When it comes to food and drink Melbourne, Australia hangs it's hat on two things: brunch and coffee. Anyone who lives there will tell you they're the best. Anyone who travels there will quickly learn it's not just bluster.
My trips to Melbourne tend to lead to complaints from friends that my Instagram just becomes an endless stream of breakfast porn (like this and this). They're not wrong. While it's hard to explain what makes Melbourne brunch so special I would sum it up as world class baristas and roasters, artisan preparation at cafes big and small, and a willingness to try new and different flavor combinations around very simple core concepts.
For years any time I come back to the U.S. I've been left wondering why I can't get Melbourne quality brunch on this side of the Pacific. Well apparently Melbourne heard my cries. Suddenly there is a full on invasion of Australian brunch spots invading the USA from all sides.
In one of the most direct leaps, Proud Mary Coffee from Collingwood opened a second cafe in Portland, Oregon's hipster Eastside. I had the good fortune to eat at Proud Mary USA and can confirm it's every bit as fantastic as the original.
[Proud Mary Breakfast Sashimi]
In New York City, Bluestone Lane Coffee took inspiration from the Melbourne location of the same name for their string of phenomenal looking cafes. With cafes in NYC, Brooklyn, Hoboken, Philadelphia, and soon San Francisco, it's clear this kind of cooking is catching on. In fact Bluestone have been doing some heavy lifting as evangelists including a link to a great article from Good Food that does a much better job than I did of breaking down what makes the meals so special.
It shouldn't be a surprise that Melbourne brunch is a hit in the USA given it has already started popping up in European food capitals. Melbourne superstar Hardware Societe (one of my top-3 brunch places worldwide) did a reverse jump with their French-Australian fusion cooking and brought it back to France with a Paris location that locals love.
More and more examples of Melbourne brunch coming to the United States keep popping up and I couldn't be happier. If you have the chance to go to Melbourne then go. But if you don't, the good news is you can experience the food other places too. Either way, bring your appetite.