What Melbourne lacks in beaches, it makes up for with its bustling CBD and arts offering. Often referred to as Australia’s cultural capital, its coffee scene is world-famous and the city boasts exhibitions and eateries galore. On a recent trip to Australia’s most sustainable city, I sought to source some of the best places for brunch and the city’s best-loved bookshops. So, whether you want to kick off your weekend with a plant-based spread, or indulge in an afternoon of book browsing, here are the creme de la creme of Melbourne’s best bookshops and brunch spots.
Based in Melbourne’s beautiful beachside suburb of St Kilda, Matcha Mylkbar is a brunch hot spot for locals and visitor alike wanting to sample the menu’s oh-so-instagrammable plant based fare. From vegan eggs (surprisingly tasty), to Matcha burger buns, to pastel-perfect lattes and the most sumptuous stack of pancakes, the cafe’s colourful cuisine will satisfy the most fussy of foodies.
With white-washed walls, a brick archway and a sun-drenched courtyard (weather dependant, of course), Richmond’s Touchwood is brunch at its best. Catering for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters, the menu offers a range of both sweet and savoury plates and the peanut butter and jelly wholemeal waffles with peanut butter ricotta and peanut brittle are to die for.
If a stylish and sophisticated eatery is more your thang, Top Paddock is the place to go. Full of natural light and greenery, the Top Paddock – a tasty combination of chorizo, pickled onion, peppers, basil and bacon – is the perfect antidote to clean eating. And with an impressive selection of coffees and teas, it’s the perfect place to while away a lazy morning.
A haven of bookish delights, St Kilda’s vibrant bookshop is a one-stop shop for lovers of all things literary and undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s best bookshops. With hand-written staff recommendations, classics and contemporaries a-plenty and an abundance of picture-perfect stationary on offer, Readings is an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of St Kilda’s suburbian streets.
One of Melbourne’s most iconic independents, Bourke Street’s The Paperback Bookshop is the perfect place for an afternoon of book browsing. A unassuming shop with an array of both fiction and non-fiction titles for sale, the floor is peppered with piles of books and its quiet charm will no doubt long outlive the dying chain stores of today. With late closing times, it’s a beacon for book lovers looking for their literary fill after dark.
With a history dating back to the early 1950s, Robinson’s Bookshop Emporium is Victoria’s oldest general independent bookshop. Boasting dark paneling and rolling ladders, this theatrical setting allows stories to come to life as a book-lovers’ refuge.
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