Party planning can be stressful. And expensive. Whether you’ve got an upcoming birthday, baby shower, engagement, or work function, the pressure of pulling off a smooth-running event on a budget can be enough to discourage you from celebrating at all.
Luckily for us, there’s plenty of beautiful cafes all over Melbourne that invite you and your guests into their unique spaces to host your next function. From intimate sit-down dinners to 100+ cocktail parties, there’s an affordable function space suitable for anyone.
No matter what the occasion, the teams behind these ten cafes can help you throw a party to remember, for all the right reasons.
11 Izett St, Prahran
You’ll feel at home as you enter through the white picket fence to the intimate, clean space that is Isit Café. Just off Chapel Street in the heart of Prahran, this beautiful converted terrace house is a the perfect venue space for your next function.
There’s the choice of canapés or a four-course sit down dinner menu to choose from, as well as great drink packages available, with the venue being licensed until midnight every night of the week.
For a small fee you can enjoy the comfortable space all to yourself, with professional service ensuring your function runs smoothly. All you have to do is turn up!
1A Fennell St, Port Melbourne
In the midst of Port Melbourne’s industrial area is Punchbowl Canteen. The floor to ceiling windows of this converted warehouse fill the vibrant space with natural light on the darkest of days, and the exposed brick and neon lights give the space an effortlessly cool feel.
The menu features locally sourced produce, full of heart and soul. Even the fussiest of eaters won’t go hungry, as all dietary requirements are accommodated for.
Whether you’ve got a small group of 20 or a larger part of 100, the hardworking Punchbowl Canteen team can cater to your next function.
481 Chapel St, South Yarra
With views overlooking Chapel Street, Lucky Penny is a stunning South Ya-ya café and restaurant that doubles as a unique function space.
The light timber floors, fresh white walls and large archway windows make the space beautiful and light, perfect for baby showers and first birthdays, and the 3am license caters for those who want to party the night away.
The upstairs and downstairs spaces available can be accessed separately without disturbing the other, and they each have their own outdoor smoking areas, or hire the entire venue for a bigger crowd.
21 Hope St, Brunswick
Once the Lux Oven Foundry, now a café, and your future function space! Located just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney Road but close enough for easy access by tram, Lux Foundry is a unique function space in an informal and relaxed environment.
The heritage listed building is an expansive space available for hire, including the exclusive use of the huge outdoor courtyard. You and 90 friends can enjoy the entire venue for cocktail style functions until 11pm each night of the week.
160 Greville St, Prahran
The team at Greville Street’s Oscar Cooper know how to throw a party. The professional staff take the stress out of planning a private function, with attention to detail ensuring everything is exactly how you want it.
The modern urban-industrial interior venue combines recycled materials and high end finishing’s give a welcoming yet lux vibe, and the licensed outdoor area is equipped with heaters to keep your guests warm in the cooler months. Staff will ensure everyone at the function is well fed with the seasonal canapé menu, and well watered with a bunch of cocktails and drink packages available.
Let Oscar Cooper host your next function that will be remembered for months to come.
14A Palmer Parade, Cremorne
Step your next function up a notch at Cremorne’s Lieux. Literally translating to ‘place’, Lieux is a converted warehouse venue catering for up to 200 guests in a cocktail setting,
There’s custom built entertainment booths for DJ’s, an epic sound system, and giant electronic projection screens for visuals. The large private deck, also fitted out with all of the above, provides an additional space for guests to mingle.
The unique space is for those looking for a venue with a difference that your guests are sure to love!
63 Nelson St, Balaclava
Whatever it is you’re after, Glass Merchants will tailor your event to your specific needs. The talented team will help you choose the menu, your own signature cocktails, function theme and your choice of entertainment, all to ensure your event is exactly how you want it.
What was once a glass factory is now an industrial but chic warehouse venue. The neon sign above the bar promises ‘Cocktails and Dreams’, and the exposed brick wall, pop art, and eclectic décor makes it a seriously cool space. Up to 80 people can enjoy the venue for a sit-down event, or 120 for a cocktail and canapé-style setting.
Friends of Mine
506 Swan St, Richmond
Specialty coffee is not all that Friends of Mine have mastered. A hugely popular café during the day, Friends of Mine transforms into an intimate venue space for your next celebration seven nights a week. Whether it be for a wedding, engagement, birthday or corporate dinner, Friends of Mine can cater for a huge range of events.
The chefs make everything from scratch, meaning any dietary requirements, no matter how big or small, can be catered for.
Located just outside the main stretch of Swan Street for privacy, but close enough to continue on the party up the road afterwards. Friends of Mine can help make your next event your best yet!
60 Chapel St, Windsor
Down the Windsor end of Chapel you’ll find Uncommon, a sunny oasis filled with lush greenery and good vibes.
The flexible food and drinks options are sure to impress. Put your trust in the creative team behind Uncommon and let them take care of the arrangements for you. The experienced staff will look after you every step of the way to guarantee a stress-free planning process and fun, smooth event.
Available to hire 5-11pm, seven days a week, Uncommon can accommodate 100 people for a cocktail-style function, or 75 for a sit-down dinner.
12-18 Yarra Pl, South Melbourne
Tucked away in the back streets of South Melbourne is St Ali. Known for making one of the best coffees in Melbourne, St Ali café doubles as a unique function space for your next party, launch, function or wedding. The converted warehouse space still feels comfortable and cosy despite its high ceilings and roller doors, with the mismatched décor giving it that ‘Melbourne cool’.
Whether you’re after canapes, a three-course sit-down meal, or even themed food stations – the strong team in the kitchen can cater the flexible menu to your liking.
By Madeline Wallman
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