, 2023


These Melbourne haunts serve up your bougie brunch fare but also offer greasy egg and bacon buns, sweet and savoury pastries and just about anything you can add a poached egg to.

The best breakfasts in Melbourne are as diverse as the multicultural city they're made in. Sure, you'll find Vegemite on toast and all kinds of smashed avocado on the menu at these Melbourne breakfast spots, but there is so much more on offer. After an epic shakshuka to share? We got one. Japanese brunches. There are heaps here. Hungover and need a bacon roll and bloody mary stat? Let us take care of you. We even have a few healthy options where the sugar and fat might be left out, but flavour and fun are still king.

And the best breakfast in Melbourne isn't necessarily found in a cafe — although many are. You'll also find these early-morning treats in bakeries, bagel shops and delis. Rest assured, we have them all covered in this guide. Read on to see where you'll next be fuelling up before work or relaxing during a long, lazy Sunday morning with mates.


Recommended reads:
The Best Cafes in Melbourne
The Best Sandwich Shops in Melbourne
The Best Coffee Shops in Melbourne's CBD
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne

  • 17
    teishoku from Ima Asa Yrou - home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne

    The Melbourne cafe scene reeled when Carlton’s Ima Project Cafe closed at the beginning of 2023 — but this spot was not down for long. A few months later, it respawned in Brunswick under the new name Ima Asa Yoru. And the Japanese cafe only came back bigger and better.

    The new spot not only serves up breakfast and lunch, but heroes izakaya eats for dinner and has its own grocer next door. But we are here to focus on the Japanese breakfast fare. Fans of the old spot will be glad to know the signature teishoku (a Japanese set meal of rice, miso soup, pickles and your choice of either fish or eggplant) still lives on in Brunswick, alongside a whole host of new dishes that change regularly.

    Images: Albert Chandra

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  • 16
    salmon and cream cheese bagel at Mile End - home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    Mile End Bagels in Fitzroy takes its name from a neighbourhood in Montreal, whose bagel obsession gives New York’s a run for its money. Boiled in water and honey and baked in a woodfired oven, these rings of dough are seriously legit.

    The bagels come in just three varieties: sesame, poppy and everything. And spreads include peanut butter and jam, a classic cream cheese option and Vegemite (because, Australia). Larger options are numerous as well, including cream cheese with pickled jalapeños, as well as avocado with chive cream cheese and tomato, pink salt and chilli oil. The list just goes on and on.

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  • 15
    Brunch at Top Paddock - home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    Top Paddock has been home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne since it opened in 2018 — at a time when Melbourne’s cafe scene was cementing itself as one of the best in the world. And thankfully, it hasn’t lost that original spark. Great brekkie continues to be served here every day of the week.

    You will, of course, find your staples of toast, granolas and eggs any way you like. But you might be surprised by dishes like the chilli scrambled eggs with spiced pork sausage, roasted pumpkin seeds, chilli puree, coriander salsa and oaxacan or the blueberry and ricotta hotcakes that are made to look like a work of art. A whole lot of love goes into each and every dish here.

    Image by Lois Romer.

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  • 14
    Someone cutting into a poached egg during breakfast at Faraday's Cage on Smith Street - one of the best cafes in Melbourne

    Melbourne is no stranger to a bakery come cafe that serves up daily brunch dishes, but Faraday’s Cage in Fitzroy has got to be one of the greatest. As it is a local bakery, you can delight in fresh sourdough bread and sweet and savoury pastries alongside an impressive selection of takeaway sangas.

    But Faraday’s takes it one step further with a pleasantly gourmet all-day breakfast menu. First off, there are the decedent ricotta hotcakes served with rich brown butter, a yuzu crème, maple caramel, roast chocolate, grapefruit, blueberries and lemon balm. The savoury brekkie options don’t disappoint, either. Get around a harissa spiced shakshuka and the Turkish crumbed eggplant with confit garlic labneh, za’atar, fried shallots, 12-hour roast tomato and two poached eggs.

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  • 13

    Yes, the team uses simple building blocks to create their offerings — from fresh produce grown on-site to shipping containers and recycled materials — but the end product is anything but basic and rudimentary. They have managed to make a unique Melbourne brunch spot that doubles as a community space where local Footscray folks from all backgrounds are welcome.

    Food-wise, the Nurungji porridge with scorched rice, kimchi, spicy bamboo and a sous vide egg, and Bubble and Squeak featuring eggplant on top of corn fritters, poached eggs and hollandaise are both knockouts. But the greasy breakfast bun will always hold a special place in our hungover hearts. Add some coffee from Small Batch and a tall glass of bloody mary, and you’ll be in for a delightful arvo out in West Melbourne.

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  • 12
    Breakfast at The Kettle Black - home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    The Midas touch. It’s a thing, and the team behind Top Paddock most definitely have it — in the hospitality scene anyway. Every cafe the team opens is welcomed with awards, seriously buzz-killing weekend lines, and some incredible coffee and food. And one of the best in the family? The Kettle Black.

    The food is so good that people are whispering about the possibility of a chef hat in the future (scandal, but it just could be true). The chilli scrambled eggs are some of the best in town, topped with confit sobrasada and whipped cow’s milk feta. For a virtuous start to the day, you can’t go past the chia, flax and almond granola with whipped vanilla yoghurt, roasted peaches and ruby red grapefruit. Clean eating can taste great and look really good, too.

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  • 11
    waffles and fried chicken at Code Black Brunswick - home to the best melbourne breakfast

    Code Black has set up shop in North Melbournethe CBDSouthbank and South Melbourne, but its flagship cafe in Brunswick is still our fave. Here, you’ll find its roastery HQ — where the team is perpetually roasting ethically sourced beans and teaching the next generation of baristas how to extract the perfect shot.

    But Code Black is more than just its coffee. Head here any day of the week for an excellent selection of Melbourne brunch items. Get around the ricotta hotcakes or lemongrass pork roll with Vietnamese saté and chicken liver pâté, shredded herbs and pickled carrots — an absolute winner of a dish. Long boozy brunches are also an option, with a long list of wines that rivals many Melbourne restaurants and a cocktail list that goes the extra mile. Do try Code Black’s signature coffee sour and coffee old fashioned.

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  • 10
    Japanese breakfast at Cibi - one of the best breakfasts in Melbourne

    Cibi cafe outgrew its small space back in 2018 when it moved down the road to take over a huge 800-square-metre warehouse. Here, the team can stretch and really flex their food and style muscles. Part cafe, part gallery space, the new home is where people come to find some of the best breakfast in Melbourne (focusing on Japanese eats) and buy artisanal homewares.

    Love the food at Cibi in Collingwood? Buy the cookbook and recreate such dishes at home. Equally enamoured by the plate it was served on? Those are for sale, too. Even the chair you sit on could have a price tag underneath it. Synergy is in full swing at this Melbourne cafe.

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  • 9
    sandwiches at Hector's Deli - home to some of the best melbourne breakfast

    Sitting somewhere between a local corner store and an Italian deli, this neighbourhood sandwich shop was co-founded by two former Stokehouse chefs, Dom Wilton and Jason Barratt. And it’s earned itself cult status for its unpretentious menu, starring just ten very good signature sandos.

    And while it’s mostly known as a lunch spot, the two breakfast buns are some of the very best in town. Kept simple (and cheap), these bad boys are ideal for brekkie on the go — either grab the egg and cheese or egg, cheese and sausage bun and polish it off before you even reach your office down the road. These greasy, cheesy breakfasts will always hit the spot for us.

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  • 8
    turkish eggs at Voncoy - one of the best breakfasts in Melbourne

    The minds behind Northcote’s Tinker, Collingwood’s Terror Twilight and Smith Street sandwich spot Hi Fi made a foray into the inner-northwest with Convoy — a bright daytime diner overlooking Queens Park.

    Here, the team is plating up both familiar favourites and new creations that change regularly. You might find smashed avo on toast with pickled carrots and a black olive caramel; cinnamon scroll pancakes with cream cheese icing and orange zest; or Turkish eggs with sujuk and a bright lemon yoghurt. The hollandaise on its eggs benny is also next level. Whatever you choose here, you’ll be very, very happy.

    Image: My Friend Tom.

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  • 7
    cheese croissants at Falco bakery - home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    One of the newer additions to the Melbourne bakery scene, Falco is the brainchild of the minds behind Bar Liberty and Capitano, who’ve joined forces with Christine Tran (Tivoli Road Bakery, San Francisco’s Tartine). In its main Collingwood space, it’s serving up a dreamy, innovative range of treats, both sweet and savoury.

    Drop by for ham and comte croissants, seasonal fruit danishes, cardamom buns and a whole array of pies. Either take them to go or enjoy them out on Smith Street, doing a spot of people-watching in the morning.

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  • 6
    A selection of breakfast dishes at Abacus - - one of the best cafes in Melbourne that's home to some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    On a sunny Chapel Street corner, Abacus has managed to nail that all-day eatery vibe that often proves so elusive. It’s a lofty, leafy space that’s bright and charming by the light of day, and the seasonal food menu is genuinely superb. A great amount of thought has been given to the sourcing of local produce, from fresh fruit and veg or meat and seafood. The kitchen even mills its own flour and keeps its own bees.

    By day, that all translates to a menu of bright and innovative brunch fare that pushes the envelope way beyond the usual smashed avo and corn fritters. When at this Melbourne breakfast spot, you might try blue swimmer crab crumpets or dabble in the Ballarat breakfast with thick-cut bacon, Irish-style sausages, pig’s head and snout terrine, a native bush tomato relish and poached eggs. It’s our favourite big breakfast in Melbourne.

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  • 5
    pastries at a1 bakery - some of the best breakfast in Melbourne

    This Lebanese bakery and grocer has been a Sydney Road favourite for about two decades — but too many people stop by for a quick takeaway treat, missing out on the stellar dine-in options. Yes, we are also obsessed with the golden spinach and feta pastries, the boat-shaped shanklish pies flecked with herbs and the holy layered baklava drenched in syrup. But grab a seat inside and enjoy an even better experience.

    For an early visit, look no further than the A1 Brekkie. It consists of two eggs, sujuk (a spicy fermented sausage), homemade labneh, cucumber, tomato, olives, mint and pita bread. The platters are also the best choice for a heartier Melbourne breakfast.

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  • 4
    the entrance with coffee machine at Journeyman - one of the best cafes in Melbourne - best melbourne breakfast

    This cafe has been a Chapel Street stalwart since its opening back in 2008 under the name of Dukes Coffee Roasters — changing its name to Journeyman in 2014 to clearly define the difference between the roastery and the cafe. Its roots are deeply set in the coffee roasting game, but the team has since gone far beyond that focus.

    Nowadays, you’ll struggle to grab a seat due to its popularity among Melbourne brunch lovers who keep returning for the ever-evolving menu. But no matter how often they update the food offerings, the regulars will never allow Journeyman to remove the famous avocado hummus toast served with honey candied bacon and a poached egg. And we can’t blame them — it is a winning combo and is one of the best Melbourne breakfast dishes.

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  • 3
    eggs in a brunch dish being eaten at Terror Twilight - one of the best cafes in Melbourne - some of the best breakfast in Melbourne

    From the creators ConvoyHi-Fi and Tinker comes this breakthrough Melbourne cafe that champions healthy breakfast and lunch dishes that are full of flavour and creativity. Standout breakfasts include the chai spiced Greek yoghurt with ruby grapefruit and walnut praline, as well as anchovy toast served with baba ghanoush, a lemon and herb sauce, crispy buckwheat and poached eggs.

    Terror Twilight also goes down a different coffee road, compared to many Melbourne cafes — giving diners the option to upgrade their usual brew with nootropic supplements and natural health boosters such as chaga mushrooms and MCT oil. But you don’t have to be too good here. Life is all about balance, after all. Pair these nutritious offerings with something a little naughty. The Bloody Maria cocktail made with tequila, Martini Rosso, TT pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish and TT hot sauce will definitely do the trick.

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  • 2
    breakfast dish with eggs at Higher Ground in Melbourne CBD. Home to Some of the best breakfast in Melbourne.

    Located at the Southern Cross end of Little Bourke Street, Higher Ground is from the team behind quintessential Melbourne cafes Top Paddock and The Kettle Black — and boy is it a beauty. The huge, high-ceilinged 160-seat venue sits on the corner of Little Bourke and Spencer Streets in a former warehouse. The interior is impressive to say the least; a palette of exposed brick and green marble is spread across a multi-level space, which includes a raised area, an open kitchen, and a large mezzanine that holds couches, tables and its own bar.

    The venue serves the superb cafe fare that its two siblings are known for, with the all-day menu including the likes of the avocado pretzel, always popular spanner crab Benedict, and a particularly good chilli scrambled eggs. The famous Top Paddock ricotta hotcake made the menu since the beginning and has reserved a spot on the call sheet ever since.

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  • 1
    The main dining room and bar at Middletown cafe, Prahran

    With a luxurious yet welcoming blue and white interior and boundless natural light flooding in from two walls of uninterrupted windows, Middletown Prahran is a brunch venue designed to relax, inspire and rejuvenate.

    And its all-day breakfast menu is an absolute banger. We live for its seasonally changing granola, avocado on toast and corn fitters, but we tend to come here for the big brekkie. It features chilli scrambled eggs, pork sausages, streaky bacon, hash browns, roasted tomatoes and tomato relish on sourdough toast — leaving you well and truly satisfied.

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Top images: Terror Twilight.

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