The change of pace and scenery that comes with leaving the city is a welcome respite to the daily grind. But there are some rituals – like the other kind of daily grind – that are hard to stray from. We’ve put together a list of cafes throughout the coast and country where you can get a great coffee.
Little May Espresso, Montville
Montville is a popular tourist spot in the scenic Sunshine Coast hinterlands. As such, it's easy to get a coffee but perhaps a little harder to get an exceptional coffee. But Little May Espresso, a cute little cafe on the town’s main drag, is a Broadsheet favourite. Run by husband-and-wife team Rich and Hannah Hayes, Little May uses its own house blend for milk coffee and rotates single-origin beans for black. Rich was formerly sous chef at Montville fine-diner The Long Apron, so the all-day food menu is just as impressive as the coffee.
1/174 Main Street, Montville
(07) 5478 5015
Fri to Tue 7am–2pm
Clandestino Coffee, Noosaville
Behind Clandestino is Jaxon Taylor, whose father, Perry, opened Noosa’s iconic Cafe Le Monde in the late 80s (before that, Perry was a pilot for MacAir carrying gold, silver and coffee on his cargo plane). At this cafe and roastery you can choose from four types of beans, including the Magneto Organic house blend, Popayan Special decaf and two rotating single origins. You’ll find lots of alternative brewing methods here, such as pour-overs, batch brew, cold drip and nitro brew on-tap. Clandestino’s located inside Belmondos Organic Market, which means you can order food from other tenants to eat in the cafe. The fit-out is industrial, with indoor and outdoor seating and a model plane hanging from the ceiling – a reference to Perry.
2/59 Rene Street, Noosaville
1300 656 022
Mon to Fri 7am–4pm
Flying West Coffee Roasters, Doonan
Husband-and-wife-team Ben and Nina West started out selling coffee at the popular Eumundi Markets. Now their beans can be found in cafes and restaurants all over the Sunshine Coast. In 2018, the Wests opened their first cafe in a big tin shed on the outskirts of Noosa and invested in a Diedrich roaster from America. The menu includes crowd favourites like eggs benedict with smoked salmon, and brioche French toast. The cafe is spacious with lots of natural light and greenery, making it a perfect spot to relax. Otherwise, you can visit the Eumundi Markets, where you’ll still find the Flying West stall on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
13/9 Fellowship Drive, Doonan (07) 5471 1865 Mon to Fri 6am–2pm Sat & Sun 6.30am–1pm
Paradox Coffee Roasters, Surfers Paradise
Located in the modern 4217 complex (a former bus depot), Paradox is worth visiting for the fit-out alone. Derlot is behind the contemporary design, which features high ceilings, red brick walls and a central island service area with a custom-made hanging light. And the coffee certainly stands up to its surroundings – Paradox roasts its beans on-site using a Brambati roaster imported from northern Italy. Milk coffees are made with the house blend, while the Picasso Baby Blend is automatically extracted for black unless a single origin is chosen. The breakfast and lunch menus are relatively straightforward, with a focus on fresh local produce.
10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise
(07) 5538 3235
Seadog, Burleigh Heads
It might be located on Burleigh’s main street, but Seadog is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it sort of place. It’s housed in a former ATM space – so small there’s just enough space for a La Marzocco coffee machine, one barista (owner Brodie Green) and a couple stools for waiting. Green, who uses Byron Bay’s Marvell Street Coffee, is passionate about the environment and sustainability. He uses eco-friendly packaging, minimises waste wherever possible and offers a discount if you BYO cup.
8/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Blackboard Coffee, Varsity Lakes
In 2011, then-19-year-old Nick Pearce opened Blackboard Coffee in a small space next to Bond University. Soon after, Pearce began roasting his own beans in a Burleigh Heads warehouse after learning the process from Josh Russell, who owned Brisbane’s Cup Specialty Coffee at the time (he now co-owns King Arthur in Fortitude Valley). Since then, Blackboard Coffee has become an iconic Gold Coast brand, sending beans all over the world. Chef and co-owner Marc Kinvig looks after the food side of things. The current menu includes chilli scrambled eggs with pork belly, and a lemon waffle with mango gel, caramelised pineapple and coconut ice-cream. After numerous renovations, Blackboard has evolved into a large 183-seat venue with timber booth seating and lots of greenery.
7/240 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes
0411 683 423
Ground Up Espresso, Toowoomba
Hidden down a laneway in an old storeroom is Ground Up Espresso, a Toowoomba institution. The laneway is sprawled with graffiti, while inside the cafe features timber floors and exposed brick walls. Blackboard Coffee’s Seasonal Espresso Blend is served here, and single-origin beans can be requested for an extra $1 (double shots are free). For the ultimate coffee experience, the Barista’s Breakfast includes an espresso, piccolo, filter coffee and sparkling water. For food, there’s a full menu as well as baked goods from The Bakers Duck, a bakery co-owned by Ground Up. Sweet tooths will particularly enjoy the ice-cream sandwich – a Bakers Duck croissant filled with vanilla ice-cream, salted honey and toasted almonds.
501 Ruthven Street, Toowoomba
Mon to Fri 6.30am–1pm
Sat & Sun 7am–1pm
Burrow, East Toowoomba
Natascha Egger and Clemence Demouzon had just celebrated their cafe’s first birthday in September last year when disaster struck. A fire tore through the converted house, damaging a wall, furniture, plants and cutlery. After months of rebuilding, Burrow re-opened in January with strong support from locals. The cafe serves Allpress coffee alongside an impressive breakfast menu, including Spicy Scram (scrambled eggs with lap cheong sausage and Swiss brown mushrooms on miso-buttered Turkish bread), a Breaky Bun (bacon and eggs in a brioche bun) and Milly Filly (puff-pastry layers with lemon-curd mousse and vanilla ice-cream).
*117a Bridge Street, East Toowoomba (07) 4638 5221 Tue to Sun 7am–2pm