Lying a convenient 10 kms east of Melbourne’s CBD and with great public transport links, Camberwell is a thriving suburb.
Apart from the busy shopping strip that runs up Burke Road, the area has plenty more going for it. On Camberwell Road there’s the Village Cinemas Rivoli with its lovely Art Deco architecture. Meanwhile, just a couple of blocks over on Riversdale Road there’s the Camberwell Fresh Food Market. In between these two lies the Camberwell Sunday Market, packed with stalls selling collectibles and retro pieces.
With so much going on, it’s no surprise that Camberwell also has a lively cafe scene.
So come with us as we guide you through some of the best cafes in Camberwell its neighbouring suburbs.
Location: 347 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3142 Ph: (03) 9041 1796
We’re kicking off are take on the top cafes in Camberwell with one that’s been busy since the day it first opened – Legacy Camberwell.
Now Camberwell isn’t necessarily the hippest of places to live, but Legacy heralded the first of a new wave of cafes, bars and eating spots.
The decor is loft apartment meets Scandinavian vibes with warm, biscuity terracotta tiles and plenty of golden hued wood fixtures.
And the menu? Well, it’s a considered mix of tweaked favourites and a few more daring additions. There are colourful, healthy options like their Acai Bowl. At Legacy Camberwell the base is Banana and Acai Puree. Then there’s Coconut Yoghurt, toasty Honey Butter Oats, Coconut Flakes, Peanut Butter, Strawberries and a scattering of Chia Seeds. It’s one of the best vegan breakfasts around.
Similarly, their version of Chilli Scrambled Eggs and their Avo’ Smash are both excellent. However, my go-to is their drool-worthy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Bao. Yes, it’s messy to eat. But hey. That’s half the fun. The chicken is gnarly on the outside and juicy in the centre – just as it should be. And the Sriracha Mayo slaps, but doesn’t overpower.
Another definite winner is the Legacy Camberwell Sushi Bowl. Brimming with Salmon Tataki, Avo, Watermelon Radish, Edamame, Pickled Ginger, Wasabi Mayo, Fried Egg, Soy and more – all on soothing Sushi Rice – it’s a healthy treat at lunchtime.
Finally, the coffee is a good as you’d expect. After all, we may be in the ‘burbs, but we’re still in Melbourne.
Make sure you check out Legacy Camberwell if you’re looking for the best cafes in Camberwell.
If the Japanese-inspired Sushi Bowl at Legacy sounds appealing, see our article on the Best Japanese Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: 500 Tooronga Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC 3121 Ph: (03) 9882 7549
Next up, we are sliding into Hawthorn East for the much-loved coffee house – Shanklin Cafe. And just so you know, these folks claim they are the highest rated cafe in Melbourne. Seriously!
This total gem of a cafe is situated away from the chaos of Camberwell on a fairly suburban street. The exterior has inner-city charm and speaks of the buildings heritage. Inside, it’s sharp with exposed brickwork and a funky vibe.
So what about the menu? Where to start?!
Portobello Mushroom might not sound all that exciting. But at Shanklin Cafe that’s Panko Crumbed Portobellos with Mixed Spice, Wilted Spinach, Chargrilled Red Pepper, Romesco Sauce & Halloumi. All topped with Eggs & Chilli Oil. And do you want to hear something amazing? You can have this served as a Burger along with a side of Chips.
Personally, I can’t get enough of the Beirut Breakfast. It’s a feast of Poached Eggs on Turkish Bread, Spicy Sujuk, Bacon, Grilled Halloumi, Buttered Thyme Mushroom, Tomato & Rocket Pecorino Salad. For a filling, delicious brunch, it’s hard to beat.
At Shanklin cafe, even the drinks are next level. Yes, the Coffee is divine. However, as the clip above shows, if you love a Velvet Beetroot Latte, this is the place to come.
Is it the best cafe in Melbourne? We’ll continue doing our research and get back to you! That said, this is undoubtedly one of the best cafes in Camberwell.
Location: 200 Through Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: (03) 9078 5351
Slightly austere on the outside, bright and welcoming once inside, Miss Frank is a great spot to try for coffee or more.
Food-wise the menu divides into Breakfast, Sweet, Brunch, Sides and Kids. In reality, everything is available all day, so the headings are more an indication the type of dish, rather than when you can order it. What’s more, there’s an attractive Display cabinet too with delights such as freshly made Sandwiches and Cakes.
Top dishes include the savoury charms of the Waffle Benny ($22). Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork & Poached Eggs atop a Deep Fried Cheddar Jalapeno Waffle, draped in Chipotle Hollandaise. For the Sweet-inclined, the Chocolate Hotcakes ($21) are a must. These beauties comes with Cacao Nib + Espresso Whipped Butter, White Chocolate Granache, Strawberries & Banana Chips and Chocolate Sauce.
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One of the more interesting options is the Mushroom Congee ($19). This warming Asian-style porridge of Brown Rice & Mushroom with Poached Egg, Pickled Ginger, Black Sesame & Fried Shallot is a great winter dish. In particular, it’s always good to see something a little different that it suitable for vegetarians.
At Miss Frank, the coffee is by Inglewood. Apart from that, one of the stars of the drinks menu is sunshine-hued Mango, Turmeric & Honey ($11) Smoothie. Bolstered by Coconut Water, Cinnamon & Ginger, it’s refreshing and comforting at the same time.
Lastly, Miss Frank Cafe is actually a Providore as well. Although it carries only limited stock, this is the place to come if you’re short on Eggs or Almond Milk.
If you’re off to the sunshine of FNQ, see our piece on the Best Restaurants in Port Douglas
Location: 414-418 Burke Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: 0410 850 414
Question: What’s better than an excellent local cafe? Answer: An excellent local cafe that is also a fantastic bakery.
And that – in a nutshell – is The Bakers Wife.
This generously proportioned eatery has the ambience of a big, welcoming farmhouse kitchen, with hearty food to match.
Start the day with their ‘Eggsparagus’ ($23). It’s an irresistible combination of Poached Eggs, Hash Browns, Truffled Asparagus & Crispy Leek (plus Bacon for another $5.5). If you nip in around noon, then the Salmon Teriyaki Bowl ($26.5) is sure to quell those hunger pangs. This Japanese-inspired feast includes Salmon (of course), Soba Noodles, Sesame Spinach, Edamame, Avocado, Charred Baby Broccoli, Soy & Lime Cucumbers, Miso Mayo, Shredded Nori and more.
The food keeps coming all day and if you fancy a chilled glass of Rose around lunchtime, The Bakers Wife has that too.
Throw in great Coffee, Freshly Squeezed Juices, house-blended Smoothies and a handful of classic cocktails, and you can see why The Bakers Wife is loved by its loyal customers.
What’s more, their Pastries and Breads are superb. And if you find yourself in the neighbourhood and in need of a take away Sandwich, this is the place to come.
Whether you prefer a NY-style Reubens or a salmon stuffed Lox, see our post on the Best Bagels in Melbourne
Location: 101 Bowen St, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: 0427 800 018
Linger Patisserie Cafe has one of the most appealing locations of all the establishments in this guide.
Set on a leafy street off of Toorak Road, and bracketed by Bowen Gardens park on one side and the Camberwell South Anglican Church on the other, the cafe itself resides in a 100 year old church building. This gives Linger Cafe the best of both worlds. Sit outside on the deck and you’re in a green, calm, suburban oasis. Move indoors and you’re in a gloriously spacious room with high-vaulted ceilings and ornate glass windows.
But the position and architecture aren’t the only attractions.
Linger offers a 2-pronged food-focused attack.
Firstly, it is a thriving cafe serving a great Brunch Menu that runs all day. Current delights include Oh My Darling Corn ($21) – Corn Zucchini Fritters, Smashed Avocado, Dukka, Poached Egg, Chilli Jam & Herbs. You can trick them up with Smoked Salmon, Mushrooms, Bacon or Grilled Halloumi for a small additional cost. We’re also big on the Breaky Burger ($18) – Candy Bacon, Poach Egg, Smash Avo & Hash Brown on Milk Bun with Chipotle Mayo.
Secondly, there’s the Patisserie bit of the name. Unusually – though very luckily for the regulars at the Linger Patisserie Cafe – this venue also carries treats from the businesses successful bakery business. Approach the counter to pay for your breakfast and you’ll be tempted by a display cabinet of confectionary perfection. The team at Linger specialise in Asian-style cakes that play with mousse, jelly and exotic fruit combinations.
They even do their own version of the Instagram-adored Strawberry Watermelon Cake that is the signature of Black Star Pastry.
Yep. It’s definitely worth checking out Linger Cafe for a coffee or more. Just don’t be surprised if you leave with a cake or 2!
Melbourne has some wonderful Cake Shops and Cake Delivery services. Here are some of our favourites.
Location: 2A Glen Iris Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: (03) 9889 2327
In a suburb bursting with great cafes, it’s important to offer something a little more. And that more, at The Old Garage, is a plant-based alternative for every plate that comes out of the kitchen and a warm welcome for dogs and their hungry owners.
Set just off of Camberwell Road, next to the popular Running Postman Wine Bar, there’s a quaint, charm to the eatery’s rustic red brick fascade. A smart, white picket fence protects the outdoor tables from passing vehicles and beach-bright sun umbrellas shade diners on a sunny day. If you don’t have time to stop – and really, you should! – there’s a take away window facing onto the street there you can grab a coffee, pastry or more.
Stay for a meal and you’ll find the interior of this cosy cafe, both attractive and welcoming with ruddy exposed brickwork, comfy banquettes and plenty of soothing greenery.
But what to order? Well, for Breakfast, we find the Kanefi Bircher Muesli ($18.5) really hits the spot. This filling bowl features House Made Bircher Muesli & Butter Biscuit Crumble with Labne, Poached Pear, Crushed Pistachio and Atar. If you prefer something less sweet, then the Corn Cauliflower & Halloumi Fritters ($24) topped with Pico de Gallo are light and incredibly easy to eat.
Should you arrive at The Old Garage for Lunch, you’ll find Salads, Burgers, Toasties, their Epic Mac And Cheese and more.
If you merely want a drink, we recommend the Meloncholy ($9) fresh juice. This is a thirst-quenching glass of Watermelon, Mint, Pineapple & Coconut Water. Bliss!
Are you a fan of an Acai Bowl? If you are, take a look at our review of Blitz Bar over in Malvern
Location: 1161 Toorak Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: (03) 9995 3815
Haiku cafe is a little slice of Tokyo in an unassuming row of shopfronts on Toorak Road.
Previously called Hibiki, the Japanese cafe has morphed into a mini food-related empire. The same team also run Haiku Future – which sells Japanese knives, groceries, ‘brew equipment’ and more – next door. What’s more, Haiku itself turns into Haiku Kuro – an izakaya Japanese restaurant on Thursday to Saturday nights.
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But let’s go back to Haiku Cafe.
Now, if Japanese fare is a bit too much for you first thing in the morning, no problem. At Haiku, you can start simply with Eggs Your Way ($13) on a range of Breads and then add a selection of regular Sides.
However, when in Tokyo – or at least Camberwell…It seems a shame to not dive into the more Japanese offerings. The Haiku Okonomiyaki ($21) is a must for anyone who loves this Cabbage, Dashi, Spring Onion, plus pancake from Hiroshima. Served with Poached Egg, you can also supplement with Smoked Salmon, Bacon or even Confit Octopus, for an extra charge.
Melbourne is a town blessed with many a take on the Middle Eastern Shakshuka, but as far as we know, only Haiku do a Miso version ($23). Complete with Winter Veg, Silken Tofu, Fried Artichoke and Shokupan, it’s really works as an Asian twist on a classic dish.
Talking of Shokupan, the soft, fluffy and highly addictive, Japanese Milk Bread really stars in an array of all-day Jaffles. The Haiku Tuna Corn ($15) is a fun play on a well-known American sandwich, but our favourite is the Vietnamese Chicken Banh Mi ($17). This cheeky Asian Fusion sanga takes Five Spiced Teriyaki Chicken, Mushroom Pate, Spring Onion, Viet Pickles, Hoisin Kewpie & Fried Shallot and traps it inside 2 slices of toasty Shokupan. In our opinion, it’s one of the best toasties in town!
In addition to the stellar food menu, the Drinks List is also pretty interesting. From the House Special Hoji Chai Latte ($5.8) to the Lychee N Berries Smoothie ($10) and Murasaki Purple ($8.5) Fresh Juice blend. Haiku Camberwell even has a playful trio of Highballus available, if you fancy cocktail. We find the Oolong Hakuto ($19) – Suntory Haku Vodka, Peach Oolong & Soda – especially refreshing.
With all this and more, it’s no surprise that at weekends, you’ll often see a queue of people waiting to get into Haiku. After all, it’s one of the most original, and best, cafes in Camberwell.
Talking of great casual Japanese food, just up the road you’ll find LiHO Shokudo. Read our review here.
Location: 122 Highfield Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Ph: (03) 9836 6985
If you’ve yet to sample the great coffee and elevated brunches at Dish & Spoon then I’m sorry, but you’ve been missing out.
A long-time favourite with those in the know who live around around Highfield Park Camberwell, the cafe has recently been renovated to expand into the corner shop next door. Really, it’s no surprise, as this place is always busy. And rightly so.
The vibe is chilled and welcoming. Inside, the decor is clean and light, with a feature exposed brick wall dividing the old and new spaces. On a sunny day, there’s a sheltered courtyard out the back for those wishing to sip their Latte al fresco.
The menu has a number of creative set dishes and an impressive ‘build your own breakfast’ option.
And when we say creative, we mean it.
How does Smoked & Strawberry Kissed Ora King Salmon ($30) sound? This materialises as a luscious hunk of rose pink Salmon atop a Salmon & Celeriac Potato Hash which itself is on a Celeriac Puree. In addition, there’s Spinach, a Poached Egg, a wee mound of Pea & caper Salsa and a brilliant Burnt Lemon Gel that gives everything an amazing citrus smack. It’s absolutely fantastic.
If you fancy a bit of sweet with your savoury, then the Breakfast Mezze ($24) might suit you better. This tasting plate of yumminess includes Turkish Delight Infused Strawberries, Orange Braised Rhubarb on Cereal Infused Custard, Avo Smash, Poached Egg and lots more. Meanwhile, if you want to go straight to lunch, there’s a range of Burgers, a Bucatini Pasta and even a version of a Lobster Roll to tempt you.
Throw in excellent Coffee and Tea, a range of Smoothies and Milkshakes and even a Cocktail or 2 – should you feel inclined – and you can see why booking a table is advisable as the Dish & Spoon Cafe!
And if a Breakfast Mezze sounds like your kind of breakfast, see our piece on the Best Middle Eastern Food and Restaurants in Melbourne
Location: 387 Camberwell Rd, Camberwell, VIC 3124 Also at 418 Bridge Rd, Richmond, VIC 3121 & 7 Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin, VIC 3189
Drive by too fast and you might miss it – though the pale pink and sage green paint-job is pretty distinctive. That said, the Camberwell home of Penny for Pound is dinky.
But if you wander by, the incredible aromas wafting out of the doors are sure to drag you inside.
Pastries are the go here. Yes, you can get a very pleasing sandwich. We are especially partial to the Salami & Mortadella ($14) – a slab of Rosemary Focaccia stuffed with Salami, Mortadella, Ham, Red Peppers, Provolone & Romesco Sauce. And the Mango & Coconut Chia Cup ($9) with its layers of Chia Seeds, Coconut Yoghurt, Mango, Berries and Maple Syrup is a lovely way to start the day.
But seriously, it’s all about the baked goods.
The croissant is king here. From the frangipani warmth of the Twice-Baked Almond Croissant ($7) to the exemplary Pain au Chocolat ($6.5) and deeply satisfying Prosciutto & Gruyere ($9). Smartly, the team like to keep customers guessing with Monthly Specials. Currently there are tempting creations such as a Hot Chocolate Cruffin ($8) and the truly awesome Kimchi & Cheddar Croissant ($9) – amongst others.
Coffee is by Axil Coffee Roasters, leaves by Tea By Tea Drop and there’s a range of Iced and Bottled Drinks.
Seating is limited at Penny for Pond Camberwell. There are a few tables and chairs, but many of the patrons either order online for pick up or simply grab and go.
If you wish to sit, order big, and relax, then the Penny for Pound in Moorabbin is a much larger establishment and offers a full Dine In Menu.
But we like the tiny little Penny For Pound bakery in Camberwell just as it is.
Location: 132 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn East, VIC 3123 Ph: (03) 9882 0181
When Light Years Cafe first opened a few years back, there was a big buzz about its ‘pixelated avocado’. These days, whilst the geometrically-cut avo is gone, the eatery still serves slick dishes in its strikingly modern dining space. Here, architectural halo lights illuminate a lofty industrial-chic dining space where textures of stone, concrete, metal and wood add interest and organic warmth.
The All Day Menu carries plenty of local favourites, but invariably given a new spin by the kitchen.
So the Smashed Avocado Hummus Toast ($18) combines 2 of Melbourne’s great loves into one vegan-friendly breakfast. If you’ve a devotee of the current Chilli Scrambled Eggs ($23) craze, the version at Light Years Cafe adds interest – and colour – with Smoked Beetroot, Roasted Salsa Roja & Coriander Aioli. Meanwhile, the Pork Belly Eggs Benedict ($23) is re-imagined as a rich plate of Poached Eggs, Slow-Cooked Pork Belly, Apple, Spinach, Homemade BBQ Sauce and Maple Hollandaise. All on an English Muffin.
The Light Years Cafe serves good Coffee – well, this is Melbourne, after all – and Organic Artisan Teas. There is also a range of Milkshakes, Juices, Bottled Drinks and Smoothies. And if you feel like making the most of your mid-morning refuel, the staff will even whip you up a Cocktail or 2.
Finally, despite it’s impressive size once you get inside, Light Years can be hard to spot from the road due to the small sign. But persevere. The food is worth seeking this place out.
For yummy food in a lovely sunny rear courtyard, try Joe Frank cafe over in Ashburton
Editor’s Note: We are currently in the process of updating this page. Please come back and check on our latest posts for more recommendations