I’ve decided it’s waaay past time to update my best coffee on the Coast list.  There are so many great new cafes entering the GC food scene it’s almost hard to keep up (but, dear readers, I’ll do my best to get out and eat at as many as I can.  It’s a tough gig).  I’ve made some changes to the criteria I’m using and also added a location guide, so here goes…

Firstly, a couple of points on criteria.  What does it take for a cafe to make it onto this list?

  • Service with a smile, no up yourself too cool attitudes, the type of place where if you go a few times they know who you are and what you like to drink (Sadly I just heard the ‘Cheers’ theme in my head ;)…?).
  • Waiting more than 15 minutes for a take away is just ridiculous (after you order it, i.e. not including waiting in line time).  If someone does good coffee but takes a while I’ll mention it in my notes below.
  • If I haven’t been more than once I’ve done my research on the places on the list using Beanhunter, Trip Advisor and Urbanspoon.  And / or just word of mouth from people I trust.
  • I’ve said it before, but I personally don’t like Merlo coffee so no Merlo cafes are on this list despite some cafes doing a great job with their coffee.
  • As someone with a barista for a hubby, any black coffee served with a broken crema is a big no-no.
  • Remember – every cafe has a bad minute / hour / day every now and again.  No that’s not an excuse for anyone to provide bad service, food or coffee.  All I’m saying is that my list is about my experiences during my visit/s.
  • Lastly, ambience is important too.  Having said this I’ll sit on a milk crate with a cushion on it to have a good coffee!

Location guide

So let’s try using a location guide this time around; each region has suburbs in alphabetical order.  I may have been a bit (OK, a lot) flexible with region choices but the GC is so big and full of great choices now it was hard to narrow it down to:

Southern Gold Coast

Burleigh: Commune, Canteen, Borough Barista,/a>, Lakeview Cafe and General Store, Paddock Bakery

Coolangatta: Bambi Deluxe

Currumbin: Dust Temple

Nobby Beach: Canvas

Palm Beach: Feather and Docks, Barefoot Barista

Tugun: Good Day Coffee

Southern GC Wish List: The Outcider and Sunhouse (both at Coolangatta), Nectar Espresso (North Burleigh Surf Club)

Mid Gold Coast

Broadbeach: Elk Espresso, No Name Lane

Carrara: The Silo Cafe

Isle of Capri: Blackboard Coffee Roasters

Mermaid Beach: Alfred’s Diner, Skull and Bones Espresso

Mudgeeraba: The Millers Hands

Surfers Paradise: Black Coffee Lyrics, ESPL

Varsity Lakes: Blackboard Espresso

Northern Gold Coast

Southport: Percy’s Corner

Chirn Park: Daark Espresso

As a Southern Gold Coaster, I’m really not that familiar with the North… suggestions welcome!

Road trippin (further afield)

Brunswick Heads: Footbridge

Byron Bay: Bay Leaf, The Top Shop, 100 Mile Table

Kingscliff: Mockingbird

Lennox Head: Cafe Marius

Newrybar: Harvest Cafe (where the hell is Newrybar?  Drive a bit past Bangalow and turn off, it’s a lovely drive and great coffee and food)

Wish List: Sparrow Coffee (Bangalow) – although they only have two seats I’ve been stalking them on Instagram and their coffee and food looks amazing!  Owned by the Harvest Team.

More info

For the more detail oriented amongst you, the cafes below are in the same order as the location guide above. I’ve put a few links in to take you back to the top of the location guide to avoid all that annoying scrolling (first world problem, I know….).

Click here to return to the location guide.

Commune, Burleigh Heads, a local favourite using Campos beans, consistently great extraction.  Consistently great brekky and lunch with fresh flavours, plus always friendly service.  For those with kids, high chairs are available.  And they put a ping pong table out on Sundays!

Canteen, Burleigh Heads.  Consistently great coffee using their own blend, I think wait times have improved of late with coffee which is great.  Canteen Restaurant next door is also yummy and worth a visit.

Borough Barista, Burleigh.  Dear Borough, I still love your house blend coffee, brekky, service and treats.  However the last 3 times I’ve visited I’ve waited about 15-20 minutes for a take away coffee.  With two toddlers in the pram.  With two people on the machine… So I haven’t been back for a while.

Lakeview Cafe and General Store, Burleigh Heads, the owner Dylan and his wife Keira are both very passionate about their coffee.  For those of you with kids this park is opposite a playground and lake complete with ducks.  Lakeview have high chairs and also sell duck food.

Paddock Bakery, Burleigh Heads.  Just know that whenever you go, Paddock will be busy, but for good reason (having said that, I avoid it on weekends).  Checking out their Facebook page it looks like they use Marvell Roasters and Cup Coffee Roasters.  Either way, consistently good coffee, amazingly tempting baked treats (think chocolate, caramel and salt) and fresh, delicious food.  Now that I’ve told you about the treats, I’m a big fan of their detox salad.

Bambi Deluxe, Coolangatta (Tweed?), groovy little place serving great coffee.  Limited brekky menu due to no greasetrap but some good lighter options (not the place to go if you’re in the mood for a big meaty brekky).

Dust Temple, Currumbin.  John and Isla are great people who really know their coffee and are great supporters of the local art community.  ‘Nuff said.

Canvas, Nobby Beach, a small cafe and homeware / interiors / kids / clothing store with street front seating, yummy home made treats and serving a great house blend.

Feather and Docks, Palm Beach, Rhiannon and Vaughan have recently reopened in their new Palmy location (they were in Burleigh at Hibiscus Haven).  Yummy brekky and have recently started with a lunch menu.  Lovely people, consistently good coffee and can’t wait to try their brekky as it was great in the old location.  Since the beanhunter listing is old I can tell you they are at 1099 Gold Coast Highway Palm Beach (but you get the picture on how good their coffee is with the beanhunter review…).

Barefoot Barista, Palm Beach.  I have been going to Barefoot since it first opened, still good house blend coffee, friendly service, and now a much bigger menu now they have moved into two (or three?) shops in Palm Beach Ave.

Good Day Coffee, Tugun, (ex-IRA coffee) a great little place serving some pastries and Marvell Street Coffee (Byron Bay).  Consistently good and service with a smile.

Click here to return to the location guide.

Elk Espresso, Broadbeach, I hadn’t visited for some time but stopped by for lunch recently and am keen to go back for brekky and coffee again soon.  This place gets consistently good reviews from friends and the usual suspects on the net.   Note Beanhunter score is low but it looks like mainly due to one particularly disgruntled punter…

 No Name Lane, Broadbeach, have been numerous times, brekky is pre-prepared options that are tasty (think gourmet toasties).  On one visit Sime got a broken crema but generally we have found the coffee to be good.

The Silo Cafe, Carrara Markets.  Let’s be up front here: yes, we own this cafe, and have owned it for 10 years.  During that time my hubby Sime has continued to serve his custom blend locally roasted Organic fair trade coffee (O Organics).  He’s not into latte art, but he’s a proud coffee nerd who guarantees his coffee.  Plus our brekky is very reasonably priced and great.  Where else can you get Eggs Benedict for $9.90 with home made hollandaise?  I actually told him to put the price up!

Blackboard Coffee Roasters, Isle of Capri, located at the fairly new and fancy Via Roma Complex, this is another cafe opened by the owner of Blackboard at Varsity (one of my faves).  Lovely spot to sit looking over the water with coffee as good as I’ve had at Blackboard.

Alfred’s Diner, Mermaid Beach.  As I’m writing this I realise it’s been too long since I’ve visited and sat on the lawn to enjoy some take out style delicious food and great coffee.  A second venture for the Black Coffee Lyrics (Surfers Paradise) guys and definitely worth a visit.  Note: food is served in cardboard take away style plates, paper cups, no table service, i.e. expect a relaxed picnic style vibe.

Skull and Bones Espresso, Mermaid Beach, a funky little place serving Toby’s Estate with some tasty light food options.  Definitely worth a visit, recently voted best coffee on Crave Gold Coast’s best coffee poll.

The Millers Hands, Mudgeeraba.  It’s worth driving to Mudgeeraba to stop in to this great little place.  Food is designed around what’s in season / produced / bartered locally.  Coffee is Allpress and consistently good as is the service.  Check out our recent visit here.

Black Coffee Lyrics, Surfers Paradise, I don’t often get to Surfers but when I do I try to head here for a weekend brunch or coffee.  Only wish I had time to go for tapas at night!

ESPL, Surfers Paradise.  It’s so nice to say there are now two places I’d go in Surfers for a coffee.  A tiny hole in the wall under Soul by the owner of Blackboard Espresso.

Blackboard Espresso, Varsity Lakes.  Yes their brekky prices are a little more expensive, but I’m happy to pay for something a bit spesh rather than the usual Broadbeach overpriced cafe scene.  Add on Takeaway Table next door with amazing pastries to tempt you, a great industrial fit out, consistently good coffee and service and you’re on a winner.  I recently tried their week night NOLA (New Orleans Street Food) and it was delish!  Not to mention their amazing donuts – think donut with a syringe of salted caramel to squirt into it… drool.

Click here to return to the location guide.

Percy’s Corner, Southport.  Finally!  Somewhere decent to drink coffee in Southport.  Percy’s Corner is located in the old Ambulance Station, a tiny little place with great coffee, friendly service and a tasty looking menu.  Wish I got up to Southport more often to visit.

Daark Espresso, Chirn Park.  I’ve only visited once but was impressed by the coffee at Daark.  Breakfast was good, recommend you visit.

Click here to return to the location guide.

Footbridge, Brunswick Heads.  I’ve visited twice now, good coffee, friendly and relaxed service and locals, and great food which I think is reasonably priced.  A short road trip from the GC to a great cafe and some cool little local shops.

Bay Leaf, Byron.  Despite the fact I heard the old owner has sold Bay Leaf, and it has been ages since I’ve been there, they still get good ratings on Beanhunter and Urbanspoon.  A relaxed little place with good coffee and food.  Nuff said.

The Top Shop, Byron.  Have only visited once but friends tell me this place is still great.  Hard to get a seat on busy days, located slightly out of town at the top of a hill.  Serves good coffee and food.

100 Mile Table, Byron.  My sis and hubby have both visited, serve Marvell Roasting Coffee which both said is awesome.  Hubby says food was good, worth leaving Byron to head to the industrial area for.

Mockingbird, Kingscliff.  Have been for brekky a number of times and lunch once so far.  On one visit they had just removed fresh muffins from the oven – yum!  Good quality ingredients put together well with 7 Seeds Coffee which is well made.

Cafe Marius, Lennox Head.  We have visited on a number of occasions now to enjoy their Single Origin coffee and South American inspired menu.  Lennox is just gorgeous and only 1 hour from the GC.

Harvest, Newrybar.  Haven’t visited for too long, but still hear and read great things about Harvest and their deli next door.  Their balcony under the trees is such a beautiful place to sit, chill out, eat and drink.  Sigh.

Listen, before I had my coffee, I didn't know how awesome I was going to be today, either!