Need some cope-ahydrates? These Japanese bakeries, laneway cafes, Korean-inspired spots and brunch wonderlands are a must-try.

Morpha

True brunch heads know Fulton Lane is the best hidden destination for a luxe breakfast. Brand new to the scene is Morpha, tucked away in a leafy corner of this cute little precinct. We rate the fruit loaded, magnum-topped mascarpone waffles for a sweet indulgence. For something savoury, try the spicy baked eggs with fried eggplant and roti. Don't leave without grabbing a salted choc cruller (made in-house!) and iced hojicha to-go.

Le Bajo 

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. 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. They get pretty busy, so we suggest visiting early.

Two cakes on a plate
Le Bajo (Photo by @SofiaKLevin for What's On)

Udom House

If a Thai flavour bomb is what you fancy, get your pies from Udom House. Like the red curry chicken spiced with an authentic blend of cinnamon, star anise and pickled garlic. Keep an eye out for their larb pork pies, seasoned with coriander and mint. The latte art and luk chup- a traditional dessert made from mung beans, coconut cream and sugar - go down very easily, too.

Baguette Studios

We've got three words for you: pretzel bread sandwiches. Baguette Studios in North Melbourne is quickly making a name for itself with their 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 the odd vanille millefeuille 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.

A table at a cafe filled with plates of sandwiches, iced coffee, croissants, tarts and pastries.
Baguette Studios

Good Measure

Serving iced coffee by day and cocktails by night, Good Measure rolls Sunday brunch and record bar vibes into a very Melbourne package. Local produce is key, with suppliers including Hagen’s Organics, Spitz's Bakehouse and Allevare Wines. Have a very respectable early breakfast Monday to Sunday, or kick on until midnight Friday to Saturday when the bar takes over. Find them at 193 Lygon St, Carlton.

Hikari

A tiny slice of serenity awaits on this busy corner of Swanston Street. With flawless light timber design, Japanese homewares and yuzu coffee served over ice, Hikari is like a little trip to Tokyo. Friendly staff will talk you through the choice of beans, but we rate the Kenya brew from cult-status roasters onibus. Treats on rotation include seasonal canele, florentines, croissants and more.

A woman sitting in the window at a cafe
Hikari

Overlay

Find serenity in minimal square footage at this chic hole-in-the-wall spot. Overlay greets you with pared back interiors, all-white accessories and 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.

Queensmith Baretto

Things in Melbourne cafes that just make sense: checkerboard floors, afternoon Negronis and newspaper crosswords on marble tables. Find all this and more at Queensmith Baretto, brand new to the espresso wine bar scene. Head in from 7am on weekdays for top notch coffee, toasties and lunch break delights. After work find antipasto, a unique wine list and more.

Two plates of brunch food on a table at a cafe, with a cocktail on one side and a woman's hand holding a glass of red wine on the other
Queensmith Baretto

Tori's

Melbourne has been blessed by another adorable new laneway cafe. Tori's is cute as a button, and so are the treats. Perfectly hand crafted Madeleines, burnt basque cheesecake, friands and some special matcha-fusion delights. Think French patisserie vibes with Japanese flavour inspo. Tori's is located at 28 Niagara Lane.

Puzzle Coffee

Puzzle landed just in time for summer, featuring a menu stacked with iced coffee creations. Try the dirty iced matcha, a caffeine-loaded refresher topped with foamy cream. The iced cappucino is just as luxe, or opt for no frills bottled cold brew. This airy, light-filled space isn't just a pretty face. All cups are compostable and biodegradable. They even sell an edible coffee cup! Find it on the corner of Swanston Street and Little Collins.

A person's hand holding a coffee cup
Puzzle's edible cup

Bread Club

Cult-status is an understatement for this club. And who wouldn't line up for baklava escargot and 'Tirami-choux'? Follow Bread Club's Instagram for the daily drop of menu items and head to 558 Queensberry Street in North Melbourne to collect the goods. Think brie pumpkin sourdough sando, pepperoni pizza and loaded doughnuts. Takeaway your treats then head down to Gardiner Reserve for a picnic.

Bakemono Bakers

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 in the CBD. They also do a range of Danishes, but the big hitter is the garlic bread. It’s buttery, garlicky shokupan dough filled with sweetened cream cheese. Drop in for takeaway, or pre-order by 9am for same day pick up.

A person cutting into a croissant waffle
Croffles at Bakemono

Raya

Insta-baker Raymond Tan’s Raya is the ultimate spot for South East Asian-influenced cakes and savouries. Try treats like spinach and olive oil sponge, or grab giant cookies flavoured with miso, sour cherry and dark chocolate. There are cute boxes of mixed kueh too.

Fuumi Fuumi

Fuumi Fuumi is another 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.

A white bread roll filled with scrambled eggs, topped with half a boiled egg
Fuumi Fuumi

Babajan Little Collins Street

North Carlton’s beloved Middle Eastern bakery, cafe and provedore has landed in the city. Visit early to take your pick of the cabinet piled high with fresh pastries, crusty bread and house-made borek. If it’s lunch you’re after, Babajan’s famous salads and sandwiches are in high-supply. For the sweet tooths there’s a bevy of Turkish-inspired treats. Think moreish walnut baklava and chocolate halva tarts. Grab a coffee and if you’re lucky, snag a seat outside to enjoy your spoils.

More of the best cafes in Melbourne

Palette

A cosy cafe inspired by Korean aesthetics and lifestyle.

Soul Soul Cafe

Great breakfast and lunch options with a seasonally changing menu.

Greta

A daytime European food and wine bar, serving coffee, made to order sandwiches and sweets.

Fresh Air & Pancake Melbourne

A Japanese dessert heaven with soufflé, dorayaki and soft serve.

Last updated on Tue 23 Aug 2022

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