Find a spot to dine where you can have your cake and access too. From tiny hole-in-the-wall bakeries to casual laneway cafes, these places offer easy entry for people with disabilities, accessible toilets, and are inclusive to all.
Replete with a white minimalist design, Oko is a dedicated coffee bar located in unexpected surrounds. Wander up A'Beckett Street and look for the glowing sign. A wide smooth entry leads you into the high-ceilinged space inside. Sip your oat milk iced latte beneath the striking light display. Bench seating in front of the window and along the wall makes it easy to do so. Or take a seat outside while waiting for your order.
Peruse the curated selection of Kono brew gear, or shop the range of bespoke coffee beans. Need a treat? A low display case makes it easy to see the baked goods. Pair the punchy iced matcha with a croissant for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Accessible platform super stops are on Elizabeth Street and Melbourne Central Station isn’t too far away.
Fuumi Fuumi is West Melbourne's new neighbourhood Japanese bakery and cafe. Choose from a range of sandos including tonkatsu, ebi fried prawns with egg salad and seasonal fruit cream. You can also buy mini loaves of shokupan milk bread swirled with sweet potato, tuna mayo and pepperoni. Don't skip sweet treats like chiffon cake, mochi bread and cookie cups. The easy-to-see display cabinets are bursting with even more delights.
This fun, bright spot has a wide entry and space between tables. There’s a range of seating including chairs and stools. Tables are outside too with umbrellas for those sunny days. The closest accessible platform super stop is a couple of blocks away on Peel Street.
Spanner crab eggs benedict. Blueberry hotcakes with seasonal berries and flowers. Wagyu beef with green papaya and peanuts. Higher Ground is brunch, reimagined. Located at the western end of the city, the humble ramp entrance does not prepare you for the wonder of this cool industrial space. A former power station, it is intimate despite its oh-so-high ceilings.
A series of levels, accessed by stairs with handrails, create elevated dining areas. Even the shared area on the ground floor for washing hands and checking make-up is beautiful to behold. There’s an accessible toilet there too. A mix of seating including couches, stools, and chairs with arms makes Higher Ground an inclusive space. Southern Cross Station is close as are platform super stops on Bourke Street.
There is nothing like Dame at the Paris end of Collins Street. This elegant all-day dining venue is a peaceful oasis in the Collins Place atrium. Pale pink marble, muted tones, and sheer curtains set the sophisticated scene. And then there’s the food. For lunch there’s crisp zucchini flowers with whipped goats curd. Gin and tonic olives are perfect for a lounge snack. And Dame’s signature ‘muffuletta’ sandwich of local cured meats and cheeses is a must-try at anytime.
Light and airy, it has three wide entrances and space between tables. There’s a range of seating from stools and banquettes, to chairs with arms. An accessible bathroom is in the nearby foyer of the adjoining building and accessible platform super stops are just outside on Collins Street.
Le Bajo Milk Bar
Hidden in a North Melbourne warehouse on Howard Street, Le Bajo Milkbar was started by one of the founders of Bali's Potato Head Beach Club. The wide driveway entry leads to the unexpected sight of the cafe nestled snugly in the large space. Cars and bikes are in there too! There’s a range of seating and lots of space to move around. The toilet is large and has grab rails.
The glass display counter reveals the delicious treats on offer. Go for the classic crispy katsu sando for a taste of Tokyo. Or try the trending cream sando, complete with perfectly uniform slices of fresh fruit. It gets pretty busy, so we suggest visiting early. The closest accessible platform super stop is not too far away on the corner of Peel and Victoria Streets.
Named after renowned furniture-maker Schulim Krimper, this cafe is as much a destination for design devotees as foodies. In the past the Krimper space was home to a sawmill, then a cabinetmaking factory, so you know the converted warehouse vibe is on point. Think exposed brick, wooden beams and vintage industrial-style lighting. Menu faves include rustic burgers, fat chips, almond French toast and more.
There’s eclectic seating including chairs and church pews, and lots of space between tables. The low counter is next to a big glass cabinet displaying fresh treats. And there’s an accessible toilet on the premises too. Flagstaff Station is only a couple of blocks away and accessible platform super stops are on nearby Elizabeth Street.
From the team behind Operator 25 comes a cool new American-style diner. Operator Diner features plush booths, cosy lighting and free-pour maple syrup. Barrier-free entry and space between tables make it easy to move around. This popular spot often has queues waiting for a table but there’s seating just outside while you wait. Order a classic stack of pancakes with straight black coffee, or opt for egg breakfast muffins and a Code Black latte. Iced tea, milkshakes and specialty sandwiches round out the all-day menu.
The foyer of the building next door in Wesley Place, 130 Lonsdale, houses toilets, including accessible and ambulant ones. You’ll need an electronic entry card from staff to get in. The closest accessible platform super stops are a couple of blocks away on Swanston Street as is Melbourne Central Station.
Like going to a cafe to study or work from? Mr Tulk, part of the State Library Victoria, may be the perfect spot. A central communal table with mounted lights is great for catching up on emails. And arch windows that flood the space with natural light make reading a book with a coffee easy to do. Meeting up with mates works well too, with a mix of seating and tables that are a good height for wheelchairs. The generous alfresco area is inspiring year-round with its view of Melbourne’s architecture.
Serving classic fare, it has all-day breakfast, toasties, juices and smoothies. Entry is by ramp or steps with a handrail via La Trobe Street. You can also come in through the library on the right of the main entrance through Hansen Hall. There’s an accessible toilet too. It's close to Melbourne Central Station and Swanston Street platform super stops.
Grab perfect shokupan, yuzu almond croissants and more at Bakemono Bakers. You’ll find it in a converted garage on Drewery Lane, just off Little Lonsdale Street. This transformed nook has lush plants surrounding its wide timber entrance. And bench seats inside and out are perfect for enjoying your treats.
It’s hard to choose a favourite from the display on the counter. There's also a range of danishes, but the big hitter is the garlic bread. It’s buttery, garlicky shokupan dough filled with sweetened cream cheese. Often busy, drop in for takeaway, or pre-order by 9am for same day pick up. Accessible platform super stops are on Swanston Street nearby. Melbourne Central Station is close too.
Find serenity in minimal square footage at this chic hole-in-the-wall spot. Overlay greets you with a wide entrance, pared back interiors, and all-white accessories. Watch the world go by from the high stools in the window or relax on the low seating along the wall.
A glass case on the benchtop displays a curated selection of cakes and pastries. The iced pour over (served in a paper thin glass pot) is the perfect summer staple, or indulge in the cream-topped iced latte for a mid-arvo treat. Find Overlay at 320 Little Lonsdale Street. Accessible platform super stops are on Elizabeth Street nearby.
We've got three words for you: pretzel bread sandwiches. Baguette Studios in North Melbourne is quickly making a name for itself with its beautifully burnished baguettes piled high with deli fixings. That's not to discount the sweet treats on offer though. Double chocolate croissants, seasonal fruit tarts and a vanilla mille-feuille special are just a sample of the regularly rotating menu. Wash down your feast with a butterscotch cream iced latte for the full sweet escape.
More than a bakery, you can savour your snacks at this cute spot. A wide step-free entry invites you in. Tables and chairs are of varying heights inside and out. There's an accessible toilet too. Accessible platform super stops are nearby on Flemington Road.
Information correct at time of writing – always check ahead with the venue to make sure they can accommodate your individual access needs.
Written and researched by an Access Consultant Cert. IV, with lived experience of disability.
Last updated on Mon 10 Jul 2023
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