We just have to give it up for the hospo industry. From lockdowns galore to ever-changing distancing rules, our favourite bars, cafes and restaurants rise from the ashes of it all—but no one realises the phoenix vision quite like those brave enough to launch new venues in the middle of a pandemic. Call us the town crier, because it's time to get on our soapbox and sing praises of the newest and brightest cafes in Brisbane.
Oh, the humble crumpet. Images arise in this writer's mind of attempting to split one from the frozen packet (to preserve them, come on I'm from the country) with a butter knife like Michelangelo chipping away at a chunk of marble. Crispy outside and fluffy inside slathered in butter and honey. It’s downright erotic. Now, imagine this experience elevated to the max at Wholly Crumpets—you’re in leafy Bulimba sipping on a coffee so good it feels like it's warming your soul and floating over to your table comes a house-made crumpet adorned with Nutella, toasted coconut and strawberries as well as a tomato, ricotta, herbs and balsamic one for your brekky buddy. Absolutely elated, you saunter up to the counter to pay post-feast and lo and behold, you can cop a take-home bag of said crumpets and a delicious array of spreads. You get the picture, pull up.
Vegans, you are well and truly on here. Wrangle your dog into their harness (why do they wriggle so much?) and trek over to the northside to Enkoi where you'll find a utopia of vegan and vegetarian breakfast feasts. Gone are the days of a sad mushies on toast situation for the coveted Saturday morning brekkie—surely you'd rather go a potato and rosemary waffle stacked with scrambled tofu, mushrooms, hollandaise and sauteed kale? Also, conveniently, you can include your non-vegan friend in the fun with vegetarian swap outs for the menu—like an egg instead of tofu for the soy haters. The coffee is liquid gold, the decor’s a vibe and the service is top-notch.
To Be Or Not To Be
Ok did anyone else actually like learning about Shakespeare at school? Was it your favourite teacher that made the class so interesting or was it the fish tank scene in the 90s movie version of Romeo and Juliette? Well, we guess we’ll never know. One thing we DO know, however, is that the southside is lucky to have a new cafe, To Be Or Not To Be, in their midst. Every nook and cranny (including the menu) of this venue is an homage to good ol’ Shakespeare if you haven't guessed, like the indoor dining area nicknamed Juliet and an outdoor space named Romeo. Get your hands on a menu and peruse the delicious options like the Chinese Pork Benny with lemon potato écrase, poached eggs and yuzu hollandaise or perhaps go for one of the nods to the great playwright like the 'To Toast Or Not To Toast' or ‘Two Eggs Thy Way’—two free-range eggs on buttered sourdough with hash brown fries amd chilli tomato relish. Either way, you're in for an absolute treat.
What is with all the cafes in the Gabba being absolute bangers? They really do breed the best and Musketeers Cafe is certainly no different. Musketeers dishes up vegan feasts that are no short of life altering and dare we say converting thanks to their menu’s hearty meals like the Big Vegan Brekky—a slab of sourdough that comes stacked with scrambled tofu, smoky eggplant bacon, tempeh sausage, roasted heirloom tomatoes, field mushrooms, hash browns and avocado. A dish truly in a lane of its own is the Toffee Apple Fritters with coconut sugar toffee, toasted sesame seeds and maple vanilla coconut yoghurt mousse. When you've eaten your way through the menu (ethically) check out the mini gift shop they have attached as well for some delightful finds.
Joedy’s By Eminence
If you’re familiar with Joedy’s Cafe in New Farm, you’re probably already a fan—and now there’s another spot where you’ll find their ripper service and delish menu, Joedy's By Eminence. Being so conveniently nestled in the belly of The Eminence building in the Valley, it's hard not to stop in on that morning commute damn near every morning for a delicious slurp and tasty treat to go, but trust us the sit-down experience is truly the underdog. Slide into one of the luxe booths and choose something from the powerhouse of a menu—our fave is the black rice pudding with spiced coconut yoghurt, mango compote, toasted coconut and pashmak floss.
The word unbearable and bagel are seldom heard in a sentence together but in this case, it's a match made in heaven. For many of us, thinking of bagels means drooling at your desk at work picturing chewy yet warm discs of deliciousness topped with about an inch of cream cheese and maybe even an orange ribbon of salmon. Keep riding that delicious visual wave and you'll eventually fantasise what Unbearable Bagels is dishing out every day in Teneriffe. The menu features bangers like The Dealer, a bagel stuffed with chorizo, egg, onion and cheese and the Big Al, stuffed with pastrami, mustard, cabbage and swiss cheese. There's something for your sweet tooth as well like the dreamy PB and B, an open bagel topped with peanut butter, banana and honeycomb. There are spots galore to have a seat, but beware (or excited) the crew is big on filter and brew coffee that is served black only.
Looking for more familiar favouties? You'll find 50 of Brisbane's best cafes here.
Image credit: NIRA Creative, Enoki Cafe, Nelson Zambrero, Joedy's By Eminence, Ranyhyn Laine