In recent times Brisbane has begun to shake off its languid, conservative image as it transforms itself from a sleepy state capital into a cosmopolitan international metropolis with the mod cons and lifestyle amenities to match. With a sub-tropical climate that guarantees warm, sunny weather year round, a pretty riverfront location and easy access to the party playgrounds of the Gold Coast and Byron Bay (or the Sunshine Coast for those after a less frenetic pace), all that was missing for years was a vibrant arts, café and small dining scene to give it the street cred it once lacked. Here’s just a few of the many noteworthy cafes injecting new life into the Queensland capital that have caught our eye:
40 Charlotte St, Brisbane
Named after a famous Brisbane printer who built this impressive heritage-listed brick building himself in 1919, John Mills Himself (yes that’s the actual name of the building) is today one of Brisbane’s funkier café-bar combinations, serving up a delicious menu of coffee, teas, chocolates, cocktails and low fuss bar snacks. For the caffeine inclined there’s classic Flat Whites for $4.00 and Cuban Iced Lattes for $5.00 or v60 Pourover Filtered Coffee for $6.50. Café owner Marcus Allison is also in the business of doing good by his community, sourcing products locally where possible and running an energy efficient operation.
“Coffee is always delicious and consistent. Doesn’t matter who the barista is you receive the same end product each time. I often buy beans for at home from there and they usually have a nice rotation of local suppliers to choose from. Would recommend to any caffeine addict. Only downside is lack of seating I always tend to just grab a t/a”.
215 Given Terrace, Paddington
A thriving café/bar/casual restaurant in one of Brisbane’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Kettle & Tin sits in a cute, converted weatherboard house that’s now the backdrop for lazy brunches between friends and conversation over cocktails on its sun drenched veranda. Kettle & Tin also doubles as a function space and hosts regular specials popular with the locals, including $15 ‘Steak Night Out Wednesdays’, ‘Champagne Fridays’ and ‘Bottle & a Board Sundays’. Menu highlights range from Death By Chocolate French Toast ($17.00), Roast Beef Tacos ($14.00) and Espresso Martini’s ($15.00).
“I’ve been to Kettle and Tin 4 times now and all 4 times I have experienced good coffee, great food and service. I have recommended friends to try this place and they too have had good experiences”.
97 Sandgate Road, Albion
A short drive (or bike ride) from Brisbane CBD in the semi-industrial neighbourhood of Albion lies Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, a laid-back, unassuming café/roasting house serving up quality Arabica coffee beans sourced from around the world. Menu options to get your tastebuds salivating include exotic Cold-Drip brew ($5.00), Nitro-Coffee ($5.00) and Japanese Iced Filter Coffee ($6.00), whilst those after a decent bite can opt for one of their Avocado + Egg Croissants ($9.50) or a classic Smashed Avo on Toast with Korean Chili Paste ($14.50). They also sell equipment and offer barista training for good measure!
“Delicious coffee and great service. I came here for the very first time for an afternoon coffee and was surprised at how good it is. There is plenty of seating inside and out. It was a cool but sunny day so I sat outside with the warm sun on my back while getting a hot cappuccino in my belly. I can’t wait to return”.
284 Montague St, West End
Bringing fresh local produce to the inner city residents of Brisbane’s funky West End neighbourhood is the primary mission of Plenty West End and one they’ve fulfilled with flair. From the casual ‘rustic chic’ vibes of its interior which makes heavy use of wooden surfaces, to the generous outdoor seating areas, perfect for enjoying the Queensland climate, Plenty West End is simply a great place for locals to catch up and enjoy a delicious bite. Top menu options include Bircher Muesli for brekkie ($12.50), Reuben Sandwiches for lunch ($16.50) and Banana on Toast ($10.00) to keep sweet tooths satisfied.
“I can’t get over how good the food is here and that it’s locally sourced. It’s a little pricey but worth every penny and the portion sizes are more than generous. Plus they have some of the friendliest staff around”.
11 Florence St, Teneriffe
Close to the river on a quiet residential street in leafy inner city Teneriffe you’ll find Sourced Grocer, an eclectic mix between a traditional café and an oh so fancy organic neighbourhood grocery store. It’s all healthy eats here and very Insta-worthy too might I add, with menu highlights including Pearl Barley Porridge ($16.00) for brekkie, Rare Beef Salad ($22.00) for lunch and a classic Flat White ($4.00) for a caffeine hit.
“One of my favourite places in Brisbane! The staff are always so friendly, the atmosphere is rad & the prices are good. I have never had a breaky meal that I haven’t enjoyed”.