Eat out, give back: 11 ethical hotspots in Melbourne

Despite our love of all things food, trends and fashion, Melbourne is a surprisingly ethically conscious city. Here are some suggestions for where you can recycle, help the less fortunate or simply purchase more mindfully this winter.


ReUse, ReFuse, ReWine is a tagline we could get behind. Found at Queen Victoria Market, ReWine lets you try before you buy. They even give you a discount when you return with an empty bottle for a refill from their barrels. They have an almost complete range of wine, so pick your fav red to go with the chilly weather. Or grab a Sauv Blanc and pair it with layer upon layer of warm jumpers to get that summer feel.

A bottle of wine being refilled from a barrel

Wine from a barrel? Yes please

Assembly Store

Caffeine lovers – pay attention. Assembly Store takes its coffee very seriously. Beans are ethically-sourced and traded, meaning everyone involved in the process of making your morning cuppa was treated fairly. They also stock take home coffee and a range of teas.

Carlton Farmers Market  

You’ll find ethically produced meat and produce at this farmers market held at Carlton Primary School.  The outdoor setting may be a little crisp, but it’s the perfect antidote to the fluorescent lighting of your local supermarket. A gold coin donation for entry supports the school’s programs. So you’ll also be helping the youth of Australia whilst picking up fresh produce.
The market is held on the first Saturday of every month.

Clever Polly’s

An intimate natural wine shop, Clever Polly’s champions small Victorian producers through a carefully curated wine menu. The team are constantly on the lookout for new, unknown, local winemakers. Local beer is also on offer. Slurp.

Woman sipping a red wine at a bar seating, with a wine store in the background

Sip your favourite wintry red from local producers

Dukes Coffee Roasters

Upon your first sip of coffee from Dukes, your winter blues will melt away. Bonus, these guys use ethically sourced beans from individual farms or small cooperatives, most of which are organically grown. Plus, if you bring your own cup, the team will treat you to a discount.


Tasty coffee, helping the less fortunate, pastries and a social enterprise is found at STREAT‘s McKillop Street cafe. A social enterprise committed to helping alleviate homelessness, STREAT gives young people the opportunity to get training via hands-on work experience. Also, they too knock back the price a bit if you bring your own coffee receptacle. STREAT can also be found in Melbourne Central.

Seedling Cafe

All products at Seedling Cafe on Flinders Lane are carefully selected from its rainforest alliance certified coffee down to its organic virgin coconut oil. With paleo, gluten-free, vego and vegan options, the cafe relies on quality, non-processed ingredients for their killer lunches. Also, find them on Little Collins Street.

KereKere Green

Not only is KereKere Green located in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, but it also supports and assists in creating a range of community events. The name comes from a Fijian ­custom about favours being given without expectation of repayment. With a range of toasties on the menus and homemade lemonade KereKere is well worth a visit.


Kinfolk relies on a roster of volunteer workers, so 100% of profits can go directly towards supporting partner charities each year. Head into the conveniently located Bourke Street cafe for a seasonal dish that goes towards supporting those most in need.

A bowl of risotto and a coffee, with a and coffee atop a meni on a wooden table

Eat well and feel good about it at Kinfolk

Market Lane Coffee

Born and raised in Melbourne, Market Lane Coffee is dedicated to sourcing high-quality, sustainable beans. Stories behind the beans, producers and origins are widely shared so you’ll know exactly where your afternoon cappuccino came from.

Ways & Means (YSAS)

Ways & Means cafe gives young people the opportunity to develop skills that are vital for future hospitality work. A real-life working environment with supportive mentoring, visit the cafe on Little Lonsdale Street.

For more ways to enjoy Melbourne this winter visit our winter page. Don’t forget to share your Melbourne Moments by #MelbMoment on your social posts.