Melbourne is typically regarded as the home of Australian cold press and cappuccino but a revolution is brewing in the suburbs of Brisbane and its surrounds.
It may not be the first place that comes to mind when looking for cafe culture or a great coffee but with a little local knowledge visitors can find their own slice of hipster heaven right along both sides of the Brisbane river.
As a committed caffeine addict and latte snob I have taken it upon myself to sniff out the best beans my hometown Brisbane has to offer.
Whether you like your coffee-hit served soy, decaf or lactose-free, these local haunts will leave you feeling buzzed for the rest of your visit to Brisbane.
Medley Cafe and Restaurant
A relative newcomer to the Brisbane cafe scene, Medley Cafe and Restaurant on the Brisbane river at Kangaroo Point serves its coffee with uninterrupted views of the Brisbane River and Story Bridge.
On a good Queensland day you can get your coffee with a healthy side of vitamin D on its expansive and sunshiny deck.
This is one of my favourite morning places, ideal for a leisurely brunch or decadent morning tea which is then followed by a leisurely stroll along the adjacent riverside walking and bike paths.
Reverends Fine Coffee
I was introduced to to the Rev by a good friend and Fortitude Valley native who swears the coffee in this place is what keeps him alive.
Like many of the whole-in-the-wall cafes popping up in this part of Brisbane, the Reverend’s store front can be easy to overlook as the best bits are actually hidden out the back.
(Local tip: don’t be put off by the grizzly bearded barista, he is just ultra hip and is actually pretty friendly)
As a huge fan of recycled and industrial-chic interior design this place ticks many of my boxes. I love the cool, yet grungy, effect of the mishmashed materials and I feel like I step out with more street cred every time I visit here.
Deer Sir Cafe
Portside Wharf Hamilton
While Portside Wharf is better known for its cruise ship terminal and pricey restaurants, Deer Sir Cafe on the Brisbane river in Hamilton is a small but sumptuous gem little gem of eclectic food, fashion and finery.
Nab a table in the back corner where you can nibble tangy citrus tart and sip your flat white surrounded by exotic looking knick-knacks and the shopkeeper’s flights of fancy.
Coffee at Deer Sir is like playing dress-ups in your Nana’s youthful wardrobe; fun, glamorous and loaded with old-world charm.
If you time your visit right you can pop next door to the ever-growing Eat Street markets which has turned a bunch of old shipping containers and fairy lights into a mecca for Brisbane foodies.
Hallowed Grounds Espresso
Mt Gravatt East
One of my more recent finds Hallowed Grounds Espresso has risen above its suburban location on a busy main road to create an atmosphere more fitting of a university campus or leafy affluent neighbourhood corner – it seems to attracts local office workers and bookish types.
Again the use of recycled timber and re-purposed artifacts feature heavily in the decor to create a sense of fun but also warmth and welcome.
Given its distance from the city it is more likely to be filled with locals (generally a good sign) than tourists but anyone who finds themselves on this side of town should definitely set forth on Hallowed Grounds – and on a typically hot Brisbane day I highly recommend the iced latte.
Goodness Gracious Cafe
Set amongst the jacaranda-lined streets of Graceville is the highly Instagramable Goodness Gracious Cafe.
From the outside it looks like a humble conversion of a traditional Queensland house complete with a tin roof and white timber exterior.
Inside, Goodness Gracious is a bustling and light-filled delight that dishes up the meanest smashed avocado and poached egg this side of the border.
If you can’t get a seat inside (which is often full) take heart, on a clear Brisbane day it’s just as lovely to be seated outside on the sun deck under the canopy of beautiful old fig trees.
Goodness Gracious is the Audrey Hepburn of Brisbane cafes, simple, yet sophisticated – it knows what its got but doesn’t feel the need to flaunt it.
It’s the embodiment of Queensland’s laid back outdoor lifestyle and the perfect choice for an authentic Brisbane cafe experience.
I’ve travelled the world but I’m a Brisbane girl born and bred. I’m proud of my hometown and happy to share my local knowledge so others can enjoy the best of what’s on offer. As a seasoned-traveller and exacting coffee connoisseur I’m confident these suggestions will satisfy the savviest of bean hunters.