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Coffee at Brother Baba Budan
Photograph: Vince Caligiuri

The best coffee in the Melbourne CBD

The search is over, city-dwellers and peaky commuters. These are the best spots in Melbourne's grid for coffee

By Matilda Knowles
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Everyone knows how important coffee is to Melburnians, but not everyone knows where the best coffee in Melbourne is located. Whether it's a flat white, cappuccino, long black, filter coffee or some complicated pour over, we've got you sorted. These places are the crème de la crema (sorry not sorry). 

Want more? Check out the best breakfasts in Melbourne. After lunch? These are the best lunches in the Melbourne CBD.

Recommended: The 50 best restaurants in Melbourne

The best coffee in Melbourne

1. Patricia

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

This standing-room-only coffee shop has friendly but speedy baristas, who churn out high quality coffees at an impressive rate. There’s only one cup size and it’ll cost you $4 if you take it black or filter, and $4.30 for white coffees.

Corner Little Bourke & Little William Sts.

Bonnie Coffee Collins Street
Photograph: Adrian Murphy

2. Bonnie

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The house speciality is cold drip. The slow extraction method combined with the house-roasted single origin beans results in a fruity, rich, and slightly acidic cup of coffee. The filter range is equally impressive. At $4, it’s hardly Melbourne’s most expensive coffee.

5/495 Collins St. 

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3. Everyday Coffee Midtown

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

Everyday Midtown is the CBD branch of Fitzroy’s Everyday Coffee. They roast their own beans in a Melbourne warehouse, and their All Day seasonal blend is a creamy chocolate Colombian mix that’s perfect with milk. Even the fanciest cup of joe will only set you back $5, and there’s a 50 cent BYO cup discount (it doesn’t just apply to Keep Cups – any office mug can net you savings).

213 Little Collins St.

Axil Coffee Roasters, Flinders Ln
Photograph: Supplied

4. Axil Coffee Roasters

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The priority at Axil is high-quality, ethical coffee. The beans are roasted locally in Hawthorn. The single-origin options are rotated daily, and the seasonal blend has a dark chocolate and nougat flavour profile. Standard cups are a little cheaper than many places at $3.80.

76/121 Flinders St.

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5. Dukes Coffee Roasters

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

Inside the beautiful old Ross House building, Dukes Coffee Roasters is committed to ethical trading, with coffee sourced from farms and small co-operatives. The coffee is roasted here in Melbourne. The price of a filter ranges between $3 and $10, while an espresso cup any way will set you back $4, or $3.50 if you bring your own cup.

247 Flinders Lane.

Pouring hot water on coffee at Sensory Lab
Photograph: Graham Denholm

6. Sensory Lab

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The single origins change frequently, and baristas are across any coffee question you could throw at them. But this expertise comes at a price: the fanciest cup of single origin pour over can cost you up to $10, and a standard ‘white’ coffee costs $4.50. But then, every espresso shot is a double.

297 Little Collins St.

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7. Brother Baba Budan

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The origin story of Brother Baba Budan is that he stole seven seeds of coffee from the Middle East and took them to India. Now his namesake is a Seven Seeds branch in the city, a noisy place with a large communal table and a ten-minute wait time. Take away is your best bet, as there are more chairs on the ceiling than on the floor.

359 Little Bourke St.

8. Market Lane Coffee: Queen Victoria Market

Restaurants Melbourne

The only milk baristas serve is full fat cow’s milk, the coffee only comes in one size, you have to put your own lid on your takeaway, a cappuccino or latte costs $4.80, and there is always, always a line. The seasonal blend offers a full-bodied, hazelnut-heavy cup with apple undertones.

Dairy Produce Hall, Queen Victoria Market.

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Coffee at Kingswood
Photograph: Anna Kucera

9. Little League

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

Two shipping containers and AstroTurf don’t automatically say ‘café’, but then this is Melbourne. Little League use Padre beans, and a coffee is $4. There’s filter, pour over and cold drip as well as steamed milk classics.

513 Queen Victoria Square.

Coffee at Sappho Books
Photograph: Daniel Boud

10. LB2 Specialty Coffee

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The crew here pick the best beans from Axil and Coffee Cartel to craft the perfect cup of joe. Options include the v60 pour over, batch brews and cold drips, plus regular espresso styles. A small latte is $4; a pour over is usually $6.50.

2 Gallagher Place.

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Coffee at Yellow Brunch
Photograph: Anna Kucera

11. Cup of Truth

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The subway between Degraves and Flinders Street Station has Sticky Institute, Melbourne’s only independent zine co-op; nature-inspired jewellery from Corky St Claire; and Cup of Truth, a true hole-in-the-wall. They use Axil roasted beans to make the smoothest flat white you’ve ever tasted.

12 Campbell Arcade.

12. Little Bean Blue

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

At the end of a row of cafés on Little Collins is this unassuming café where knowledgeable baristas are hard at work. Little Bean Blue uses beans from Geelong’s Coffee Cartel Roasters to make coffee every way, from a classic espresso to filters and cold drips. A small costs $3.80.

15 Little Collins St.

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13. Tom Thumb

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

The crew here are using the Pony blend from Clement (of the Sensory Lab, Market Lane and St Ali family), so you’re guaranteed a milk coffee with a caramel apple flavour. Black coffees are made with a Sensory Lab single origin. Despite the queue, the team here are always smiling. There’s a 50 cent BYO cup discount.

53 Flinders Lane.

14. Code Black Melbourne City

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

For a roaster, Code Black doesn’t indulge in much coffee snobbery. Staff are friendly and efficient, only waxing lyrical about the daily rotating single origin and blend when asked. You could go for the present seasonal blend (a robust citric roast of Brunswick-blended Kenyan Wakulima and Costa Rican beans), but for maximum coffee appreciation, order the single origin as a long macchiato. A small coffee is $4, or filter for $6.

360 Collins Street.

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15. Workshop Brothers

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

Axil Roasters has been providing the blends and Monk Bodhi Dharma the single origins, but Workshop Brothers has branched out and created its own blend called the Huntly. It’s a peachy medium roast with a crisp, sweet aftertaste, delicious in a flat white. All the white coffees are $4 for a small, or $3.80 if you want it black.

190 Queen Street.

16. Gold Drops

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

Gold Drops specialises in naturally processed coffee. Unwashed, the beans are left to dry with the fruit still on. It’s a process that results in an intensely sweet and fruity cup of coffee. To grasp the difference between this and washed beans, try a long black. It’s a light, tangy cherry cup with a sweet aftertaste. Get a cruffin filled with jam or salted caramel to complete your morning ritual.

183 Little Collins St.

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17. White Mojo

Restaurants Cafés Melbourne

White Mojo is one of Melbourne’s most Instagrammable cafés – and it has Wi-Fi to make that easy for everyone. From the food to the black sesame lattes and the wood panelling, everything  is ridiculously photogenic. Coffee is a house blend, made from a mix of naturally dried and washed Sumatran beans. The process results in an intense, fruity flavour in your brew.

115 Hardware St.

18. Captains of Industry

Shopping Melbourne

This is a one-stop gentleman’s shop complete with barber, shoemaker and bistro. Gentlemen (and ladies) also need coffee, and the brews here are good. Espresso drinks come out of a rather fancy Faema E61 machine, and the barista measures the milk temperature by hand. A small will set you back $4. 

Lvl 1, 2 Somerset Place.

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