15 Of Gold Coast’s Best Cafés

Gold stars of the Coast

By Hayley Hinze | 10th November 2020

In light of all the impending summer beach trips, we’ve rounded up the Gold Coast’s best cafés. While you’re living it up in paradise, stop by one of these top tier cafes for smooth coffee, tasty eats and good vibes – it is the Gold Coast after all!

Bam Bam Bakehouse | Mermaid Beach

The humble croissant is the star of this show, featuring in a host of unique breakfast and sweet treat menu options. No surprise they’re popular, as these buttery beauties take three days to bake and perfect, before they’re dished up as the star of the eggs benny or French toast (they also do just fine on their own). Since 2015, this talented team of bakers, patissiers, chefs and makers have turned the Mermaid Beach bakehouse into a cult-followed pastry destination. French-style baking will amaze and excite, so peep their cabinet that’s always popping with mouth-watering pastries.

Barefoot Barista | Palm Beach

Picture this: you’ve come from a toasty morning at the beach and walk into the Barefoot Barista, ready to be wowed by some quality food and coffee. Waiting at the counter, you peruse the food cabinet and feel the ocean breeze brush by. You order and take a seat inside their newly renovated, chic and minimalistic dining area, with concrete and cool, dark finishes. Straying from the classics on offer, you’ve selected the Karaage chicken burger from their extensive menu – it’s a little bit fancy, little bit beachy and a little bit different. It lives up to your expectations and you realise smooth, specialty coffee is not the sole specialty here. Maybe you’ll visit their sister cafes around the Coast, at Burleigh (Borough Barista) and Mermaid Beach (Background Barista).

Blackboard Varsity | Varsity Lakes

This café could easily become your regular, with their specialty grade coffee and fresh, produce focused menu. The crowd favourites of eggs, smashed avo and hash eggs benny are done often and well, but among the menu lurks a creative and honestly, mouth-watering addition. Yes, this special mention goes to their decadent shredded pancakes, served with lemon curd, spring berries, caramelised white chocolate and pistachio. Exotic pancakes or not, you’re always in for quality coffee and service with a smile here.

BSKT | Mermaid Beach

What started as a humble health food café and restaurant, has now become something of a global health food brand. In addition to their extensive sweet and savoury menu, BSKT is the home of nation-wide vegan soft serve, CocoWhip. Made from coconut water and coconut oil whipped to perfection, it’s a must-try after a long day at the beach. Located in a spacious corner spot at the end of Miami Beach’s waterfront walk, think of this place as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Bumbles | Surfers Paradise

Dip down to the quiet side of Surfers at this locally loved spot. Their menu is the perfect all-rounder, featuring everything from the crowd favourite eggs benny, to Bumbles’ house made fig toast. What began as a mere four tables, now spans outside to offer alfresco river view seats to complement the quality food. Catch dinner here every Thursday, or treat yourself to breakfast or lunch with a view.

Cardamom Pod | Broadbeach

Imagine a rainbow is taken from the sky, blended, chopped and beautifully arranged – that’s what to expect from these vibrant acai bowls. Yes, these bowls are the star of the show, but there’s much more to see (and taste) here. This fully vegetarian restaurant and café serves up lunch and dinner every day, plus breakfast on the weekends. For a savoury option, there’s an array of gourmet salads and hot dishes prepped to load up your plate. As for the dessert, there’s even a full vegan dessert area – the Mylk Bar – where you can round it all off with a vegan sundae, ice cream or banana split. Or, to get your fix in the morning, stop by on weekends to pick from their breakfast menu, featuring much-loved vibrant and delicious meals, served on pink plates with fresh and colourful ingredients – it’s literal eye candy!

Commune Espresso | Burleigh Heads

Take a step away from the busy esplanade and cultural hub of James Street, and you’ll find this trendy dining experience. Located across the highway from the water, this restored Art Deco building is decked out with vintage furniture, posters and artwork that’ll take you back to 1980s Gold Coast, aka the prime. Enjoy a meal from an organic and creative menu, as you chill in their leafy outdoor garden area. New salads are whipped up daily and go perfectly with a smooth coffee or superfood smoothie, ideal for a light summer lunch.

Elk Espresso | Broadbeach

Whether you’re stepping off the beach or hitting the shops, Elk is conveniently located and definitely worth a try. Drop into the beachfront corner of the Oasis Shopping Centre for a seasonal menu of sweet bowls, savoury favourites with inventive twists and, of course, some quality coffee. They use Single O beans and feature roasters from around Australia in alternative brew methods, so you know you’re getting more than the standard caffeine hit. If you like what you sip, retail beans are also available for the keen home brewer. Plus, for $39 you can add a spontaneous boozy addition to your brunch, with bottomless mimosas for an hour to pair with your meal of choice – dangerous or exciting? Regardless, it’s very à la Gold Coast.

Little Mermaid | Mermaid Beach

Dine within metres of the ocean at this casual, coastal café with a view. Kudos to their host of healthy breakfast options, but if you’re down for a Willy Wonka marshmallow fluff acai bowl or white chocolate banana bread, needless to say you’re sorted. Start the day with a locally sourced coffee roast from Eumundi Coffee Co, and bask in the Goldy and all its glory. Not only is the food insanely Instagram-worthy, but your outfit-of-the-day shot is sorted in the gorgeous space.

Milkman’s Daughter | Mermaid Beach

This spot can only be described as the café equivalent of a long, meditative stroll on the beach. Set mere streets back from the sand, here you can enjoy wholesome vegetarian food amongst the crisp white décor and lush plants. Take your morning coffee to the next level with their velvety blend, featuring hints of tangy apricot, brown sugar and chocolate almonds. Keep an eye on their seasonal menu, and be sure to try their red velvet waffles, or photo-worthy fritter stack. If you’re just passing by, you can grab a coffee and snack from their takeaway coffee window – but be warned, you will miss the absolute pleasure of sipping from their locally sourced and handmade coffee mugs!

No Name Lane | Broadbeach

Now with a full kitchen upgrade, No Name Lane is ironically making a name for itself by pumping out generous and creative meals alongside their much-loved coffee. A menu of classic café favourites now features the likes of the house made pasta, poached chicken salad, spiced lamb and vegetable tacos. You also can’t go astray with a treat from their extensive pastry and sweet treat cabinet. Their range of both healthy and fun options can be enjoyed in a rustic dining space, which combines timber décor and refreshing greenery.

Paddock Bakery | Burleigh Heads

Cross the road after a dip in the waters of north Burleigh Heads, and give these inventive and delicious creations a go. This elaborate menu features the usual suspects, plus some unique and wildly popular signature items. We’ll start with the dippy eggs: no, not on the kids menu – this is the gourmet adult version of a timeless crowd favourite. Equally as exciting, there’s also a maple bacon toastie or doughnut French toast dish on offer! Meals like that deserve an accompanying drink, so look no further than a house-brewed coffee or, for the sweet-tooths among us, opt for the CocoPops milkshake or coffee-thick shake fusion, Chocolate Kick. Enjoy all this in the loft or barn dining areas for that signature rustic, homemade experience.

The Salt Mill | Currumbin

This is the little hole-in-the-wall that serves up a lot, with heaps of nourishing bowls, O.G. café favourites and smooth coffees on offer. Their acai bowls serve a blast of freshness in each spoon, perfect to beat the GC heat. Wedged in along the Currumbin beachfront, you can enjoy your order under a beach umbrella on the quaint timber tables out the front to soak in the view. Otherwise, for maximum beach vibes, these picture-perfect acai bowls and fresh food creations are best enjoyed on the beach!

Social Brew | Burleigh Heads

If you’re fortunate enough to find yourself at Burleigh, take a sidestep down this cosy alley on James Street and you’ll find the bustling Social Brew. Locals and tourists alike have flocked to what was once a hole-in-the-wall joint, which now seats guests in the alley’s plant-filled lanes and rooms – it’s all very beachy boho. Open for lunch and breakfast but known for their outstanding brunch, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Special mention goes to the avo smash with halloumi and roast tomato balsamic. Or, for something sweet, take a peek inside their cabinet full of raw vegan treats and slices.

Tarte | Burleigh Heads

This new and trendy little corner spot houses the café you wish you lived next door to. Quickly earning a stellar reputation for its exceptional breakfast, lunch and pastries, this place is always bustling with happy customers. Maybe it’s the creative bagel options, the house-blend coffee or fresh baked treats, but we’d take a beach trip just to try their cookie cup milk shots – yes, a cup you can drink from, then eat. The eggshell blue location also serves as an excellent spot to spend the day people-watching and catching that Burleigh breeze. With a former Paddock owner at the helm, this place takes the café game to a whole other level.