Sun Shoppe and Cafe, located in the heart of downtown Melbourne for more than a decade, features good selection of coffee, dessert, muffins and bagels. This popular, quirky coffeehouse serves breakfast all day. Coffee here comes from custom-roasted beans, and the blended "frappe" selection includes some unique concoctions, such as the PB + Mocha. Pastries are made fresh daily. You can also choose from vegetarian and vegan offerings. Looking for a cool, lighter option? The long list of smoothies at the Sun Shoppe are refreshing and inexpensive. If you're more of a tea-drinker than coffee-addict, the Sun Shoppe's selection of teas will warm your belly and start your morning right. Enjoy free wifi by day, and live music at night.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: This is our favorite place to grab breakfast and coffee in Melbourne.
Aimee's expert tip: Enjoy your breakfast and custom-roasted coffee outside on the patio.
The Chart House is considered one of the Space Coast's best seafood restaurants. The location is ideal, right on the banks of the Indian River and close to some of Melbourne's top businesses and, of course, the beach. Brunch at the Chart House is on the higher end, but with that, you can expect top quality. For about $25 per person, the brunch menu includes tasty plates of macadamia nut French toast topped with pineapples and berries, or a drool-worthy version of the classic benedict: a tenderloin benedict, accented with carved filet medallions. Brunch comes with the salad bar, and you can top off your late breakfast with mimosas, bloody Marys or fuzzy navels.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: Head to the Chart House for a fine dinner or memorable brunch.
Aimee's expert tip: You might need to call ahead and reserve a table. The Chart House is popular, and as soon as you taste the seafood, you'll understand why.
Feeling a touch Blarney? This downtown Melbourne pub is as Irish as they come, from the St. Patty's pot pie down to the tall, cold glasses o' stout. The authentic menu boasts Irish classics, including corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash. Or try your luck and ask about the Fisherman's Catch of the Day and the new Butcher's Cut of the Day. Great happy hour specials (starting as early as 3 p.m.) and frequent live entertainment are boons, as well. Snag $5 Car Bombs and Irish coffees all day, every day. During football season, the pub is especially crowded on NFL Sundays and Mondays.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: This downtown pub also serves up delicious Irish fare – and not just on St. Patrick's Day.
Aimee's expert tip: Here, you can find six different ways to drink your Jameson, including our favorite, a Jameson and lemonade – served in a mason jar, of course. Ask about the catch of the day.
Alexandria Mediterranean Grill is a delicious place for some inexpensive and healthy Mediterranean food, but you can also find Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern offerings here. Almost everything on the menu is less than $10 – and it's all made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. We recommend the soup and salad combo, which comes with the soup of the day and your choice of four different types of salads, including our favorite, the Greek. The $7 wraps are also delicious and filling. The Alexandria Mediterranean Grill is one of the few family-owned restaurants of this type on the Space Coast, and it's authentic, too. In fact, the founder was born and raised in Egypt, where he learned how to prepare traditional Middle Eastern meal. The menu items today stem from his family's generation's-old recipes.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: Alexandria is where to go for healthy but inexpensive food in Melbourne.
Aimee's expert tip: On a budget? Check Alexandria's website for its specials.
A local, casual favorite, Squid Lips is all about freshness. But it's more than the typical beachfront grill. Food here is grilled over an open oak-wood fire, and nothing is pre-breaded or pre-made. Start with the Cajun bacon-wrapped scallops, which will prepare your tongue for the signature black cherry pepper pork. The crab cakes are another favorite. If you're looking for some beachy entertainment with your meal, you can often hear live music here, too. Find two Squid Lips in the state, one in Melbourne and another in Sebastian. Arrive by boat, if you want the quintessential Space Coast experience.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: Squid Lips is a fresh, beachfront grill that often has live music.
Aimee's expert tip: After you eat, pull up some chairs on the sand and watch the water for dolphins.
It wouldn't be right to have a top-10 list in this area without at least one legitimate tribute to surfing. Long Doggers has that covered. Come as you are – yes, even after a morning of surfing. Grab a quick foot-long "Mork Dog" at the window, or sit down for a Beach Bum meal, like a crab cake with a handful of sides. Everything here's casual. After all, Long Doggers calls itself a "radically relaxed" grill and brew. Bonus: People with allergies will appreciate the full gluten-free menu. Find Long Doggers as five different locations in Florida.
River Rocks specializes in seafood (say hello to a fried whole snapper with butternut squash mash), but its entrees from the land won't leave you wanting – especially the steak. The restaurant also boasts a full cheese menu and pasta options. River Rocks is known for its drinks, too, with an extensive wine list and signature cocktails, such as the Oxygen Stoli, a creative mixture of St. Germaine elderflower liqueur, champagne and muddled fresh strawberries. Although the food is top-notch, it remains family-friendly, with a special sand area for the kids.
Recommended for Melbourne's Best Restaurants because: River Rocks in Melbourne serves up delicious food with a great view.
Aimee's expert tip: Head here for the brunch buffet on Sunday, when you can snag $3 Bloody Marys and mimosas. For less expensive options, but prepared with just as much care, request a table on the dock and enjoy the views. You might even be joined by dolphins.