The 10 Best Brunches in Fitzroy in 2024 (By a Local!)

Welcome to Fitzroy: the neighbourhood with the best brunches in Melbourne.

Hi, I’m Lauren and I’ve spent the past decade of my life conducting an extremely thorough review into the art of brunch. It’s true: brunch is my favourite meal of the day and Melbourne my favourite city in which to eat it.

I’ve been fortunate to have now eaten my way across 100+ countries around the world — thanks to my career as a travel writer — but the one place I always returned to was Melbourne. Every single year, in fact. And whenever I was in town? I’d rock up in Fitzroy and spend the next month sampling its best brunches.

I’ve tried them all. But like, literally. I’ve genuinely been to every single cafe that currently exists in Fitzroy and sampled dozens of the brunches that are up for grabs on their menus.

How did I manage that? Well, I live in Melbourne now. And I’m not saying that I moved here — that I got residency for Australia — with the sole intention of spending my life eating beautiful brunches, but I’m also not not saying it.

This article is a guide to the best brunches in Fitzroy. It’s not an enormous list, because I’m not a business directory — and unlike other publications, I don’t want to just list every single place that offers a brunch in this neighbourhood. Instead, it’s a curated rundown of the actual best places. These are the spots that I’ve been to multiple times, that I’d queue for an hour to eat at, that I bring friends and family to, and that showcase that perfect blend of quality, creativity, and consistency.

And because I live in the inner north of the city, it’s a super-updated guide. If there’s a new cafe in town, I’ll be queueing up to support it on opening day, and if there’s a place that’s closed down, it’ll be off the list immediately. This article was last updated in June 2024.

Here, then, are the best brunches in Fitzroy.

Stagger Lee’s: My Favourite Brunch in Melbourne

This is quite possibly my favourite thing to eat in the entirety of Melbourne.

If you could only have brunch in one place in Fitzroy, it should be at Stagger Lee’s. This place, you guys. This place is absolutely phenomenal. In fact, if we’re real-life friends and you’ve come out to visit me in Australia, you already know this, because this is the spot I take everybody I know to.

It’s home to quite an eclectic menu and every single item on it is on a whole other level of excellence. My absolute favourite dish (I think I’ve had it half a dozen times now) is the anchovies, which is pictured above. Now, before you start recoiling at the idea of eating anchovies, let me tell you that these are unlike any anchovies you’ve ever had before. They’re fresh and pickled in vinegar (so they’re not at all like the dried, salty ones you get on pizzas); served on garlic toast, with sugo (a traditional, tomato-based Italian sauce), fried eggs, basil, and breadcrumbs.

But don’t just take it from me: every single friend who I’ve forced to try it has been like, oh damn, this is the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten. To which I’ve been like: I KNOW!

While I continually find myself returning to the anchovies, there are a handful of other dishes I’ve also tried and loved. In fact the only downside of Stagger Lee’s for me is that they retire and launch several dishes every couple of months, so some of my favourite options are now no longer available! I’ll share some examples of the type of concoctions they come up with:

Over the past year, the menu highlights for me have been the sweetcorn and jalapeno cornbread with chilli maple bacon — a beautiful balance of sweet and spicy. The beef brisket and grilled cheese sandwich was perfect for a lunchtime indulgence. And I loved the nectarines: toasted sourdough topped with balsamic roasted nectarines, pickled golden beets, toasted hazelnuts, burrata, and basil.

Needless to say, there’s always something interesting and inventive to try here.

As of June 2024, my current favourite limited-edition dish is the banana and blueberry French toast that’s topped with vanilla mascarpone, candied walnuts, and salted butterscotch. Oh, and I also love the Spanish baked eggs that they’re currently serving up: a pan filled with a spiced tomato sauce and then topped with chorizo from Casa Iberica (my favourite Spanish deli in Melbourne!), Manchego cheese, eggs, and green sauce. With some garlic toast to dip in the sauce, this dish is salty, sweet, spicy, and so deliciously indulgent.

Yes, in case you are wondering, I do visit Stagger Lee’s multiple times a month. In fact, I even went for my birthday brunch a couple of weeks ago!

The vast majority of menu here can be made gluten-free, and there are lots of vegetarian and vegan options, so it suits most dietary requirements.

There’s also plenty of both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can usually get yourself a spot, even at peak times.

Address: 276 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Opening times: 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. during the week, and 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the weekends.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the eggs on toast for $15, while most everything else is between $22 and $26. The anchovies I mentioned above are $26.

Link to menu: You can view an always-up-to-day menu on their website.

Elektra Himalayan Alchemy House: For the Food (and Chai) of Your Dreams

The life-changingly good fritters from Elektra: I can’t recommend these highly enough!

I’m obsessed with Elektra: a Himalayan restaurant on bustling Brunswick Street that’s home to some truly interesting dishes.

My go-to on their menu is the incredible Gurkhali fritters, which are pictured above. If you opt for it, you’ll be served deep-fried eggplant and zucchini fritters topped with baked carrot chips, smashed avocado, pomegranate seeds, spring onions, pickled vegetables and a garlic-coconut-yoghurt-hummus blend, it’s so good. Like, seriously good. Like, my second-favourite-brunch-option-in-Melbourne good.

Honestly, they hit it out of the park with all of the meals they offer. I’m a big fan of their Everest Benedict, too, which consists of grilled chicken, crispy bacon, poached eggs, spinach, and a Sriracha hollandaise, all served on a particularly unusual rice crepe. That one’s pictured below, along with their smashed avo, which is yet another favourite of mine.

The usually have two or three specials up on the board everyday, so do remember to check those out, too — they’re always excellent. If you’re opting for brunch later on in the day, the goat curry and goat burger are two other delicious options, with the vegan Buddha burger providing a seriously-good meat-free alternative.

And finally, I adore the chai that they serve here. As somebody who once consumed an entire litre of masala chai in a single day[!] while traveling in Nepal, I can confirm that this stuff is legit. It’s the perfect blend of spicy and sweet, with several flavour options (like matcha, turmeric, and dark chocolate) and plenty of milk substitutes. Personally, I stick with the standard hot Himalayan chai and swoon over it every time I come here. I actually bought a bag of their chai the last time I was in here, specifically so that I could make it at home!

The vast majority of menu can be gluten-free and, being a Himalayan restaurant, the majority of the dishes are (or can be made) vegan. Their vegan yoghurt and feta are actually some of the best substitutes I’ve tasted.

Finally, there’s lots of indoor seating, and four tables outside, so you don’t ever have to wait for a table, even on a sunny Sunday morning.

Address: 268 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Opening times: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. during the week, and 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the weekends.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the toast for $7.50, while most everything else is between $20 and $25. The fritters are $22.50, the Everest benedict is $24, and the smashed avo is $22.

Link to menu: You can view their current menu online on their website; I double checked this is the correct one after eating there in June 2024.

Industry Beans: An Innovative Menu and Fantastic Coffee

The super-creative porcini nest at Industry Beans: looks like a birds nest, tastes like heaven

Offering up a fun and imaginative menu, Industry Beans knows what it’s good at, and the answer is: brunch. And also coffee.

Not that any of the restaurants in this list offer up bad coffee. This is Melbourne, after all: if your coffee sucks, you’re not going to survive more than a few months. However, Industry Beans does do a slightly better brew than the rest of the spots on this list. And the coffee menu? Let’s just say, it’s particularly fun choosing which beans you want yours made with.

It was so stand-outedly amazing, in fact, that Dave and I opted to include it in our breakdown of the best coffee in Fitzroy over on Everything Victoria, our Victorian travel site. We even go in to buy our coffee beans from Industry Beans every week so that we can recreate those smooth flat whites at home.

But what about the food?

I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as the other spots on this list, purely because they’re a specialty coffee roaster and so I assumed the food would come secondary to that.

I was so wrong.

My go-to at Industry Beans is one of their most popular dishes: the porcini eggs. While I may have originally ordered it for the aesthetic, I came away raving over its flavours. The “birds nest” is made from crispy fried potatoes that are resting atop a bed of kale. Inside, you’ve got wild mushroom duxelle, pickled mushrooms, and truffle oil. And it’s finished off with a perfectly-cooked poached egg that’s been dusted with porcini. If you love your mushrooms as much as I do, this is definitely the dish to go for.

Dave’s favourite, meanwhile, is the chilli barramundi eggs. Sous vide line-caught barramundi is folded into scrambled eggs, then mixed with sambal oelek (an Indonesian chilli paste), chilli oil, togarashi (a Japanese spice mix), native succulents, and bonito flakes. It reminded me a little of okonomiyaki, but like, a creamy, spicy scrambled eggs version. Highly recommend!

The sweetcorn fritters are delicious, too! A paprika-charred corn and black garlic fritter, green pea-dusted poached egg, spiced chickpeas, microgreens, romesco sauce, and toasted hazelnuts: it’s absolutely fantastic and I particularly love the crunch that the dried chickpeas add to it all.

My sugar-loving parents came out to visit me a couple of months ago and promptly decided to check out all of Industry Bean’s sweeter options and have you ever seen such beautiful dishes?!

Of the sweet treats, we were all in agreement that the wattleseed panna cotta was best, which is the second photo above. Comprising of homemade granola, almond and wattleseed panna cotta, coconut chai yoghurt, lime and coconut-infused pineapple, and seasonal fruit, it really was an impressive, flavour-packed breakfast.

One other thing I love about Industry Beans is that they really lean into their reputation as coffee experts throughout their food menu, infusing it into various ingredients, like the coffee-rubbed Wagyu burger, coffee-infused togarashi, and coffee-spiced chickpeas.

There’s no outdoor seating at Industry Beans, and a limited amount of seating indoors (around 15 tables), so you very occasionally need to wait for a table at peak, weekend times. It’s also not a great option for large groups, as the booths (pictured above) are really only made to seat four. In terms of dietary requirements, there’s plenty of vegan and gluten-free options on the menu!

Address: 70-76 Westgarth St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Opening times: 7 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. during the week, and 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the weekends.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the English muffin for $12, while most everything else is between $20 and $30. The porcini nest is $29, the chilli barramundi eggs is $29, and the smashed avo is $23. The panna cotta is $19.

Link to menu: Their food and drink menu is listed on their website and is up-to-date as of June 2024.

Sonido: For Retro Colombian Goodness

For something a little different to Fitzroy’s other brunch offerings, skip the cafe scene and head straight to Sonido: a vibrant South American spot with more arepas than you can shake a maraca at.

Their Colombian single-origin coffee is smooth and smoky; so good that Dave can rarely tear himself away from it. I, on the other hand, am steadily working my way through their other Latin American beverages: my favourite, so far, is the lulo juice (lulo is a tropical fruit from South America that tastes a bit like a blend of rhubarb, kiwifruit, and lime).

There’s kumis, too: a cold Colombian fermented milk drink, and aguapanela, which is made from sugarcane and lime. Excitingly, they have a handful of South American sodas, like Inca Kola (from Peru), Pony Malta (from Colombia), and Guaraná Antarctica (from Brazil).

The one drink I haven’t been able to work up the courage to try? Their Colombian hot chocolate, which comes with added cheese. Every reviewer that mentions it describes it as delicious, but I just cannot get my head around plopping a glob of melted cheese in the bottom of my chocolate drink. But, you know, there’s a saying in Colombia: “amor sin besos es como chocolate sin queso”, which means love without kisses is like chocolate without cheese.

To each their own.

So we’ve now established that Sonido is the place to go if you’re keen to try a new drink, but how’s the quality of the food?

Arepas are the name of the game here: a round flatbread that’s made from ground maize and filled with a variety of interesting flavours. At Sonido, you’ve got a whopping 11 options to choose between, from the classic cheese filling, to guacamole, to bacon and eggs. You’ve got huevos Pericos (scrambled eggs with tomatoes and scallions), frijoles (refried beans), chorizo, morcilla (black pudding), and ropa vieja (shredded beef), too. In other words, there’s a flavour for everyone, no matter your tastes or intolerances.

You can choose to have your arepas served in a pocket (like a pita pocket) or on a plate (with the ingredients piled on top of it, rather than stuffed inside). Dave usually goes for the chorizo or morcilla pockets while I always opt for the ropa vieja plate with an added fried egg — so, so tasty! We also usually grab a couple of beef and potato empanadas for even more Latin American goodness.

There are various habanero hot sauces up for grabs, and Sonido also makes their own picadillo, salsa, and chimichurri, which are freely available on every table — they’re all so flavourful and well-worth ladling on to your arepas.

Really, the only downside to Sonido is that the space is pretty small — at peak times, you might have to wait for a table.

Address: 69 Gertrude St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Opening times: 7:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. during the week, and 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the weekends.
Prices: The cheapest dishes on the menu are the cheese arepa for $8 and the beef and potato empanadas for $6.20 each. The chorizo pocket comes in at $16.60, while the arepa plate is $18.40.

Link to menu: Here’s their June 2024 food and drink menu.

Pavlov’s Duck: For Excellent Sri Lankan Breakfasts

The chicken kottu at Pavlov’s Duck was packed full of flavour!

Dave and I love Sri Lankan food, so when we discovered Pavlov’s Duck, we promptly began to salivate.

This fantastic little restaurant is located on the Fitzroy side of Smith Street, with lovely staff and excellent coffee. And the food? Amazing.

Personally, I chose to veer a little off-piste from the traditional flavours of Sri Lanka and opted for the breakfast hopper. Now, if you’ve never been to Sri Lanka before, you might not be all that familiar with hoppers.

The ubiquitous breakfast dish of Sri Lanka, an egg hopper consists of a thin and crispy crepe-like bowl that’s made from fermented rice flour and coconut milk. Inside, an egg is cracked into the bottom and heated until the egg white is set but the yolk remains runny.

The hopper is crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy on the inside, with the egg adding a creamy richness to the dish. It’s usually served with a variety of sambols, curries, and chutneys, which add an explosion of flavours and spices to this already incredible dish.

But as I mentioned above, I opted for the breakfast hopper, and the breakfast hopper should have really been named the English breakfast hopper. I’m sure all of my Sri Lankan readers are cringing at the thought right now.

So instead of an egg hopper that was filled with curries and spices, I instead chowed down on one that contained crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, a hash brown, and homemade baked beans. And it feels sacrilegious to say this, but it was so, so, so good! Like, I wouldn’t even consider ordering anything else good.

Don’t worry: they have a traditional Sri Lankan-style hopper you can order, too.

Dave opted for the kottu, which is one of our favourite street food dishes in Sri Lanka, consisting of shredded roti bread mixed with vegetables, egg, and a choice of meat or vegetarian ingredients. Dave went for the chicken curry, but they also have a meat-free curry option. Dave’s brother is vegetarian and he opted for the vegetarian curry version and it was just as delightful.

If you’re new to Sri Lankan cuisine, I’d also consider having a taste of their milk rice, known as kiribath. This dish is prepared by simmering rice in coconut milk, which gives it a rich and slightly sweet flavor. Once cooked, the rice is poured into a tray and allowed to cool and set. The result is a thick, custard-like rice cake that can be sliced and served with a variety of accompaniments: in this case, it’s a spicy onion relish and rich chicken (or vegetarian) curry.

If you’re not sure about the Sri Lankan flavours, or are going to be brunching with a picky eater, the menu is home to plenty of standard dishes too, like eggs benedict and French toast. I recommend the smash on hash, as the hash browns at Pavlov’s Duck are soooo crispy and delicious!

There’s plenty of tables at Pavlov’s Duck, so I’ve never needed to wait to sit down. There’s plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, too.

Address: 401 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065.
Opening times: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. from Tuesday to Thursday; 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. from Friday to Monday.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the eggs on toast for $12, while everything else ranges between $18 and $28.

Link to menu: Here’s a link to their winter 2024 food menu.

Sir Charles: For the Best Eggs Benedict in Town

I’m ready to declare it: Sir Charles makes the best eggs Benedict in Melbourne

I know, it’s a big call, isn’t it?

But as you may have gathered, I’ve tried a hell of a lot of breakfast classics throughout my brunch-vestigations in Melbourne, and I’ve yet to meet a better benedict.

Sir Charles is a lovely, airy spot, packed full of plants and greenery, with bright white walls; there’s tons of tables, too, so it’s a good option during those busy weekend mornings. Staff are friendly and happy to offer recommendations, and there’s a vast drinks menu to peruse.

I’ve tried almost every dish on Sir Charles’ menu, so allow me to walk you through some of the best options.

Obviously, we have the eggs benedict.

Sir Charles does several versions (bacon, salmon, or mushrooms) and my favourite is the salmon. To me, this is the main reason to visit Sir Charles.

It’s quite an unusual take on the dish, but what I love about it is that instead of using an English muffin for the base of the breakfast, Sir Charles uses the most perfectly crispy, buttery, flaky roti. It adds such an amazing texture to the dish and had me wondering why more places don’t do the same. Atop the roti, you’ll find a creamy Sriracha hollandaise sauce, tender smoked salmon, two panko-coated eggs, and a sprinkle of burnt chilli. Trust me: this is the dish to go for.

“The Smash” is an interesting smashed avo concept — as you can see from my photo above, the avocado is absolutely blanketed in spiced peanut dukkah, which adds a fun, crunchy texture to the concoction. The avocado is drizzled with dill oil, topped with a poached egg, and accompanied by some fried cauliflower popcorn. So good!

Dave is a huge fan of the fried chicken burger — he eats these all over Melbourne and is convinced the Sir Charles’ version is one of the best. Southern fried chicken, avocado, chilli mayonnaise, bacon, and lettuce; add some fries to the mix and it’s pretty damn close to perfect.

One more recommendation: the super-interesting “Wild Party” dish! Mushroom and corn fritters are balanced on a rich truffle mushroom sauce, then weighed down by poached eggs, smoked pumpkin sauce, and pickled cabbage. What an interesting mix of flavours! You can substitute the eggs with mushrooms to make it vegan.

Address: 121 Johnston St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Opening times: 7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday; 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the weekend.

Link to menu: They have an up-to-date (as of June 2024) menu on their website.

Alimentari: For Delightful Italian Brunches

The incredible buffalo soldiers at Alimentari

An institution on Fitzroy’s Brunswick Street, Alimentari first opened its doors way back in 1998, after its owners spotted a need for an Italian deli in the neighbourhood.

Twenty five years later and Alimentari is still thriving, expanding its offerings to include fresh Mediterranean sandwiches and salads alongside those authentic Italian groceries. It’s also home to one of the most popular cafes in the neighbourhood, along with some of the tastiest brunches I’ve ever had.

My favourite dish is the buffalo soldiers, which is pictured above. So freaking good! The crispy soldiers are made from polenta, which perfectly complements the creamy mozzarella that’s been wrapped in salty, pan-fried prosciutto. The dish is then served in a tangy tomato sugo and pesto, adding a real depth of flavor to the dish. As I say to Dave every time I order it: I’ve never had anything quite like this before!

I’m also a huge fan of the huevos rancheros with the added disclaimer that this dish is more like an Italian take on huevos rancheros, rather than anything resembling the Mexican dish. It was more like a shakshuka, to be honest.

But if you don’t pay attention to the name, you’re going to come away seriously impressed.

You’ve got what might just be the richest tomato sauce in the world (in a good way) that’s been poured over a mix of chorizo and manchego, with a fried egg on top and a generous portion of sourdough. In particular, the chorizo is fantastic and adds such a smoky flavour to the dish. And that tomato sauce? Life-changingly good.

Address: 251 Brunswick Street Fitzroy VIC 3065
Opening times: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days a week. Sandwiches are available from midday.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the toast for $12, while everything else ranges between $17 and $26.

Link to menu: They have an up-to-date (double-checked in June 2024) menu on their website.

Bentwood: For the Warm, Cosy Vibes

When autumn rolls around in Melbourne, the only thing on my agenda is to head Bentwood for brunch.

Because at this cosy cafe, every hour is golden hour.

Seriously, I don’t know how they manage it but the light is always so warm and welcoming here — even in the very depths of winter. Located on leafy Napier Street, Bentwood is what Fitzroy dreams are made of: a vast brick-wall facade, floor to ceiling windows, an Italian-themed interior, and an old espresso machine serving up some seriously impressive flat whites.

I’ve been singing Bentwood’s praises ever since I tried my first dish of theirs. It’s an underrated spot, not often included in round-ups and favourites, which makes little sense to me. Their dishes hold their own against any of the places I’ve included in this article and now I’m trying to spread the word.

So what to order when you get there?

I’ll confess that I’m going to find it particularly tricky to review Bentwood, because they update their menu so regularly. Every single time I’ve visited, all of my favourite dishes have disappeared and been replaced with brand new versions!

I’ve tried three different versions of eggs benedict, smashed avo, and French toast at Bentwood over the past year alone! Fortunately, they’ve all been fantastic. That level of consistency is why I’m always recommending Bentwood to friends; no matter what’s on their menu, I know it’s going to be great!

Most of the time, I order their eggs benedict, which is currently served on crumpets — a variation I’ve never encountered before, but one that works surprisingly well! The shaved ham is paired with sauerkraut and apple, then completed with the two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. In the past, I’ve sampled versions of Bentwood eggs benedict that have included roast pork shoulder on a jalapeno waffle, as well as ham hock and pickles on a potato hash medley.

All amazing, all so interesting!

Dave and I are big fans of their smashed avo, too, which is currently mixed up with pomegranate, chilli salt, fresh herbs, and whipped feta cheese. The dish is then sprinkled with an almond dukkah and served on seeded sourdough. Again, such a fun remix of a dish that can often get a bit same-y; pomegranate and avocado is a total game-changer for me!

If you have yourself a sweet tooth, I think their French toast is slightly better than their granola or porridge, although you usually can’t go wrong with any of the options. In its current form, the anglaise-soaked sourdough is topped with vanilla poached berries, pistachio crumble, mascarpone, and lemon balm. In the past, they’ve had an apple and cinnamon version that was perfect for winter.

Bentwood is located in a large space, with plenty of tables indoors and outside, so makes for a good option if you’ll be heading for brunch at peak times. I will, however, say that their service isn’t amazing at during those bustling weekends, so I personally only recommend visiting during the week. If you don’t mind waiting 40 minutes for your food on a Sunday, though, this is still a great spot to consider.

Address: 237 Napier St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Opening times: 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday; 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the eggs on toast for $14, while everything else ranges between $20 and $23.50 — cheaper than many other cafes in Fitzroy!

Link to menu: Their food and drink menu is currently correct as of June 2024.

Arcadia: The Best Option on the Block

The magnificent huevos rancheros at Arcadia

It took me a long time to make my way over to Arcadia, purely because it’s located next to the supremely popular Archie’s All Day: a competitor that often has queues leading around the block for its brunches. 

Most weekends, you can find me standing in said queues.

Well, I shouldn’t have bought into the Archie’s hype so hard, because when I finally made my way to Arcadia, I immediately declared its brunches to be just as delicious as Archie’s. (With the added bonus that you don’t have to queue for an hour to get a table.)

Located on buzzy Gertrude Street, Arcadia has been taking up space in Fitzroy for years, working its way through a handful of owners. Its current iteration is its best, in my opinion, with a brand new chef for winter 2024! Here, you’ve got excellent coffee options (with beans sourced from my beloved Industry Beans), great beer, a large, varied menu, and plenty of healthy dishes.

Let’s jump into my favourite items on the menu.

The smashed avo is one of the better versions in Fitzroy, for sure. Arcadia’s take combines avocado with tangy tomatoes, pickled onion, artichoke cream (way better than it sounds!), feta, and sesame chips; the chips in particular are so moreish.

I also have to recommend the chicken waffle, if you’re absolutely starving! You’ve got a perfectly-cooked waffle as a base, upon which you’ll find a tender chicken breast and — wait for it — an enormous helping of creamy mac and cheese. The end result is absolutely phenomenal, although it’s probably going to be quite a lot if you’re not heading here with a completely empty stomach.

The zucchini and corn fritters are a good option, too. Arcadia’s ones are paired with pumpkin puree, basil pesto, honey aioli (so good!), dukkah, and kale. So simple but so delicious, and one of the healthier options on the menu.

If you’re visiting with a particularly sugary disposition, I highly recommend checking out the creme brûlée pancakes! As a devotee of all things creme brûlée, I nabbed myself one of these as soon as it made its first appearance on their menu and wasn’t disappointed. Arcadia’s version is paired with strawberry gelato, strawberry compote, and vanilla. Yes, it’s sweet, but importantly, it’s not too sweet.

Arcadia has tons of tables — both indoors and outdoors — so it’s pretty rare for there not be a table available, even on a busy Sunday morning.

Address: 193 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Opening times: 7 a.m. – 3 p.m. from Monday to Friday; 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the acai bowl for $19, while everything else ranges between $19 and $25.

Link to menu: Here’s a link to their current winter menu for 2024.

Archie’s All Day: It’s Popular for a Reason

Is this not the most beautiful brunch you’ve ever set eyes on?

I have to say that Archie’s All Day is home to some of the most spectacular-looking brunches I’ve encountered in all Melbourne.

And yes, as you will have undoubtedly gathered while making your way through this guide: that really is a big call.

Archie’s is one of Fitzroy’s most popular brunch spots, and I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to get a seat for brunch at the weekend without a wait first. Fortunately, there’s a lot of tables and a lot of space — both indoors and outdoors — so I doubt you’d be queueing for more than 15 minutes.

But is it worth it? I promise that it absolutely is. Archie’s is home to some of the most interesting brunch dishes in entire city, and I make sure to swing by every couple of months to try a new dish on the menu. At this stage, I think I’ve tried everything they currently have on offer!

My absolute favourite dish is the one pictured at the top of this section: that vibrant concoction that looks like it’s made up of about 35 different items. As soon as the staff brought it out to me, several people at different tables leaned over to ask me what on earth I had ordered because it looked so beautiful.

It’s a mainstay of Archie’s summer menu: salt baked sweet potato with spiced tahini yoghurt, quinoa, chickpea tabbouleh, charred corn, pickled onion, and pomegranate molasses. Amazing! During the winter months, they mix it up a little and change it to miso-glazed pumpkin with cashew cream, lentils and quinoa, leafy greens, pickled onions, creamy feta, pumpkin seeds, and fried kale.

Both versions are so, so good, so be sure to check one of them out, depending on what time of year you’re visiting.

One of the year-round constants on the menu is the other dish that’s pictured above: the ricotta hotcakes. This is my mum’s favourite brunch dish in the world! The hotcakes are topped with lemon curd, roasted white chocolate, coconut rice crisps, mascarpone, and yuzu meringue. It’s an absolute delight to eat and I’m convinced I’ll never taste a meringue as good as that one!

Dave’s favourite dish is always going to be the too-spicy-for-me Bippi mushrooms: sourdough with whipped goats cheese, Calabrian chillies, sautéed mushrooms, caramelised onion, parmesan crisps, and a poached egg. The chillies are hot-hot-hot — 10 times hotter than a jalapeno — but if you like your brunches with flavour, you’ll have nothing to complain about with this dish!

Archie’s All Day is super-popular and beloved in Fitzroy, so I’d highly recommend visiting. Just be prepared to wait for a little while at the weekends, but it’s absolutely worth it!

Address: 189 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Opening times: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. from Monday to Sunday
Prices: The cheapest dish on the menu is the fruit toast for $16, while everything else ranges between $17 and $28.

Link to menu: Here’s a link to their current winter menu for 2024.

So there you have it!

Fitzroy: Come for the Brunches, Stay for the… Brunches

Or, at least, that’s what I did :-)


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If you're heading to Melbourne, you *have* to hit up the hipster Fitzroy neighborhood while you're there! The brunches will change. your. life.
About the author

Lauren Juliff

Lauren Juliff is a published author and travel expert who founded Never Ending Footsteps in 2011. She has spent over 12 years travelling the world, sharing in-depth advice from more than 100 countries across six continents.

Lauren's travel advice has been featured in publications like the BBC, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Cosmopolitan, and her work is read by 200,000 readers each month. Her travel memoir can be found in bookstores across the planet.


  1. April 29, 2016

    Whenever I see pictures of food that looks that good, I just imagine the photographer swatting forks away from hungry people trying to dig in. Brunch looks delicious! I know I would have a hard time waiting to get the perfect shot ;)

    • May 11, 2016

      Hahaha. I always feel a little bit of shame over being that person who’s taking photos of their food! But in reality, it only takes 10 seconds and means I can write posts like these :-)

  2. April 30, 2016

    These food pics have my mouth watering! Melbourne was my favourite place in Australia, we went on a cheesy Neighbours tour and quiz night while we were in Melbourne which was so much fun!

    • June 18, 2024

      I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed your time in Melbourne! It’s a wonderful city, brunches and all!

  3. Alissa
    April 30, 2016

    It’s all about Archie’s! So many beautiful brunch options in Fitzroy, but Archie’s has always been my go-to.

    • June 18, 2024

      Archie’s is such a good option! My mum always buys me a gift voucher to use there for my birthday because it’s such a great place to celebrate a special occasion :-)

  4. May 1, 2016

    Oh man, I literally have not eaten all day, (it’s 7pm now, I’ve been packing and stressing on my last day in Chiang Mai) and then I read this post!?! Well at least in a short while I’ll be getting some Ramen to help with with hunger pains.

    • May 2, 2016

      Hahaha! :-) Hope you enjoyed your time in Chiang Mai!

  5. Ahh I miss living in Melbourne, and the delicious food, so much.
    Your photos and wonderful and bring back so many memories!

    • June 18, 2024

      I love that! You’ll have to come back soon to try some of the newer brunch offerings in town! :-)

  6. May 5, 2016

    I would love living in a place where restaurants serve food that look like this! :) I visited Melbourne for a very short time during a short trip to Australia, but I fell in love with the city immediately because it has a bit of the big town feel. I’m happy to hear it won you over as well!

    • June 18, 2024

      Isn’t it incredible? I always say to people: I had the ability to live anywhere in the world and I chose Melbourne in which to settle. That definitely says something about how wonderful this city is! And the fact that the brunches were a significant factor in my decision? Well, that’s kind of ridiculous, but also, they really are that great!

  7. May 5, 2016

    Just moved into Carlton north. My flatmate is one of the coffee roasters at industry beans!

    • May 20, 2016

      Oh, really?! That’s awesome! You can tell them that we are very impressed by their coffee-roasting abilities, haha

  8. May 9, 2016

    Is it reasonable to plan an entire vacation when the reason you’ll give to people for going to said place is “brunch”? Because Melbourne looks tempting.

    • June 22, 2016

      Totally reasonable. You need to go! :-)

  9. May 23, 2016

    This looks soooo delicious! You made me really hungry now :-D Cheers!

  10. May 24, 2016

    Ah this post has me feeling so home sick. I’m loving travelling but some days I miss it so much. I’ve told my friends they better be prepared for brunch everyday for a month when I return. Ohhh the smashed avocado I’m going to eat!

    • June 18, 2024

      Yes, Britt! There are so many excellent options waiting for you when you return :-)

  11. Francesca
    March 9, 2023

    Honestly, the brunches in Australia are just. so. good. But these look like another level! Thanks for making me hungry…

    • March 9, 2023

      Aren’t they?! I’m obsessed with the brunches in Melbourne and have yet to encounter better anywhere in the world so far. My parents came out to visit me here a few months ago and they couldn’t believe how intricate and extravagant all the brunches were!

  12. Erin
    April 21, 2024

    I tried the anchovies at Stagger Lee’s today from your recommendation…

    I think I’m ruined forever now. Hands down one of the best brunches I’ve ever had!

    • April 22, 2024

      Ahhh, this makes me so happy, Erin! I’m so glad you enjoyed them :-)

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