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4 Thornbury Cafes Only Locals Will Know About

Home > Melbourne > Lists | Food and Wine | Coffee | Cafes | Breakfast
by Sean Goedecke (subscribe)
Sean Goedecke is a freelance writer trying to visit every cafe in Australia. If you enjoy his articles, it can't hurt to click the 'like' link at the bottom or subscribe.
Published September 1st 2015
Even locals might not know the fourth one
Thornbury is kind of like Melbourne's hipster middle child. Sandwiched between the self-conscious coffee shop culture of Northcote and the less gentrified, grittier Preston, it's easy to forget Thornbury exists. But you shouldn't, or you'll miss out on these amazing High St cafes. Next time you're catching the 86 tram to Penny Farthing or the Wesley Anne, why not hang on for a few more stops and try one of these places? You've got nothing to lose, and a whole suburb full of awesome coffee shops, bars and restaurants to gain.

Brother Alec

Located on 719 High St, Brother Alec is your standard hipster coffee shop, done right. The space is cozy but not too crowded, and the wooden furniture is quirky and comfortable. Expect your standard array of espresso coffee (a blend from Espresso Syndicate) and breakfast or lunch options - all of them delicious.

Brother Alec's sunny interior
Brother Alec's sunny interior

The real charm of Brother Alec is its atmosphere, though: sunlight pours in from its large street window, lighting up the minimalist white walls and insides of the cafe. It's the perfect place to bring your laptop and work on your novel - or just bring a book and relax over a couple of lattes.


On 669 High St, Crunch is just a little south of Brother Alec - a short walk away if you're on a coffee crawl or you change your mind at the last moment. Don't expect all the hipster bells and whistles: Crunch's theme is simple food and coffee, done right. A bit more family-friendly than Brother Alec, Crunch has plenty of room for prams and wayward children, and the atmosphere is relaxed and laid back. The coffee is still delicious, though, a slightly darker and harsher blend than Brother Alec's. Try the array of cakes on the counter, or order a warmed up banana bread with cinnamon butter.

The Kiln Cafe

The Kiln Cafe is a bit off the beaten track, operating out of the old Northcote Pottery building at 85 Clyde St. It's a lovely space, with high walls and windows that let in the sunlight. This cafe is perfect for large groups - since it isn't on crowded High St, there's a ton of space inside, including a children's play area. In a tasteful nod to history, there's also a mini museum-exhibit inside the kiln itself. Take a stroll inside while waiting for your breakfast to come. The menu is a bit limited but everything's delicious, and the coffee is top notch. This is the go-to place if you're looking to avoid Thornbury breakfast crowds, or you just want to try something new.

Le Cafe Flo

Le Cafe Flo, on 709 High St, is a rare treat among Melbourne cafes: it's something genuinely new. You won't get your standard toast and eggs here, and while they do lattes you shouldn't order one.

cafe flo
Keep an eye out for this sign

This is a French cafe - an authentic one - where the breakfast comes wrapped in a crepe and the coffee comes in bowls. Le Cafe Flo's signature coffee is a bowl (a literal bowl) full of milky coffee with a slight vanilla flavour. It's something you won't find anywhere else on High St, as is its mix-and-match galette and crepe breakfast menu. If you're a breakfast snob, you owe it to yourself to come here, if only to break the monotony of standard Melbourne cafe menus.

Is there a hidden Thornbury cafe you know that you think deserves a spot in this list? Share it in the comments - we'd love to hear from you. It's time Thornbury cafes got some well-deserved appreciation.
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Why? Because it's time Thornbury cafes got some recognition
When: For breakfast, usually
Where: Mostly on High St, Thornbury
Cost: Standard cafe prices
Your Comment
The kiln cafe is one of best in the are . Everything home made and delicious . Especially the chicken and veggie pie. The owners have a passion in their food and it stands out.
With a warm and fruendkt smile when you walk in
It bring me back in time as I was pupil at wales street primary .
Love it and told all my friends about it .
can't stop taking about it .
Hooe it's there for a very very long time
A hide away gem....
by maria (score: 0|2) 2159 days ago
A map would be good.
by lynnb (score: 1|24) 2162 days ago
Thanks for the post! I have been looking for a French cafe like Le Cafe Flo for ages! Looking forward to trying it!
by weizl (score: 0|2) 2159 days ago
Jerry Joy on the corner of Wales & Mansfield Streets (Thornbury) is an absolute gem of a cafe! Do yourself a favour and check it out. A definite must for your list!
by sara2 (score: 1|10) 2159 days ago
Thank you Sean for the nice review. Next time you come in the coffee is on us :)
by pento (score: 0|4) 2158 days ago
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