Imagine a life without caffeine. Horrible, right? How would one get through the day? Unthinkable. Let’s all take a moment to be grateful for caffeine.
Luckily, we locals need never think about a lack of caffeine ever in our lives because the Gold Coast has abundant options for exceptional brews.
One such neighbourhood forever capturing the imagination of coffee drinkers and lunch-goers is Burleigh. Be it a quick coffee catch-up or a grazing-style brunch with special people: you’re covered. Here’s a list of the twelve best spots to get your caffeine fix when you find yourself in one of the city’s favourite suburbs.
Bunlee Bun & Brew
Between munching down some epic rice paper rolls or a stacked-looking banh mi, we suggest you take a try of their cold drip coffee on tap here at BunLee. If you’ve ever had iced Vietnamese coffee — or cà phê đá, as it’s known — you’ll know how tasty it can be. It’s up to you what milk to splash into it, or if you prefer, just take it black: perfect for when you need to put that pep into your step.
Where: 2/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Take an award-winning local barista, throw in some fantastic coffee from carbon-neutral roasters Locale Espresso, and place it conveniently just off Reedy Creek Road and you’re looking at the exact blueprint of Dover’s Drop, a prime industrial district coffee location in Burleigh. The perfect place to pull a pit stop when you’re going about your day, but be careful: their loungey outdoor space with beanbags may keep you longer than planned, not to mention their Sourdough Crumpets!
Where: 9 Dover Drive, Burleigh Heads
A newbie to the bustling beachside locale of Burleigh, Magnolia Lane is sandwiched between the beach and the GC Highway, meaning whether you’re zipping about town or lounging beachside, these guys have you well and truly covered for your caffeine needs. The unwavering attention taken to dialling in their machine and weighing each and every shot of coffee shows right through from your first to last sip.
Where: 6/1863 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Aptly positioned in the heart of Burleigh Heads, this is the early morning post-workout/dip in the ocean hangout spot of the ages. Crew showcases Sunshine Coast Tim Adams specialty coffee with exceptional barista skills and a cheat meal-inducing menu you cannot say no to. Hinge all of this on one hell of a people-watching location, and you have a mighty fine place to slurp your morning cup of motivation.
Where: 3 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Sparrow Coffee Co.
Laidback and easy-going Sparrow offers you a prime opportunity to get yourself a quality coffee on the go with little fuss. With another three locations across the country and their roastery of choice being Allpress, you’re guaranteed a quality cuppa every time. It’s also the perfect spot to fuel up before a workout if you go to nearby Elevation Fitness or Jetts!
Where: 2/151 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads
Where do you even begin with a place that literally falls over itself with excellent house-made food, great-tasting coffee, and a great location to watch life go by. Chloe Watt‘s creation Tarte is one of the finest cafes on our coastline: period. Give yourself some slack and indulge in any one of their off-the-charts pastries/baked goods with a perfectly poured cup of coffee as dappled light from overhead trees sprays across the pavement of Burleigh Heads — our idea of bliss.
Where: 2 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Next Door Espresso
Touted as not your average coffee shop, this aesthetically pleasing venue is awash with white and is nearly always an afternoon suntrap that, to us, screams brunch with close friends. Northern Rivers’ Moonshine Roastery are the foundation of an always great-tasting coffee served in the cutest looking handmade clay cups. Be sure to bring your credit card, as adjacent homewares store St Barts is always worth a look in also!
Where: 24 Junction Road, Burleigh Heads
A kickstarter in the Burleigh coffee scene, Commune Espresso has been around for as long as we can remember, and in this chasm of lost time, they’ve been serving up some of the tastiest brews around. The space itself is epic, complete with lots of outdoor relaxing areas and a ping pong table to use up that caffeine-induced energy. They also make their own almond milk; that’s how dedicated they are to delicious coffee.
Where: 1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Canteen Coffee & Kitchen
A firm favourite in the coffee game, Canteen has been lauded as one of Australia’s premier espresso bars. They brew their own blends, sourcing in-season beans and roasting fresh daily on demand. They offer a Signature Espresso Blend with notes of chocolate, berries, toffee and spice and Single Origins, which change weekly. They certainly know their stuff, highly recommended.
Where: 23 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads
So good they’ve got two locations in Burleigh; Nook offers little spaces with a big passion for coffee. They’ve been slinging tasty brews since 2008, and for this, the local community loves them! Nook offers a smooth cuppa that’s consistently delicious, and the crew are stoked and always smiling to be involved in your morning coffee routine. Plus, if you head to their beachside location, you can sip away whilst overlooking world-famous surf.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads and Stocklands Burleigh Heads
Quest Coffee Roasters
The smell wafting out of Quest alone should draw you in and, once you’re in, you may never want to leave. The space is half micro-roastery, half sitting-down-to-enjoy-your-coffee space, and it’s an absolute must-visit if you’re a lover of excellent brews. They roast premium Arabica beans on James Street, and if you’re in the market, you can purchase their green and roasted beans or a blend. Make sure you have a chat with the team; they love to discuss all things coffee.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The original Seadog emerged on the local coffee scene with a bang and is an actual hole in the wall, which was once an ATM. Stop by and let affable owner Brodie Green and his gang serve you up their very own roasts; one going by the name Sunrise Blend – with tasting notes of Milo! When they’re not actively supporting charities with free coffee giveaways, you’ll find them at their second venue beside Burleigh Bowls Club, eternally bathed in sunshine and salt air. Two great locations for coffee in Burleigh!
Where: 50 James St, Burleigh Heads or Burleigh Bowls Club — entrance via Memorial Park
Words by Alex Mitchenson.
Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.
Sure, the beach is beautiful and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Gushing aside, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend. No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Heads
Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
David Fleays Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh
Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Words by Kirra Smith
Coffee is the elixir of life. Without it, we would be lost, tired and unable to get ourselves into gear for that nine-to-fiver you just love. There is also the social aspect; could you stand being around certain people early in the morning without caffeine? (shudder) It doesn’t bear thinking about.
Did you know there is a horde of clever Gold Coasters who create their very own coffee roasts for us to love and enjoy right here? It’s true, and we must admit they are extremely good at what they do. Take home and brew up the pearls of their labour or sit back and get them to do it for you, here they are (listed north to south) for your jitter juice slurping pleasure.
Merlo Coffee Torrefazione
Escape our subtropical climates for just a moment, and pretend you’ve found your way to Italy at Brickworks in Southport. Italian for coffee house, Merlo’s Torrefazione is a haven of all things coffee and features an in-store air roaster, meaning a constant steady flow of the freshest espresso. Chat all things coffee and let their staff teach you about their blends and make you the perfect grind on the spot depending on what method you use at home.
Where: The Brickworks Centre – Market, 107 Ferry Rd, Southport
First Fruits Specialty Coffee
Found in both Labrador and Southport, First Fruits believe coffee is an art form. Beans are ethically sourced and of the highest quality, and the team are very knowledgeable on all aspects of coffee. They roast in medium and city roast styles which bring out the oh-so delicious flavours of the bean and offer a smooth, balanced flavour.
Where: 129-133 Olsen Avenue, Labrador and 1 Griffith Way, Southport
The team at Silipo Coffee use the very best green coffee beans from farms around the world. They’ve been in the coffee business for over 20 years, so they know what’s up when it comes to the perfect brew. Where possible, Silipo Coffee sources organic and fair-trade beans, and the end result is some of the tastiest coffee around. Sip in-store or take some beans home for yourself.
Where: 9/54 Bailey Crescent, Southport
Paradox Coffee Roasters
Speaking of people who know all about coffee, Paradox Coffee Roasters are all about the journey. They purchase quality green coffee beans from estate farms and co-operatives where farmers receive a fair wage for their work. The roasting team has over 15 years of experience, and they are committed to producing the highest quality of coffee there is — just ask the locals!
Where: 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
South Coast Coffee Co.
Formerly known as Pomeroys Coffee Roasters, this Isle of Capri based roastery has a strong ethos: Great coffee isn’t created by accident; it is designed to be great from the start. And the proof is tasted in every cup. Multi-awarded with national titles over the last five years, the team take mountains of care when it comes to crafting blends considering what regions beans come from, the altitudes they grow at and what sort of soil they come from. Don’t just take our word for it; visit their café at Capri on Via Roma Shopping Centre and taste it for yourself.
Where: Capri on Via Roma Shopping Centre Shop 3G10, 15 Via Roma, Surfers Paradise
Koko Coffee Roasters
Passionate about roasting coffee and serving it to the people, Koko Coffee Roasters are all about trying new ideas and honing their skills so they can ensure you get the absolute best brews possible. Offering both espresso and filter coffee, drop in for a chat to learn a little more about coffee or grab some beans and equipment to take home and make your own.
Where: 17 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Blackboard Coffee Roasters
With almost a decade under their belt, these guys are one of the coast’s best-known producers of fine coffee beans. What they do with them is utter magic. If you don’t believe us, try any number of their products, from innovative biodegradable coffee capsules to high-grade instant specialty coffee — these guys are true thinkers outside the box. And if you haven’t had the chance to delve into their deliciousness, change up your local cafe to one of MANY cafes located across the Coast that offer their beans!
Where: Roastery located in Burleigh
Joy Organic Coffee Roasters
The conception of this Burleigh roastery came about after a life-changing journey for owners Ben and Patty. They were able to see the good being done with responsibly sourced beans through organisations such as Fair Trade. Today, you can buy deftly put-together blends such as their Game Changer, which has a low acid profile and goes perfectly with alternate milks or their Sundays blend that has a fantastic sweet and fruity taste and drinks excellent as a black coffee. Put your trust in these guys hands, and you can’t go wrong.
Where: 18/109 West Burleigh Road, Burleigh Waters
You can’t help but smile when you hear stories of people escaping the big cities to come and live their best life here on our coastline. Richie, owner of Handsome Coffee, decided after many years of roasting down in Sydney enough was enough, and a relocation was necessary. Lucky for us! His ethos of keeping it simple and making the best coffee possible is evident in their Staple blend with delicious, balanced notes of chocolate and nuts.
Where: Buy online
Quest Coffee Roasters
Burleigh’s beloved coffee aficionados Quest have been roasting up a storm for many, many years, and their brews’ quality is always exceptional. Their roasts are hand-crafted and organic and create the absolute perfect brew. Beans are as fresh as can be, selectively sourced, and only the best will do. You can pop in for a cuppa at the espresso bar or take some home to work your own magic with them.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The Burleigh Heads team have nailed it when it comes to smooth, tasty brews and we’re big fans. Not only can you visit them at their venue, but you’ll also find their roasts in cafés across the Coast, and you can take them home to pop in your machine. Their perfectly crafted coffee comes with a side of passion and all of the knowledge, and you can be rest assured you’ll be handed the perfect cuppa every single time.
Where: 1/30 Fremantle Street, Burleigh Heads
Laughing Pug Coffee Company
If their name doesn’t grab your attention, then maybe their innovative coffee drip bags will. Ideal for the next time you go camping — or are experiencing the hangover from hell — you can have speciality grade coffee with just the flick of your kettle switch. No grinding, no mess, and no fuss! They’re also quite the experts on brewing methods and offer friendly advice on how to brew and which of their blends work best with what. And if you are the organised type, sign up for a subscription and have your monthly caffeinated supplies delivered right to your door. — Now you’re talking!
Where: Brewed in Burleigh Heads, available online
Zephyr Coffee Co.
Being convinced to take a trip to Kirra shouldn’t take much persuading with all things considered. And this southern Gold Coast roastery and adjoining café are yet another reward when you do. Uniquely Zephyr’s method utilises air roasting, which differs from conventional drum roasting and results in a more efficient process and a more aromatic and consistent coffee product — couple this with the top-sourced beans in the world, and you have yourself a mean cup of joe. Drop by their café seven days a week for one of the best jaffles on the Coast.
Where: 1 Churchill Street, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.