[Melbourne] The café scene has been evolving in Melbourne. Known to be the city which serve one of the best (sorry, the best) 3rd wave coffee in the world, there has been shift in some cafes from coffee-centric, to emphasis in brunch and trendy food items.

One of the most visits, especially if you are tight for time, is Higher Ground.

Once you enter Higher Ground at 650 Little Bourke Street, you would realise this is a different ballgame all together.

Literally another level of café, or “high level” – as how my hipster foodie friends would term.

Higher Ground is brought to you by the same team (Nathan Toleman and Sarah Foletta husband and wife team) behind Top Paddock and The Kettle Black, known for their avocado on toast and gorgeous Ricotta Hotcakes.

Melbourne’s coolest café in the CBD is converted from a heritage-listed 19th-century power station.

When I walked in, even though I have seen Instagram pictures, there was literally a “wow” moment.

Open space and a 15 metre high ceiling, exposed brickwall, abundant planting, natural sunlight, and a semi-open kitchen sits behind.

The staff members are stylish, the energy is upbeat, and tables are frequently full.

This can be a place to date, hang out with friends, to have casual meetings. Upstairs is where you want to be if you want to be more cosy, and people-watch below.

During day time, you get photogenic pieces (ie good for Instagram) from Mango and Coconut Chia, Buffalo Yoghurt, Mint and Lemon Balm ($17.50) to that famed Ricotta Hotcake ($21.00).

Savoury brunch items included Spiced Cauliflower, Scrambled Eggs on Housemade Flat Bread ($19.50), Benedict Eggs, Dry Cured Ham, Emmental Bearnaise on Sourdough ($20.50) to Steamed Market Fish ($26.00) and other small plate items.

Coffee’s roasted by Square One Coffee Roasters, and you get Lune Croissanterie’spastries as well.

In Australia where many shops close relatively early, Higher Ground is opened till about 11pm during the Thursday to Saturday weekends.

As for the signature Ricotta Hotcakes ($21.00) in which some cafes in Singapore have also got their inspiration from (em, or copied?), it deserves its fame.

Sprinkled with seeds and grains for that crunch, flowers for aesthetic purposes, the texture was fluffy like a soft cake, drizzled with a touch of maple syrup for that distinct sweetness.

It was so pretty I felt happy eating it.

Portion could be big. I finished about a quarter and was fully satisfied.

I liked it, but do I want to have it again? This, I am not too sure. (By the way, I had another at Top Paddock, and happened to like it more at Higher Ground.)

A cafe of another level all together. Located within a power station, sorry for the pun, vibes are truly energetic.


Higher Ground Melbourne
650 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne
Tel: 03 8899 6219
Opening Hours: 7am–4pm (Mon – Wed), 7am–late (Thu – Fri), 8am–late (Sat), 8am–4pm (Sun)
Google Maps – Higher Ground Melbourne

Other Related Entries
The Kettle Black (Melbourne)
Lune Croissanterie (Melbourne)

Click HERE for other MELBOURNE Food Entries

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  1. Yea Higher Ground has been one of my favourite coffee spots in the CBD for a while now. As well as the stunning architecture they also do a fantastic pour over coffee with the Kalita Wave with rotating single origins


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