6 of the Best Cafes Near the Water in Melbourne
By: Stacey Roberts, ellaslist
There's something just so pleasant about eating in view of sparkling water, whether it be the sandy fun of the beach, or the tranquil calm of a lake. It can feel luxurious, like you're on holiday, even if it's just for lunch time!
As urban as we are in Melbourne, we sure have our pick of bodies of water with exceptional eats nearby. Here are six of the best.
Curator's Collective, Queens Park
While the Curator's Collective cafe in Moonee Ponds has changed hands a couple of times recently, the one thing that is consistent is the great food and excellent coffee.
Take a stroll or a ride around the gorgeous lake to walk off all those indulgences, or let the kids loose on the adjoining playground while you sip a drink (alcoholic and non-alcoholic are all available).
The menu at Curator's is seasonal, and based on local produce. It's also super vegan-friendly and folk with allergies will have plenty of choice.
Right on the banks of Melbourne's iconic Albert Park lake sits Carousel Cafe, not only do you get to take in the exceptional water views, but it offers the prettiest angle of the CBD too. Kid and dog-friendly, Carousel is a great place to go when you know the weather is going to be utterly perfect.
Grab a Mezze plate: falafel, honey labne, stuffed bullhorn pepper, beetroot pickle, hummus and a roasted eggplant with buttermilk with laffa ($16) to share with friends, or get stuck right into Porcini scrambled eggs, Dr Marty’s crumpet, prosciutto, grilled cherry tomatoes and parmesan ($17) for breakfast while you watch the runners or the rowers - keep an eye on the birdlife too, rare species have been known to be spotted if you're lucky!
Middle Brighton Baths
Absolutely spoil yourself in this historic art-deco building with enviable views of Brighton beach. There is a restaurant, but if you're just after a bite to eat before heading to the beach, the cafe and bar is for you.
There is an astronomical amount of pastries, muffins, croissants and general breakfast items, eggs, avocado on toast ready for you, and lunch has either small or large plates, tons of salad options, and a sweets menu that you'll be hard-pressed to choose just one dessert - so get the tasting plate ("a wee bit of everything"), which is genius.
Heading north west now, and the Boathouse on the Maribyrnong river is popular with families from all around. A huge dining room, easy takeaway coffees for parents with kids in the adjoining park, and some of the best pizza to be had in the area.
Masterchef judge Gary Mehigan runs the place with his restaurant partner, and their aim is to create a homey, hospitable hub (that stone fireplace sure helps with the ambience) that's family-friendly and affordable.
The outer suburbs are absolutely not left out, with Craigieburn's Waterside Cafe a popular choice thanks to their awesome food and fabulous service.
One of the best places to go if you're dying for a burger or an old-school BLT, or even if you're in the mood for a breakfast salad.
Great kids play area too, and a good vibe all round whether you just want a quick coffee catchup or full family meal.
Cerberus Beach House
If you find yourself in Half Moon Bay, you should head straight to Cerberus Beach House and grab something from their highly-recommended seasonal menu and make sure you get a table with a view of the HMVS Cerberus shipwreck - not something you dine with every day!
If you're in a hurry, the excellent kiosk downstairs has legendary fish and chips, but for a sit-down meal, the restaurant is where it's at, winning numerous awards over the last few years for their spectacular bay views.
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