Cuisine: American (Traditional), Barbeque, Gastro Pub Food
Price Point: Mains from $15 - $30
Ranked: #3 of 25 restaurants in Melbourne

Third Wave has become a religious experience on the Melbourne restaurant scene. Since opening in 2010, they have cemented a reputation as a great neighbourhood cafe with a loyal breakfast and lunch crowd. People come from far and wide to enjoy their exceptional coffees and vast breakfast & lunch menu. Then by night, they transform into a bustling BBQ joint, inspired by the classic American smoke houses of the deep south. Today they are proud to be recognised as one of the best American BBQ experiences you'll have outside of the US.

How it began
Inga is the passionate owner of Third Wave Cafe, a lady with a fierce drive for delivering a quality product, which spills into every area of the business, from grass fed locally sourced meat to perfectly textured milk in your coffee from 5 Senses beans. Its been Inga’s dream to own and operate a café. So after nagging her husband for about a decade, the dream finally came true.

They like to think they have mastered the art of slow smoking, especially using their custom built smoker, named Brutus. Their American BBQ meats are melt-in-your mouth, fall-off-the-bone delicious. The house made BBQ sauces are so good that some customers want to drink them!

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Third Wave Cafe
189 Rouse St
Port Melbourne 3207

Open Hours:
Mon to Fri 7am-10pm
Sat-Sun 8am to 10pm

Phone: (03) 9676 2399
Website: www.thirdwavecafe.com.au

Sample Menu *may not be current

Click on menu to enlarge.

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Ranked: #3 of 25 restaurants in Melbourne 3
Third Wave Cafe
Location: Port Melbourne
Cuisine: American (Traditional), Barbeque, Gastro Pub Food
Mains: $15 - $30

Reviews

Anna Martin

Cute little place. Luckily we booked as it was fully booked for the night. We had pork and beef ribs with sides of coleslaw and chicken wings. All the food was delicious. It was a great spot to eat at, especially as we were boarding the Spirit of Tasmania shortly after.
Thank you!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Mark Barnes

Took a mate to this amazing cafe tonight. It was the first time for both of us and we expected big things after we’d read the previous reviews. Well I can definitely say we were not disappointed. We ordered the beef ribs and the brisket. While the brisket was a little on the light side(we are both pretty big eaters lol) it was absolutely delicious. Tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. I had the most amazing ribs. I’d even go as far as to say they were the best ribs I’d ever eaten. The meat was so tender and moist, the fork barely touched it and it came away from the bone. The texture in my mouth was to die for!

We decided that the food was so good we had to try more of it!!!

We ordered the pork ribs and the chicken and again we were blown away by this culinary delight! Perfectly cooked melt in your mouth food.

The service was swift, courteous and friendly! Truly wonderful people that are genuinely interested in providing an outstanding dining experience. Forget the fancy restaurants in the CBD and go give these guys a go. You won’t be disappointed.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Livvy Smith

Great atmosphere, music, staff. Nice and warm on a really cold Melbourne night. Food was outta this world. Came so my boyfriend could get a bbq ribs fix, was wondering what I could eat. I chose the salmon and it was freakin amazing!
His words “I’ve never had ribs where the meat fell off the bone!” Haha.
We loved the extra touches like the complimentary pickle, sauerkraut, gherkins and the yummy signature bbq sauces! The sides we ordered were pretty big considering they were the “small” size.
We will definitely be back! Thanks so much.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

The food was amazing! The waiters were all super nice and entertaining. We bought the wheelbarrow and it was more than enough for 4 of us...and all soooo tastey. Def recommend this place.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Jennie Jane

We had a great dinner using First Table. It’s lively to eat while the restaurant is quiet, and we usually prefer to eat at off-peak times anyway. The food was great and the service terrific. Would highly recommend First Table and will definitely be using it again soon.

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Tessa da Camara

Great food, great service, food came out quickly, my cocktail was delicious. The food being served to the diners around us also looked great - lots to try again for future visits. Would go again in a heartbeat!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Amazing.
Had their special for the month, the massive Bucket. Not only was the quantity super generous, but the BBQ Chicken, Ribs, Burger and sides were all fantastic to boot.
After polishing off that, we tried the pecan pie. OMG, they were so good. Definitely a must buy item. We had that with their coffee which is also super good.
Can't recommend this place enough.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Lovely staff. Tasty food, smaller portions than I thought.

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Sandie Murphy

American style dining is not really my thing but the food was pretty good and my boys really enjoyed it (was all about them really). They are pretty keen to go back so I guess I will too!
Our female table attendant had zero personality. A little crack of the face would have improved our experience but hey we were there for the food!
Environment a bit shabby and toilets putrid but, all in all a reasonable experience.

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Teris Chow

The food is delicious and big meal side
And the service good too.

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Visal Randika

Excellent service and very tasty food

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Swapnil Patrikar

The contents of this review have not been published as it breaches our review guidelines.

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Aran Haydec

Amazing! Great food, great spot, great service. One of the best BBQ joints in Melbourne!

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Yessica Palacio

When we arrived one of the waiters told us that we had to leave by certain time which we were aware of and was a bit rude. However, the food was amazing, really quick service and big portions! At the end we even forgot the pressure of the time and just enjoyed our meal.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

The food was great, service was good and the deal was extremely worth it. Some bits of the bbq were a bit dry but it was mostly juicy and delicious. Sides were great and oreo milkshake was excellent.

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Mary Hughes

Lovely little spot. We ordered the December special which fed the 4 of us. Service fast, Food was hot, meat was well seasoned and fell off the bone. If we lived in the Melbourne area we would be here often.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Awesome American BBQ Style meats. The meat on the beef ribs falls off the bone. The flavours of the pork ribs were amazing. We maybe ordered too much meat as there was no way we could eat dessert afterwards. The staff were very helpful and attentive. Lucky we made a reservation in advance as they were turning away sit down customers from 5pm as they were booked out. I highly recommend booking in advance and trying the beef ribs. Oh and the chicken wing sauce is amazing!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Good BBQ. Service bit spotty and the space could do with a good sweeping but on whole pretty good.

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Elise Welford

Service was fine, I found that food wasn’t what I thought it was going to be...we had pork ribs and a burger. The ribs were nice but a little on the small side...

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Deborah Alvim

Best burger in Melbourne so far!!! Cosy place, beautiful food and warm service! No doubt we will be coming back to try all the menu!

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Rebecca Mackie-Paleaae

The food was AAA-MAZING!
I took my partner out for Fathers Day and he thoroughly enjoyed it. We will be back.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

We have eaten here twice now and the food is amazing! The monthly specials are great (except they were out of the cheesy chips which was really disappointing). However, that said the rest of the food we could order was really really good. The meat is so tender and it is the best BBQ food we have had in Melbourne. The service is ok - everyone is friendly but no one seems to know about your First Table bookings. The service was attentive enough and we got everything we needed but the staff don't make your dinner extra special through their service. Overall I would 100% go back here and recommend it to a friend! Worth the visit!!!!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Yummy AF beef ribs

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Adam Lane

Great time!

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Dee Semisi

Food and service was great prompt service and good food

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

The contents of this review have not been published as it breaches our review guidelines.

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Alex Malano

I always love coming to Third Wave Cafe and believe it to be one of my most favourite restaurants in Melbourne.
However, this time around my partner and I tried out both of the monthly specials and were severely let down.
The "Cheesebomb" burger didn't taste good, and I believe the Cheese "Buns" would have been better if they had more consistency to them, as in them being fried Mac and Cheese rather then just fried cheese.
The New York Stack, whilst impressive, had far too much bread, which took away from the nice taste of the meal.

The milk shake and Loaded Sweet potato fries were very nice however, and definitely recommend them to anyone who goes there.
A good night out, overall.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Anna Martin

Cute little place. Luckily we booked as it was fully booked for the night. We had pork and beef ribs with sides of coleslaw and chicken wings. All the food was delicious. It was a great spot to eat at, especially as we were boarding the Spirit of Tasmania shortly after.
Thank you!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Yummy! The pork ribs were the best.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Mark Barnes

Took a mate to this amazing cafe tonight. It was the first time for both of us and we expected big things after we’d read the previous reviews. Well I can definitely say we were not disappointed. We ordered the beef ribs and the brisket. While the brisket was a little on the light side(we are both pretty big eaters lol) it was absolutely delicious. Tender, juicy and perfectly cooked. I had the most amazing ribs. I’d even go as far as to say they were the best ribs I’d ever eaten. The meat was so tender and moist, the fork barely touched it and it came away from the bone. The texture in my mouth was to die for!

We decided that the food was so good we had to try more of it!!!

We ordered the pork ribs and the chicken and again we were blown away by this culinary delight! Perfectly cooked melt in your mouth food.

The service was swift, courteous and friendly! Truly wonderful people that are genuinely interested in providing an outstanding dining experience. Forget the fancy restaurants in the CBD and go give these guys a go. You won’t be disappointed.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Rex Chia

Ribs and burgers were delicious and well seasoned/cooked - falls off the bones!

Sides such as mac n cheese and coleslaw were slightly disappointing as they were blend.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Wow! The food was fantastic! We had the June specials and both were amazing! I especially liked the hotcakes instead of burger bun and have never had that anywhere else before. the food came quickly and it all tasted great. We have eaten in a lot of places around Melbourne and the BBQ food here was up there. However, the service was awful! No one was rude however they lacked customer service skills and were incredibly slow. They didn't ask how the food was, they took ages to take out order and took ages to take our food away.The food came out though within about 5 mins and we ate it in about 10 minutes which was quick though we were in and out within 30\40 mins minutes (would of been quicker if the service wasn't so slow)... so it didn't end up being much of a date night. The alcohol milkshake was great as well! Well worth the visit for the food just don't expect great service!

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Kendrick Tanady

Very good

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Alex Malano

Wow wow wow!!!
Food was sensational. Had the 2 monthly specials and I must say they were both fantastic. The Rib burger is seriously the best burger I've ever eaten, and it is a shame that they are getting rid of it after this month.
Service could be improved, but was not too worries about that considering how good the meal was.

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Jo Lee

Amazing food and even better service, this is our second time at Third Wave and we're pretty sure we'll be back again!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

We booked at Third Wave Cafe because other reviews promised a great atmosphere and amazing food...we left quite disappointed. When we arrived at 5pm, we were informed that we had to be out by 6pm, because all their tables were booked for the evening. This left us with little time to order, have a big meal as planned and try out the key lime pie which we heard is delicious. Starters came out quickly, but we only got one main instead of the 2 meals we ordered. The chicken wings were under cooked, while the pork ribs turned out to be quite dry and not at all falling off-the-bone juicy. Disappointed, we left without trying the dessert. The milkshake was delicious though!

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Livvy Smith

Great atmosphere, music, staff. Nice and warm on a really cold Melbourne night. Food was outta this world. Came so my boyfriend could get a bbq ribs fix, was wondering what I could eat. I chose the salmon and it was freakin amazing!
His words “I’ve never had ribs where the meat fell off the bone!” Haha.
We loved the extra touches like the complimentary pickle, sauerkraut, gherkins and the yummy signature bbq sauces! The sides we ordered were pretty big considering they were the “small” size.
We will definitely be back! Thanks so much.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Mariana Bura

We had really high expectations for our meal. We ordered a burger each and loaded sweet potato fries to share. The fries were well under cooked and some were hard in the middle. I had the juicy Lucy burger, it was dry and didn’t fit the description at all. There was no cheese or bacon in the paddy and this left the burger lacking. My partner said his burger was ok but not great. Really disappointed and most likely won’t go again! Has potential but seemed like a lack of care also we were never even asked if we wanted a drink!

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Steven Howe

Amazing and delicious food and friendly service. The beef ribs and corn bread are hella dope! Would've gotten the pie that's on their monthly special but I would've exploded from the sheer size of that thing.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Had no problems with this restaurant, their food was delicious and was served quickly! Great customer service - would definitely go back!!

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Alex Malano

Went to Third Wave Cafe last night and ordered the March Special, which was a huge platter of Waffle Fries covered in 3 kinds of meats and sauces. It was fantastic, and well worth the money. This amount of food would normally be enough for 2 people, however I was feeling especially hungry and also order the spicy chiken wings as an entree. Unfortunately, the chicken wings were not worth it, as the portion was very small, and worst still, it wasn't spicy at all. That was very disappointing.
Moving on to desert, we decided to try out the Pecan Pie and "Waffle" Ice Cream Sandwich. Wow, the Pecan Pie was phenominal! Wish I had ordered 2 serves of this desert, as the Ice Cream sandwich, whilst good, was too sweet. With my Pecan Pie I also ordered a latte. I was told this place was known for its BBQ and Coffee, and I must say the coffee did not disappoint.
Overall the experience was great, and I would definitely return to try some of the other items on the menu.
Keep on bringing out them crazy monthly specials!

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Joon Park

Small cafe in the port melbourne but very nice ambience. My my. They sure do know how to cook their ribs. Succulent and tender yet generous servings. I was blown away

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Nikki Kelly

Food was very enjoyable, waitress was not very nice.

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Super service and great eating experience

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Lynne Nguyen

Ribs were great! Confusion at the start where we were told we could only sit for 60 minutes because our first table booking didn't show up on their side so they didn't have a table available for us being booked out. Definitely rate pork ribs and loaded fries with beef brisket.

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Chris Nault

Food was good enjoyed the brisket and the loaded fries.
Corn bread was a little dry but still good.
Service was average - didn't get a good friendly vibe from the waitress and she forgot to take the 4th persons order. Could've just been a bad day (and it was very hot outside).

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Joy Esterhuyse

We decided to have the January specials and weren’t disappointed. The bacon taco was a bit of fun and the meat salad was huge and definitely not your normal “healthy” salad, but a mountain of tasty meats with melted cheese, bbq sauce and corn bread croutons.
The service was friendly and fast.
Definitely make a booking as this restaurant gets busy at night time.

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Melinda Adami

Delicious food, we love American BBQ and third wave did it just right!!!

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Robert Gibson

Excellent restaurant with a passionate owner who really knows how to take care of his customers. The menu was very impressive and first thoughts were that surely not everything on the menu could be as great as it seems. To put it short, the menu is filled with 'signature dishes' which would otherwise only be found as a single stand out dish at other restaurants. As it turns out, they have mastered them all. We had one of the burgers and brisket loaded fries which were both amazing. We followed it up with a slice of peanut butter and nutella cake and a stack of Nutella pancakes. What can I say. The meals were great. Highly recommended as you could go back a number of times and get a new amazing dish from their menu each time and be amazed each time. I noticed some of the other customers were repeat offenders and the restaurant was full by the time we left. Get it quick before everyone else discover's it.

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Fabulous place. Service was fantastic (they hadn't received the booking but couldn't be more helpful in quickly organising a lovely table). Food was delicious with really generous portions. Great variety of drinks at reasonable prices. Looking forward to returning.

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Jo Lee

My partner's brisket was done perfectly, as was the beef ribs I had -- literally falling off the bone! We did have some trouble trying to get the attention of the waitresses though, which made for some rather awkward waiting times. Nonetheless, it was a great experience.

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Gemma McGrory

The Mac Bomb on Steroids was everything I dreamt it would be! Full of Mac and Cheese, gooey cheese, and incredible smoked ribs. My husband had the chicken quesadilla but I didn’t even ask him if it was nice as I was too busy tucking in to my burger! He also ordered a side of onion rings which were delicious and a very generous portion. Go to Third Wave Cafe, you won’t be disappointed!

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- dined at Third Wave Cafe on

Excellent experience, good food and decent service.

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Overview

74 reviews

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