As soon as 12:00 rolls around, your stomach lets you know about it. Who needs a watch (well, a phone) when we have our own in-built timers?! 

Lunch is a highlight of any day of the week, whether you’re working hard, taking a day to yourself, chauffeuring the kids around, or hustling through a Friday while looking forward to the weekend. It’s no wonder our brains are as keen for lunch as our stomachs are! 

One of the best things about lunch is that it can be whatever you want it to be. There are no unwritten ‘rules’ like there are for other meals— we’re not expected to eat cereal or toast with fruit or a protein and carb-laden meal with a side of veggies (though all of those do sound great). Whether you’re into salty, savoury, or sweet, there are endless lunch options out there for you to try. And here in Eltham, we have them all!

This article explores the best places to grab a great lunch in Eltham. Get started on eating your way through them today!

Where to Get a Great Lunch in Eltham

1. The Main Cafe Eltham

If lunch in an informal and relaxed environment is your jam, The Main Cafe’s got you covered. This cafe, bar, and restaurant in Eltham Village Shopping Centre on Main Road offers casual dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as coffee and snacks and light meals to tide you over before and after lunch. And, of course, being a bar as well, you could also fancy your lunch up with a glass of red or white.

When it comes to food, you’re spoiled for choice. The breakfast menu runs until 3 pm, so breakfast for lunch is a go! For the sweet tooths among us, you can’t beat the buttermilk berries pancakes smothered with maple syrup, ice cream, and walnut praline. Meanwhile, savoury fiends will be impressed with the vast selection of burgers, bowls, sandwiches, and even build-your-own omelette options. 

Looking for something more filling for lunch? The pasta, mains, and wood-fired pizza menus will leave your stomach satisfied! The 300g Scotch fillet goes down a treat, and no meat-eater could ever say no to the delicious meatball pasta. Don’t despair if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, though! They have options for you, too, as well as for those who are dairy-free and gluten-free. The Main Cafe is a hit for the young and old and locals and visitors alike, so pay them a visit today!

2. Cafe Aromas Eltham

What’s that delicious aroma in the air? You guessed it, it’s Aromas Cafe! Walking down the Eltham Mall off Arthur Street will easily stir up hunger pangs once you get within sniffing distance of these guys. 

This always-busy cafe is well-known for its great food and coffee and friendly service. The staff— especially local legend, owner Frank— always make you feel right at home with not just their welcoming attitudes but also their homestyle food. There’s nothing like homemade soup to warm you up on a winter’s day in Eltham, so when a warm and hearty meal is what your stomach craves, steer it here! Other highlights include the pasties, beef lasagne, and burgers, not to mention the sweet treats for a post-lunch snack. 

Also a beanery, the professional baristas at Aromas Cafe slow roast their coffee and always serve it with a smile. It’s never too early or too late for a quality coffee! Whether you’re here on a weekday or weekend, you’ll be treated to delectable homemade food that tastes just as good as Mum’s— or maybe even better (we won’t tell)!

3. Third Chapter Eltham

Third Chapter is an Eltham institution for quality food crafted from fresh produce. This restaurant, cafe, and bar at 26 Commercial Place is run by the Cortesao family, proud veterans of Melbourne’s hospitality industry. Open from 7 am until late every day of the week, it’s not just the perfect place for lunch but also the perfect place for breakfast, dinner, coffee, and any and every snack in between!

Their menus make the most of the best local and seasonal ingredients and add a contemporary flair to each meal they make from scratch. The breakfast and lunch menu is so extensive it needs to be seen to be believed, but trust us when we say this doesn’t detract from the quality whatsoever! Each dish is as sensational as the one before and the one after, so you can easily find yourself coming back every weekend and trying something new each time and never getting tired of it. 

Breakfast runs until 3 pm and features the likes of brioche french toast, breakfast burgers, The Main Chapter, the Veggie Chapter, and the adorably-named Posh Crumpets. Kids under 12 also have their own menu, which extends beyond the typical ham and cheese pizza and chicken nuggets to include a schnitzel with chips, pasta with Napoli sauce, and more. It’s the perfect place for a family get-together where everybody will find something they love, no matter their age or dietary requirements. Whether it’s an early or late lunch, just make sure it’s at Third Chapter.

4. Papa Bear Eltham

Papa Bear, in the Midway Arcade on Main Road, is all about healthy and homemade meals that will tantalise your taste buds while still making you feel at home and cosy. The atmosphere here is just as important as the food and coffee, with the location and the staff both being top-notch. Quick and efficient service is always topped off with a smile and a quick chat if you’re up for it, while the location is in a busy area, so you can’t miss it but still relaxed enough for you to enjoy your meal.

Locals rave about the pork rolls, Banh Mi, chicken roti wrap, and the famous Chilli Scramble breakfast. And as with any cafe within a stone’s throw of Melbourne, the excellent coffee! Whether you’re a flat white fiend or a latte lover, you’ll find the perfect cup here. If you’re not a coffee drinker but still love a warm pick-me-up, the Mofo Deluxe hot chocolate will warm your soul (and is vegan and dairy-free)! 

And we can’t mention Papa Bear without making a point of their Croque Monsieur. They’re perfect for breakfast on the go, lunch on the go, lunch while you take a seat and relax, or taking home to reheat later when that 3 pm hunger pang hits. While many claim to have the best toastie ever, we have to say that this one may just top the list! 

5. Miss Pryor Eltham

Miss Pryor’s all-day menu means that lunch isn’t a meal constrained by time— it’s an experience. With everything from light salads to indulgent dishes that will fill you up for the rest of the day and then some, they truly are anything but ordinary!

The menu boasts traditional breakfast and lunch options, snacks, smoothies, a kids menu, French soda drinks, cold-pressed juices, milkshakes, and the vital coffee selection. No matter your age, you just have to try the Blue Heaven smoothie! And with just about every cocktail under the sun as well as beer and wine, it’s easy to let a late lunch here turn into drinks and dessert. 

Located at 1 Pryor Street, Miss Pryor is as well-known for its vegan and vegetarian options as it is for its quality coffee, delicious milkshakes, and sensational smoothies. The vegan bruschetta is a hit for vegans and non-vegans alike, and the veggie burger is delicious with or without the added salmon and/or egg. If you can’t get enough meat, we highly recommend the crispy Korean chicken and the Miss Mac Pryor burger, made with award-winning wagyu. Whatever you’re in the mood for, Miss Pryor will have it ready for you in no time!

6. Cornercaf Eltham

Cornercaf, at shop 5, 6 Arthur Street, has been making Eltham locals and visitors happy for over 10 years. This family-owned business serves hot coffee, delicious meals, and sweet treats for breakfast and lunch (and, of course, snacks!). Eggs are their specialty, as the Eggs Benedict and scrambled eggs are among their most popular dishes. They also have a wide range of vegetarian options and are very accommodating to people with dietary restrictions.

Whenever you come to Cornercaf, just make sure you do it while you’re hungry! They love to make sure you’re well-fed with their generous portions, which is surely just one of the things that has helped make them such a well-known name in Eltham. A food and coffee lover’s haven, Cornercaf is run by a local family who is so dedicated to their customers that they share their family holiday snaps on social media— now that’s what we call sweet! Now that they’re back from Greece, it’s the perfect time to pop into Cornercaf and welcome the team back to town. 

Eat it in Eltham

As you can see, Eltham prides itself on great food and fantastic service. Combining both of these in our beautiful and enviable location means that there’s nowhere better to go to fill your hungry belly when that lunchtime rumble sets in! Whether you’re an Eltham local looking for somewhere new to be your go-to brunch spot or you’re coming in for the weekend from out of town, these cafes and restaurants will have all your lunch needs covered.