The Gold Coast foodie scene has been a place of profound change and transitions in recent years. We may be bias, but we think our café culture is very much in line — if not surpassing — our southern neighbours.
And with it, we have variety: from gorgeous beachside espresso drop-ins to laid-back chic industrial spaces which effortlessly ooze coolness. We reckon anyone from the big cities that have visited in recent times has likely left feeling a tad jealous — so they should, right?!
The northern end of the Gold Coast has been no exception to this building momentum of late, with venues regularly setting the bar high with only the best coffee and premium café dishes. So, when it’s time to break the fast, and you find yourself at the northern end of town, we’ve kindly compiled a rundown of the best places, where we implore you to make that happen. Enjoy!
From the owner of cult coffee stop, Good Day Coffee in Tugun comes this reasonably new addition to the Helensvale circuit. Aesthetically from the outside, this open café space screams minimalistic eye-catching vibes that will make leaving this spot rather tricky, especially when the staples are yummy Acai Bowls, Coconut Porridge and Eggs Benedict of both the regular and vegan variety.
Where: 2 Laurel Drive, Helensvale
The ever-admired Chirn Park (just north of Southport) is a little hive of foodie goodness that the northern side of the Coast was certainly due. Daark Espresso sets the bar high, from its uber-friendly staff to its sumptuous breakfast menu littered with favourites like the dessert-for-breakfast Panna Cotta boasting peach, mango, & coconut with a crunchy granola & seasonal fruits. Ohh and make sure not to make plans for the rest of the day because their lunch menu will make you want to stay!
Where: 2/41 Musgrave Avenue, Labrador
Chirn Park has gone and done it again with a café that looks like it has just waved goodbye and walked itself out of a Melbourne laneway; it hasn’t though, it’s just the ultra-vibrant WavyBone, of course! The Wavy B & E Roll is a winner and goes down a treat with a perfectly poured Blackboard Coffee, one of the Gold Coast’s original coffee roasteries. Throw into this mix a turntable forever pumping out sweet rhythms and a chance to grab yourself some dashing WavyBone branded apparel: we think you’ve likely found your next favourite breakfast hangout.
Where: 1/36 Musgrave Avenue, Southport
Anchor Bouy Café & Bar
The aptly named Anchor Bouy is where you are guaranteed some finely poured Elixir coffee and a great breakfast menu, all whilst you stare lovingly at the array of boats in the marina and wish to yourself you lived at Sanctuary Cove. One dish you MUST try is the Breakfast Bruschetta. It’s to die for with your choice of bacon or house smoked salmon, avocado, cherry tomatoes, poached eggs all served on top of lightly toasted sourdough and drizzled with hollandaise.
Where: The Marine Village, Masthead Way, Hope Island
Can we just say, how good is a seasonal menu? It keeps things interesting and fresh in our eyes! And with that in mind, the team at Substance Espresso has their menu hinge on seasonality, with specials aplenty and the added acceptance that dessert for breakfast is a bonafide thing. Oh and to top it all off, the barista’s there accept nothing but consistently good coffee, which means the first drop of golden liquid is as good as the last. We’ll meet you there!
Where: Shop 2/10/12 Lae Drive, Runaway Bay
Bear Boy Espresso
Coffee is well and truly the ultimate focus at Bear Boy Espresso. Speciality blends coming from Market Lane in Melbourne are regularly featured with the added addition of pour-over and batch brew as well as your standard espresso-style coffees. Caffeine aside, the venue is a feast for the eyes and somehow more reminiscent of Northern Europe than Queensland. The menu brags some usual flavoursome suspects as well as a dedicated section to the little ones. We can’t go past their self-proclaimed ‘OG’ the Big Bear Benny. A crispy potato waffle, two poached pggs, house hollandaise with sautéed greens and your choice of garlic thyme mushroom, smoked bacon, pulled pork, or smoked salmon. The options are endless!
Where: Shop 66/502 Hope Island Road, Helensvale
Cross + Feather
Situated on one of the forever-bustling little streets of Paradise Point, Cross + Feather dishes up all your favourites with quirky little spins. And because breakfast is for champions, the team at Cross + Feather generously serve it all day. We cannot recommend enough the Crossed Avo which includes fresh avocado, heritage tomatoes, Persian fetta, purple basil salsa verde, native dukkah, smoked green tea salt on a sprouted wheat sourdough. YUM!
Where: 2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Last week we shared all of the exciting restaurants that opened in 2020 and today we’re here to round up the cafes.
So without further ado, here’s every delightful newbie we had the pleasure of visiting last year and you should get pumped about it, there’s some epic ones.
My French Pastries
We always do a little happy dance when a new patisserie opens on the Gold Coast and especially when that new patisserie is filled with fancy French goodies that we could eat all day long. Which is exactly what’s happening at Robina’s My French Pastries. Perfect sweet treats.
Where: Robina Quays Shopping Centre, 5/361 Robina Parkway, Robina
The team behind Bam Bam Bakehouse and Cubby Bakehouse did it again with the opening of their newbie Custard Canteen. An exceptional Talle Creek newbie specialising in yes, Portugese custard tarts that are some of the most delicious things we’ve ever put in our mouths. Of course, they have a full brekky and lunch menu, coffees and other sweet treats and absolutely everything is life changing.
Where: Tallebudgera Recreation Centre, Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
A new healthy eating hub moved into Burleigh Heads bringing tasty bowls, dishes high in nourishing goodness, protein, all the things. Macro Kitchen is simply perfect for our little Burls. They also offer healthy beverages and take-home meals, so you really need never cook or eat unhealthily again. Happy days.
Where: 2/1837 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Plant Based Cafe
Up Paradise Point way a healthy, new plant-based cafe opened much to the delight of locals and they are serving up some absolutely beautiful treats. Both in the taste sensation and Insta snap-worthy ways. Think perfectly put together açai bowls and avocado toast but like you’ve never seen them before. Coffee goodness by Byron Bay Coffee Co. and plenty of good vibes to go around.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
Bonnie’s Industrial Café
First cab off the rank after iso times was Bonnie’s Industrial Café in Ashmore. Bonnie and her team are serving up absolutely epic stacked burgers, 14-hour slow cooked meats, fresh salads and coffee to go. It’s café food, made amazing. Get involved.
Where: 2/26 Expo Court, Ashmore
A stunning space in Burleigh Heads was recreated to open as a stunning new brunch venue known as Common Ground. It’s the work of two local hospo legends Euan and Bella Lovell, part owners of Broady’s Fig + Frankies and their partner Matt Tranter and it’s very, very good. The menu is made up of beautiful plated eats, all with a little something special. You’re going to want to try it all, trust us.
Where: 2/2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
Baked goods are life. Particularly those by the team at Burleigh Baker who have made the lives of Gold Coast locals better for many years. Everything from the very best pies, sourdough in so many amazing flavours (hello olive), custard tarts and the very best of croissants can be found at Burleigh Baker. They opened a new venue at Paradise Point recently and it’s every bit as good as the first. Right near the water too. Perfection.
Where: 6 Bruce Avenue, Paradise Point
The Coast’s cult cupcakery opened a new store in Nerang and it instantly became one of the most popular spots around. For good reason too. Kylie is creating absolute masterpieces when it comes to cupcakes including flavours like The Unicorn, complete with edible glitter, Nerds, Turkish Delight and Lemon with Elderflower Buttercream. Yep. There’s also an incredible Unicorn Shake you’re going to want to sample. And take many Insta snaps of.
Where: 6 Lavelle Street, Nerang
D Point 10
The donut kings are absolutely taking over the Gold Coast and with good reason, they’re making some absolutely incredible flavours of donut. Think Gaytime, Oreo, Red Velvet and their latest creation, Caramilk. There’s minis and regular sized donuts and they’re all absolutely amazing. Get one of each just to be sure.
Where: A2/201 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes
The Backyard Cafe
The latest of the bunch is The Backyard Cafe, by the team behind Bine Beer Bar, Hideaway Kitchen and Bar and a few other venues you know and love. The newbie can be found at the site where The Yard once lived and it’s going to be both a cafe and a restaurant with pop up food trucks with lots of good old fashioned family and community vibes. This is a good one.
Where: 17 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
Robina gained a pretty new brunch spot in the form of Parkway Coffee, by the gals at Third Base in Palm Beach and it comes with the same community feels, menu packed with goodness and of course, excellent coffee. Do yourself a favour and get on down to try it out.
Where: Robina Quays, 16b, 361 Robina Parkway, Robina
Tarte Bakery & Café
Something very special arrived in Burleigh in late August and if you haven’t already had the pleasure, stop reading and get down there right now. It’s Tarte Bakery & Café and it’s the work of former Paddock Bakery owner Chloe Watts. Filled with incredible baked treats, brunch dishes and exceptional coffee, it’s one of a kind and we’re in love.
Where: 2 West Street, Burleigh Heads
While not a newbie, Stones Throw did move to a new location so that’s good enough for us. The crew that once called Burleigh home, packed up and headed on down to Currumbin to serve up their much-loved menu in a new garden oasis. Happy days for Currumbin locals.
Where: 9 Station Street, Currumbin
The Hunted Café
Venture out into the leafy oasis that is Bonogin and you’ll find cosy newbie The Hunted Café serving up tasty breakfast and lunch dishes, housemade baked goods and plenty of tranquillity. It’s owned by a local family so you can expect all the community hospitality too. A real treat, do yourself a favour and get out there.
Where: 555 Bonogin Road, Bonogin
Coolangatta got a pretty new coffee spot in the form of Vanilla Lily, overlooking the ocean on Marine Parade. From the team at Café Kirra, the newbie has a menu packed with healthy, nourishing eats including dishes like a delightful Avo Toast and Acai bowls, plus a range of smoothies that are perfect for those extra balmy days we’re about to experience again. Head down and give them some love.
Where: Shop 2, 110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Palm Springs Cafe
One of the Coast’s most beautiful venues opened in 2020 and if you haven’t already had the pleasure of visiting, we suggest you get down there quick smart. It’s called Palm Springs Cafe and it can be found on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Gardenia Grove boasting breakfast cocktails of the Margarita, Bloody Mary and Espresso Martini varieties and a nourishing, goodie-filled menu that’ll have you returning time and time again. Same.
Where: Cnr Gardenia Grove and Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Trio can be found inside Glow on Energy Circuit and it’s a beautiful, welcoming space decked out in lots of bright white. To eat, there’s brunch delights like Açai Bowls and crowd favourites Avocado Toast (with marinated feta, housemade dukkah and lemon oil thank you very much) and Bacon and Egg Rolls, plus a Chicken Ranch Salad if you want something a little lighter. At lunchtime, there are some absolutely stacked burgers including a Korean Fried Chicken Burger that might change your life.
Where: 10 Energy Circuit, Robina
A sleek new space that’s both a barber and a barista in one, it’s a new Tugun spot you’re going to want to try ASAP. Brit and Josh have created a sweet community hub where you can pop in for a Moonshine brew and then get yourself a little trim (dudes only). There are baked goods by the team at Fuel Bakehouse too so it’s pretty much the best time you can have.
Where: 2B/417 Golden Four Drive, Tugun
Kirra’s newest addition is Heartwood Espresso, found right opposite the beach and boasting the perfect menu for when you’ve just rolled in off the sand and want something refreshing and also delicious to fill you up. Perfect for those spring days that just arrived.
Where: 2/74 Musgrave Street, Kirra
Down Kingscliff way, a pottery studio slash café opened and it’s an absolute dream. Stone Studio is the work of two very passionate locals who wanted to allow people the opportunity to take some time out from their loves and create something special. Which is exactly what happens at any number of their workshops and classes. Combine that with a cuppa and some baked goodies and everything is golden. Do yourself a favour and head down there ASAP.
Where: 1/110 Marine Parade, Kingscliff
Just in time for the heat, Oakberry Acai moved onto James Street serving up fresh, cold acai bowls and smoothies for the barefoot Burleigh Heads gang. Found on a corner space and with seating overlooking the street, it’s the perfect spot for people watching and consuming something refreshing after a day at the beach.
Where: 1/30 James Street, Burleigh Heads
From coffee cart to standalone café, Wavy Bone has transformed in 2020 and we are here for it. You can still expect the same five-star Blackboard Coffee but this time you can sit down in a sweet space to enjoy it, along with some mouthwatering baked treats and gourmet toasties. Wavy Bone can be found in Chirn Park which is a beautiful spot should you not be from around there.
Where: 1/36 Musgrave Avenue, Chirn Park
A colourful new juice bar opened up down Coolangatta way not long ago and it’s the perfect place to get on the healthy eating (and drinking) train ahead of summer. There’ll you’ll find absolutely stacked acai bowls, a huge array of fresh juices, smoothies, watermelon cups, chia cups, all of the things. It’s all so very good for you and so very yummy. So good to refresh after a day in the sun too.
Where: Ward Street, Coolangatta
There you have it, a whole slew of goodness to sink your teeth into ASAP.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Coffee makes the world go round, fact. Without it we would all just stay asleep and never worry about another responsibility again. Sounds kinda nice really but it’s absolutely not feasible and so, we are very thankful for coffee and in turn, coffee shops.
Excitingly there’s a new one of those up Helensvale way and it sounds like a pretty good time. It’s called Funnybone Coffee and it can be found within the local community’s multi-million dollar The Surrounds Leisure Centre serving up beloved Blackboard Coffee and a menu filled with taste sensations.
The newbie is the latest venture of Gold Coast coffee connoisseur Damian Swan who opened Tugun fave Good Day Coffee four years ago.
The idea behind Funnybone was to create a community meeting spot where everyone feels welcome, serving up everything from breakfast on-the-go to lunch with friends or a quick coffee on the way to work.
Kitted out with handcrafted timber communal dining tables, cosy nooks and overlooking the grassy expanses of one of the best playgrounds in the area, Buckler Park, Funnybone is perfect for the whole family.
To eat you’ll find all your favourite staples made using good quality, locally sourced produce including sourdough from Pixel Bakery in Molendinar and delicious sweets from Bes Kitchen.
There’s a delicious range of toasties, breakfast burritos and fresh pastries plus homemade cookies in changing flavours.
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of visiting Helensvale’s impressive The Surrounds Leisure Centre, be warned that you’re in for a good time. There you’ll find a suite of premium amenities including a lap pool, private multi-purpose room, a fully equipped gymnasium, and change facilities plus plenty of stunning open green spaces.
Head up to check it out and grab yourself some goodies from Funnybone Coffee while you’re at it.
Guaranteed good times await.
LOCATION: The Surrounds Leisure Centre, 6 Emerald Drive, Helensvale
HOURS: Open seven days from 6am