There is no doubt, Port Melbourne’s Bay street is absolutely teeming with quality cafes and restaurants serving high quality beverages alongside inventive menus. It’s almost impossible to make a list of the best places to go as everywhere offers their own unique twist on cafe life, but there are certainly a few to start with for a fool-proof coffee date or afternoon tea with friends. When looking for things to do in Port Phillip, a stop at a cafe is a must before, during, or after any activities. Many cafes, including some below, are open later on in the evening so you can start at one with coffee in the morning, and come back for a cocktail after your day’s adventures are over. Go ahead and check out our top-three picks, we know they won’t disappoint.
329-331 Bay Street
Located smack bang in the middle of the bustling Bay street cafe scene, Hurricane Handsome starts serving Madam Reviver, locally roasted coffee, at 7am everyday of the week. Alongside the topnotch lattes and long blacks, you’ll find a list of exciting, non-coffee options like turmeric or matcha lattes, steaming hot chai, and a long list of specialty teas. This cafe also thoughtfully caters to different dietary requirements by offering lactose-free cow’s milk, bonsoy, almond, and even coconut milk. If you’re coming in on a hot day or you just prefer a refreshing cool drink over coffee, Hurricane Handsome has you sorted! You can choose from several combinations of cold-pressed juices or perhaps go for a smoothie like the acai-peanut love with protein powder or the red velvet with beetroot and strawberries providing the vibrant red colour.
For a naughtier choice, go for a milkshake or an iced coffee, or perhaps opt for the health benefits of a refreshing Kombucha. If you’ve come in for a lunchtime meeting or afternoon tea, you might even spice things up with a pineapple mimosa or a Hurricane Aperol. You can go the more traditional route and opt for beer, wine, or a simple spirit. No matter what you’re in for, Hurricane Handsome seems to have a choice for everyone. As it goes with popular places, expect some busy-ness during rush hour. The staff is friendly and accommodating and does their best to make everyone’s experience enjoyable. Get in touch with them here.
Grey and Bliss Cafe
197 Bay Street
7am-4pm Mon-Wed, 7am-9pm Thur-Fri, 8am-9pm Sat and 8am-5pm Sundays
From Hurricane Handsome it’s just a short stroll towards the water until you reach another local favourite, Grey and Bliss Cafe. Open from early to late on several days of the week, the menu incorporates breakfast, allday lunch, and a separate night menu for dinner. They’ve even got a menu just for drinks, part of why this is a top choice for a coffee date. The specialty coffee at G&B is made to a perfect 60 degree temp, but they are happy to accomodate if you like things a bit hotter. Go for the standard black and white choices or charge it up a notch with a butter coffee, a cold drip tonic, or even an irish coffee topped with whipped cream and chocolate dust. Keeping up with contemporary cafe standards, Grey and Bliss also make beautiful renditions of matcha lattes, mochas, fresh chai, and two different turmeric latte options. The tea list is all organic and ethically sourced, and milks include bonsoy, coconut, almond, and lactose-free milk as options.
A thoughtful touch on the menu is the choice of a kids hot chocolate that comes at a slightly cooler temperature, with a straw, or an adults version with dark mork chocolate that’s less sweet but hotter temp. To cool down you’ll definitely enjoy the refreshing homemade lemon iced tea or a lemon and lime bitters. You can also choose to have most of the coffee drinks, and even the chai, on ice. There is a long and creative list of smoothies, milkshakes, kombucha and bubbly drinks like hepburn blood orange or ginger beer, or you can go for your own mix of cold-press juice. The juice can be mixed with vodka, white rum or tequila for anyone enjoying their day off, or check out the alcohol menu for things like chai martinis, pimms, or a jug of red wine sangria. The options are endless and there’s a reason they won Best of Port certificate of excellence awards for both 2017 and 2018! See their story and the complete menus here.
295 Bay Street
7am-4pm daily (3:30 pm weekends)
Balderdash is a noun for ‘senseless’ or ‘nonsense’, but this cafe is not messing around when it comes to quality coffee and cafe life, as written up in the well-regarded Broadsheet publication. Set amongst the glittery Port Phillip Bay cafes, Balderdash brings more of the hip, northside Melbourne coffee culture into the mix. The venue itself is a converted 19th century pub featuring a large communal table, handwritten blackboard menus, burlap coffee sacks, and exposed piping that adds to the trendy, but laid-back fit out. To top it all off, if you bring your dog, you can sit outside under the tree and the staff might even bring your furry friend some treats!
Talking about coffee, these guys state right on their menu that their mission is to “create the finest quality espresso and filter coffee” so you know these guys mean business. Coffee in general is a definite draw for these guys but customers also love their Chai and Chocolate, both of which can come hot or iced. In terms of soft drink you can find your average coca cola, but you can also opt for a fairtrade, organic Karma Cola brand with a choice of Cola, Lemonade, and a Gingerbear. If you’re doing afternoon tea with kids in tow, they might enjoy one of the nudie juice mixes like watermelon mint or mango pineapple. Aside from quality coffee and drinks, Balderdash is known for its relaxed vibe and warm, friendly service. If you become a regular, they’ll probably get your order started before you even sit down! Pay them a visit here.
If you’re new to the area and still looking for things to do in Port Phillip, don’t hesitate to give these cafes a red hot go! We know they’ll hit the spot for everyone in the group.