Welcome to Carlton, the European-inspired haven where breakfast dreams come alive! Melbourne's vibrant neighbourhood, rich with history and diverse culinary traditions, is an irresistible destination for food lovers.
As you stroll down the iconic Lygon Street, be captivated by the delightful array of European style cafes run by our European born cousins and other post-war immigrants, each offering a unique take on the most important meal of the day. The air is filled with the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee and mouth-watering breakfast dishes that are sure to pique your curiosity.
Can't wait? Jump to our top spots below:
Imagine yourself sitting in a cosy nook or bustling hotspot, savouring a delicious meal amidst the charming atmosphere of Carlton. From the people to the flavours, this neighbourhood offers an unforgettable experience that you'll want to share with friends and family.
Don't wait any longer – join us on this culinary adventure through Carlton's breakfast scene. Grab your sunglasses, and let's explore the best breakfast spots together in this diverse and captivating neighbourhood.
How We Choose
With so many breakfast options in Carlton, finding the best spots to start your day can feel like a daunting task. You could spend hours searching for the perfect cafe, only to end up overwhelmed and hungry.
That's where we come in! As a team of culture enthusiasts, we've taken on the challenge of exploring Carlton's bustling breakfast scene for you. We've tasted, critiqued, and debated our way through countless dishes, savouring the best and learning from the rest.
Our curated list of the best breakfast spots in Carlton is the result of our tireless quest for quality and flavour. We've considered every aspect – from the ambiance and service to the food and presentation – to bring you an expertly crafted guide to the neighbourhood's must-visit establishments. With this list in hand, you'll be well-equipped to embark on your own Carlton breakfast adventure, confident in knowing you'll be dining at the best places in town.
Vertue Coffee Roasters
Tucked away in Raffa Pl, a hidden laneway in Carlton, Vertue Coffee Roasters is a treasure waiting to be discovered. This charming spot boasts a uniquely Australian ambiance, creating a delightful atmosphere for breakfast enthusiasts to indulge in. From their delicious apple bircher muesli to an array of creative dishes, Vertue Coffee Roasters offers a memorable experience that goes beyond just a meal.
Why We Love It
What sets Vertue Coffee Roasters apart is not only the quality of their ingredients but the thought and creativity behind each dish. We were particularly enamoured with their Inca Salad - a mouth-watering medley of organic quinoa, chickpea, battered cauliflower, cranberry, cashew cheese, shredded kale, baby carrot, pomegranate, capers, sun-dried tomato, smoked almond, and toasted pepita. Add a poached egg for a touch of richness, and you have a meal that truly delights the senses.
Why You Should Go
Vertue Coffee Roasters beckons you with its warm atmosphere, friendly staff, and an unforgettable culinary experience. The value for money is undeniable, and with each bite, you'll appreciate the passion and creativity that goes into their dishes. If you're in search of the perfect start to your day in Carlton, look no further – Vertue Coffee Roasters is a must-visit destination for breakfast lovers. Check out their website here.
Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters
Nestled on Berkeley St, Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters is a haven for coffee aficionados and foodies alike. This bustling establishment, imbued with a lively atmosphere, is well known for its fantastic Melbourne Coffee and an array of delectable dishes. Whether you're in search of a great coffee drink or a mouth-watering meal, Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters is sure to leave you impressed and craving more.
Why We Love It
It's hard not to be captivated by the culinary creations at Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters. One standout dish is their French toast with blueberries, lemon mascarpone, and maple syrup - a delightful blend of flavours that is both indulgent and refreshing. The attention to detail and the balance of textures and tastes will leave you wanting to savour every last bite.
Why You Should Go
Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters offers not only some of the best coffee in Melbourne but also an exceptional dining experience that shouldn't be missed. You'll be tempted by their Turkish baked eggs with garlic and lemon crème fraiche, spiced butter, parsley, and baguette - a dish that is as flavoursome as it is satisfying. This gem in Carlton is the perfect spot to enjoy a scrumptious meal, a fantastic cup of coffee, and soak in the lively atmosphere that makes it an unforgettable destination. Check out their website here.
Just a stone's throw away from the hustle and bustle of Carlton, you'll find Humble Rays on Bouverie St, a delightful gem among the many brunch spots and breakfast restaurants. This charming eatery offers a warm and welcoming ambiance, setting the perfect scene for a leisurely meal with friends or family.
Why We Love It
Humble Rays is a treasure trove of culinary delights, boasting a menu that is as diverse as it is mouth-watering. One dish that particularly captured our attention and taste buds was the ‘Scramble & Pancakes.' This delectable ensemble features pancakes, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, whipped feta, capers, and a refreshing herb salad – a truly harmonious blend of flavours and textures that will keep you coming back for more.
Why You Should Go
Humble Rays is more than just another eatery on the block; it's a lovely little spot that boasts a vast variety of brunch food items to suit every palate. Whether you're seeking a sweet treat or a savoury indulgence, this charming establishment has something for everyone. So, treat yourself to a fantastic meal at Humble Rays and discover for yourself why it's a must-visit destination in Carlton. Check out their website here.
Heartattack and Vine
Strolling down the iconic Lygon St, you'll stumble upon Heartattack and Vine, a cosy establishment that beautifully embodies the essence of European cafe culture. Drawing inspiration from the classic European neighbourhood bar/café, this inviting space is open day and night, ensuring that warmth, hospitality, friendliness, and quality always come first.
Why We Love It
Heartattack and Vine excels in delivering a genuine experience that transports you to the charming streets of Europe. Among the scrumptious dishes that stole our hearts, the Tortilla roll stands out. This heavenly creation features a Spanish omelette with caramelized onion and potato, all nestled in a toasted ciabatta roll and topped with tomato salsa, chopped parsley, and aioli. For just 12 dollars, it's a steal that's sure to delight your taste buds without breaking the bank.
Why You Should Go
Heartattack and Vine is the epitome of a warm and welcoming haven that never fails to deliver a memorable experience. Open at all hours, this delightful spot boasts a well-curated wine and cocktail list that perfectly complements its culinary offerings. So, whether you're looking to unwind with friends or indulge in a European-inspired culinary adventure, Heartattack and Vine is the place to be.
Tucked away on Cardigan St, just opposite The Lincoln, lies Woodside Green, a charming gem that instantly transports you to the bustling streets of London town. With its inviting atmosphere and delightful ambiance, this cafe captures the essence of a quintessential London establishment right in the heart of Carlton.
Why We Love It
Woodside Green truly shines in its ability to create mouth-watering dishes that keep patrons coming back for more. One particular favourite that we couldn't get enough of is the egg and bacon roll – a simple yet perfectly executed classic that leaves a lasting impression on your taste buds.
Why You Should Go
This little cafe has captured the hearts of locals for its friendly service, quality food, and aromatic coffee. When you visit Woodside Green, you'll not only enjoy a delicious meal but also get a taste of the vibrant community that makes Carlton such a special place. Don't miss the chance to experience this delightful spot for yourself – your senses will thank you.
Best Breakfast in Carlton For You
Embark on a culinary adventure through Carlton, a neighbourhood steeped in history and brimming with the energy of its diverse inhabitants. From the European cafe culture of Heartattack and Vine to the London-town vibe of Woodside Green, our handpicked selection of the best breakfast spots in Carlton promises to tantalize your taste buds and satisfy your wanderlust. Savour the decadent French toast at Seven Seeds Coffee Roasters, or indulge in the Inca Salad at Vertue Coffee Roasters – each establishment offers its own unique charm and unforgettable dishes. And for those seeking an exceptional cup of coffee, look no further than Market Lane, the local masters of their craft. Don't just take our word for it – venture out and experience the magic of Carlton's breakfast scene for yourself!
Hungry for more? Check out our other articles searching for the best breakfasts and brunch in Victoria!
Welcome to the FAQ section of our Carlton article, where we dive deeper into the secrets of this culturally rich and diverse neighbourhood. Whether you're a local or a traveller, there's always something new to discover in Carlton. Here, we'll address some of the most frequently asked questions about the area, shedding light on the hidden gems, rich history, and unique features that make Carlton truly special. So, grab a cup of coffee, and join us as we explore the fascinating world of Carlton – the knowledge you'll gain will make your next visit even more memorable and enjoyable.
What is Carlton famous for?
Carlton is famous for several things that contribute to its vibrant atmosphere and unique charm. Here are some key highlights:
Italian heritage: Carlton is well-known for its Italian influence, particularly in the Lygon Street precinct, which is often referred to as Melbourne's "Little Italy." The area is filled with Italian restaurants, gelato shops, and cafes, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.
University of Melbourne: Carlton is home to the University of Melbourne, one of Australia's leading universities. Established in 1853, the University attracts students from all over the world, giving the area a youthful and diverse atmosphere.
Victorian architecture: The neighbourhood boasts numerous beautiful examples of Victorian architecture, including the iconic Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, which are both UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Parks and gardens: Carlton is known for its green spaces, such as the aforementioned Carlton Gardens, as well as Princes Park and its surrounding parklands.
Cultural institutions: Carlton houses various cultural institutions, including the Melbourne Museum, the Victorian College of the Arts, and the Melbourne International Film Festival, which takes place annually in the area.
Food and dining scene: Apart from its Italian cuisine, Carlton has a diverse and thriving food scene, featuring an array of cafes, bakeries, restaurants, and bars offering a wide range of culinary experiences.
Overall, Carlton is famous for its rich history, diverse culture, delectable food, and picturesque surroundings, making it a beloved neighbourhood in Melbourne.
What is the Italian history of Carlton?
The Italian history of Carlton traces back to the early 20th century when Italian migrants began arriving in Melbourne, seeking better economic opportunities and a new life. Carlton, with its close proximity to the city centre, affordable housing, and job availability, became a natural choice for many Italian immigrants to settle down.
The Italian presence in Carlton grew significantly in the post-World War II era when a new wave of Italian migrants arrived in Australia. Many of them were skilled artisans, laborers, and small business owners who brought their expertise in various trades, such as tailoring, shoemaking, and food production. As a result, the neighbourhood experienced a boom in Italian-owned businesses that catered to the growing community.
Lygon Street, in particular, became the heart of Italian Carlton, transforming into a bustling hub of Italian culture, food, and lifestyle. The area became famous for its authentic Italian restaurants, cafes, and gelaterias, serving traditional dishes like pasta, pizza, and gelato, which soon became popular among Melburnians. The first espresso machines in Melbourne were introduced by Italian migrants, laying the foundation for the city's thriving coffee culture today.
In addition to the culinary contributions, Italian migrants played an essential role in shaping Carlton's social, cultural, and architectural landscape. They established various Italian clubs, associations, and churches that helped to maintain their traditions and foster a sense of community.
Today, the Italian history of Carlton is still evident in its vibrant and diverse streetscape. While the Italian population has decreased over the years due to gentrification and the emergence of other migrant communities, the neighbourhood remains an iconic symbol of Italian heritage in Melbourne, attracting locals and tourists alike to experience its unique charm and delectable cuisine.