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The best pancakes in Melbourne

The best pancakes in Melbourne

Any proud Melburnian will tell you our city is the brunch epicentre of the country, and as we know, the cornerstone of any good brunch is a solid pancake. Whether you’re a traditionalist with a penchant for lemon and sugar, or you opt for the most jam-packed crêpe on the menu, here are our top picks for a flipping great time in Melbourne. Still got the morning munchies? Check out Melbourne's best breakfasts and top bottomless brunches.

Listings and reviews (3)

Little Prince Wine

Little Prince Wine

3 out of 5 stars

The refurbishment of The Prince Hotel was a four-year labour of love, and Little Prince Wine – part bottle shop, part wine bar – was the final jewel in the crown. The hybrid hangout has quickly carved out a niche for mid-week dining, last-minute wine runs and all-out underground feasting.  While the culinary offering changes to suit the seasons, you can expect satisfying Euro-centric fare year-round. The tight menu makes it hard to make mistakes. Standouts include the smoked ham and cheese croquettes, which come with a molassesy-chipotle and a bright salad of fennel, parsley and mandarin, and the crowd-favourite gnocchi pomodoro, which ticks the boxes with mozzarella and basil, but gets straight As for the addition of nduja. On a cold night, reach for the menu’s newest addition: Little Prince’s take on provincial French casserole. Served in a piping hot skillet, it takes serious willpower not to wolf down this rich cassoulet of confit duck, white beans, saucisson, and kaiserfleisch the moment it hits the table.  For those looking to grab and go, the deli has you sorted. From capocollo to sopressa, manchego to Milawa blue, fresh salads and antipasti, it’s easy to eat like a king (or a prince) from the comfort of your own home. If a DIY charcuterie board is feeling too-hard basket, leave it to the kitchen to satisfy your cheese needs. The St Marcellin comes warm and drizzled with honey, slowly melting into an addictive pool of cheesy, nutty goodness, begging to be mopped up wit

Madame Brussels

Madame Brussels

4 out of 5 stars

In 2021, Melbourne nearly lost one of its most iconic venues. But, thanks to Tom Rattigan (Lily Blacks, Double Happiness, New Gold Mountain) and Joshua Stevens (New Gold Mountain), Madame Brussels – a former brothel and all-round good time parlour – was resurrected. Tucked up on the third floor of an unassuming office block and manned by staff in kitschy cute tennis outfits, Madame Brussels is the garden party that never stops. This quintessential Melbourne rooftop bar is a pastel fantasy of pink, green and white, and comes decked out with more Astro-Turf than you can poke a parasol at. Boasting a leafy skyline vista made for scoping out city streets and catching killer sunsets, this is the spot to wow spritz-loving out-of-towners.  No longer helmed by hostess with the mostess, Miss Pearls, the reopened Bourke Street bar has lost a little of its flirtatious charm. The double-entendre-laden menu has been stripped out and replaced with a list that instead nods to the area’s heritage and famous figures.  Sangria has long been synonymous with Madame Brussels, and The Parliamentary Mace (created in honour of the Victorian mace that was lost in the brothel in 1892) ensures this legacy continues. The light, bright, housemade white Sangria is a deft blend of summer fruits, enlivened with a subtle floral fragrance. Wills’ Summer Fix (named for Tom Wills, a notorious cricket match-fixer and founder of the AFL) is a perfect play of prosecco fizz, ruby grapefruit zing, and a citrus twist

Pearl Diver Cocktails and Oysters

Pearl Diver Cocktails and Oysters

Pearl diving is hard work. It takes a good eye, patience, and a passion for oysters. Coincidentally, these are three traits shared by Alex Boon and Pez Collier, the lauded Brisbane bartenders who spent two years gently buffing their idea for a shucking great oyster bar into a polished pearl.  It also took funds to kickstart the duo’s foray into bar ownership. That’s where 50 per cent partner, The Speakeasy Group (Nick & Nora's, Eau De Vie, Mjolner), steps in. The collaboration is part of the brand’s Pathways to Partnership program, an initiative to bankroll visionary venues of hospo-preneurs. If Pearl Diver is anything to go by, the scheme could birth a whole new slew of city go-tos.  Stepping into the space is like being catapulted back through the decades to a soirée on the Titanic, hosted by Gatsby. The elegantly nautical fit-out by Studio Y (whose creds include Nick & Nora’s and Lûmé) features cheeky touches like palm tree coat hooks, old-timey ship paintings, and a blingy gold diving helmet. Grey mesh drapes billow from the ceiling like a ship’s sails, and after a few Honeydew Swizzles, you might even feel like you’ve been scooped up into an oyster net.  Stop by the bar’s glass cabinet to eye four different oyster varieties from a smattering of Aussie states. Each is designed to be enjoyed natural with mignonette and lemon, or tricked up with a choice of three different dressings. The refined apple, anise and cucumber pairing has a long liquorice finish, and is the perfe