Courtney Cunningham
August 10, 2023

Melbourne's Best Cafes: Top Social Media-Worthy Picks For Brunch

Discover three of Melbourne's top Instagrammable cafes. Explore photo-worthy mouth-watering delights and trendy vibes from these coffee and 

"Melbourne's cafe culture" text overlaid on latte art

We’ve all been in the situation of making plans to catch up with friends and then being faced with the question, ‘Where should we go?’ Melbourne is known for having some of the best cafes and a vibrant coffee culture, but it can be incredibly frustrating when you don’t know where to go and are constantly going to the same cafes over and over again.

One of the best ways to explore Melbourne’s café culture is through social media. You’re able to see the food photography, either by the café itself or by customers through UGC (user-generated content), as well as the menu and reviews. Nearly all cafes and restaurants have a social media presence these days — it’s needed to grow and for the business to be found — so take advantage of this to create your ‘to visit’ list all over the city.

In this post, we’ll go over three of Melbourne’s most Instagrammable cafes, as well as give you some tips to never get stuck on that pesky question again.

Our Top 3 Social Media-Worthy Melbourne Cafes

1. Ilza Japanese Café

An orange latte, orange matcha latte, peanut butter latter and strawberry matcha latte at Ilza. Credit: @ilzacafe.

First on our list is Ilza Japanese Café from husband and wife, Han Oh and Erin Kim.

This small and incredibly warm café mixes homely Japanese food with American flavours, such as the cheeseburger curry udon and the beef menchi sando. Other than being a foodie paradise, they also have some incredibly creative and experimental drinks, like a strawberry-matcha and a peanut butter and orange latte. Everything they serve is presented beautifully, making it, and its interior, one of the great Instagram cafés to visit in Melbourne.

A great way to see what it’s like is to check out their socials. The seamless feed of warm and dark tones makes it incredibly pleasant to browse through as you check out both the food and drinks they serve. They also have detailed photos of their interior, such as the penny-tiled wooden tables the owners refurbished themselves. They keep updated with their socials by posting every few days, posting stories, as well as regularly posting reels of their menu, interior and UGC. If you’re stuck on how to get to their Docklands location, the highlights under their bio also give you directions. If you visit, make sure to tag them and you might get your story posted here too.

Hours: 11:30am–2:30pm Mon/Tue/Wed, 11:30am–2:30pm and 5:30pm–8:30pm Fri/Sat/Sun

Location: 103/673 La Trobe Street, Docklands, 3008

Instagram: @ilzacafe

2. Operator25 Melbourne

Brunch and coffee options on offer at Operator25. Credit: @operator25cafe.

Coffee enthusiasts looking for an interesting Melbourne café should stop by Operator25. One of the best cafes in Melbourne, it’s located in a heritage-listed, original telephone exchange building. The interior is bright and open, with rustic brick and modern furniture, combining all the picturesque elements that industrial interior design has to offer.

It’s one of Melbourne’s top brunch venues for a reason. It combines food and speciality brews of coffee, with an all-day menu combining Asian flavours with Australian brunch favourites, while bringing a fine-dining flair to brunch. The café uses coffee beans from Code Black and award-winning, Cartel coffee, so you’re in for a caffeine treat.

Operator25’s Instagram showcases its ‘Instagrammable’ and colourful menu options, latte art, events it hosts and highlight bubbles with its menu. It also provides informational posts about changes to opening hours! It brings together its engaging audience with new customers in its user generated content, so you can see what other people have ordered, and they even post reels showing you how they make certain dishes and coffee.

Hours: 7am–4pm Mon/Tue/Wed/Thurs/Fri and 8am–4pm Sat/Sun

Location: 25 Wills Street, Melbourne, 3000

Instagram: @operator25cafe

Tip: On Google Maps, ‘star’ the locations of any cafes or restaurants you see on social media. This not only allows you to see reviews, the menu and photos of the location, but also means you can pull up Google Maps and go café hopping in Melbourne when you’re out and about. Make sure to create a new marker when you’ve visited the location or when you found somewhere you absolutely love. When you’re asked for recommendations or debating where to go for brunch, you then have a plethora of cafes at your fingertips!

3. Tori’s Melbourne

Ube basque cheesecake, classic carrot cake and genmaicha latte at Tori’s. Credit: @torismelb.

Another of the most ‘Instagrammable’ cafes in Melbourne, Tori’s combines coffee trends and delicious baked goods.

From the red-bricked cobblestone laneway, step inside this warm and cosy artisan bakery. Serving a variety of cakes and desserts, it’s a great way to escape from the bustling life in the city while still being amongst it. It’s a perfect place for brunch delights or a grandma-style afternoon tea. Just get there early to snap up one of their madeleines!

It’s also quite quiet inside, making it one of the best Melbourne cafes to work from or to read a book while enjoying the café ambience and coffee craftmanship. Ask them for their recommendations on their own coffee blends to suit your order, or grab a matcha, hojicha or tea if that’s your preference.

Its Instagram showcases its vintage interior of plush, comfy couches, wooden tables and rustic artwork, along with the wide selection of cakes and baked goods on offer. The posted photos and carousels show you the trendy and unique desserts and drinks inspired by Japanese and Korean culture. Their reels, though, are where they excel. They combine snapshots of their interior with the selection of goods on offer (and how they’re made), along with giving their audience the chance to get to know the staff. You can tell the staff and owners enjoy themselves by the fun and trendy skits they create, and along with the numerous highlights full of information, it’s a fantastic example of a café adding their own personality.

Hours: 10am–6pm

Location: 28 Niagara Lane, Melbourne, 3000

Instagram: @torismelb

Other Notable Mentions

Tarts Anon: @tartsanon

FUUMI FUUMI: @fuumifuumi

Major Mitchell Cafe: @majormitchell.carnegie

Penny for Pound: @pennyforpound

Lune Croissanterie: @lunecroissant

Mörk Chocolate: @morkchocolate

ADOZEN ADOZEN: @adozenadozen.mel

We hope you’ve enjoyed our virtual coffee tour through some Melbourne cafes that have a great aesthetic and cosy ambience.

As a parting tip, whether you’re a tourist or a local in a city, follow the social accounts of local foodies. For example, in Melbourne, @melbfoodalbum, @melbfoodieee, @melbfoodbaby, @melbbites and @timeouotmelbouorne on Instagram are some accounts that allow you to discover a range of new and trending cafes, restaurants and events across the city, not only in Melbourne’s CBD, and give you ideas of where to visit.

This article was written by Courtney Cunningham. Courtney is a freelance content writer, copywriter, photographer, fine artist, content producer, creative writer, baker, coffee addict and creator of things.