Where to find the best coffee in Melbourne’s CBD

Man walking past busy Dukes Coffee Shop in Melbourne

Tianna Nadalin

Posted January 18, 2023

Melbourne might not have invented coffee, but we definitely perfected it. If you’re heading to the CBD in 2023, here’s where to find the best cafes, coffee shops, and espresso bars. 

If there’s one thing to look forward to about being back in the office, it’s the coffee. Being able to swing past your go-to ‘work local’ on your way to the office, or to duck out in between meetings for a quick, caffeinated pick-me-up is that stuff of which nine-to-five dreams are made.

Thankfully, Melburnians are spoiled for choice when it comes to their daily brew, with small-batch espresso bars and speciality coffee studios lurking around every corner.

So, whether you’re looking for the best coffee near your office, the most convenient café on your daily hot shoe shuffle, or you just want to impress your colleagues the next time you spin the coffee roulette wheel, here’s our guide to the best cafes and coffee shops in Melbourne, based on the train station at which you alight.

Happy coffee hunting. 

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Best coffee near Flinders Street Station

Cathedral Coffee and Wine

9/37 Swanston St, Nicholas Building, Melbourne 

With a soaring arched ceiling and stained-glass details, this retro arcade coffee shop-come-wine bar is a proper hidden gem. Spinning classic vinyls and oh-so-sippable espressos, Cathedral is a must-visit for any disciple of the coffee bean.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Fresh pastries delivered daily from South Melbourne’s Austro Bakery during the day, and an ever-changing menu inspired by seasonal produce at night, which can be washed down was a solid selection of organic and low-fi wines.

Tulip Coffee

7 Degraves St, Melbourne 

It doesn’t get much more ‘Melbourne’ than this. Extremely sippable espresso served from a made-for-Instagram cafe located in one of the city’s most iconic laneways.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Noisette pastries


247 Flinders Ln, Melbourne

For an espresso with a side serving of history, head to Dukes Coffee Roasters. The Flinders Lane institution, which is housed in the heritage-listed Ross House building, has been helping the city’s coffee lovers pro-caffeinate since 2013.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Mile End Bagels, plus freshly baked cakes, muffins and lamingtons

Industry Beans

345 Little Collins St, Melbourne

A custom-designed coffee bar beckons you inside Industry Beans’ Little Collins St concept store, where the open Modbar bench allows you to watch the whole bean-to-cup process.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.80
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Rustica Bakery pastries, avocado on toast and the MVP (in our opinion); a bougie toastie/croissant with smoked ham, gruyere cheese and coffee-seeded mustard

Vacation Coffee

1 Exhibition St, Melbourne

Keep the holiday vibes going at Vacation Coffee. With a playful pink and blue interior in muted, pastel hues, this cheerful sip spot offers an escape from the daily grind (so to speak).

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Creative toasts (think tomato and peanut butter), toasties (we love the chicken jalapeno), sandwiches, pastries and granola


321 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Move over macarons. This Little Collins Street cafe is bringing a new coffee sidekick to town. Melbourne, meet dacquoise. For the uninitiated, they’re like fluffy almond meringue cookies sandwiched with various buttercream fillings, including black sesame, Belgian chocolate and vanilla and sea salt. The sleek espresso bar is also running sublime coffees, batch brew and iced espresso tonic (espresso and tonic water on ice; they’re a thing).

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Bench Coffee Co
  • Snacks: Dacquoise pastries

The Alley Edition

20 Howey Pl, Melbourne

This cosy little alley café is tucked away in a quiet laneway of bustling Little Collins Street. Pull up a table on the sidewalk and savour your morning cuppa away from the crowds.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $3.90
  • Beans: Five Senses
  • Snacks: Fresh pastries, toasts, sandwiches and an exceptional caramel slice 

Two Conversations

10 Equitable Pl, Melbourne

A name scrawled in white paint on the window sets the tone for this unassuming alley café. The staff are friendly staff and there is a solid selection of alternative brews. For the adventurous, the BBB – a chesnut latte – is worth the sip.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Fresh pastries, cronuts and cookies 


Coffee shop with lights on and plants in the window

The coffee is anything but at Commonplace. Photo: Facebook.

Best coffee near Southern Cross Station


495 Collins St, Melbourne

Located at the base of Melbourne’s heritage-listed InterContinental Hotel building, this buzzing, carbon-neutral café has become a go-to among the Collins St workers club. Their Mumma’s Boy Coffee Liqueur is also an absolute treat. Espresso martinis, anyone?

  • Cost of a black coffee: $5
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Sweet and savoury pastries, Butterboy brownie sandwiches


540 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Take the unmarked laneway between 565 and 571 Bourke Street (or Gallaghers Place if you’re coming from Collins) and you’ll find Fiord, a friendly café slinging seriously sippable espressos, sumptuous sangas and small-batch beer and wine.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: Seven Seeds
  • Snacks: Sweet and savoury options. Don’t miss the mouth-watering mortadella and cheese toastie

Come Back to Earth

601 Little Collins St, Melbourne

This underrated Little Collins Street coffee trader really lives up to its name. There are no frills, no fancy décor, just friendly service, delicious espressos and affordable prices. Coffee and a jaffle for $10? Don’t mind if we do.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: Clockwalker Coffee Roaster
  • Snacks: Pastries, brioche breakfast buns and $6 jaffles. Because what’s not to love about rolling into the workday with a mac and cheese jaffle?

Culpa Espresso

91 William St, Melbourne

If not for the queues of people out the front, it would be easy to miss this hole-in-the-wall coffee window. Fast and friendly service is reminiscent of European-style espresso bars, while Moroccan-tiled floors give a polished vibe.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Roasting Warehouse
  • Snacks: Focaccias, pide, pastries and oh-so-scrumptious shortbread cookies

Sagas Café & Retail

377 Collins St, Melbourne

If you’re looking for a lovely coffee, trendy meeting location or last-minute artisan gift, SAGAS has you covered. The rustic yet refined café-come-retail store is a laid-back spot for your first sip of the day, or for your last business meeting.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.70
  • Beans: Ona Coffee
  • Snacks: Cobb Lane pastries and Mork treats

Commonplace Coffee Brewers

28 Rose Ln, Melbourne

For delicious coffee and fresh pastries, make a beeline for Commonplace Coffee. The Rose Lane brewtopia is pumping out sweet espressos and silky lattes with a side serve of good vibes.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: Toby’s Estate
  • Snacks: Simple things, done well. Don’t miss their freshly baked cakes, pastries and savoury croissants

Paper Tiger Espresso

10 Queen St, Melbourne

Escape the hustle and bustle of the CBD at Paper Tiger. With a minimalist design, monochrome palette and comfy couches, you can grab a coffee to go, or make it your go-to for business meetings and impromptu catch ups. 

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Freshly baked treats by Cobb Lane Bakery and Hazelbark Patisserie. Don’t miss the club sandwich
Crowd of people inside trendy Melbourne cafe

Patricia Coffee Brewers is a Melbourne institution. Photo: Facebook.

Best coffee near Flagstaff Station


485 Bourke St, Melbourne

If you’re looking for coffee with a conscience, social enterprise café STREAT has all the good vibes.

Located in the foyer of RACV’s Melbourne headquarters, you can sip comfortably knowing your coffee habit is helping to give disadvantaged youths an opportunity to thrive.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.80
  • Beans: House roast
  • Snacks: Muffins, pastries, sweets and other baked goods

Patricia Coffee Brewers

Rear of 493-495 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

It wouldn’t be a list of Melbourne’s best coffee shops without a reference to this city stalwart. Patricia, a mainstay among Melbourne’s coffee literati, has garnered a cult-like following for its friendly service, refined fit-out and, of course, its superb coffees. With an average rating of 4.8 from more than 2,300 Google reviews, this much-hyped coffee slayer lives up to its reputation.   

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.70
  • Beans: House roast
  • Snacks: Not your average pastries (honey and mozzarella croissant, anyone?) and arguably the city’s best chocolate cake

House Blend

280 King St, Melbourne

Whether it’s a quick brunch, brekkie on-the-go or a relaxed coffee you’re after, House Blend has it all. For the ultimate morning pick-me-up, grab your espresso and head to Flagstaff Gardens for a pre-work coffee in the park.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $3.80
  • Beans: House roast
  • Snacks: Focaccias, pastries and other freshly made treats. Don’t miss the toasted pumpkin walnut bread

Sbriga Espresso Bar

270 King St, Melbourne

An oh-so-Melbourne coffee apothecary with a Roman soul? Enter Sbriga Espresso Bar. This Italian-inspired coffee club has been keeping the good people of Melbourne caffeinated since 2013. Pouring espressos in the AM and espresso martinis in the PM, they’ve got your coffee needs covered round the clock.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $3.80
  • Beans: Allpress
  • Snacks: Baguettes, egg and bacon rolls, pastries and more

Little Avenue Des Italians

428 Little Bourke St, Melbourne 

With a patterned-tile floor, black-painted ceiling and bentwood bench stools, this Little Bourke St espresso bar oozes sophistication. The coffee, available in dark or light roasts, matches the décor.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.20
  • Beans: House roast
  • Snacks: A delectable range of Italian basics and lunch essentials. Don’t miss the house-baked amaretti biscotti – buonissimi 


320 Little Lonsdale St, Melbourne

A minimalist, all-white interior (even the coffee gear is white) sets a soothing scene at Korean-inspired café Overlay Coffee. As well as really good regular coffees, Overlay offers a selection of alternative sips, including coconut Americanos and cream lattes.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Clockwalker Coffee Roaster
  • Snacks: Selection of cakes and pastries


Couple having coffee at bright laneway coffee shop in Melbourne

Maker on Little Bourke St is a go-to among Melbourne's nine-to-five crew. Photo: Facebook.

Best coffee near Melbourne Central

Brother Baba Budan

359 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

When Brother Baba Budan flung open its doors in 2003, it was one of the first cafes of its kind in Melbourne. Now, 20 years later, the specialty coffee store, latte slinger and rotating toastie maker is still one of the city’s espresso darlings.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Seven Seeds
  • Snacks: Pastries and an ever-changing specials boards of daily toasties

Cartel Coffee Roasters

19 Somerset Pl, Melbourne 

Towering palm trees, colourful skyscrapers and striped umbrellas set a very LA scene at Cartel Coffee Roaster’s Melbourne outpost. The Geelong-based roastery sources only the highest-quality traceable beans from ethical and sustainable farmers for a true farm-to-cup coffee experience. There’s also a solid hand-picked selection of specialty teas, plus craft beers and lo-fi wines.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $5
  • Beans: Cartel Coffee Roasters  
  • Snacks: Pastries, sweets and toasted sandwiches


20 Guildford Ln, Melbourne

A trendy café housed in converted warehouse with exposed brick walls and framed by lush greenery isn’t exactly what you’d expect to find in the heart of the city. But that is exactly what Krimper is bringing to the table. Well, that, and excellent coffee.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Maker 
  • Snacks: Full menu


387 Little Bourke St, Melbourne

From the coffee and the refined fit-out to the large-scale painting by artist Madeleine Simon, everything about Maker Coffee’s Melbourne outpost is a work of art. Pull up a seat at the window or a sun-drenched bench outside and relax with a Portuguese tart and a perfectly extracted espresso.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $5
  • Beans: Maker  
  • Snacks: Sweet and savoury pastries, toasties, baguettes and muesli

Everyday Midtown

213 Little Collins St, Melbourne

This is the city outpost of cult Collingwood roaster, Everyday Coffee. Their signature espresso is a smooth and balanced blend with notes of milk chocolate and butterscotch.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: Bagels, baguettes and bangin’ pastries
People having coffee at trendy cafe in Melbourne CBD

Peoples Coffee is bringing the buzz to Bensons Walk. Photo: Visit Victoria.

Best coffee near Parliament

Peoples Coffee

7 Bensons Walk, Melbourne

Coffee by the people, for the people. That is the ethos behind this minimalist, undercover cafe in Melbourne's newest retail and dining precinct, 80 Collins St.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: Five Senses
  • Snacks: Porridge, toast, bagels, sandwiches 

League of Honest Coffee

8 Exploration Ln, Melbourne

From the same team who brought you Padre Coffee at South Melbourne Market and the Brunswick East Project comes the League of Honest Coffee. The busy little café is surprisingly spacious for a city coffee haunt. Shout out to the under-bench tiles and coffee cups, which match the striking pair of custom mint-green Slayer coffee machines.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $3.50
  • Beans: The League of Honest Coffee
  • Snacks: Baguettes, brekkie rolls, pides and toasties


2/14 Crossley St, Melbourne

You’ll be frothing over the seriously smooth Seven Seeds espresso pouring from this quintessentially Melbourne laneway café, where warm timber panels, red benchtops, felt menu boards and floating shelves create a homely, nostalgic vibe.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Seven Seeds
  • Snacks: Pastries, sweets and sandwiches. The carrot cake is (almost) on par with the coffee

Bobby’s Coffee & Bagels

Rear 53/57 Lonsdale St, Melbourne 

The concept might be simple, but the coffee and the bagels are to dine for. Offering a selection of loaded bagels (the A Star is Born, with smashed avo, pickled chilli, sumac and seeds really gets Melbourne), lovely coffees and house-made sodas.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: Wood & Co
  • Snacks: Bagels, duh

Quists Coffee

166 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Another coffee hall of fame inductee is Quists, which was established in 1938 as Melbourne’s first coffee roaster. Fast forward 80 years and the original coffee trader is still bringing consistently decadent and delicious single origin beans and espresso blends to the masses.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4
  • Beans: House roasted
  • Snacks: No snacks but you do get a petit biscuit with your coffee

Pellegrini’s Espresso Bar

66 Bourke St, Melbourne

This family-run coffee house has been standing proudly on the corner of Bourke and Crossley streets since 1958 and, in its 70-odd year history, has become so woven into the tapestry of Melbourne that it was recently inducted into the Eat Drink Design Awards' Hall of Fame. Even its iconic neon sign is heritage-listed. Pull up a well-worn vinyl stool at the original timber bar, grab a coffee, and soak up the retro Italian espresso bar vibes.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Vittoria Coffee
  • Snacks: Crostata, tiramisu, pasta, lasagna


8 Little Collins St, Melbourne

Tucked away in a disused spaced at the back of the Hotel Windsor you’ll find Kudo, a pint-sized artisan bakery specialising in gluten-free breads and pastries that could fool even the most discerning sourdough enthusiast. A lovely spot to grab a coffee and a gluten-free canelé to-go.

  • Cost of a black coffee: $4.50
  • Beans: Ona Coffee
  • Snacks: All the gluten-free goodies; cookies, canelé and choux, as well as freshly baked sourdough
Coffee shop with muted copper colour palette

It's a touch of chic at Collins Street's First Love Coffee. Photo: Facebook.

Honourable mentions

Near Flinders Street

  • BE.AN by Workshop Bros: 410 Collins St, Melbourne
  • Kit Espresso: Royal Arcade, 148 Elizabeth St, Melbourne
  • Dagwood Deli: 6 Riverside Quay, Southbank

Near Southern Cross

  • First Love Coffee: 433 Collins St, Melbourne
  • 533 by Undercover Roasters: 533 Little Collins St, Melbourne
  • Stand Up Coffee: Rear of 524 Flinders St, Melbourne

Near Flagstaff

  • Axil Coffee Roasters: 565 Bourke St, Melbourne
  • Heirloom Seed: Healeys Ln, Melbourne 
  • White Mojo: 115 Hardware St, Melbourne 

Near Melbourne Central

  • Shortstop Coffee & Donuts: 12 Sutherland St, Melbourne
  • Little Rogue: 12 Drewery Ln, Melbourne
  • Parlance Coffee: 250 Elizabeth St, Melbourne 

Near Parliament

  • Tom Thumb: 53 Flinders Ln, Melbourne
  • Anda: 215 Spring St, Melbourne
  • Father John: 201 Spring St, Melbourne. 


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