Of the million-and-one cafes in Melbourne, from the ones you find by accident to the ones you’re recommended to try, nothing beats watching your order arrive at your table — nowadays, Melbourne cafes create art out of their food, with pops of colour, traditional food deconstructed or just perfectly plated meals that you wish you didn’t have to ruin (except that you’re hungry so you’re not wishing that hard). But wait, before you dig in and ruin the creation in front of you, it’s become the tradition of our generation that you take out your phone, find that angle and post a photo that the Insta-gods would approve of. Pick your best shot, add your filter and a creative caption et voilà! Your Insta-grid is all the better for it!
But how do you find these Insta-worthy cafes in Melbourne when there are oh so many? I’ve narrowed it down to 20, all within walking distance to public transport because, even though PTV and Myki can be a nightmare, sometimes we just want to save money on petrol, and parking is always a nightmare on main roads.
1. Black Squirrel Cafe, Sandringham
Located a mere 200m from Sandringham Railway Station, this rustic-chic cafe is sure to add a whole new foodie dimension to your Insta-grid!
Address: 20 Bay Road, Sandringham 3191
2. Penta Elsternwick, Elsternwick
Found only 200m from Elsternwick Railway Station, Penta Elsternwick is described as a place that is great for a leisurely catch-up with friends over brunch, with food worthy to post on your Instagram every day!
Address: 28 Riddell Parade, Elsternwick 3185
3. Pillar of Salt, Richmond
Located halfway between tram stops 54 and 55 on Church Street, Pillar of Salt offers great tasting meals and specialty coffees that are sure to make your Instagram look mouth-watering!
Address: 541 Church Street, Richmond 3121
4. Miss Frank Cafe, Camberwell
Less than 100m from tram stop 54 on Riversdale Road, turn off the busy main street and enjoy delicious and photogenic food from Miss Frank Cafe!
Address: 200 Through Road, Camberwell 3124
5. District North, Moonee Ponds
About 200m between tram stops 31 (Montgomery Street) and 32 (Ascot Vale Road), we have District North serving insane food that’s sure to shake up your Instagram!
Address: 678/680 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds 3039
6. Naughty Boy Cafe, North Carlton
Less than 50m from Richardson Street Stop 117, Naughty Boy cafe is a perfect tease — do you dare dabble in the temptations that await you?
Address: 499-501 Lygon Street, Princes Hill 3054
7. Sartoria Melbourne, Preston
Approximately 150m from the tram stops 43 and 44 on Plenty Rd, Sartoria Melbourne offers you the food you want in a cafe that offers you just a little bit of tradition and history. Did you know the word Sartoria means ‘dressmaking’ in Italian? And that the very building that houses this friendly cafe was ones a successful dressmaking business?
Address: 115 Plenty Road, Preston 3072
8. Matcha Mylkbar, St Kilda
Right down the road from Luna Park, make a day of it and head down to St Kilda to enjoy a day out in Melbourne — even better if the weather is good and you can head down to the beach and take some adventurous happy snaps to accompany your food inspo!
Address: 72A Acland Street, St Kilda 3182
9. Northern Perk Cafe, Brunswick
10m (practically at the front door!) from tram stop 26 on Sydney Rd, Northern Perk Cafe has recently gained a flurry of excitement as one of the most Insta-worthy cafes, with their signature Northern Perk Tower that comes loaded with all your savoury and sweet breakfast favourites!
Address: 710 Sydney Road, Brunswick 3056
10. Journeyman, Windsor
Down the road from the High Street/Chapel Street intersection (where there is a convenient tram stops to bypass wasting time for parking), Journeyman is a contemporary chic cafe that offers great coffee, great food and even better Instagram opportunities!
Address: 169 Chapel Street, Windsor 3181
11. Humble Rays, Carlton
Less than 500m from the Queen Victoria Market and only 300m from the nearest tram stop (Queensberry Street – Stop 4), Humble Rays is exactly what it promises — humble food, cooked passionately for you to snap and consume!
Address: 71 Bouverie Street, Carlton 3053
12. 1983, Cremorne
About 100m from Richmond Railway Station, 1983 is highlighting the gorgeous charm of Melbourne cafe culture through the best made coffee and most delicious food, served by the most charming ladies in town!
Address: 20 Cremorne Street, Cremorne 3121
13. Auction Rooms Cafe, North Melbourne
Less than 100m from the North Melbourne Town Hall (and tram stop 12), Auction Rooms is a buzzing chic cafe that provides you with the goods — coffee, food and an great Instagram opportunity!
Address: 103-107 Errol Street, North Melbourne 3051
14. Urban Projuice, Albert Park
A short walk from Bridport Street tram stop 28, Urban Projuice is the ultimate whole-food cafe, providing the Insta-worthy goods for your next brekkie post.
Address: 315 Montague Street, Albert Park
15. BAWA Cafe, Hawthorn
About 300m from the Burwood Road tram stop 73, BAWA offers a menu of variety that always provides the Insta-worthy posts! This cafe is also close to Swinburne University of Technology, so if you go there or have friends who do, use that as an excuse to go scope this place out!
Address: 248 Burwood Road, Hawthorn 3122
16. The Glass Den, Coburg
Less than 500m from the nearest tram stop (Bell Street – Stop 34), enter through the Old Pentridge Prison entrance (bonus points for history!) and enjoy good food and great Insta-moments!
Address: 15 Urquhart Street, Coburg 3058
17. Tinker Northcote, Northcote
A short walk from the Northcote Town Hall tram stop 31, Tinker gives you the opportunity to give your Insta a burst of colour that makes everybody hungry!
Address: 235 High Street, Northcote 3070
18. The Foreigner, Ivanhoe
A short walk from the Ivanhoe Railway Station and an even shorter walk from the Ivanhoe Town Hall, The Foreigner gives great service with equally great food — their rustic interior gives a perfect backdrop to your foodie Instagram posts!
Address: 31 Ivanhoe Parade, Ivanhoe 3079
19. Mr Hubbard Cafe, Malvern
Right near the Glenferrie Road/Wattletree Road intersection (along with tram stop 45), Mr Hubbard gives you the right tools to make your next post worthy of Instagram, and let’s be honest, the best tools are always food because once you’re done with your snaps, you get to eat!
Address: 117 Wattletree Road, Malvern 3144
20. Legacy Camberwell, Camberwell
And last, but not least, this Insta-worthy cafe is located right near the Camberwell Civic Centre (and tram stop 43), and you won’t regret going inside to bask in the amazing ambiance, food and photo opportunities!
Address: 347 Camberwell Road, Camberwell 3124
Rule of Three:
Photograph — take all your photos when your food arrives. Get all the shots out of the way, different angles, focus, lighting etc. before moving on.
Eat — eat before your food gets cold, or melts. Keep an eye on the time you take taking all your photos.
Post — try leaving your post after you finish eating, enjoy the food and the company you’re with, be in the moment!
Vary your angle — it’s better to have more options than not enough, though don’t overdo it. Try a flat-lay, side angle or a high-ish angle of an action shot, and play around with your focus with other objects on your table.
Use what you’ve got — your cutlery, your friend’s meal and your cup of coffee are your props, the cafe’s interior decorating or your table is your backdrop; if they’ve got a feature wall, don’t be shy; use it! Play around with the focus here and be mindful about your balance and placement of objects within your frame!
Imperfections — make a decision on if you’re going to have an untouched food in your image or not, this dictates if you order your coffee before or with your meal. No one likes looking at a half empty cup of coffee with an untouched plate of food, especially when you’re going for the perfect flat-lay look (besides, coffee art is pretty!)
Filters — sometimes ambiance in a cafe can be too much (shocking, I know) so you might need to edit your Instagram post with the in-built editing tools (i.e. brightness, contrast etc.) or simply use a filter that best suits your post. Of course, filters are not always necessary (which is just a bonus!)
Caption — writing your caption is easier than you think; try to link it to something to do with the meals name or the cafe you’re in, or simply give it a raving compliment. Hashtags are absolutely appropriate if you’re someone who uses them.
All Hail — don’t forget to mention and/or geo-tag the cafe; your post is for you, but you’re also praising this cafe for making food their own art-form, that you’re sharing happily with the world!
So grab your closest pals and make this list your cafe bucket list for some of the most Insta-worthy food in Melbourne! Do you have any other local eats that are just as worthy as these?
Know any other Insta-worthy cafes in Melbourne? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image source: weheartit.com
Reader, writer and a wannabe traveller — if you give me a good book and some chocolate, you'll probably become my new best friend.