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Eating my way around Melbourne – Brunch is best

I love brunch. For me it is the perfect meal. I don’t like to eat when I first wake, and I don’t really like cereal, so brunch ticks all the boxes. It also means that I can skip lunch and save money as it is two meals in one go. Brilliant. Whoever invented brunch I want to kiss you.

For someone who loves brunch as much as I do, when I knew I would have 4 weeks in Melbourne, I started to Pin places weeks before I went, so not to miss any of the must brunch places. As it happens, I only managed to visit two of the places I pinned, Coin Laundry and Mart 96. This means I have lots to visit next time.  Here is a selection of the cafes in Melbourne that do brunch really well. All pass my poached egg test.

Mr Foxx

Still jet lagged, and technically there for lunch, the first brunch in Melbourne was at Mr Foxx in Glen Iris. I had not eaten breakfast that morning, at least not in that time zone. I had been served two breakfasts in different time zones somewhere over SE Asia and possibly over Australia, yet as we know, food on a plane doesn’t count. I had been to bed, slept, got up and showered and now I was eating. It was brunch.

Mr Foxx is where I experienced my first corn fritter. I was in love. Where had corn fritters been all my life? We planned to re visit but never got back here, which was a shame, but as with burger joints, Melbourne has so many places to go to for brunch, there isn’t enough time to visit them all in four weeks.

No food photos, sorry, but here is jet lagged me trying to pay with unfamiliar currency. It wasn’t a pretty sight.

Coin Laundry

Yes, this cafe in Armadale features again on my blog. It was convenient to visit as it was near the dog park we frequented and the food was very good. The staff are lovely and we could sit outside, even in the winter, with the dogs we were looking after. This was where I was introduced to avocado smash. In love again.

The coffee was very good too. We were in Melbourne, the coffee is good almost everywhere. In Melbourne even Mcdonalds employ a barista.

Penny Farthing Espresso

We went to Northcote to visit Rathdowne Records as it was on the list provided by the people we were housesitting for. The owner, who stocked an album called Bacon and Eggs, suggested we go to Penny Farthing. So we did.

The food was excellent  and offered items we had not seen on other menus, including interesting Italian sausages. Predictably, as it was on the menu, I had a corn fritter with bacon and a poached egg. Penny Farthing is also renowned for its coffee, but as I am a latte girl I have no idea why the coffee is special. So I looked it up and this was a review on Yelp.

How have I not had industry beans before!?

Little ol’ Penny here serves them and wow do they make a ripper Macchiato. It was one of those moments when you have the first sip of the coffee and you pause with your eyes closed for a moment because it is just so… damn… good. The coffee was a Cup of Excellence from Costa Rica. Number 24. If you find it out anywhere, you must try it. Hints of passionfruit, blueberry, apple and honey. Quite acidic and very delicious. They’ve got all their coffee info up on a big blackboard and you can tell that they take pride in their work.

Tardis like, it is much bigger that the small frontage suggests stretching back from the small front room, to a larger area where the kitchen was, and it has a garden. It is also licensed. And as ever the case in Melbourne they know how to poach eggs.

Penny Farthing has been described as North Melbourne Hipster, yet there were families and people of all ages when Phil and I went. Their kid’s menu is very grown up, and would make Jamie Oliver very happy indeed.

Northcote is a once rundown area that is now full of vintage shops and cool graffiti. As it is on a hill, you get great views of the city. Well worth the trek out of the city centre and the 86 tram takes you through some other hipster suburbs. If you like vinyl, books, vintage and coffee, go to Northcote.

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Mart 96

This cafe is a 96 tram stop. If you sit out front on the platform you can watch the trams. Or for a quieter option, sit in the conservatory at the rear. Great on a summers day, but not a Melbourne winter.

We were last here in 2011 and loved it. We love it even more now. As well as good coffee, there are also healthy juices, a perfect way to start a good brunch.

And the food? Perfect poached eggs. Did I say that Melbourne is the home of the perfect poached eggs? And there are those corn fritters again.

The decor is also homely. Rugs are available for those that feel the cold in a Melbourne winter. We chose the cosier option of the waiting room area. We still needed the rugs as Melbourne was having an unusually cold winter. With the map of our home country above our seating area we were very comfortable indeed.

Why is it called Mart 96? Have you worked it out?


I have mentioned this cafe before in my post about burgers. The location, opposite South Melbourne Market is perfect, and the 96 tram stops nearby. Just over the railway are the Iron Houses. Getting a table for brunch on a Sunday in South Melbourne is not easy. Many places had a queue. We were lucky to get the last table and I think we struck gold.

Phil went for the breakfast burger. I had this. The Paleo Breakfast. Although when I ordered it I asked for the pale breakfast, because the O had been rubbed off the blackboard. Bless the surf dude server, he never said a word. If anything could convert me to the Paleo diet, this breakfast could.

In search of the brunch – Melbourne is hard to beat

Now Phil and I are back in Birmingham and in search of a cafe that serves the perfect brunch. Until then we will have to make do with my home-made corn fritters and avocado smash. Topped with a perfectly poached egg of course.



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