The sun is starting to shine again, and Melbourne foodies no longer have to rug up and risk the frosty weather in search of mulled wine and hot chocolate. Spring is here, and cyclists are out in force, frequenting Melbourne’s many popular bike tracks. Thanks to being a relatively bike friendly city, Melbourne understands that with great tracks, comes great hospitality. Here are some of Melbourne’s best bike friendly cafes, with Lycra optional, but great coffee non-negotiable.
Bayside riders have plenty of options on where to get their salt-scented sips. Riding alongside the beach is a popular choice for those working out, or just after a weekend wander. A popular spot on Marine Parade in St Kilda is CAFE RACER. They offer all day breakfast with traditional faves, plus a few scrumptious extras such as the beetroot eggs, with house made relish, goats cheese, rocket and some pretty poachies. What’s even better is you can enjoy it while overlooking the waters of Port Phillip Bay. Home to many true-blue bike lovers, any time you pop by Cafe Racer you’ll be sure to enjoy the warm community feel—after you’ve navigated through the jungle of tyres, spokes and high-tech locking devices, that is.
Another Bayside beauty is Hampton based BROWN COW, where you can get Brown Cow branded cycling kits. Bike racks aplenty, and a close beach location, Brown Cow aptly hail themselves as the cycling hub of the south eastern suburbs. Open for breakfast, lunch and even dinner, you’ll often see some shiny lycra populating the outdoor seating throughout spring, and on particularly cold days, maybe even catch a glimpse of some super keen cyclists warming themselves by the toasty indoor fireplace.
But Melbourne’s best bike tracks aren’t all by the bay. Studley Park and Yarra Bend Park in Kew are great places for a scenic cycle, and the STUDLEY PARK BOATHOUSE is a great stop for a caffeinated chat. So close to the city you’d never expect this scenic oasis, but make like it’s a holiday and join the hoards of bike riders as they enjoy bike paths and coffee alike.
A jump, skip and pedal away is THREE BAGS FULL in Abbotsford, which is the number one choice for many hues of lycra wearers. It’s no wonder why, when their menu is both hearty and healthy. Riders can stop for a quick veggie juice, or sit down with fellow cyclists for something a bit more adventurous, like their Eggs in Hell dish with grilled polenta, spicy chorizo ragu, poached eggs, fior de latte and basil. Their sweet treats are awfully tempting too, and if you’re hopping back on that bike afterwards, why not sneak in a few extra calories?
While a lot of cyclists hit the roads as weekend warriors or hobbyists, a lot of eco friendly and #fitspo individuals utilise their fancy fixies for day to day travel. The city and surrounds is full of cafes, but how bike friendly are they really? And how much are you willing to risk the security of that extra limb—err, bike? SEVEN SEEDS in Carlton is a great stop for inner-city riders, fitted out complete with an indoor bike rack. So you can get your quality coffee fix whilst not being too far from your one true love.
Richmond riders will want to cut through to new cheeky hideaway DENIS THE MENACE on Chestnut Street, Cremorne. Headed by Adam Wilkinson (previously St Edmonds), Denis the Menace is not only bike friendly with an undercover storage space for your wheels, but also designed with consideration across the board for environmental sustainability. Wilkinson tells us that ‘every single piece of timber in the building is recycled timber’, along with many of the fittings, decorations and design focussing on recycled material.
So if you’re already doing your bit to help out the environment by riding your bike (and saving money while you’re at it), then you’ll feel right at home at Denis the Menace, where they believe it’s too big a problem for one person to fix(ie), but collectively it’s possible to make a difference to environmental sustainability. The menu at Denis the Menace is quite health conscious, with an emphasis on seafood and nutritional information in abundance—but don’t get your knickers in a twist. It’s not all green and lean, Wilkinson assures us. ‘You can still go in and have your burger and your benedict,’ he says.
Whether you ride for fun and leisure, or you compete with fellow lycra lads and lasses. You’re a practical A to B-er, or a self-proclaimed vegan eco-warrior. Melbourne has a bike friendly cafe, just waiting for you to ride on in singing the sounds of Queen.