It’s not often that a slammin’ café passes us by but every so often one will rise on the buoyant foam of a cult following and all of a sudden there’s a Brisbane cafe institution on our hands.
Recent months have welcomed some newbies into the fold as well as a couple of dark horses that have managed to evade the glare of widespread recognition. Until now. We’re blowing the lid off all the unassuming, secretive characters in this town to unearth all the cafes you haven’t been to but should.
Here are a bunch of our favourite Brisbane cafés that keep a low profile, and you do actually need to check them out this weekend.
Completely plant-based café, Grown prides itself on being able to please everyone. Theirs is an entirely vegan breakfast and lunch menu with plenty of specialty coffee for the caffeine addicted, as well as alternative brews for the naturally perky. In recent weeks Grown has also added an evening service to their repertoire, which includes a bi-weekly degustation dinner collaboration with Urbane’s Alejandro Cancino.
Driven by conscience and a sense of contribution, Just Earth may just be your new favourite place. Located on Vulture Street in West End, this café has opened itself up as a community hub for locals with a great space out the back for events. Just Earth also roasts their own coffee blend onsite via a tandem roasting operation, which is available wholesale for café customers. As a café, Just Earth specialises in making amazing food with local and seasonal produce, with all profits going into their Just Earth Foundation which seeks to support women disadvantaged by the labour market. Without question, this is one breakfast you can feel good about splurging on.
The Trail Co.
It’s no surprise this one tends to slip by unnoticed given that the shop is technically a hiking supply store. But if there’s one thing avid hikers can’t shop without it’s a fresh espresso (apparently) and hence The Trail Co. has a bona fide café set up right inside the store. (It’s like the Vatican City of cafés. Or a babushka doll, I can’t decide.) Besides a really quite excellent cup of java, the café faces one of the best views in Bardon, which is perfect if you’re a peak-hungry hiker.
Lewin Street Store
Another Brisbane café hidden deep in a tangle of residential streets is the Lewin Street Store. By no means secret to those in the area, this café thumps every morning as a hub for local Bardonians to chat over a brew. Their operation is about 90% café, 10% grocer, selling Leavain bread and Barambah milk alongside cups of Allpress coffee, pastries from Crust & Co. (one of our all-time fave Brisbane bakeries) and some of the best breakfasts in town. Though they’re known for some of the best avocado toast in Queensland, nay, the country, Lewin’s Spanish toast with tomato, lemon and ricotta is a weekend favourite.
Loading Dock Espresso
As the name suggests, Loading Dock Espresso is exactly where you need to be to load up before a big day. Tucked inside the London Offices, this bolthole espresso bar might do some of the best coffee in Teneriffe, featuring the smooth taste of Botero beans for pep and some light sweet and savoury fare for sustenance on those days when the going is going to get gnarly.
With a delightfully Scandi slant, Norman Park’s latest local fuelling station, Clancy’s Espresso, provides the kind of morning refreshment you need. With Single O coffee a-flowing, and plenty of pastries and hefty bagels flying out of the kitchen, Brisbane cafe Clancy has fast become the first thing on everyone’s lips in the hazy moments after the alarm goes off.
Lookig for a neat new lunch or dinner spot this weekend? Make Ol' School top of your list.
Image credit: Grace Elizabeth Images for The Urban List