The Best Cafes in Brisbane for a Coffee, Breakfast, Brunch or Lunch

by Kate Stewart

Nodo Brisbane

I’m on a mission to discover the best cafes in Australia. This time, I’m in sunny Queensland, visiting fabulous cafes in Brisbane. I’m determined to go right round this beautiful country of ours and narrow in on regions, cafes and coffee roasters to find exactly where the best cafes are.

Located on the beautiful East coast of Australia, Brisbane is warm, relaxed and welcoming. Brisbane offers the perfect climate, balancing lifestyle and opportunity. With 12 months of sunshine and clear blue skies, Brisbane has a climate that sets the scene for year-round alfresco activities. Even in the midst of a Brisbane winter, you’ll be enjoying the city’s iconic parklands and dining outdoors. With the Brisbane River at the city’s heart, meandering its way through the landscape, and a backyard of World Heritage rainforests, idyllic islands and incredible wildlife, Brisbane embodies the very best of Australia. A rapidly growing number of trendy restaurants, riverside and roof top bars and an extremely healthy cafe scene, means it’s not hard to find great options wherever you are in the city.

The last couple of years have been really tough on cafes all over Brisbane. Now sadly, you can walk through any part of the city and see local cafes who have had to close their doors.

I am determined to help in any way I can. I’m dedicating my blog, to finding the best Cafes in Australia and shine a light on them. It’s time to get out and support those wonderful local cafes. I have already uncovered fabulous cafes in New Farm, amazing cafes in Port Macquarie and brilliant cafes in Newcastle. Now, I’m in Brisbane.  

Knowing exactly where to go to get a delicious breakfast and smooth coffee is so hard. No-one likes being disappointed with a bad breaky. So, I’ve done the hard yards. After many lattes, bacon and egg rolls, avo on toasts and so many long brunches. I’ve narrowed it down to 5 of the best cafes in Brisbane.

I’m so excited to share. Let’s get going.

The Line Up

Nodo Hawthorne

Nodo Brisbane

Located at 265 Hawthorne Road Hawthorne. Nodo is one of my regular breakfast spots whenever I’m in town. One of Brisbane’s most recognisable cafe brands, they are famous for their iconic baked gluten-free doughnuts.

The Hawthorne café is a distinctly Nodo space, with crisp, clean lines showered in plenty of natural light. It is the fifth instalment to the wonderful Nodo franchise. Other Nodo cafes are located in Newstead, Camp Hill and Southbank. There are also Nodo kiosks in Chermside, Carindale and Garden City.

On the menu at Hawthorne, you’ll find long-time Nodo favourites such as the Nodo eggs. You can have them poached, fried or scrambled, on house baked sourdough with tomato caviar and salt cured yolk. The Milk Bun is delicious and comes with free range bacon, spinach, spring onion mayo, soft fried egg and native ketchup, in a house baked milked bun.

You will also find other delicious dishes including avo on toast, an XO mushroom omelette and the always amazing Seasonal Harvest Bowl. It comes with seasonal greens, pumpkin tahini kefir, heirloom carrots, pickled mushrooms, mandarin turmeric kombucha dressing, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds.

However, my all-time favourite breakfast dish at Nodo is the Bang Bang Benedict with szechuan braised ham hock, mandarin hollandaise, savoury waffle and poached eggs.

Let’s not forget the signature baked doughnuts though. They include classic flavours such as Novo, Beetroot Blackout and the Breakfast doughnut.

To drink, Nodo’s house-blend coffee is served espresso, alongside a single-origin batch brew. There are also matcha lattes, organic turmeric lattes, Mayde tea and a Supernatural Shake menu. Last time I was at Nodo I had the Golden Goodtime. It was out of this world. It’s a mixture of frozen mango, coconut milk ice cream, organic mango and lime kombucha, Queensland honey and whipped vegan cream.

Bellissimo Coorparoo

Bellissimo Coffee Brisbane

Located at 12 Cavendish Road Coorparoo. Bellissimo Coorparoo is the award-winning Roaster’s corporate Head Quarters. It’s where they undertake all their roasting and wholesale operations. There is a commercial kitchen, event venue and barista training facility.

The 50-seat roastery-cafe is set inside an old high-ceilinged warehouse, with polished concrete floors, a long bar and plenty of timber. For coffee, Belissimo’s popular Italian dark roast and Ultimo blends pull through the espresso machine. There is also a rotating single origin. Otherwise, its pour-over and cold-brew options.

An all-day brunch menu includes an amazing truffle scramble with truffle ricotta, French radish and scrambled egg on house made rye toast. The Bellissimo Breakfast is two free range eggs, thick Canadian bacon or haloumi, roast portobello mushroom, wilted spinach on house baked sourdough.

There is also a Broccolini Salad which was great. It comes with cucumber ribbon, shaved fennel, toasted almond, edamame, pomegranate, orange segment, hummus and mint.

A mouth-watering selection of toasties, croissants and fruit toast is also available if you don’t feel up to a big breakfast.

Lune Croissanterie

Lune Brisbane

Located at 15 Manning Street South Brisbane. Lune Croissanterie in Brisbane is the most northern outpost of the Lune franchise, which initially began with its first Melbourne store.  Like the original store, the Brisbane outlet produces the most delicious buttery, flakey, croissants served fresh from the oven.

Lune’s Brisbane outpost bears a striking resemblance to the croissanterie’s stunning Melbourne location which is housed inside an expansive converted warehouse in the backstreets of Fitzroy.

On the street in Brisbane, is the retail shop, where a long line of commercial ovens bake amazing croissants, pain au chocolat, kouign-amann, delicious morning buns, Danishes and cruffins. Out the back there is an enormous glass box temperature controlled to 18 degrees Celsius.  Here, the team prepares its pastry over three days using local flour, eggs, milk, and local and imported French butter.

Savoury options at Lune’s Brisbane location include a classic ham and gruyere croissant. Their smooth coffee is supplied by Coffee Supreme.

Wholly Crumpets

Wholly Crumpets Brisbane

Located at 140 Oxford Street Bulimba. Wholly Crumpets pump out between 800 and 1000 delish crumpets per day and deliver them to cafes right across Brisbane. They also have their own cute 20 seat al fresco café with timber picnic tables and iconic furniture gathered around a lovely little space. They serve Tim Adams Espresso and specialty coffee, Leaf tea and, of course their delicious crumpets.

Crumpets are served in both sweet and savoury styles. There’s one with banana, honeycomb butter and bee pollen, and a butter, house-made jam and pistachio crumpet. My favourite though is the Nutella, strawberry and toasted coconut crumpet. It you are looking for something savory, you can order crumpets with avocado, feta, lemon and hemp seed, or with smoked salmon, dill, cream cheese and capers. There is also a delicious crumpet with tomato, ricotta, herb and balsamic.

There’s also crumpet fruit toast, crumpet toasted sandwiches, granola and soup. Beyond the standard Wholly sixpack of crumpets, you can take home a one-kilogram crumpet loaf, Tim Adams coffee beans, or Hive & Harvest honey.

Picnic Cafe West End

Picnic Cafe West End

Located at 111 Boundary Street West End. Picnic Café West End, is the second store from this award-winning café. After developing a reputation for fabulous coffee and delicious eats at their Camp Hill Café. Eight years later, the team opened their West End outpost.

At Picnic Café, they believe that everyone deserves coffee that is both delicious and is made from the best quality coffee beans. They carefully select and prepare each batch to perfection, bringing out the unique aromas and flavours of every bean for an experience that is both enjoyable and satisfying down to the last drop. 

The menu is stacked with crowd favourites like the Avo Mash with sourdough, avocado, mint and pea puree, whipped feta, pickled beetroot, and pistachio dukkah. And a delicious Breakfast Burger with thick cut bacon, fried egg, hash brown, and chipotle hollandaise on a brioche bun.

There are also amazing dishes with Asian influences. The Signature Scotch Egg is a crowd pleaser. It comes with garlic roasted asparagus, mashed peas, pickled onions, & honey mustard mayonnaise. Other highlights include the Mushroom Gnocchi with braised mushrooms, cream, parmesan, pangrattato, crispy enoki and truffle oil.

The fabulous Asian influence carries over to lunch, with dishes including the Salmon and Soba Soup with crispy skin salmon, seasoned Dashi broth, wakame, bonito, soba noodle and pickled daikon.

Picnic Café is renowned throughout Brisbane for its breath-taking smoothies. The Basic Banana, with cinnamon, honey, ice and dairy milk is great. But the Pink Flamingo is my favourite. It is a delicious mixture of dragon fruit, passionfruit, mango, ice and coconut water. There is also a great selection of cold pressed juices, iced teas and magnificent shakes.

Picnic Café’s delicious coffee blends are supplied by Paradox Coffee Roasters.

A range of signature cocktails is available from 10.30am, with names such as Lavender Collins with gin, club soda, lavender syrup and lime juice and the always popular Espresso Martini with Paper Moon double espresso, kahlua, and vodka