Where to take a break for coffee and cake

Whether it’s a quick pause on a busy day, or time set aside for pure pleasure, treat yourself with caffeine and sugar. Choose from some of Melbourne’s best cafes, patisseries and dessert lounges for a coffee break that takes the cake.

Rustica

Rustica’s renowned for sourdough bread and sensory-pleasing pastries, so get in early to avoid disappointment. There are flaky croissants, decadent donuts and their love child, the cronut, with fillings and toppings as glorious as a sunrise. If you can’t decide between peanut butter and jelly donuts and vanilla and chestnut cronuts, just keep coming back for more. You’ve got two CBD cafes to choose from, in Melbourne Central and Rialto Towers.

A pile of pastries sitting on a table

Rustica

Brunetti City

A Carlton legend for Italian coffee and cake, Brunetti opened its Flinders Lane outpost in 2017. From wood-fired pizza to the Campari Bar, the 300-seat Brunetti City ticks all the boxes, but the big one is still cake. This is truly la dolce vita, from biscotti with your morning espresso to late-night dessert. Or get an extravagant cake to go for a special weekend coffee break with friends or family at home.

Chokolait

There are so many sweet sensations made from Belgian couverture chocolate on the menu at Chokolait’s Emporium salon. Mud cake, mousse, fondue, brownies, lava puddings, chocolate pavlova – the list goes on. Any of them make a dreamy coffee companion, or turn the indulgence up to 11 with their premium hot or iced chocolate.

Om Nom

The chic Adelphi Hotel’s dessert restaurant is overseen by executive pastry chef Jo Ward, one of the city’s true sweethearts. Breakfast, lunch or dinner, plus afternoon tea and supper on weekends, art and science make sensory love at Om Nom. Finish a meal with coffee and cake to die for, or go straight for the three-dessert degustation.

A spoon with smoke coming off it being held above a plate of sorbet and fruit

Next level desserts at Om Nom

Caffe E Torta

How very Melbourne: an Italian-style cafe in the city’s oldest arcade. Caffe E Torta means coffee and cake, so get something sweet with your espresso, caffe latte or iced coffee. Even if it’s just a little biscotti. Though who can resist Opera chocolate layer cake with coffee butter cream, or Frasier sponge cake with strawberries and mousseline cream? Let time drift by as Royal Arcade’s old Gog and Magog statues chime their bells on the hour.

Sweetie And Moustache Dessert Lounge

From black forest to durian, Sweetie And Moustache Dessert Lounge is famous for its 12 kinds of layered crepe cakes. One slice will leave no room for another flavour, or the other sweet temptations beside this signature dessert. So you’ll just have to keep coming back.

Aerial view of a cake covered with ice cream, and chocolate sauce

Sweetie and Moustache

Beatrix Cafe

By all means, visit this little North Melbourne cafe for a ciabatta filled with gourmet goodness. But you can’t walk out without some cake in your tummy, because that’s Beatrix Cafe’s forté. Nat Paull has been obsessively making sweet treats since she was seven, and trained under legends like Maggie Beer and Stephanie Alexander. Enough said.

Charisma Workshop

Fancy a lesson in French elegance? Nothing is easier or more delicious at Charisma Workshop, a cafe specialising in pretty cakes that look Paris-patisserie perfect. Take your coffee break to the next level. Or turn it into an occasion with their decadent high tea, choosing any non-alcoholic drink including seasonal single-origin syphon coffee.

A selection of fancy cakes and parties in a display in a shop

Charisma Workshop

International Diethnes Cakes

Let them eat cake – and baklava and nougat and halva! At International Diethnes Cakes, sweet Greek dreams come true from breakfast until late seven days a week. Fancy a Greek coffee and a little treat in the afternoon? Want to sprinkle some Euro sugar on a night out with friends? Need lots of goodies for a special occasion coffee at home? This stayer in Melbourne’s former ‘Little Athens’ precinct has your heart’s desire.

Shortstop Coffee & Donuts

Donuts aren’t cakes strictly speaking, but Shortstop Coffee & Donuts actually make some of their fluffy rings of joy with cake batter. Like the triple matcha, Earl Grey and rose, coffee cake and toasted pecan, and peanut butter caramel and chocolate flavours. After one bite there’s no argument about definitions! These and other treats, including choux pastry-based French crullers, are baked fresh throughout the day, using quality, natural ingredients.