The weather's getting cool which means the carb cravings are gonna start. Lucky for Melbourne, there's a whole stack of new bakeries and cafés to slice into.

Budapest Café

Want to feel like you’re in your own Wes Anderson movie? Budapest Café (named after his film, The Grand Budapest Hotel) is about as ‘grammy as you can get. Graphic, two-toned walls, soft pink velvet chairs, and some super-pretty bakery items. We love the Budapest Puff. Three puffs, in different colours and filled with different flavoured custards. Have one to eat in, then get one to go. They’re packaged in pink boxes, tied with a blue ribbon. Total movie glamour.

An ice cream on a stack of pancakes
Grand Budapest Hotel's pancake stack

First Love Coffee

By the aesthetic café experts behind Rustica comes First Love Coffee, an elegant new space for coffee and croissants. The benchtops are lined with material of the moment (an aqua-hued terrazzo marble), making the ideal 'gram background for your AM snap. Daily lunch and breakfast specials include cheese toasties, smashed avo sangas, delicious doughnuts and more. Grab a feed, get your java and go - it's standing room only!

Café Lafayette

Melbourne really loves its Japanese food. You’ll find Café Lafayette hidden down Niagara Lane (peak Melbs). The menu is loaded with Japanese-inspired brunch dishes, pretty and delicious. Come on a weekend, so you can really take your time over the house-made okonomiyaki or matcha French toast. Then make sure you order a raindrop cake, in flavours like classic, rose or matcha. These incredible desserts look just like crystal balls.

Waffles on a plate next to an omelette
Cafe Lafayette

Greta Melbourne

If you’re serious about your cheese toasties, head to Greta Melbourne in Flinders Lane. This new sandwich bar busts out a killer triple cheese toastie (with gruyere, brie and cheddar). Not in the mood for a cheese hit? Greta Melbourne makes a range of Euro-centric sandwiches to order. The menu also features breakfast dishes and excellent coffee. There are small deli plates to go with something from the wine list too. It’s the perfect way to add a bit of European style to your working day. 

Le Bajo 

Another Japanese café? You bet. But this one’s a little different. You’ll find Le Bajo Milkbar in a warehouse in North Melbourne, and it’s kitted out with Australian memorabilia. And it’s named after an Indonesian island. Plus it was started by one of the founders of Bali's Potato Head Beach Club. But let’s get to the menu. The menu is all Japanese carby goodness. Yes, there’s katsu sandos, but we go for the creamy fruit sando. Trust us, it works. 

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

Raya

Insta-baker Raymond Tan’s Raya is hidden in a laneway off Little Collins Street. Hunt it down and you’ll find him baking South East Asian-influenced cakes and savouries. There's everything from whole cakes to pies to sandwiches made to order. Plus they have coffee from Clockwalker. There are wild cakes like spinach and olive oil sponge. Giant cookies in flavour combos like miso, pistachio, sour cherry and dark chocolate. There are cute boxes of mixed kueh too.

Palette

Palette is all pared back and soothing interiors and the coffee is top-notch. (Grab a bottle of iced filter to go.) Then there's the sandwiches, which are kinda raucous in comparison. Palette serves up ‘brioche and K-sandwiches’ – Korean sandwiches. The signature is the Korean street toast (gigeori-toast). It’s a bit savoury and a bit sweet. It starts with a square of fluffy, omelette-like eggs. Then come the hashbrowns, cheese, apple sauce and Dijon. It's all stacked between two slices of white toast. Feel like brioche instead? The candied bacon and cheese brioche is umami-tastic.

A sandwich with eggs and bacon
Palette (Photo by @SofiaKLevin for What's On)

Rumble coffee

After six years of roasting, this Kensington coffee icon finally has a customer facing café. Head inside the rustic brick walled building to find a laid-back espresso bar serving top lattes and Cobb Lane pastries. True brew heads will be delighted by the range of coffee making materials on offer, too. Think Hario brew kits, classic Aeropress, Porlex hand grinders and more.

Bakemono Bakers

Want to grab that perfect loaf of shokupan (Japanese white bread) for home? How about an almond croissant with yuzu for breakfast on the go? Then head to Bakemono Bakers. You’ll find it in a converted garage on Drewery Lane, just off Little Lonsdale. They also do a range of Danishes, but the big hitter is the garlic bread. This isn’t any ordinary garlic bread. It’s buttery, garlicky shokupan dough filled with sweetened cream cheese and baked. It sells out quick. No surprise.

Maverick at 80 Collins

There’s a whole batch of new brunch spots at 80 Collins. Maverick do incredible coffee and sophisticated takes on classic Melbourne brunch dishes. Fluffy chilli scrambled eggs, warm fruity waffles and even a cheeky espresso martini make the menu pop. And that's not thick cut bacon on your plate - the team makes perfectly juicy pastrami in-house for a decadent eggs benny. Other great spots to try include Bowls Baby, serving made-to-order smoothie bowls and healthy poke. Plus Upstate Coffee keeps Melbourne running on coffee, baguettes and brioche.

Poached eggs, a dill pickle and a thick piece of meat on a plate
Brunch at Maverick

Instea

Okay Melbs, hear us out. We know we’re all about the coffee here. But all we are saying is give tea a chance. Malaysia’s INSTEA takes a creative approach to tea-drinking. Their glamorous salon has a wall of bottled teas that look like perfumes. There are seasonal bubble teas and brewed teas made to order. There are also limited edition bottled ‘Remember Me’ teas. Try the Galaxy (butterfly flowers and honey lemon).

Adozen Adozen

Adozen Adozen in Carlton serve up the floatiest souffle pancakes, made fresh to order. You can get them with all kinds of toppings. The Tiramisu comes with coffee-flavoured tiramisu mascarpone cream, brown sugar honeycomb and caramel. The Japanese Hojicha has hojicha cream, tofu pudding, red bean paste and black sesame. Want something savoury? Get it okonomiyaki-style.

Souffle pancakes on a plate
Adozen Adozen

More carb loaded treats

Beatrix

Cafe staples and legendary cakes from a baking master.

Rustica

In Melbourne Central, Rustica showcases their famous freshly baked sourdough loaves.

Lune

The place to go for a pain au chocolat, almond croissant, ham and gruyere, or lemon-curd cruffin

Woodfrog Bakery

Street kiosk offering freshly baked breads and pastries, Monday to Friday

Last updated on Wed 14 Apr 2021

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