Fathom Favorites : Melbourne Bars + Cafes

1. Builders Arms Hotel

Builders Arms Hotel

A local favorite, the old pub has been recently revamped and serves quality snacks with cold, crisp drafts. For something more substantial, the Moon Under Water dining room serves a changing four-course prix fixe.

211 Gertrude St.

2. Bar Liberty

Bar Liberty

Small and cozy with an unassuming storefront (they left the former tenant’s sign and spray painted “Liberty” over it, but with a fabulous wine list and snacks menu with equally great descriptions. Start with something from the bubbles section, and the tender will wheel over a bar cart in the shape of a globe to reveal your options. Go with something local every time and you won’t be disappointed. On nice nights, especially at aperitif hour, the cute backyard will satiate your thirst for a summery ambiance.

234 Johnston St.
(No Phone)

3. Addict Food + Coffee

Addict Food + Coffee

Japanese-inflected breakfast buns (kimchi scrambled eggs!) in a cheery corner spot with picnic tables in the adjacent laneway for lazing and grazing with friends or the paper. Coffees are on-point, of course, but so are delightful twists on things like morning muesli (raspberry foam, quinoa crisps).

240-242 Johnston St.

4. Lune Croissant

Lune Croissant

Somewhat hidden (on a residential street with only the slightest inkling of a sign), but you’ll smell the place from a mile away. You’ll see the lines too, and you’ll want to make the trek early or miss out on flaky half moons of buttery perfection.

119 Rose St.

5. Piccolina


A beautifully unfinished brick and tile space is the perfect backdrop for wildly delicious gelato. Flavors are inventive but not over the top — coffee with crumb cake, pandan, peanut butter swirl — and served the correct Italian way, not scooped, but worked up onto a spatula and slathered onto a cone like a sculpture coming to life.

296 Smith St.

6. Hopetoun Tea Room

Hopetoun Tea Room

Named after a former governor’s wife, there’s an air of old-world ladies-who-lunch, a high tea happening with pinwheels, dainty sandwiches, truffles, scones, and fruit tarts.

Block Arcade, 282 Collins St.