Too long between Tokyo trips? Make up for it with izakaya dining, crispy katsu, anime bars and aesthetic Japanese cafes.

Where to find fruit sandos

Hand holding fruity cream sando on it's side, showing inside filled with cream and fruit

Seek out this ultra-cute treat

Filled with mascarpone, cream cheese and fresh fruit, the famous fruit sandos can now be found in the city. Visit Le Bajo Milk Bar in North Melbourne for a freshly made seasonal fruit sando. Or head to gourmet grocer Pantre for sandos perfectly arranged to look like giant flowers inside the sandwich.

More cute dessert shops

Sulhwa

Sulhwa

A delicious Asian dessert cafe serving mini cakes, shaved ice, toast and drinks.

Saison Melbourne

Saison Melbourne

French-based, asian-inspired desserts and pastries.

Miilk Cake Studio

Miilk Cake Studio

Miilk Cake Studio is a colourful celebration of family recipes handed down over generations.

Sweet Canteen

Sweet Canteen

A desserts, pastries, and coffee shop hidden in the colourful Driver Lane.

Japanese-style cafes and bakeries

Minimalist lunch spots and matcha lattes

Melbourne’s list of Japanese-style cafes and bakeries is growing by the dozen. For an ultra-chic lunch, head to Ichigo for the ichi-rashi. That's sashimi, caviar, pickled daikon, avocado mousse and freshly-grated wasabi on a bed of rice. Or find layered crepe cakes, strawberry short cakes and more at Sugar Labo. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Tokyo without cute latte art. Visit Fuumi Fuumi for your fix of super kawaii matcha drinks.  

More Japanese-style cafes

Millé and B

Millé and B

Boutique patisserie specialising in the delicately layered Millé Crepe Cake.

Hikari

Hikari

A Japanese-inspired coffee shop.

Le Bajo Milkbar

Le Bajo Milkbar

A friendly community milk bar with house-baked bread and self-roasted coffee.

Moon Mart

Moon Mart

A tiny cafe serving Asian-inspired breakfast and lunch.

Soufflé pancakes and traditional breakfasts

A souffle pancake covered in chocolate and served on a plate

Where to find the best Japanese brunch spots

From jiggly cheesecake to mountainous shaved ice, sweet brunching in Japan is almost an extreme sport. Travel with your taste buds to Adozen Adozen for a feather-light soufflé pancake and bliss out. All the equipment in store is from Japan, and the chefs trained there too. Make a beeline to Torissong and explore the art of teishoku. A curated selection of rice, pickles, soup and rotating main is served here on the daily in neat wooden trays. Opt for teriyaki lamb ribs, char-grilled eel and pork katsu.

More Tokyo-style brunch spots

The Budapest Cafe

The Budapest Cafe

A hidden gem of Carlton, inspired by Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Kumo Desserts

Kumo Desserts

Experience delicious Japanese-style soufflé pancakes.

Keki Milkbar

Keki Milkbar

Delicious Japanese soufflé pancakes and iced sodas.

LeMuse

LeMuse

Cafe serving sweet and savoury croffles, baked puddings and coffee next to Carlton's Lincoln Square.

Authentic ramen spots

A bowl of ramen with lobster tails on top

Try big bowls of the pork-based noodle soup

Wandering down lantern-lit laneways to discover tiny diners is the Tokyo dream. Onsen nails the Memory Lane vibe (yes, we know it's not always called that) with a hole-in-the-wall location in the middle of Lonsdale Street. Pop-in for a quick lunch and enjoy signature flavour-packed tonkotsu ramen. Hakata Gensuke is next on our list for what could be the most authentic ramen in Melbourne. Go for the no-fuss signature tonkatsu ramen for a rich pork broth. Add a side of gyoza dumplings if you're extra famished.

More ramen restaurants

Menya Ramen

Menya Ramen

Quick and easy Japanese ramen for lunch or dinner in Elizabeth Street.

Mr Ramen San

Mr Ramen San

Mr Ramen San serves Japanese ramen all the way from Hakata, Japan.

Little Ramen Bar

Little Ramen Bar

Compact Japanese noodle soup restaurant.

Shujinko Ramen

Shujinko Ramen

In Elizabeth Street, this busy late-night Japanese joint serves tonkotsu ramen.

Milk bread bakeries

A cubic loaf of bread

Pick up a fluffy loaf of shokupan

Seemingly overnight, Melbourne became obsessed with milk bread. Or shokupan, for those in the know. The fluffy white slices typically emerge from bakery ovens in a perfectly uniform cube. City spots Coppe Pan, Bakemono and Le Bajo all bake the good stuff on site. Find it in action when you order crispy katsu sando, the quintessential Japanese snack.

Try these katsu sando spots

Ilza

Ilza

The second city venue for this popular Japanese snack bar and izakaya diner.

279

279

279 cafe offers speciality coffee, tea and traditional Japanese fare.

Saint Dreux

Saint Dreux

Speciality coffee bar offering Japanese-style katsu sando, cakes and pastries at Emporium Melbourne.

The best katsu sando in Melbourne

The best katsu sando in Melbourne

Where to find the best Japanese sandwiches in the city.

Anime and otaku culture

A screen at a bar playing animated shows

Have an Akihabara experience in Melbourne

Tokyo lovers of the geek persuasion are always craving a Super Potato session. Get the Akihabara experience on a smaller scale at Robot Bar, where anime is projected from the ceiling. Then pick up cult-fave merch like Studio Ghibli artwork and Hello Kitty Gundam gear at Melbourne's Mandarake equivalents.

Where to shop for Japanese pop culture

One Stop Anime

One Stop Anime

The one stop shop for all your anime needs.

Critical Hit

Critical Hit

Independent importer of exclusive anime and video game collectables from Japan and beyond.

Minotaur Entertainment

Minotaur Entertainment

Minotaur is Melbourne’s premier pop culture store, with books, collectibles, magazines and more.

Outre Gallery

Outre Gallery

Alternative art gallery specialising in lowbrow, pop surrealism and underground art.

Last updated on Thu 9 Nov 2023

Only In The City

Where to find the best ice cream in Melbourne

Where to find the best ice cream in Melbourne

Where to find Melbourne's best gelato, fro-yo, ice cream and more.

The best brunch spots in Melbourne

The best brunch spots in Melbourne

Find bottomless brunch, Japanese breakfast sets, Sunday brunch spots and more.

Melbourne's best cafes that open late

Melbourne's best cafes that open late

These Melbourne cafes are open late for evening coffee runs.

Discover more

Bakemono Bakers

Bakemono Bakers

Inspired by bakeries in Japan and Korea.

Menya Ramen

Menya Ramen

Quick and easy ramen for lunch or dinner in the Galleria shopping arcade.

Fuumi Fuumi

Fuumi Fuumi

A Japanese bakery and cafe with lunch specials and freshly baked pastries.

Menya Ramen

Menya Ramen

Quick and easy ramen for lunch or dinner in Melbourne Central.