Brain food for studious (and not-so-studious) types

Fancy a pick-me-up when you’ve been hitting the books or straining the brain? These establishments are conveniently attached to places of learning, so you can pop out and enjoy a well-deserved study (or office) break.

Pearson and Murphy’s at RMIT University

Explore just a few steps beyond the old stone walls of RMIT’s historic Francis Ormond building and you’ll discover Pearson and Murphy’s. This cafe is set in beautiful gothic surrounds and offers breakfast and lunch on weekdays until 4.30pm. Dishes include freshly made salads and a la carte dishes, baguettes, wraps, pizzas and other daily specials.

The Journal Cafe at CAE and City Library

Feeling famished after class at the Centre for Adult Education, peckish after poring over books at the City Library or lethargic after that long meeting? The Journal Cafe is your answer, along with its upstairs counterpart, the Canteen. Enjoy communal tables and plenty of reading material while you partake in a light meal and a coffee at The Journal, or tuck into hearty Italian-style fare at the Canteen.  Visit after dark when Journal morphs into a bar, serving wine and antipasto.

The Cafe at the School Of Life

Ponder the meaning of life as you sip an espresso and snack on a bagel, at the School Of Life on Bourke Street. Designed to nurture the art of meaningful conversation, this cafe places small ‘conversation cards’ around the place to get your philosophical juices flowing. There is also a bookshop attached, if you prefer to bury your nose in literature.
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The Potter Espresso Bar at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

The Potter Espresso Bar is nestled next to the Ian Potter Museum of Art, at the University of Melbourne. Open every day for breakfast and lunch, you can get your caffeine fix or perhaps polish off a smoothie and try their fresh salads and sandwiches, asian-fusion creations and selection of baked treats.

The Moat at the Wheeler Centre

Wander up Little Lonsdale Street and you’ll find The Moat, tucked underground alongside the entrance to the Wheeler Centre. Its atmosphere of cosy, literary charm is enhanced by bookcase wallpaper and classic old-world décor. Open from 9am until late on weekdays and 3pm until late on Saturdays, you can sample a range of fine dishes and drinks while making clever conversation.

Mr Tulk at the State Library of Victoria

Named after the library’s first Chief Librarian, Mr Tulk offers relaxed breakfast and lunch in an airy, contemporary dining hall. It’s fully licensed and serves up scrumptious hot fare, as well as baguettes and toasted flatbreads, cakes and quality espresso. The outdoor seating area is also a great spot for people watching.