Style Guide to Café Hopping Around Melbourne like a Local

Enjoy a delightful breakfast at Tall Timber | Photography Charissa Leong
Enjoy a delightful breakfast at Tall Timber | Photography Charissa Leong

October is Springtime in Melbourne, and nature is starting to awaken from its winter’s slumber.

The floral scent of flowers and woody notes of eucalyptus leaves waft through the air and perfume the city. Delightfully infused into these calming smells is that irresistible hint of toffee-like coffee and freshly made toast. It is absolutely glorious to stroll down the streets of Melbourne and discover the great cafes littered around the city like hidden gems.

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Expert coffee art at Manchester Press | Photography Charissa Leong

Imagine yourself sitting at a quaint corner table in a trendy cafe, sipping on a cold brew special and having the smashed avos, while the trams go through. Yes! There really is a cosy cafe at a tram stop! Or one within the walls of one of the city cathedrals. Wouldn’t you want to be there like a local, dressed smartly and feeling like you’re gleefully immersed in the culture?

“I love coming home to Melbourne. The first thing I do is have a coffee. It’s just so much better here than anywhere else. It’s better than in Italy and I travel a lot. I crave it.”

– Curtis Stone

Now, there are travel essentials that you should never forget, things like the right travel adapter, electrical chargers, the right currency and, of course, your passport. But, what fun would it be to go through a checklist of standards? Let’s talk about exploring Melbourne and its treasures like a local!

So here we go!

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Waffles to start the day right at The Petty Officer | Photography Charissa Leong

First of all, Melburnians are a pretty fashionable bunch when the weather is cooler. Walking through the cobbled streets, you’ll see darker tones and sleek layering that invoke a Parisian vibe to this very European-like city. So you’re going to need versatile clothing that is both stylish and practical for travel. Start with timeless basics that are great for staying comfortable throughout a typical Melbourne day of ever-changing temperatures.

Insider tip: Many cafes have charming courtyards hidden behind. If the weather is gorgeous, ask to be seated there and enjoy the sunshine with your coffee!

The HEATTECH Extra Warm Turtle Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt and HEATTECH Scoop Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt (both available at Uniqlo)
The HEATTECH Extra Warm Turtle Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt and HEATTECH Scoop Neck Long Sleeve T-Shirt (both available at Uniqlo – Causeway Point and Waterway Point)

The extra warm turtle neck is 1.5 times warmer than the regular HEATTECH shirts. Both feature argan oil moisturizer for an extra supple feel. So get nice and toasty with a cup of joe in the hand!

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The Patterned Tube Scarf (available at H&M – Waterway Point)

Airy and made of wool, this is another classic staple that helps you get through Melbourne’s daily range of temperatures.

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Cotton On Astrid Cami White (available at Cotton On – Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Northpoint, Waterway Point)

 

Pascale Print Scarf in Floral White (available at Cotton On)
Pascale Print Scarf in Floral White (available at Cotton On – Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Northpoint, Waterway Point)
The Hudson Trackie (available at Factorie, Causeway Point)
The Hudson Trackie (available at Factorie – Causeway Point and Waterway Point)

Perfect for flights and long journeys with its soft and snug material.

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M. Maison Reversible Shirts in Blue and Tropical Print (available at Metro – The Centrepoint and Causeway Point)

Packing light? These reversible shirts are specially designed for you to create two distinct looks with just one shirt.

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The classic cafe latte in the calm morning light | Photography Charissa Leong

Take a seat in front of the shop window and watch life in Melbourne go by with a sandwich freshly-made in a compact little kitchen at New Day Rising | Photography Charissa Leong
Take a seat in front of the shop window and watch life in Melbourne go by with a sandwich freshly-made in a compact little kitchen at New Day Rising | Photography Charissa Leong

Clinique 3-Step Intro and Travel Kit (available from Metro)
Clinique 3-Step Intro and Travel Kit (available from Metro – The Centrepoint and Causeway Point)

Cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise. It only takes 3 minutes in the morning and night to achieve clear, radiant skin. Clinique has come up with a travel-friendly kit that’s gentle on the skin. It features a liquid facial soap (50ml), a clarifying lotion 2 Twice-a-day Exfoliator (100ml) and a Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+ (30ml).

Head to cafes like Admiral Cheng-Ho for aromatic coffee beans sourced from all over the world | Photography Charissa Leong
Head to cafes like Admiral Cheng-Ho for aromatic coffee beans sourced from all over the world | Photography Charissa Leong

Sit at the prettily tiled brew bar at Two Little Pigs for a different kind of shot | Photography Charissa Leong
Sit at the prettily tiled brew bar at Two Little Pigs for a different kind of shot | Photography Charissa Leong

The alleyways in Melbourne are famously iconic, so having a camera with you as you tour the city is practically a must!

Insider tip: Know your coffee. Melbourne offers a vast array of freshly brewed coffee, with some options rotating daily. Don’t be too shy to ask your friendly barista for a little advice; they’re more than happy to share their love of the brew. Otherwise, you can try some staples like a short or long black (black coffees), or a flat white, a macchiato, as well as the popular latte and cappuccino (milk coffees). There are also sweet and delicate filter and French press brews to sample!

Playful cameras, cool Ray Bans, and freshly spiced chai lattes and you’re all set in the hipster’s playground! Check out helpful camera stores like Click! and Max Photo at The Centrepoint for the perfect camera for your trip! | Photography Charissa Leong
Playful cameras, cool Ray Bans, and freshly spiced chai lattes and you’re all set in the hipster’s playground! Check out helpful camera stores like Click! and Max Photo at The Centrepoint for the perfect camera for your trip! | Photography Charissa Leong

<em>Kirsten Sunnie in Light Tort (available at Cotton On)</em>
Kirsten Sunnie in Light Tort (available at Cotton On – Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Northpoint and Waterway Point)

Kingsley Fedora in Off White (available at Cotton On)
Kingsley Fedora in Off White (available at Cotton On – Causeway Point, Changi City Point, Northpoint and Waterway Point)

Look incredibly chic in your hip, new threads when you’re at the breakfast table at Hawk & Hunter | Photography Charissa Leong
Look incredibly chic in your hip, new threads when you’re at the breakfast table at Hawk & Hunter | Photography Charissa Leong

Crispy soft shell crab burgers and fluffy hotcakes with berries on top at Top Paddock | Photography Charissa Leong
Crispy soft shell crab burgers and fluffy hotcakes with berries on top at Top Paddock | Photography Charissa Leong

Wouldn’t it be dreamy and a little fanciful to imagine yourself typing out a novel in one of these charming cafes? Well, all you need is a smart laptop bag and your resolve!

Insider tip: Most cafes in Melbourne serve breakfast all day, but they usually close at around 3 or 4pm. Make sure to check the opening hours, or go early to give yourself ample time to savour their delicious brunches and enjoy a day at a cosy cafe bench.

Besides all day brunch, most cafes (e.g. Code Black Coffee) also serve up some top-notch lunches! | Photography Charissa Leong
Besides all day brunch, most cafes (e.g. Code Black Coffee) also serve up some top-notch lunches! | Photography Charissa Leong

Sleek dark interiors and cool industrial fittings at Code Black Coffee | Photography Charissa Leong
Sleek dark interiors and cool industrial fittings at Code Black Coffee | Photography Charissa Leong

And of course, you’ll want to pack all these travel essentials into a stylish bag that’s befitting of all your trendy gear as you head to the hipster capital of the world!

Insider tip: Don’t fill up your bags with non-essentials (e.g. instant coffee, Asian snacks). Not only will it be more time-consuming going through customs at the airport, it will also take up valuable luggage space. Get your caffeine hit fresh every morning at one of the many great cafes dotted around the city. You can even bring home packs of their specialty beans. Melbourne also has a vibrant Chinatown and Asian community, with a plethora of Asian supermarkets and eateries. So you don’t have to ever worry about missing your favourite Asian delights!

The Renoma Duffle Bag (available at Metro, The Centrepoint and Causeway Point): Sleek and sophisticated for a trip spent lazing about sipping excellently-made coffee
The Renoma Duffle Bag (available at Metro – The Centrepoint and Causeway Point): Sleek and sophisticated for a trip spent lazing about sipping specially brewed coffee.

Kurt Woods Water Repellent Unisex Rain Hood (available at Metro, The Centrepoint and Causeway Point)
Kurt Woods Water Repellent Unisex Rain Hood (available at Metro – The Centrepoint and Causeway Point)

Get yourself this light-weight hoodie that fits over any top. Perfect for Melbourne’s unpredictably wet weather, it’s actually made of an advanced European fabric that repels water.

Photography Charissa Leong | Fresh flowers and cane sugar adorn many cafe tables like this one at The Breakfast Thieves
Fresh flowers and cane sugar adorn many cafe tables like this one at The Breakfast Thieves | Photography Charissa Leong

Photography Charissa Leong | After your meal, feel free to grab a scrumptious muffin to go at The St Kilda Dispensary and head to the beach!
After your meal, feel free to grab a scrumptious muffin to go at The St Kilda Dispensary and head to the beach! | Photography Charissa Leong

Cafe magic is real in Melbourne! Explore to your palate’s content! | Photography Charissa Leong
Cafe magic is real in Melbourne! Explore to your palate’s content! | Photography Charissa Leong

Where To Get Your Travel Essentials

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