Melbourne may be known as the coffee capital of Australia, but its neighbour to the north certainly holds its own when it comes to keeping residents and visitors properly caffeinated. Besides sunshine, surf and sandy beaches, the Queensland capital of Brisbane also boasts plenty of places to grab a cup of coffee (and some hearty nosh) to keep you fuelled up as you explore the city. Here are our top picks for Brisbane cafés.
1. Bear Bones Coffee
Bear Bones Coffee is a funky micro-roastery and café, with cool street art strung up on the walls and a steady procession of takeaway customers zipping in and out with their morning cup of joe. Cosy tables for two and high benches with plenty of seats make this an ideal place to hang out with your partner or a group of friends. Just like the café itself, the coffee here is robust and oh-so-smooth.
2. Bunker Coffee
Bunker is one of the most unusual coffee spots in town: a tiny hole-in-the-wall café housed in an original WWII air raid shelter. It’s located less than a minute’s walk from Milton train station and just around the corner from the trendy Park Road café strip. Although there isn’t much inside seating, the outdoor benches surrounded by sweet-smelling jasmine vines offer a quintessential Brisbane coffee experience. Help yourself to a homemade sweet treat from the self-serve cabinet and hang out with the locals.
3. Felix For Goodness
Felix For Goodness delivers a dash of Melbourne style in the Brisbane CBD. Hipsters come here to perch at the window, sip organic coffee and dine on a healthy yet delicious selection of house-baked treats and hearty salads made from organic and locally sourced ingredients wherever possible. With its slick design focus and cool architectural elements, you would never guess this Burnett Lane café used to be a loading dock.
4. Botero House
Botero House offers delicious coffee brewed with ethically sourced coffee beans, as well as sumptuous dishes made using locally sourced produce. Drop by for lunch to sample offerings such as the Pumpkin Gnocchi, which consists of roasted pumpkin puree and house-made gnocchi topped with parmesan, sage and fermented butternut, pepitas and drizzled with onion oil. Their 2022 menu also includes intriguing desserts like the panna cotta with bush honey, mandarin and lemon balm. The coffee is the star of the show here, though, so be sure to order a cuppa from their tiny but mighty selection.
5. The Maillard Project
Owner Adam Wang is the mastermind behind The Maillard Project, a café that also doubles up as a roastery and training centre for baristas. With a lengthy portfolio under his belt – including the beloved Coffee Anthology – the coffee here certainly doesn’t disappoint. Try one of their specialty blends or dig into their French toast with watermelon jam, compressed watermelon, fresh mango, berries, almond praline, coconut gel, raspberry and mint gel, which is topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
6. Samson & Sophie
Summer or winter, this sweet little Brisbane café is sure to add a dash of sunshine to your day. Pots of herbs and pretty flowers adorn the tables, which are perfectly positioned to catch the sun. Samson & Sophie’s Breakfast Bowl – made up of house granola, pannacotta, chia pudding, seasonal fruits, mango and lime jelly – will get your morning off to a great start. Make some time to browse the cute gifts and deli items lining the shelves, but be warned: you will likely walk out of here with more than just a latte.
Please check the establishments’ respective websites for opening hours as well as booking requirements before visiting, and remember to adhere to safe-distancing measures while out and about.
The information is accurate as of press time. For updated information, please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.
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This article was originally published by Singapore Press Holdings on 14 December 2016 and updated on 3 March 2022.