Much like most suburbs in Melbourne, Balaclava is packed full of amazing cafes where you can spend your weekend doing what Melbournians do best. Drinking coffee and eating brunch. In the 9 months I spent living in the area, I visited a lot of the cafes that sat on my doorstep. So without further adieu, here are the five best cafes in Balaclava that you must try when in the neighbourhood.

Glass Merchants

Glass Merchants is my all-round favourite cafe in Balaclava. It’s housed in an old warehouse with a big open plan space, lofty roof and plenty of seating. This makes it the perfect place to settle in with your laptop for a couple of hours. For food and drink, think great coffee, tasty cakes and sandwiches, plus a good brunch menu served up fresh from the kitchen.

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Wall Two 80

Next door to Glass Merchants is another one of the best cafes in Balaclava, Wall Two 80. Unlike its neighbour, this popular cafe is compact and cosy with a lively bustling vibe. During peak hours and you might be hard-pressed to find a spot either inside or on the roadside seating. However, you can still get your coffee fix from the service hatch that opens onto the street any time of the day.

Monk Bodhi Dharma

Monk Bodhi Dharma is one of the best cafes in Balaclava for speciality coffee. You’ll find it hidden down the alley next to Woolies on Carlisle Street. From the outside, it’s a rather inconspicuous graffiti-covered brick building. Whilst inside distressed walls and furniture, wooden beams and low hanging bulbs complete its industrial rustic vibe. Monk is also a micro coffee roastery so make sure to try their speciality coffee or daily batch brew. And if you’re looking for something to pair your coffee with they have a good all-day breakfast menu too.

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Batch Espresso

Batch Espresso is another great cafe operating out of a little nook of a unit along Carlisle Street. Seating is limited, but if you can secure a table it’s a great place to head to for brunch. They also serve alcohol here if you want to turn it into a boozy one. Coffee wise, their go-to beans are South Blend by Coffee Supreme. But they also have bespoke cold or batch brews on offer too.

Las Chicas

A long-standing Carlisle Street institution, Las Chicas is also considered one of the best cafes in Balaclava. Las Chicas pride themselves on their wholesome food, with all their dishes made from fresh, local and sustainable ingredients. Whilst over at the counter, they’re brewing up their ever-popular locally roasted ST ALi coffee. Inside you’ll find a bare-bones style compact space that opens out to a large undercover terrace outback. 

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