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A Caffeine Fiend’s Guide to Melbourne’s Laneways

Julia Gralberg


Why the Melbourne laneways serve up the best coffees in town

Australians know their coffee and won’t tolerate any mediocre espresso beans or sloppy steamed flat-whites.

Heck, the Aussies almost booted Starbucks out from its shores altogether. The American chain opened 84 stores back in 2000 only to close 61 of them within the next eight years. If you mess up the long-blacks you’re out, clearly.

Rome, Vienna and Sydney in its coffee glory but most Melbournians will argue their city serves up the best coffee down under.

Rome and Vienna might be world famous for their coffees however most Melbournians will argue their city serves up the best coffee, not just down under, but in the world.

This is mainly thanks to the Greek and Italian immigrants arriving in the city with their espresso pots during the early 20th century which was the beginning of the nation’s obsession with coffee.

Today, almost a century later, you’ll find Melbourne’s famous cobblestone laneways celebrating the traditional European café culture by serving up some of the best coffees in town.

Flaneur through the mazes of arcades and laneways and let yourself be seduced by the coffee bean aroma from the many, sometimes hidden, al fresco coffee shops.

Some of them can be tricky to find, even for locals, so without further ado – here are the best spots for the perfect flat-white. Make sure you found them when staying at nearby Ovolo Laneways in Melbourne.

Cup of Truth

Image Source: Australian Traveller

This place is tiny, more of a hole-in-the-wall setup, however the size does not define the coffee which is big in aroma.

With regulars pilgriming to the shop daily for their coffees, Cup of Joe is renowned for serving up some of the best brews in the city.

Using a seasonal house blend by Axil Coffee Roaster as well as their own house blend this is the perfect place to pick up a coffee on the go.

12 Campbell Arcade, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Manchester Press

Image Source: Breakfast Out

This chic coffee haven with industrial flooring and cool artwork on the walls is located at the end of Rankins Lane in a pretty cul-de-sac.

Famous for their matcha lattes (which comes with cute animal art if you ask the baristas), cold drip and a daily batch brew are also available.

Almost as famous as their coffees are the bagels which are pretty damn tasty.

8 Rankins Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000



Degraves Espresso Bar

Image Source: Flickr

With some fierce competition along this city-centre laneway, running between Finders Street and Flinders Lane, this cool and old-school European-style cafe serves up some seriously smooth coffee.

Famous for their big breakfast this place is made for guests to linger with their morning papers whilst enjoying their eggs and toasts.

23 Degraves St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia



The little Mule

Image Source: Pinterest


This trendy and minimalist cafe offers single-origin pour-over, drip and filter coffees.

It’s not just the caffeine juice flowing in here, the mobile charging pods will bring new battery juice to your iPhone and coupled with the free Wi-Fi, this is the perfect place to get work done.

19 Somerset Pl, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia




Hardware Société

Image Source: Hide & Seek

A popular brunch spot among the Melbournians this might be one of the most Instagrammed coffee spots in the city.

The coffee here is renowned for being one of the city’s best with beans from Brunswick East’s Padre being used.

If you can only have one thing from the menu to go with your coffee – make sure it’s the Spanish eggs.

120 Hardware Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia



Julia Gralberg

Julia Gralberg is a freelance travel writer, editor of Hotel & Resort Guide, Lux Nomade and founder of Boutique Communications Consultancy, Lux Collective. When she isn’t busy jumping in hotel beds and eating her way through breakfast buffets you’ll find her on her yoga mat.