Brisbane’s Best Cafés for Non-Coffee Drinkers

By Brooke Falvey
23rd May 2016

brisbanes best cafes

We get it, drinking coffee is about more than the drink itself, it’s about the ‘experience’; exploring new places, finding a cool new café that serves a great (insert your preference here) and catching up with friends as caffeine flows through your veins.

But what if you don’t drink coffee?

It’s not like we (okay, I) haven’t tried to like coffee. I assumed it was something you grow into, like smoked salmon (check), blazers (check) and hommus (I’m not there yet), but it’s just not happened.

Thankfully, non-coffee drinkers can rejoice because there is an ever growing range of Brisbane cafes putting as much emphasis into the rest of their drink offering, as they are with their coffee – and yes, you can still get coffee at each of these venues.

From milky freakshakes, old school spiders, exquisite teas, sinful hot chocolates and spicy chai, here are Brisbane’s best cafes for the non-coffee crew.

Milk Cafe


You won’t be able to miss the retro-styled Milk Café with its sunshine bright exterior and vintage interior throws back to a simpler time when Fonzie was in control of the jukebox.  Their Classic Spiders will take you straight back to your school days. As well as the usual suspects (Coca-Cola, Fanta, Creaming Soda and Lemonade) when it comes to flavours, they also offer Kiwi, Mango, Lime, Watermelon and Ginger Beer.

Sinmei Tea Room

New Farm

Tucked away inside James Street’s Scrumptious Reads, the exquisite Sinmei Tea Room, offers a unique menu of tea-based drinks and food that blend tradition with creativity, such as the matcha mojito, made with matcha (green tea), mint, lime, brown sugar and soda. Their tea ceremony involving ornate cups and teapots is a must!


South Bank

If you’re not part of the loyal-herd of Cowch followers, you’re missing something amazing–the Hot Chocolate Sinner. Made with milk, white or dark chocolate, their secret ingredient, which can also help if you’re on a first date that’s going downhill, is Frangelico Liqueur. Try the Deluxe, topped with whipped cream and marshmallows, because #YOLO, plus you can always (pretend to) burn it off afterward with a walk along the river! 

The Jam Pantry


The perfect drink for winter is a creamy hot chocolate and the ones at The Jam Pantry are the perfect indulgence for chocoholics. Topped with melt-in-your-mouth flakes, you can eat the chocolate and drink the chocolate. The best news? If you’re after just a small hit of frothy non-coffee deliciousness, you can order a Baby Chino and the staff won’t judge you!

Hoo Ha Bar

South Brisbane

A funky industrial vintage cafe bar occupying an old brick QR railway workshop behind South Bank, Hoo Ha Bar makes a mean strawberry and coconut milkshake that will blow your mind. If you’re a sucker for baked goods, you’ll struggle to choose between the Gingerbread and Apple Pie shakes. 

Champ Kitchen & Bar

South Bank

Located under the ABC building near the Wheel of Brisbane, Champ Kitchen & Bar offers the trifecta of a great feed, an iconic view and a delicious selection of tea, including a house made chai masala and leaf teas with names like Summer Love, China Jasmine, Sensha Gree and Egyptian Peppermint.

Republic Coffee Traders

East Brisbane

Two words: iced chocolate. East Brisbane café Republic Coffee Traders serves up insta-worthy iced chocolates made with vanilla bean ice cream and house made chocolate syrup over iced milk. Topped with whipped cream, they are a sweet combination of delicious and cool flavours.

Chester Street Bakery & Bar

New Farm

You’ll need a straw and a spoon to indulge in Chester Street Bakery's milkshakes. The Banana and Caramel milkshake takes #foodporn to a whole new level with Chantilly cream, a caramel drizzle and a mini rainbow sprinkle donut, while the Tim Tam Slam has choc sprinkles, a mini choc doughnut and Tim Tam and Milo crumbs. Talk about #foodporn. 

Image credit: What Katie Ate

Looking for more of Brisbane's best cafes that serve up non-coffee treats? Check out our article Brisbane's New Mega Milkshakes for inspo!

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