Coffee is (arguably) the best in Melbourne

GSN continues a caffeine-fueled affair with Australia’s best baristas

Coffee is (arguably) the best in Melbourne
23 November 2012

The Australian city of Melbourne, holds a special place in my heart.

The capital of the south eastern state of Victoria, the people of Melbourne have always prided themselves on being a little bit more cultured, a little bit more cosmopolitan than the brasher Sydney-siders.

There is definitely an under-stated charm and quiet confidence about this city, but also a surprising diversity and an ability to adopt and adapt the very best that the world has to offer.

I always think of Melbourne as a city to experience, rather than a city where you need to go and see things. Here’s a quick guide to a few things to experience while you’re there.


If you’re into food then Melbourne’s thriving cafe and restaurant scene is a joy.

  • The Vietnamese restaurants of Victoria Street in Richmond offer fresh and tasty food at reasonable prices.
  • The Italian restaurants of Lygon Street in Carlton will satisfy any craving for pizza and pasta.
  • Beachside St Kilda as well as inner city Fitzroy and Collingwood offer an enormous selection of cafes and casual eating options.

I was in town for a birthday dinner and we dined at Huxtable in Collingwood’s Smith Street. A big table of family and friends we tucked into sharing plates of prawn and eggplant fritters; quail and green mango; tuna tartare with yuzu custard; while drinking Great Western’s Jamsheed ‘Garden Gully’ Syrah. Across the road is their newest offering Huxtaburger which everyone in Melbourne is excited about – no bookings and the queues are long which is always a good sign.

Other options that show Melbourne at its best include :


Often attributed to the early influence of Italian migrants, Melbourne does good coffee. What sets Melbourne apart in the world of caffeine is that good coffee is the norm – it’s a surprise and shock if you’re unfortunate to find somewhere that doesn’t serve good coffee, whereas in so many other cities around the world the reverse is true.

One of my favorites on this visit was Cafe Rosamond in Charles Street, Collingwood. A small neighborhood joint serving up excellent coffee and stand-out breakfast and brunch options. Clearly loved by locals, the atmosphere was relaxed and casual – it was difficult to tell who was working there and who was just calling in for a chat and a coffee.

Other quality coffee options in Melbourne include :


When I was growing up in Australia I had the distinct impression that Melbourne was the only city in the world with a working tram network as part of its public transport system. Having travelled a bit more in recent years, that’s clearly not the case.

Despite their lack of uniqueness, Melburnians are very proud of their trams and they do define the pace and rhythm of the city as they gently whir along their tracks, gently dinging their bells.

When to go

I was visiting in November and the weather was warm and sunny – perfect for the outdoor living that Australia does best. However the weather here can be extreme, with cold winters and intensely hot and dry summers.
Some highlights worth considering when planning your visit include :

Places to Stay

I’m just going to have one more cafe latte before I leave… 

Read more from Gareth Johnson



No thumbnail available

Major UKIP donor: Gay people are incapable of love

Greek business tycoon believes there is no such thing as rape in marriage, women should be banned from wearing anything other than skirts, and black slaves had an easier time than when they were in Africa
No thumbnail available

Four Iranian men due to be hanged for sodomy

Iran court sentence four men from the town of Choram, in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province, to death by hanging for sodomy.
No thumbnail available

Next pope should allow priests and gays to marry, say American voters

Over half of American Catholics surveyed say the next pope should move the Church in a new direction
No thumbnail available

Liz Kendall: We have a duty to push LGBTI equality worldwide

British Labour leadership hopeful Liz Kendall MP writes that she will take the LGBTI message global as she welcomes Irish same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Lesbian minister shows her new baby

Australian finance minister Penny Wong is proud mum of Alexandra
No thumbnail available

Strictly judge reveals which X Factor star he hopes to see in a same-sex pair

But Craig Revel Horwood doubts the BBC show will cast a same-sex dancing couple this time
No thumbnail available

Nearly two-thirds of Kiwis support same-sex marriage

Poll shows building momentum of support for gay marriage in New Zealand
No thumbnail available

Straight footballer Joey Barton tells millions of Twitter followers to 'join the rainbow laces movement!'

Homophobia in football is getting a 'kick up the arse' as professional footballers strap on rainbow shoe laces in support of openly gay athletes
No thumbnail available

Jamal Lyon comes out as gay in a song on Empire - to horror of homophobe dad

Breakout hip hop drama earns its best ratings to date for episode
No thumbnail available

Tom Joyner’s anti-gay message to black community

The leading African American DJ and how he dismissed gay, black NBA star Jason Collins which reporting a totally separate black issue – a rape by three athletes