Until a few years ago, ‘froth’ on the Gold Coast was associated with two things: foam from ocean waves during a big swell, or a milky cappuccino. The more froth on both, it seemed, the better. Who would have thought that froth would one day be associated with a growing list of Gold Coast cafes?
Although tides haven’t changed and the Gold Coast’s surf is still reliably good, the Goldie’s coffee scene certainly has. Within a decade, this coastal region now boasts a bean scene and some funky cafés that serve up some of Australia’s best cutting-edge bites and quality coffees.
Here are 10 of the best Gold Coast cafes.
10 Cool Gold Coast Cafes
1- Barefoot Barista
15 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach, Gold Coast.
As the name might suggest, Barefoot Barista is an ultra laid-back and very cool Gold Coast café in the heart of suburban Palm Beach, 6km south of Burleigh Heads.
The vibe may be relaxed but baristas take their coffee – and food — very seriously.
The owner is so passionate about ‘all things bean’ that the space next door is dedicated to ‘all things coffee’, from cupping sessions to sales of machines and coffee-making contraptions.
Not surprisingly, it’s one of the Goldie’s most popular spots.
Its sister concern, Borough Barista, is a popular hole-in-the-wall in Burleigh Heads that serves up java to early birds, starting at 5 am.
1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh, Gold Coast.
This ultra-hipster crowd-pulling neighbourhood café is out on a limb in every sense.
It’s away from the beachfront on an incongruous strip alongside a highway and exudes a funky attitude and vibe.
You can grab a seat indoors at one of several eclectic vintage tables and chairs or go al fresco in the attached courtyard (where there’s also a ping pong table).
Menu favourites include tasty organic egg dishes and great coffee made with Campos beans.
Cold drip is available, too.
3- Canteen coffee
23 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads, Gold Coast.
You can follow your nose to this trendy spot.
Canteen Coffee is tucked in a laneway (between James St and Park Ave in Burleigh Heads) such is the beany bouquet.
From 6 am, baristas serve up their roasted signature espresso blends plus delicious house-baked goodies.
Canteen has a relaxing courtyard patio but the industrial chic interior is a cool place to lounge in every sense.
4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast.
Okay, it’s an over creative name for ‘biscuit’ (apparently based on the premise that early Egyptians and Romans got sustenance from bikkies during long journeys).
But we promise you, the gimmick ends there.
Local foodies and travellers flock here for this trendy spot’s down-to-earth dishes that are made with nutrient-rich, tasty organic produce.
We love the super berry cacao pancakes and the 12-hour sticky pork dish.
Vegans are well catered for with the likes of the paleo pasta dish.
The kids’ menu and play area makes this buzzy place a hit with families.
Java hounds can get a reasonable fix here, too.
5- Canvas Espresso
2221 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach, Gold Coast.
Canvas Espresso is a colourful, little spot that doubles as a community art space.
Located on Nobby Beach, just south of Broadbeach, it’s the area’s takeaway coffee joint (although a communal table and a few milk crate stools are available for those who prefer to relax in-house).
They use their own earthy blends marketed as Canvas espresso (also for sale).
Beans are all farmed, processed and bought from Kenya, Costa Rica, Sumatra and Guatemala.
The best bit?
The beans are acquired along strong ethical and sustainable lines.
This Gold Coast cafe serves delicious baked goods, too.
It’s hard to go past the almond croissant.
6- Elk Espresso
Oasis Shopping Centre, Shop G044/2 Charles Ave, Broadbeach, Gold Coast.
Don’t be put off by the building exterior, which is a dated 1970s style block.
Inside, the décor is industrial chic with the ubiquitous communal table, and it serves up a relaxing, can-do vibe.
Plus good coffee.
Great for filling breakfast dishes — the likes of poached eggs and smashed avocado on toast — before you hit the beach opposite.
7- No Name Lane
Elizabeth Ave, Broadbeach, Gold Coast.
Located in an alleyway (though lacking in the grunge lane feel a la Sydney or Melbourne), this simple spot attracts loyal followers for its casual feel.
Think bench seating, low tables, Tolix-style designer stools and punchy brews.
Simple, fresh breakfasts such as Roma tomatoes and avocado on toast with good quality oil.
8- ESPL Coffee Brewers
Soul Boardwalk, 4 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.
A modern, yet laid-back Gold Coast cafe with a fabulous Escher-like floor design and amazing beach view.
ESPL is not just trendy but also serves up a great morning jolt.
It’s in a handy location – on the Esplanade — so you can head here for a post-walk or swim pick-me-up.
Beans are locally roasted.
Nicaraguan, Honduran and Brazilian beans are the rage here.
9- Stairwell Coffee
3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.
This tiny hole-in-the-wall Gold Coast cafe, located incongruously in Surfers’ Centre Arcade (known as Asian Alley), is identifiable for its fire red door.
And the caramel-chocolate-java aromas that fill the stairwell.
It uses Merlo coffee, a Queensland company, but beware those who like ceramic service: take away equals paper cups.
10- Bumbles Café
21 River Dr, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.
Off the beaten Surfers’ track in tranquil Budds Beach, Bumbles is an institution for those in the know.
So now you know head here for rich and velvety coffees and any number of extraordinary cakes.
The all-time picks of the bunch has to be the berry dacquoise and Father Dick’s fig torte.
We kid you not; a former priest handed over his secret recipe.
All cakes are made on the premises.
Bumbles is a converted house and indeed, is an extended home for many locals.
The maze of spaces includes a Princess Room and a library.
Head here with time and an empty stomach — there’s much to be sampled.
For more recommendations see this post.