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. Although tides haven’t changed (the east 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 12 of the best Gold Coast cafes.
1-Little Lido Cafe
A favourite among the Coolangatta surfie crowd and located on the main shopping street, Little Lido deserves full marks for promoting coffee; each day, a chalkboard displays a daily sermon: “Enjoy your daily grind”, “procaffeinating”; “Depresso: the feeling you get when you need coffee”.
True to its name this place small and minimalist but it packs a big punch when it comes to morning coffee stops.
As the name might suggest, Barefoot Barista is an ultra laid-back and very cool 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 5am.
This ultra-hipster crowd-pulling neighbourhood café is out on a limb in every sense: it’s away from the beach front 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.
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 6am, 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.
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.
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 take-away coffee joint (although a communal table and a few milk crate stools are available for those who prefer to relax inhouse).
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. Delicious baked goods, too; it’s hard to go past the almond croissant.
7-Elk Espresso (16 Chelsea Ave, Broadbeach)
Don’t be put off by the building exterior – 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.
8-No Name Lane
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 – bench seating, low tables and Tolix-style designer stools– and punchy brews.
Simple, fresh breakfasts such as Roma tomatoes and avocado on toast. With good quality oil.
9-Black Coffee Lyrics
This intimate dark boutique venue place is a welcome addition to the outdoorsy, glitzy, beer-swilling places often associated with Surfers Paradise.
To start with it’s hidden in a dated arcade, but makes the most of its retro setting. It looks like a whisky den, smells like a cafe and morphs from a chilled-out breakfast spot to a cocktail-swilling party palace.
If that’s not enough, it’s also one of the town’s best dining options, serving up organic fare. True to the bourbon roots, sandwich names are American themed. Oh. And as for the coffee? You’ll get one of the coast’s best brews here – smooth and strong.
10-ESPL Coffee Brewers
A modern, yet laid back spot 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.
This tiny hole-in-the-wall, 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.
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.