Five new Melbourne cafes to visit on International Coffee Day (plus 12 doing free coffee)

Axil Coffee will be giving away free brews on October 1.
Axil Coffee will be giving away free brews on October 1.  Photo: Supplied

You've no doubt become very well acquainted with your local cafe over the last 18 months. But while we've been confined to our limited rotation of spots within our 5km bubble, plenty of brew bars have sprung up across the city. Here are five that you might not have visited yet, plus 12 spots that are shouting you a free cup of joe on October 1 as part of Sip for Vic, an initiative of Visit Victoria.

Bench Little Collins

You can expect more than a solid brew when you visit one of Bench's three locations around town. The team, who are also behind Saint Dreux sandwich shop, pay just as much attention to roasting as they do to the design of their cafes, which boast mirrored surfaces, beautiful furniture and backlit glass bricks. The Little Collins store opened in April, focusing on coffee and friends on the drinks front, complemented by tiny dacquoise biscuits sandwiching fillings like black sesame and chocolate. It joins two other stores: one in Southbank, the other near Fawkner Park on St Kilda Road.

321 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, benchcoffee.co

Bench Coffee Co. opened its third store in the CBD in April.
Bench Coffee Co. opened its third store in the CBD in April. Photo: Joe Armao

Udom House

This sunny West Melbourne spot is eye-opening in its scope, even for serious coffee lovers. Udom House owner Aum Phithakphon fuses her skills as a barista with her Thai heritage to create a menu that's unlike anything else you'll see in our coffee-loving city. Try caffeinated Thai drinks, both hot and cold, alongside old faithfuls like the flat white and be sure to come with an appetite for the sweets, curry-filled pies and kaya toast.

343 Victoria Street, West Melbourne

New Thai Cafe Udom House in West Melbourne.
New Thai Cafe Udom House in West Melbourne.  Photo: Penny Stephens

Craftwork Roasting Co.

After establishing their new roastery over the past year in a 1960s industrial estate in Eltham, the Craftwork team have added tables, chairs and a small menu of pastries and sandwiches for customers to linger over. Couple Rebecca and Caleb Heaney ran a specialty cafe in the CBD for many years, drawing on Caleb's experience as a roaster with Seven Seeds and Rebecca's design background. Now they've branched out on their own and are ready to share their knowledge and ethically sourced coffee with the Eltham community.

1/27 Peel Street, Eltham, craftworkroasting.com.au

Café Colores

The Industry Beans coffee in your hand isn't the only heartstarter you'll find at this Reservoir cafe. Decked out in LED panels that, when lit up, channel Saturday Night Fever, Colores changes up the palette each month from violet and blue to orange and red. The kaleidoscopic colours are matched by a spectrum of flavours, with empanadas, toasties and vegan bliss balls joining Colombian puff pastry handpies known as pasteles. Fashion designer Lina Zabaleta and Ben Menzies opened the cafe in April and have been turning heads ever since.

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783 High Street, Reservoir, cafecolores.com.au

Midi

The Burnside crew have branched out from their super popular corner spot on Gertrude Street, opening an edgy new cafe underneath a Richmond apartment building. They've brought four of Burnside's popular sandwiches with them, which join granola, ham and cheese croissants and herb-crumbed mushroom rolls for breakfast. It's been a rocky period of opening and closing the doors since opening in May. Say hello and admire the fit-out while you order takeaway.

45 Wangaratta Street, Richmond

Get in early for a free coffee from one of 12 CBD cafes on October 1.
Get in early for a free coffee from one of 12 CBD cafes on October 1.  Photo: JAKE RODEN

Get free coffee at these city spots on 1 October

If you live in the city or need to head into the CBD for work, these 12 spots are ready and waiting to get your day off to a flying start on International Coffee Day. Simply mention Sip for Vic when you order and the coffee is yours for free. Keep in mind there's a limit of one free coffee per person and each cafe is giving away 100 coffees, so it pays to be early.

  • Axil Coffee Roasters, (CBD only), shop GD087, Melbourne Central, 360 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne 

  • Brother Baba Budan, 359 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne

  • Cathedral Coffee, 9/37 Swanston Street, Melbourne 

  • Cup of Truth, 12 Degraves Street, Melbourne  

  • Dukes Coffee Roasters, 247 Flinders Lane, Melbourne  

  • Industry Beans (CBD only), 345 Little Collins Street, Melbourne  

  • King St Espresso, 270 King Street, Melbourne

  • The League of Honest Coffee, 8 Exploration Lane, Melbourne 

  • Little Rogue, 12 Drewery Lane, Melbourne

  • People's Coffee, 7 Benson Walk (part of the 80 Collins building), Melbourne 

  • Patricia, corner of Little Bourke and Little William Streets, Melbourne 

  • Vacation, 1 Exhibition Street, Melbourne