Cafes are getting back to the business of brunch. Here are five places that are taking bookings and are ready to bring you your beloved avocado toast.
Vertue Coffee Roasters
Coffee lovers rejoice! Vertue Coffee Roasters is back open for brunch business. They’re taking bookings so you can relax with a cup of their incredible coffee and take (a little bit) of time perusing the brunch menu. What will it be? The spicy harissa scramble? The heady umami mushroom? Or will you celebrate your return with the indulgent tiramisu waffles? Suffice to say, bookings are a smart move with a menu like this.
Vertue will be taking all safety precautions, including temperature checks on entry. Brunch bookings are available at 9am, 10:30am and 12pm. Sittings are limited to 75 minutes. Everyone on the booking must order a meal. Email Vertue to secure a table.
Babbo is back, bringing you its next-level focaccias to brunch on with coffee. They like to spread a bit of luxury on the bread, so consider the focaccia crudo, with prosciutto, mozzarella, rocket and truffle paste, or the focaccia mortadella which comes with added pistachio spread and burrata. No plain old cheese and tomato for you!
Babbo is currently taking bookings of up to 10 people, but tables seat a maximum of six, so you’ll be split over two tables if there’s more than six of you. There are currently no time restrictions on bookings, but that may change as foot traffic increases.
North Melbourne’s famed Auction Rooms is back! You can finally sit down and savour their incredible coffee and bright brunch dishes. You can go healthy with the house-made granola or you can treat yourself to brioche French toast with bourbon cream. Of course, now it’s getting chilly, the corned beef hash with Sriracha hollandaise is hard to pass up.
Bookings are available from Monday to Friday (weekends are walk-ins only, so bring a book in case you need to wait). You can book for up to six people (that includes children) and bookings are limited to an hour for meals and 30 minutes if you’re just dipping in for coffee and cake.
Have you missed Higher Ground? That wondrously expansive and airy café with its stunning arched windows and forest of indoor plants? Don’t worry, they’re open and ready to serve you their pitch-perfect brunch dishes, like spiced cauliflower scramble, avocado on a pretzel bagel, or a cosy chorizo bolognaise toastie.
Bookings are for a maximum of 60 minutes, with a minimum spend of $30 per person. Cancellations and no-shows will incur a fee of $20 per person. Tables can seat a maximum of six people so bookings for more than six will be split across two tables.
Oh Journal – it’s like shorthand for Melbourne. With its Flinders Lane location close to City Library, it’s the perfect escape when you want to grab some lunch and tuck into a new book.
Journal is currently offering a smaller version of their usual, delicious, Euro-centric menu, tailored more towards sandwiches and easy dishes to go, but you can still make a booking if you want to secure a table and savour the atmosphere. There are currently no time restrictions on bookings but that may be subject to change as more people return to the city.