We all might remember 2021 for less than average reasons — but hold that thought. As far as the Gold Coast’s cafe scene is concerned, last year was a tidy little period for some epic joints popping up.
And because we know caffeine and tasty food is a pillar of our fair city, we think you’ll agree a roundup of the best cafe opens of 2021 is going to make for some good reading.
Espresso Moto Mermaid Beach
Not only content with a successful and popular cafe in Palm Beach, the crew behind Espresso Moto’s fun and dedicated efforts thought Mermaid Beach was lacking their presence. And they haven’t looked back since: incredible eats and Allpress coffee for the win!
Where: 1/88 Markeri St, Mermaid Waters
Barefoot Barista Currumbin
Already an institution of incredible eats and damn fine coffee in Palm Beach, the crew here decided that Currumbin Beach needed the same. Wander in straight off the beach and enjoy the spoils, folks.
Where: Shop 1/794 Pacific Pde, Currumbin
Helensvale’s The Surrounds Leisure centre cemented its position as a valid lifestyle hub when this modern and minimalistic styled space opened last January. With the brains behind Tugun’s much loved Good Day Coffee behind the venture — and superb Blackboard coffee flowing — this is a cafe that finally gifted the northern Gold Coast a quality spot to sit, sip and relax.
Where: 6 Emerald Dr, Helensvale
Hudson & Rosie’s Table
An ultra-healthy, fine-tuned Asian influenced menu is more than enough reason to visit this Highland Park venue. Oh, and they have some of the best looking and smiliest staff around!
Where: Shop 16/106 Alexander Dr, Highland Park
Main Street Providore
Next time you’ve fulfilled your promise of an early morning hinterland hike, then you should drop by this little hole in the wall delight. Allpress coffee and hand-baked treats aplenty.
Where: Shop 1A/11 Main St, Tamborine Mountain
Seadog in the Park
Loveable coffee aficionado Brodie Green caused a sensation when he opened the now much-lauded original Seadog on James Street. A couple of years later, he decided his expert coffee skills needed a tad more greenery and space to be fully enjoyed, and voilà, Burleigh’s best open-air cafe, was born.
Where: Burleigh Heads Bowls Club, 1 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh town is a busy spot these days. Make an effort to seek out this cargo container style kiosk just off Reedy Creek Road and enjoy great coffee, freshly toasted sourdough crumpets, and a bean bag to lounge in the sun!
Where: 7-9 Dover Dr, Burleigh Heads
With more than enough adaptations of acai bowls to keep anyone coming back for more, this small but kiddo friendly space is the perfect place to stay a while — or if you’re in a hurry, grab and go.
Where: 2 Coelia Ct, Carrara
Well Bread & Pastry
If freshly baked breads and all things delicious don’t tempt you to drop by this Palm Beach gem, then their precisely poured Paradox Roasters coffee will. Order something delish, pull up a seat at their window bar, and watch the world go by without a care.
Where: 6 Fifth Ave, Palm Beach
Kingscliff is an easy and great little road trip from the Gold Coast if you fancy a change of scenery but without a big drive. Just off the sand, Zinc is the perfect place to hit up once you get there, plus you can also snag yourself a table on the adjoining surf clubs balcony for the ultimate view.
Where: 61 Marine Pde, Kingscliff
Cuppa on 41
This tucked-away cafe on Cavill Avenue is a real find. The whole ethos is about community: taking hospitality trainees on as staff and donating leftover food to homeless shelters. Easy on the pocket, there’s great coffee and freshly baked biscuits every day!
Where: 41 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
Picnic Real Food Bar
Lauded chef and author Brenda Fawdon is the brains behind this cafe come treasure trove of beautiful local produce and sublime coffee. You may think it’s a little out of town, but believe us, it’s worth it.
Where: 46 Main St, Tamborine Mountain
An inventive menu offering in the cosy suburb of Paradise Point. Nestle in with Social Espresso coffee — and a cheeky sweet version of French toast — on relaxed street-side seating and watch the world go by.
Where: 1/46 The Esplanade, Paradise Point
This cute as a button cafe is a great place to get into some honest tucker whilst in Surfers Paradise. Besides delectable toasties and sip-worthy frappes, there’s also a charming collection of consumer goods for you to take home.
Where: 3/3046 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Sometimes simple things done really, really well are the best type of things. Drop into Magnolia Lane for delectable breakfast favourites like Chilli Scrambled Eggs or a spot of lunch — once you’ve topped up your tan on the gorgeous nearby Burleigh beach, of course.
Where: Shop 6/1863 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Raijin Palm Beach
Tucked away on a back street of Palm Beach, this is a cafe with a sophisticated and pioneering Japanese style food menu. You have got to try their Souffle Pancakes, fluffy and lighter than air; they must be tried to be believed.
Where: 2 Fifth Ave, Palm Beach
Canvas Palm Beach
This Nobby Beach institution decided 2021 was the year to expand and move their way down south. This new space is a haven for arty bits and pieces as well as gifts. And let’s not forget a brimming menu and coffee till late.
Where: Shop 3/1328 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Genuine Italian style paninis have found their way to Currumbin — and for that, you should be extremely thankful. Daily fresh baked bread and tasty treats collide with superb speciality coffee from Niccolo of Melbourne.
Where: 8 Thrower Dr, Currumbin
Santa Barbara Speciality Coffee
This Hope Island newbie snuck in right at the end of 2021 and is as aesthetically pleasing as it is brilliant at providing excellent coffee.You also have a chance to grab some appetising provisions before spending a beautiful day on the water.
Where: Shop 1/7/9 Pinnaroo St, Hope Island
A venue with Osaka’s swagger and Tokyo’s charisma, Japanese comfort food comes thick and fast here with a wide selection of tasty —caffeinated and non-caffeinated — iced drinks to boot.
Where: 9/2669 Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
In Southport’s China Town, leafy Davenport Street is where you’ll find this cute cafe that packs a big punch in contemporary Asian fused breakfast/lunch dishes. Order the Chilli Crab Scrambled Eggs and the one-off Hanoi Egg Coffee for an inimitable way to start your day!
Where: 9 Davenport St, Southport
Saint Coffee Collective
Hop off the tram at the Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport and get yourself straight into some expertly poured coffee. Courtesy of Supreme Coffee and barista maestro, Hal Cozens.
Where: Kiosk 1, Gold Coast University Hospital Station, Cnr Hospital Blvd and Parklands Dr, Southport
Sparrow Coffee Nobby Beach
Not to be content with four already seriously successful cafes, Sparrow decided Nobby Beach was missing their brand of top-notch coffee. Download their app and pre-order coffee for pickup: perfect when you’re against the clock.
Where: Shop 3/2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.