Looking to refuel before heading back to the office? Pop into these tiny houses of refreshment for your caffeine fix.
Seven Seeds’ Traveller excels at both batch brews and breakfast on the hoof. That might be a New Yorker bagel, bowl of house granola or Candied Bakery pastry. You’ll find this pocket-sized café hidden away in Crossley Street. If you’re lucky, you might nab one of the four stools out front.
Melbourne’s cafés don’t get much tinier than aptly named Tom Thumb. Little more than a counter and stairway to upstairs seating, it’s tucked away in Flinders Lane. The stellar sweetie serves Clement’s Pony blend, opens early at 7am and closes at 4pm.
Push through the blue door to Little Rogue, in Drewery Lane. There’s a bench by the window and seats out the back, and Little Rogue’s hours are l-o-n-g. On weekdays, that’s 7.30am to 6pm. Chai and matcha lattes are on the menu next to black, white and filter coffee. And those flaky croissants and pastries are from Tokyo-style Bakemono, across the lane.
Now this one really is a hole in the wall. Or make that a window. Union Kiosk on Causeway Lane serves coffee from Wide Open Road, with your choice of milk as long as it’s vegan. So that means almond, macadamia, coconut, oat or soy. Pair with a breakfast baked-bean jaffle or a house-baked cupcake.
Stand Up Café
Up near Spencer Street, Stand Up Cafe seats just two. At 10 square metres, it’s a record-breaking teeny-tiny. Beans from Seven Seeds star in flat whites, lattes and ‘cinos. Get in early at 7am for a Vegemite and cheese toastie for brekkie.
Carlton’s Parco Canteen is in a gorgeous Victorian-era garden kiosk on Argyle Square. Step up to the counter to order toasted brioche with jam or an egg-n-bacon banh mi. And of course a large flat white with beans by Supreme. Parco opens weekdays at 7.30am.
Cup of Truth
Deco-tiled Cup of Truth offers caffeine salvation from 6.30am. Little larger than it’s smoking-hot brew station, it’s in subterranean Campbell Arcade. Order the house blend, and if it’s Friday, celebrate by snaring a decadent filled donut as well.
For specialty coffee from around the globe, drop into the Queen Street espresso bar manned by Workshop Brothers. A minimalist symphony in pale green and concrete, it’s open from 7am. Coffee is love in a cup, whether cold drip or single origin, black, white or filter. And don’t forget to pick up an egg and bacon brioche for breakfast.
The Degraves Street mini café Tulip has pretty peach accents and seats a mere six. Croissants and Danishes beckon from glass cases. They’re served from the window hatch or counter. Drop in between 7am and 4pm, and take home beans from their coffee roaster.
What it says on the label. Standing Room serves espresso to go from counters at RMIT and Melbourne University. Outside uni hours, get yourself over to their Melbourne Central branch, open all day from 7.30am to 5pm. Clean reusable cups are accepted, and their breakfast menu includes crumpets and bagels.
The Alley Edition
Howey Place is a covered arcade, rather than a laneway, but tiny Alley Edition fits the bill. There’s a handful of stools inside, and otherwise it’s on your bike. The Portuguese tarts are as legendary as the coffee, and hours are long from 7am to 4.30pm.
Established in 1938, Quists were the first coffee roasters to set up business in the city. You can stock up on blended or single origin beans in this compact store. And sample the goods by ordering a takeaway. Baristas serve lattes from 8am, and the heady aroma of freshly ground beans wafts from the store until 5pm.
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