Higher Ground Melbourne

4.4
235 reviews
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$41 to $100
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Modern Australian
Top tags:
  • Brunch
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Good for a Date
Higher Ground, opened in 2016, is the latest cafe from the team behind The Kettle Black and Top Paddock. Sitting empty and unused for 30 years since the 1980's, it has now been lovingly restored and rebuilt over 2 years.

Not quite a cafe, not quite a restaurant, we offer innovative fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, alongside specialty coffee and a wine list featuring varietals ranging from South Africa to Spain.

On the corner of Little Bourke Street and Spencer Street, only a stones throw away from Southern Cross station and Tram stop 120 and 96, sits a dining experience quite unlike any other.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Modern Australian, Australian, Dining Bar
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Hours of Operation
MONDAY – FRIDAY
7am – 4PM
WEEKENDS & PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
8am – 4PM
•••
NIGHTS: THURSDAY - SATURDAY
Open till 11PM
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Phone number
(03) 8899 6219
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Payment Options:
AMEX, JCB, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress Code
Casual Dress
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Executive Chef
Nate Wilkins
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Neighbourhood
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Cross street
Spencer Street
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Parking Details
Spencer Street Multi story parking is just across the road.
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Public Transit
Southern Cross Station - 50m
Tram No. 96 - 20m
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Cafe, Cocktails, Counter Seating, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining , Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 235 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
Food
4.4
Service
4.6
Ambience
4.1
Value
Noise · Moderate
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
4
3
2
1
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S
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 4Ambience 5

High ceiling, creating fun loud atmosphere. Good for groups of 4 or so - will be tough to hear each other at a bigger table. Food was creative, and delicious - loved it here, will be back soon

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B
1 review
Dined on 8 November 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Compliments to the chef for the good, creative and value-for-money food! Also like the location and decor of the restaurant and the warm and very friendly staff. I would go back to this restaurant in a heart beat should I visit Melbourne again!

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LF
1 review
Dined on 18 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Higher Ground was so good we didn’t eat anywhere else during our three day business trip to Melbourne - 2 x breakfast (could have eaten our way through the menu) and 1 x relaxed business dinner.

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f
1 review
Dined on 12 October 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 4

As I arrived at the restaurant I informed my guest that I had the greatest breakfast of all times a couple days before and indeed this had to be one of the top cafes in the world. Being from New York I had been so impressed.
From then on it was a DISASTER
They might do breakfast and lunch but give up dinner or any thoughts of it
The duck 2 pieces badly cooked floating in a sea of bread sauce coconut and corn salad that didnt work
and for my guest it was inedible You take the prize as the worst meal I have had on this Australian visit
AND at $35 a pop REALLY felt ripped off
How you can not manage a proper and easy dinner menu with all of your combined experiences is a travesty
You did not take me to a Higher Ground !

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H
1 review
Dined on 6 October 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 5Ambience 4

The lamb tongue was good and the sauce and little veggies on the side was good. However, the corn and sauce that came with the duck confit (well I wouldn't say it's confit at all) was weired. Oyster blade was tasteless. Duck parfait was tasteless and wouldn't help with fair amount of nuts sprinkled on top. Wasn't told that we would be charged for the dinner bread. $5.5 for a few pieces? Sparkling water $5 per jug? Even more expensive than the sparkling water at Heston in Crown...won't be back...

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GW
1 review
Dined on 4 October 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

As usual a great evening with friends at Higher Ground. HG has become my go to restaurant when dining with friends from out of town. Food is fresh, tasty, interesting and well presented. Staff are very efficient, friendly and knowledgeable about the menu. Can’t go wrong with this place. Love the building and the restaurant name. Easy to get to.

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SQ
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food and service. My partner and I were treated with a very tasty three course meal. The chargrilled brussels sprouts with egg as well as the salmon for starter, market fish (barrimundi) as well as the osyster blade fillet and two delicious desserts. The staff were very friendly and accommodating. Would highly reccomend to others.

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CS
1 review
Dined on 22 September 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

A totally relaxing space - lighting and ambiance warm and welcoming. Although a bit noisy it never overwhelms one. Service is always spot on and very open, efficient and friendly. Great for a simple get together for two and also super venue for large groups. And of course the food is great and varied - possibly a few more items on the menu would prove enticing. The lighting highlight of the kitchen with the active and effervescent chefs is great to watch. A top spot day and night.

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OT
1 review
Dined on 19 September 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 5

Vegan options were very limited - restaurant was not flexible (when a colleague wanted to remove egg from the salad, she was not asked if she wanted to replace it with anything. She was charged for the egg even though it was absent from her dish.

Mushroom toastie was dripping in oil.

Coffee was expensive.

Waitress was unfriendly and not accommodating.

We had to wait a long time for water bottle refills.

No split bills made it difficult.

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W
1 review
Dined on 15 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service, great food, and a beautiful restaurant. Had previously come for brunch and was impressed, but glad I came back for dinner as well.

Definitely a must if you are in the area or even the city.

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SL
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Fantastic service and food! 5 Stars all the way! Highly recommend.

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TT
1 review
Dined on 13 September 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

The setting is gorgeous - what a lovely building. Service was friendly and efficient. Food was good. Our main course servings were generous and meant that we didn't regret not having dessert where the options were minimal and didn't appeal.

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RB
1 review
Dined on 7 September 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent food, great venue and very good ambience. Staff were friendly and provided great service.

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PD
1 review
Dined on 1 September 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

The atmosphere and food was great, Saturday night and not that busy.
I just found the front desk staff a little off hand and aloof. He did not make myself and friends feel welcome.
Table service waitress was better.
Left feeling like I may not return again - plenty of other options in Melbourne with friendlier staff.

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CA
2 reviews
Dined on 31 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Excellent evening + despite the menu looking exceptionally ‘meaty’ I was thrilled that a vegan chefs menu alternative was on offer. Interior design, service, ambience, food - all excellent.

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SL
1 review
Dined on 30 August 2018
Overall 2Food 3Service 1Ambience 3

Good food and ambience, but the service was poor and slow which let the whole experience down.

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E
1 review
Dined on 23 August 2018
Overall 2Food 1Service 2Ambience 4

Too many foody websites the review too high and too good.
Let me make an appointment with this restaurant with high expectations.
Interior design, lighting and overall ambience are very appealing to me.
But as a senior professional editor of design, lifestyle and fashion. the food is completely unqualified.
It’s the only restaurant I’ve booked in Melbourne this long holidays, the food is not good at all, the only one that is not worth recommending.

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SM
1 review
Dined on 16 August 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 3Ambience 4

Food and service was great. The place has a great ambience. However staff are always very reluctant to provide a tax invoice, insisting the eftpos receipt is sufficient, which when we are meeting for a work function, is highly annoying.

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S
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2018
Overall 2Food 2Service 2Ambience 2

Took way too long to serve a three course meal..not recommended for dinner

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WB
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2018
Overall 3Food 2Service 5Ambience 4

Unfortunately dinner pork belly advertised on menu was a very rough+ and chewy pork neck. Breakfast was amazing.

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J
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2018
Overall 2Food 5Service 1Ambience 3

CONS : I booked at this restaurant using the Citibank dining program - The site clearly states that to be eligible for a free bottle of wine, the table needs to spend a minimum of $50. The restaurant claimed this wasn't correct, and it had to be $100 per table. I'm fine with spending $100 there , but the site clearly states its $50 per table, and I was made to feel uncomfortable by the manager upon correcting him and he advised that the offer isn't advertised as it should be. If the offer shouldn't be offered it shouldn't be on the site, as a patron I shouldn't be made to feel like an idiot, and it is exhibiting poor customer service. Also the wine offered was not the wine that was listed on the Citibank site as available.

PROS : The food was awesome and well worth the visit.

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R
1 review
Dined on 10 August 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 4

Lovely food and incredible friendly and professional service.
Upon arriving before an AFL match at docklands stadium, the wait staff immediately saw our footy scarves and said they would have us served and out of there within an hour, in plenty of time to make the game!
Lovely building, great ambience and meals were nutritious with the menu catering to my mums strict dietary requirements with ease.

Only downside was it was a little overpriced.

Will definitely be back though!

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RS
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Beautiful building, staff and atmosphere. Food was incredible - dined for both breakfast and dinner and both were wonderful. Thank you Higher Ground.

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JM
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2018
Overall 1Food 2Service 2Ambience 3

You ran out of fish, not useful and the beer we requested was sold out.
you served the dip for 4 people with 2 slices of toast which to your credit you then rectified.

music a tad too loud even though this was a big venue

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LP
1 review
Dined on 4 August 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

We only had a short time to dine prior to the football. The staff were accommodating, helpful and very knowledgeable of the menu items. Food was to die for and the wine was the same. Would highly recommend this venue.

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MW
1 review
Dined on 1 August 2018
Overall 3Food 4Service 2Ambience 4

We have now been coming here with our committee for the last 2yrs and the service is always lovely. It's really unfortunate though now we're not being able to pay for our individual meals as it makes it challenging. The service was also not as attentive as normal.

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JG
1 review
Dined on 20 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Worth coming back for more visits. Food is awesome and service staff is very attentive and accommodating to our needs. All the best.
Jean from Singapore. Thanks

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OT
7 reviews
Dined on 14 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

The duck pate' and the Barramundi was delicious!

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F
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Incredible room, great staff and an amazing six-course set menu. Would highly recommend.

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BQ
1 review
Dined on 14 July 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Incredible night of dining with friends. Food and service was AMAZING and menu and beverage options were excellent. Food was AMAZING and the ambience and building was awesome, great location.

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LJ
1 review
Dined on 13 July 2018
Overall 1Food 1Service 1Ambience 3

Average, overpriced food. Paid $30 for fish and then when I found bones in it and told the waiter that they might want to be aware of this so others didn’t choke, she did not seem to think this was a problem. Didn’t apologize or anything.

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JF
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall 4Food 4Service 4Ambience 4

I was given a voucher for Higher Ground, so I didn't know what to expect. What I found was a beautiful converted old building with soaring ceilings that form a peak, hence the name Higher Ground! The staff were excellent. From serving staff to the manager, everyone took excellent care of us. Now for the food! We chose the a-la-carte menu, rather than the set priced menu, and were pleasantly surprised with the quality and flavour of the dishes. My barramundi had the best crispy-skin ever, whilst my husband's steak was cooked to perfection. I would highly recommend this restaurant for its variety, flavour, and service.

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JT
1 review
Dined on 30 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Food was great. We went for the set nenu and the six of us liked it. Table service was great too. Very friendly and cosy admosphere even though the restaurant is big. We’ll come back again.

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S
1 review
Dined on 28 June 2018
Overall 5Food 4Service 5Ambience 5

Date night with hubby wanted somewhere with food and ambience that was a bit special but not over the top and Higher Ground was just that. Would go back and take others. Brunch menu looks amazing too

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SK
1 review
Dined on 8 June 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

wonderful food and service really enjoyed the different menu items offered. Disabled access was very good.

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CO
7 reviews
Dined on 25 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great Food
Great venue
Great Location
Our waiter from The Netherlands was very friendly and helpful.

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CO
7 reviews
Dined on 17 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Great venue, great fresh food. Excellent location near Southern Cross Station.

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CS
1 review
Dined on 16 May 2018
Overall 5Food 5Service 5Ambience 5

Cool building and great ambience. Beautiful food and coffee. Superb service!

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N
1 review
Dined on 1 May 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 2Ambience 4

When Higher Ground had initially opened, it was certainly the place to be. This most recent visit coincided with friends visiting from Hong Kong and Dubai. As a group, the food quality received mixed reviews - and most notably was the drop in quality of the coffee. The cafe staff were attentive, the same can not be said of the kitchen staff. In particular an individual named Paul would benefit from a crash course in basic manners and courtesy.

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CS
1 review
Dined on 28 April 2018
Overall 3Food 3Service 3Ambience 3

I went there for dinner. I heard it's good for brunch. Maybe I should have gone for brunch. The space is beautiful, high ceilings, cavernous feel.

The food was nice, but I was hungry after (despite having also ordered dessert). Service was good, albeit could be slow, and we ended up cancelling our hot drinks as it hadn't arrived, and we had finished our dessert and wanted to leave.

There was nothing bad about it, but I wouldn't be rushing back.

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