Melbourne’s brunches are overtaking avocado toast on Instagram, and here’s why

The original home of avocado toast – quite possibly introduced to the cafe scene by Sydney’s Bill Granger in the early ‘90s – has moved on to more complicated and alluring dishes. According to cafe pioneer Nathan Toleman, who co-owns Top Paddock, The Kettle Black and Higher Ground cafe, it’s all thanks to blurred lines between breakfast and dinner.

People eating breakfast in Melbourne's iconic inner-city Degraves Street.
People eating breakfast in Melbourne’s iconic inner-city Degraves Street. Image by Sharon Lapkin/Getty Images

“I think Melbourne is the brunch capital of the world, for sure,” he says, “Really good chefs who are used to working in restaurants at night are now willing to take a risk and offer that same kind of food in a daytime environment and the consumer is embracing that.”

These days the fresh and colourful produce being plated in Melbourne is almost too pretty to eat. The hotcakes at Toleman’s cafes are a customer favourite and make regular appearances on social media. At White Mojo in the city, Balwyn and soon-to-be Glen Waverly, Instagrammable dishes have been a byproduct of a young, creative team since day one. “We didn’t want to do just bacon and eggs or smashed avocado on toast, we wanted something more exciting; something you cant make at home,” says general manager Samsky Yeung. “That’s why we developed a menu with lots of techniques – sous vide, dehydration – it’s a different style of breakfast.”

From oozing cheese to just desserts, here are five of the most Instagrammable breakfasts in the city.

The Glass Den, Coburg

No one seems to be put off by the fact that The Glass Den used to be part of the old Pentridge Prison, with bloggers and young families rushing to Instagram their brunch. The best looking dish is the matcha waffles, served strategically spilling out of a container, a tumble of edible flowers, freeze-dried fruit and a mini chocolate ice cream.

A post shared by The Glass Den (@theglassden) on Dec 10, 2016 at 1:12pm PST

White Mojo, CBD & Balwyn

The entire menu at White Mojo feels like it was designed to be photographed. Make like an Instagrammer and order one of their signature croissants: either The Big Mac with mac and cheese or the Signature Croissant Burger with soft shell crab.

Higher Ground, CBD

At the west end of the city near Southern Cross station, Higher Ground is one of few cafes where customers photograph their surrounds more than their meals. And with giant arched windows and original brickwork from what used to be a former power station, why wouldn’t you?

Long Story Short, Port Melbourne

Whether you roll your eyes at or make a beeline for Long Story Short after reading this doesn’t matter – their dessert burger remains one of Melbourne’s most instagrammed dishes. Available all day, customers ask their dining buddy to film them pouring white chocolate sauce over a pink cloud of fairy floss, which dissolves to reveal a gelato-stuffed brioche.

Combi, Elwood

The original and still the best place to boast about your acai bowl, Combi’s menu is fun, bright and organic. Pair a breakfast bowl – perhaps a bright pink dragon fruit number with seasonal fruit, seeds and berries – with a super smoothie and make sure you hashtag #blessed.

By Sofia Levin

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Melbourne’s brunches are overtaking avocado toast on Instagram, and here’s why
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