Did you know you can support a social cause or community while exploring our city? Whether you’re shopping, dining or just getting a coffee, try these easy ways to give a helping hand.

CafeSmart

StreetSmart raises funds for grassroots organisations that support people experiencing homelessness. So how can you help? It’s as easy as donating the cost of a coffee during the 11th annual CafeSmart campaign, on 2-8 August. Look for the donation QR code at more than 100 participating cafes – find our top picks listed at the bottom of the page.

A woman in a small hole in the wall cafe.
Union Kiosk is one of the venues taking part in CafeSmart

Miei social enterprise florist

Looking for gifts that give back? Then buy a floral arrangement, produce hamper or some other special something from Miei. This social enterprise donates all its profits to charity partner The Smith Family. The planet gets a hug too. Flowers can only be pre-ordered, ensuring every stem goes into a vase rather than into landfill. Whether you want a bouquet for mum or a gin-tasting set for your bestie, this is a one-stop shop.

STREAT

Social enterprise cafe STREAT trains youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to give them a fresh start in life. So grab a coffee or lunch and know that your spend is doing good. With three outlets across the CBD, including in Melbourne Central, it’s so easy to give back. Help the Earth too, by getting behind STREAT’s Tiny Habits campaign. They’re aiming to serve one in three takeaway coffees in reusable cups.

Support local artists at Queen Victoria Women's Centre SHOP!

Explore local crafts at this curated marketplace for female and non-binary artists, designers and makers. From distinctive ceramics to quirky jewellery, the Queen Victoria Women's Centre SHOP! is full of unique treasures. Everything is sold on consignment, so the creators receive 60 per cent of the sale price. Plus, profits go to the Queen Victoria Women's Centre, and its creative community projects.

The inside of a small Melbourne shop with pink neon sign that reads building our empire.
QVWC Shop!

polépolé kitchen

Women for Women in Africa is a volunteer-run charity that helps children and families living in Nairobi’s giant Kibera slum. To help raise funds for their essential work, simply order an African beer or cider at polépolé kitchen. Profits from these sales go direct to the charity for education, training and nutrition. So why not get a second drink to enjoy with African-inspired dishes like Kenyan fried chicken or ostrich pastillas.

Good Cycles

Get everything for your next ride here, from parts to accessories and clothes, or even a new bike. Good Cycles covers all the bike bases – including servicing – while helping disadvantaged youth. This social enterprise employs young people, and 100 per cent of their profits support local community programs. Feel good about every dollar you spend – and not just because you’ll be well prepared for that next ride.

A man on a bike riding past the river.
Get on your bike with Good Cycles

House of Cards

Located at Melbourne University and Southbank’s Boyd Community Hub, House of Cards Espresso serves coffee that’s good in every way. Beans are selected according to sustainable social and environmental practices. It's a commitment that means your latte or long black can be traced back to the plantations. Each month, House of Cards also donates $1000, shared between four environmental, cultural, health and social causes. With every order, you can help decide how it’s shared around.

home.two

What’s not to like about this Melbourne University cafe? For starters, home.two is one of the social enterprises operated by Society Melbourne, which supports homeless youth. It also cares for our home planet. The grab-and-go menu is 100 per cent vegan. Their food scraps and coffee grounds are composted. Packaging is plant-based and biodegradable. Plus, there’s a discount when you BYO cup or food container.

More places to pay it forward with CafeSmart

Apollo Cafe

Apollo Cafe offers a modern Australian all-day menu for breakfast or lunch.

Auction Rooms Cafe

A coffee roastery and cafe in North Melbourne serving notable breakfast and brunch.

Axil Coffee Roasters

Busy espresso bar good for a caffeine fix on the run.

Brick Lane cafe

Voted one of Melbourne's best brunch spots, it's open daily for breakfast, brunch and lunch.

Earl Canteen

Earl Canteen at Emporium is your go-to for sandwiches, salads, sweets and coffee.

Farmer's Daughters

A three-storey farm-to-table venue from Alejandro Saravia, celebrating the Gippsland region.

First Love Coffee

Cafe run by the team behind Rustica, devoted to its coffee blend First Love Coffee.

Industry Beans

Coffee sourced directly from farmers, served by expert baristas in a sleek environment.

Kings and Knaves Espresso

Serving delicious espresso and an impressive array of toasts in Melbourne's legal precinct.

Liminal

Cafe and wine store offering a sustainable, seasonal menu for breakfast and lunch.

Market Lane Coffee

Specialty coffee in a heritage-listed building at the top end of Collins Street.

Market Espresso

Excellent coffee and cakes at the Queen Victoria Market.

Rustica

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

Sensory Lab

Cafe and retailer of coffee beans and brewing equipment, off Little Collins Street.

Union Kiosk

What they lack in size is certainly made up for with their tenacity and 100% vegan menu.

Last updated on Thu 5 Aug 2021

Get to the city or get Featured in FOMO

We’ve got every FOMO-worthy Melbourne event and experience in one place.

Explore FOMO

The best Portuguese tarts and custard desserts in Melbourne

Try traditional tarts, Portuguese tarts, lemon curd creations and more from the best pastry chefs.

Fresh Air & Pancake Melbourne

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

10 tiny hole-in-the-wall cafes open during lockdown

We found Melbourne's tiniest cafes in laneways, under train tracks and on top of traffic islands.

Discover more

Gloria Jean's

Simple, reliable coffee from a chain of stores across the central city.

Hot Poppy Cafe

Serving great coffee, all day breakfast and cafe classics.

Grocery Bar East Melbourne

Great coffee and sandwiches to eat in or take away.

Cafe Felice

Cafe Felice offers great coffee, sandwiches and wraps to go or dine in meals.