It’s safe to say that brunch can be both healthy and good looking on the Gold Coast.
From the best breakfast in Burleigh Heads to hip cafes in Mermaid Beach, there is no shortage of breakfast classics and firm favourites down in south-east Queensland. After a stroll along the sandy shoreline or carving up some waves down at Snapper Rocks at sunrise, reward your early exercise with brunch at the best cafes on the Gold Coast.
The meals are Instagram-worthy and taste bloody good. Plus, the coffee shouldn’t disappoint either. Mark these on your map and book a breakfast date. Shoes optional.
BEST BRUNCH GOLD COAST | 12 spots for morning fuel
Located on the Northern Gold Coast, fill your tummies with a mouth watering breakfast and specialty coffee at Daark Espresso before you hit the golden, sandy beaches.
The cafe is set in a Queenslander-style structure, with patrons invited to sit inside or outside on the wraparound wooden deck. Square birch tables are adorned with Moss & Stone dried floral arrangements in support of the neighbouring florist.
Serving all day breakfast and lunch, you’ll discover fab favourites such as smashed avo & feta on toast, toasted banana bread and the trusty bacon & egg roll. Our greedy bellies opted for the Crispy Potato Hash Benedict and Pumpkin, Feta & Walnut Croquettes. Many menu options are accommodating with gluten-free and dairy-free alternatives available.
The espresso bar pumps out coffee with beans supplied by Queensland business, Supreme Roasters. Single origin coffee beans and filter options are available too. A neighbourhood favourite for young families, this cafe is a good option for those planning a day trip to Seaworld or if you’re staying in the Southport area as part of a longer Gold Coast holiday.
Daark Espresso also provides a takeaway coffee and food service if you’d prefer to enjoy your breakfast by the ocean.
Goodness for your soul.
And for your bellies too. Forreal Kitchen doesn’t do diets. If you’re after great food done well and with a splash of colour, you’ve come to the right place.
The interior of Forreal Kitchen is decorated with a devastatingly whimsical wallpaper featuring faded green palm fronts, wispy white flowers and bright pink lyrebirds. The menu will have you frothing with hot and robust options serving drool-worthy savoury plates and the all-vegan smoothie bowls sure to please the health conscious. If you’re feeling particularly naughty, the list of extras will certainly tempt you (I mean, who can say no to truffled eggs?).
You shouldn’t have any qualms with the coffee and the rainbow hot drinks will have you whipping out your smartphone for your Insta shot of the day. If you want to stay healthy but still have a pretty drink to photograph, select a turmeric or beetroot latte.
A wonderful spot in Nobby Beach, loved by locals and furry friends who are welcome to hang out front. Coffee is served by these legends from 5am with the breakfast menu available all-day, so you can fill your bellies with a delicious meal before a gentle stroll along the beach.
Founded in 2013, BSKT Cafe has become a Gold Coast hotspot, renowned for fuelling health conscious citizens with high quality foods.
Occupying a fabulous corner plot a block back from Nobby Beach, diners enjoy their brunch with a side of a seaside breeze. Rest assured, while the cafe’s mission is to serve wholefoods, BSKT does not compromise on taste. From its Navajo Native Breakfast to its Vegan Dutch Pancakes, we can guarantee that you will find something to curb your cravings. If you don’t mind some Asian flavours for breakfast, you can select from Miso Salmon, Pad Thai or Banh Mi.
BSKT Cafe is also the brains behind CocoWhip, the world’s first Vegan bio-fermented softserve. Made from coconut water, coconut oil and other nutritious ingredients, CocoWhip is all natural, vegan and dairy-free. Try it for yourself with a service of organic banana bread or carrot cake. And if your brunch has you convinced that healthy can be tasty, take home a piece of BSKT Cafe with you from its selection of protein bars, vegan chocolate bars and granola.
BAM BAM Bakehouse
Dissatisfied with the low quality offerings of sourdough and croissants on the Gold Coast, BAM BAM Bakehouse was founded by a Gold Coast duo who now have a cult following for their baguettes and croissants from the Gold Coast through to northern NSW. The likes of Margot Robbie and Matt Preston have even walked through the doors!
As masters of artisanal hand-made pastries, many breakfast menu items feature their flaky croissants in place of bread, such as the Bam Bam Benny and Bam Bam Croissant French Toast. A few Asian-inspired touches feature too in their savoury Egg Nasi and Karaage Chicken Burger items.
The drinks menu won’t disappoint either. A Barbie Hot Chocolate or Mermaid Latte will go nicely for your breakfast flat lay otherwise if you’re on holiday, go straight to the cocktail menu. Coffee beans are roasted and supplied by Byron Bay based, Marvell St Coffee Roasters, with baristas taking as much care as the pastry chefs.
Before you leave, swing by the takeaway counter again as it would be criminal not to take home an almond croissant or one of the nutella cruffins.
BAM BAM has a sister store in Chinderah called Cubby Bakehouse with a new store, Custard Canteen to open soon.
Commune Cafe sits underneath the busy traffic of the Gold Coast Highway, a delightful garden cafe that will give you all the warm and fuzzy feels. When the sun is out (which is most of the time), go for a seat on the mismatched garden furniture amongst quirky decor.
The Commune Cafe menu has an organic food focus with the bulk of their menu generously catered towards vegetarians and gluten-intolerant diners. Choose from their extensive list of açai bowls or hot savoury options which are both healthy and scrumptious. We can vouch for the Buckwheat Pancakes with organic coconut ice cream and the Classic Acai bowl.
Your brunch arrives alongside a cup of Campos coffee or one of Commune’s lip-smacking organic superfood smoothies. Table service is friendly and super efficient. Furry pawed friends are also welcome to lay at your feet for the crumbs.
Set in an old Queenslander on a corner block in Burleigh Heads, Paddock Bakery serves up light meals, cronuts and coffee every day. Patrons make the most of the awesome Queensland weather and perch outside in the yard on assorted garden furniture underneath shady branches and romantic dangling light bulbs.
The menu will have you salivating with burgers, sandwiches, salads and light bites all up for offer. If you come at opening, you’ll catch the tantalising scent of freshly baked loaves from the on-site bakery. The doughnut cabinet will also have you drooling.
Single O Coffee Roasters supply the coffee beans and you can order a milkshake from the makeshift milk bar at the corner counter. Open for all day breakfast and lunch, the freshness of the organic produce will linger on your tastebuds so make sure you don’t rush this meal so you can savour every mouthful.
The ultimate destination for all early risers on the Gold Coast is Barefoot Barista. A neighbourhood favourite amongst Palm Beach residents, we deem this cafe the spot to fuel up if you have a busy day ahead.
A light industrial look showcases grey concrete floor and walls with black steel and dark mahogany tables and chairs. Terracotta bowls suspended from the sunroofs hold decorative greenery whilst speckled grey cups serve up coffee roasted by Gabriel Coffee. A neat cabinet proffers croissants and cakes at the entrance, the perfect takeaway options if you want to sit oceanside.
We opted for Barefoot Classics, choosing the Barefoot Beans and Zucchini Halloumi Fritters. Neither dish skimped on portions, aesthetic or flavours leaving us perfectly satisfied as we exited the bustling spot. It’s a popular brunch spot for morning exercisers so if you don’t want to wait long for a seat, we’d recommend arriving before 9am.
Espresso Moto Cafe
You know the coffee must be good if the takeaway line snakes out the door and the baristas know the regulars by their first name. Espresso Moto Cafe is a Palm Beach haunt well-loved by Gold Coast locals and visitors. Serving breakfast from 5.30am each morning, this spot is highly recommended for its delicious eats, superb coffee and exceptional service.
A long bench seat with cushions extends the length of the cafe. The wooden shelving above features trinkets including motorbike memorabilia, a birdcage, vintage typewriter, books and old bottles. Single light bulbs hang overhead the indoor tables between rotating ceiling fans and soft techno music plays in the background.
Tucked away in Burleigh Heads behind the main strip of shops along James Street, you’ll discover the cosy Canteen Kitchen. Plush bench seats fill the inside where patrons can sit underneath black and white framed photographs depicting the history of the Gold Coast.
Groups are best seated outside on the communal steel tables and matching stools. The breakfast menu is simple and fresh, featuring traditional recipes influenced by traditional Middle Eastern flavours and produce.
Canteen Kitchen operates under a walk-in/no reservations policy, so if you can’t grab a table straight away, perch on a wooden stool next door at sister cafe, Canteen Coffee, where you can enjoy a cup of award-winning coffee.
The Bread Social
So, technically this spot is over the border in New South Wales but we consider The Bread Social so good that we had to include it in this guide for your own benefit. You’re welcome.
Launched by three Aussie mates, their philosophy is uncomplicated – “create only the finest and most wholesome hand-crafted baked goods on a daily basis”. Wholehearted advocates of organic food harvesting and production, The Bread Social employs traditional methods with locally sourced ingredients and stringently focuses on the process. As such, the menu is quite small to ensure only the highest quality goods.
Their classic Bread Social sourdough is served on the morning and lunch menu where you will find sourdough toast, a range of croissants and gourmet sandwiches. The time we visited, we opted for one of their homemade pies and we can tell you that we certainly haven’t eaten one that good in a long time!
We skipped the sweet stuff on that occasion but we won’t be doing that next time so if anyone tries their famous custard tart before us, be sure to let us know!
Good Day Coffee
Your day will be a positive one if you step inside Good Day Coffee for some caffeine. A block back from Tugun Beach, this little spot delights patrons with its scrumptious savoury offerings and sensational coffee.
Blackboard Coffee is the cafe’s coffee beans of choice (supporting Gold Coast coffee roasters) and is also available for sale. Rather than an all day breakfast and lunch menu, Good Day Coffee has some smaller bites and snacks. The menu lists gourmet toasted sandwiches and savoury muffins served with relish or jams. For a sweet touch, have a look at the muffin and loaf flavours (banana bread, apple crumble, raspberry and coconut loaf) posted on paper bags on the white wall. Bread loaves are baked by The Bread Social (mentioned earlier) and are available for sale.
Birch benches and a maroon tiled centre table give you a chance to sit inside with pop music crooning overhead. Otherwise, perch on a little stool outside if you’ve brought your doggy friend along.
For a hearty meal, cold drinks on a hot summer’s day or a relaxing coffee break, this breezy corner cafe in Mermaid Beach is calling your name. The casual dining spot features white wooden tables and bench seats outside in the sun and a mix of coastal striped booths and lush greenery inside.
Serving up cool acai bowls, healthy poke bowls, hot savoury favourites and yummy burgers (The Game Changer burger was pretty good!), choosing your breakfast will be as difficult as nabbing a table. Little Mermaid is forever shuffling through hungry patrons and is a prime spot for group functions and celebrations so be sure to book in advance.
Coffee is hand crafted with beans roasted by Eumundi Coffee Co whilst iced drinks and cold pressed juices will help with the Queensland heat. Once you’ve had your fill, meander down to the golden sand for a swim and some sunbathing.