You’ve made a connection with a match and you’re ready to meet in person, but now comes the hard part – deciding what to do for your first date. Thankfully as a Melburnian, you have an obvious solution: brunch.
Brunch may not have been invented in Melbourne, but it’s definitely a Melbourne thing. And with less pressure than a traditional dinner date, it’s the perfect first date meal. However, with the city full of brunch places, it can be hard to know what are truly the best brunch places Melbourne has to offer. To help you ace the all-important first meeting (and leave your stomach as satisfied as your heart) we’ve compiled a list of the best cafes in Melbourne and even given you hints on scenarios we think they’re especially appropriate for. Bon appétit!
1. Good for city dwellers: Captains of Industry
Tucked away within the CBD, Captains of Industry is a hidden gem that allows you to escape the bustle of the city and enjoy some delicious food and coffee. The perfect spot for a weekday breakfast meetup, or a more leisurely weekend brunch date, it’s the ideal date spot for those who work or live centrally.
Not only can you rely on Captains of Industry for a great meal, but this quirky, industrial eatery also has plenty of other bits and pieces that might pique your interest, including an in-house barber, jeweller and bootmaker.
2. Good for herbivores: Monk Bodhi Dharma
If you or your date prefer leafy greens over meat, Monk Bodhi Dharma has got you covered. Don’t be fooled by its unassuming exterior; inside, stylish exposed brick walls, chic wooden furnishings and delicious food await.
Monk Bodhi Dharma prides itself on providing “sustainable and healing food”, offering tasty (and beautiful) vegetarian, vegan and raw fare. Meanwhile, for those looking for some of the best coffee in Melbourne, the cafe also doubles as a micro-roastery, selling seasonal coffees sure to impress even the most discerning coffee lover.
Read more: 10 romantic things to do in Melbourne
3. Good for being spoiled for choice: Bowery to Williamsburg
Worried that a small menu might be too restrictive? Head to Bowery to Williamsburg. An homage to NYC’s Bowery subway station, the cafe is known for its extensive menu of American diner-inspired chow, though fair warning – making a choice will be difficult!
With its upbeat staff and warm atmosphere, Bowery to Williamsburg will get any first date off to a great start. However, if the idea of a stranger overhearing your date at the large communal table sends you into a mild panic, be sure to wrangle one of their cosier, smaller tables instead
4. Good for adventurous eaters: Miss Jackson
Looking to sideline your usual brekkie order and give your palate a real taste sensation? Miss Jackson is the place to do it. With its innovative and creative kitchen, this cafe will serve you up a seriously sophisticated brunch using some surprising ingredients.
Located in St Kilda, Miss Jackson is just a 10-minute walk from the Catani Gardens and St Kilda pier, so if the weather cooperates why not finish your date with a takeaway coffee and a seaside stroll.
5. Good for friendly atmosphere: Seddon Deadly Sins
A brunch institution long before brunch was Melbourne’s main industry, Seddon Deadly Sins is a well-loved Seddon fixture and has earned a dedicated fan base over the years.
Food-wise this brunch spot boasts an all-day breakfast sure to satisfy, and its cosy size means you won’t feel forgotten in the rush whether you’re sitting inside or out. On top of a delicious meal, Seddon Deadly Sins’ friendly staff will make your experience unforgettable – the ideal scenario when you want the perfect first date.
6. Good for chilled vibes: Kanteen
If you’re after a relaxed first date that’s slightly removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, Kanteen is a good bet. Situated on the Yarra River Reserve opposite Herring Island, this brunch place offers plenty of outdoor seating out the front of its cool, unassuming building.
While Kanteen is a worthy destination in itself, it also makes for a great stop if your date involves a walk or bike along the Yarra trail. Catering to plenty of passersby, the staff are chatty and knowledgeable, the food is a winner and the setting can’t be beat.
Read more: Top dates ideas: Melbourne
7. Good for something different: Babajan
If you’re looking for brunch with a more international flavour, Babajan’s delicious Turkish and Middle Eastern dishes will definitely do the trick. Based in Carlton, this brunch place is a great choice if you want to suggest a brunch date that’s different from the rest.
The conversation has no chance of stalling when you’re busy discussing the merits of ordering Menemen over a crab and halloumi omelette. And with bottomless Turkish tea on offer, you and your date can stay and chat through to dinner service.
8. Good for conversation: Darling St Espresso
Found in Moonee Ponds, Darling St Espresso is a hidden suburban secret boasting a bold menu made with local ingredients. Located inside a renovated corner store, the cafe is incredibly charming with seating spilling out into its beautiful courtyard garden (four-legged friends welcome!).
With a seasonal all-day breakfast menu catering to all diets, you and your date will have no trouble finding something to eat, though the choice may be hard! And in case you want to build anticipation leading up to your date, why not send your match some of the pictures from Darling St Espresso’s amazing Instagram account – absolutely mouthwatering!