Six of the Best Specialty Coffee Cafes on the Gold Coast

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Australia has a reputation for roasting and serving some of the best modern specialty coffee in the world. But when people think of quality Australian coffee, they tend to think of Melbourne’s hidden laneway cafes or Sydney’s diverse cafe scene first — even though there’s fantastic coffee all around the country! I’m here to show you six specialty coffee cafes on the Gold Coast coffee scene that are really pushing Queensland’s coffee culture, and challenging the notion that amazing coffee can only be found in the southern states. 

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that breakfast is my favourite part of the day. When I made the move from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, I spent many of my mornings searching for the best food and coffee the Gold Coast’s suburbs have to offer. I was not disappointed. 

Even if your day doesn’t revolve around getting a coffee fix, these cafes have so much amazing food on offer. I’m always on the lookout for great veggie & vegan options, and these guys really deliver, with breakfast burritos, pastries, toasties and much, much more. 

My mornings usually begin with grabbing an iced coffee and some food and heading for a long walk along the beach. So if you love eating good food, drinking amazing specialty coffee, and getting out exploring in the Gold Coast sunshine — you’re sure to find a few new favourites on this list of the best cafes on the Gold Coast! 

6 of the Best Specialty Coffee Cafes on the Gold Coast

  1. Custard Canteen, Palm Beach
  2. Vegepatch Studios, Palm Beach
  3. Highline, Palm Beach
  4. The Milkman’s Daughter, Mermaid Beach
  5. Alfred’s Apartment, Mermaid Beach
  6. Stable Coffee Kitchen, Tugun

1. Custard Canteen, Palm Beach

Address: 1525 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach QLD 4221 
Serving: Marvell Street Coffee, Byron Bay

Just a few steps away from the sparkling Tallebudgera Creek, this spot needs no introduction. Custard Canteen is sister to the famous Bam Bam bakehouse and Cubby Bakehouse, and is my go to for a quick takeaway on my way home from the dog beach. These guys serve specialty coffee by Marvell Street Coffee, an outfit out of Byron Bay.

You absolutely can’t go wrong with the veggie burger and orange juice combo — and lots of dog pats (they’re very dog friendly). Custard Canteen are known for their Pastel de Nata (Portuguese tarts), but I also recommend trying out some of Bam Bam’s other buttery handcrafted pastries, treats, and food like burgers and sausage rolls. They’re all seriously delicious and it’s hard to go wrong! 

From here, I also love to go for a big walk to Burleigh through the Burleigh Heads National Park, following the Oceanview Path walking track. You can go for a jog, spot wildlife or watch the surf. My favourite way to start the day!

2. Vegepatch Studios, Palm Beach

Address: Shop 3/10 Fifth Ave, Palm Beach QLD 4221
Instagram: @vegepatchstudios

Serving: Artificer Coffee, Sydney + rotating guest roasters like Supreme, Almanac, Okay Coffee, Market Lane, 7 Seeds, and Stitch Coffee.

Opened in 2019 and just off the Gold Coast highway in Palm Beach, this specialty cafe does things a little different. These guys pride themselves on super friendly staff, great specialty coffee, unmatched in-store vibes, and a cabinet full of delicious vegan treats. Vegepatch Studios is definitely one to try. 

They have a focus on being vegan-friendly and offer a wide range of alternative milks, but dairy is also available. They also sell cute merch, including vintage tees and bucket hats, plus retail bags of coffee beans — which are ever so tempting after a lovely pit-stop. 

After a chat with the friendly folks across the counter — and with an iced latte in my hand — I love to walk across the road to check the surf conditions. If you’re up for something warmer, Vegepatch offer rotating single origin filter coffees by specialty roasters from all around Australia.

3. Highline, Palm Beach

Address: Shop 5/10 Palm Beach Ave, Palm Beach QLD 4221
Instagram: @highlinepalmbeach

Serving: Marvell Street, Byron Bay

Just round the corner from Vegepatch Studios in Palm Beach, you’ll find Highline. This place is my absolute go-to when I’m craving a top-notch toastie! The whole menu looks good and is full of fresh, seasonal produce — but the toasties here are fantastic and are a rare find in the Gold Coast compared to Melbourne. I’m so glad I found this great little spot so close to my house! 

This place is super cozy and is a great spot if you like to take your laptop with you and do some work while you’re out. The front counter is very cool and decked out with plenty of fancy equipment and retail coffee stuff to buy. The back courtyard is a great place to sit and hang out, with climbing plants up and down the walls and plenty of open space to chat with friends.

I got a cappuccino when I dropped in and was really impressed. Nothing like a hot coffee and toastie on a cool Gold Coast day. Speaking of coffee, Highline proudly serves specialty coffee by Marvell Street Coffee, which is a small-batch roaster in the nearby coastal paradise of Byron Bay. They have a great coffee menu including all the usuals plus a great filter batch brew. Definitely check this one out if you’re in the area.

4. The Milkman’s Daughter, Mermaid Beach

Address: 2/43 Alfred St, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218
Instagram: @themilkmansdaughter_gc
Serving: Paradox Coffee Roasters, Surfers Paradise

This beautiful, feel-good venue is a fully vegetarian cafe located in Mermaid Beach. Right from the front door, you get the impression that The Milkman’s Daughter was designed to make you feel good inside in every way. Soft white cushions, intimate seating caves, hanging pothos plants, and loads of natural materials to make you feel comfortable while you eat, drink and chat.

And speaking of the food — the consciously designed menu uses the freshest seasonal and local ingredients to create the most delicious food. Every plate of food is so colourful and beautiful, you’ll probably want to take a snap for the gram! 

The Milkman’s Daughter promotes slow eating and wellness, so I love stopping here for a healthy meal and one of their iced drinks. They have amazing specialty coffee by Surfers Paradise roaster, Paradox Coffee Roasters — but my favourite drink on the menu is actually the Matcha iced latte. This place is a must try, even if you’re a meat eater!

5. Alfred’s Apartment, Mermaid Beach

Address: 2389 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218 
Serving: Allpress Espresso, Sydney

Another Mermaid Beach haunt, Alfred’s Apartment is one of my favourite places to visit on the weekend when I feel like breakfast burritos and a coffee in the sun. This place is absolute bliss and so, so cool!

Alfred’s Apartment has a super relaxed atmosphere. The diner out the back serves Sydney’s Allpress Espresso from a cool coffee cart. ‘Positively the Best Brew in Town’ it says on the front, and I couldn’t agree more. You can grab take away, or sit on the picnic benches under a sun umbrella in the garden. It’s the perfect spot for catching up with your mates. 

After getting your burrito and coffee fix, head inside the Alfred’s shop to pick up some of their cool merch. This place is really half-store-half-cafe more than a cafe with merch like many others. They’ve got hats, tees, sunnies, bottles and even skateboards on offer. Again, this place is so cool.

The venue is open for dinner until late on Thursdays and serves up excellent vibes and food after dark. If you’re there in daylight hours, Afred’s serves coffee from one of Sydney’s most popular specialty coffee roasters, Allpress Espresso.

6. Stable Coffee Kitchen, Tugun

Address: Shop 1/570 Gold Coast Hwy, Tugun QLD 4224
Instagram: @stable_coffee_kitchen
Serving: Seven Seeds, Melbourne + guest roasters like Ruben Hills, Single O and Onibus.

Travelled from Melbourne and missing it? Look no further! Stable Coffee Kitchen in Tugun has all the red brick walls, exposed concrete, hanging plants, and incredible coffee to make you feel right at home. What they have that you won’t get down south is the stunning views out the window of lush forest.

I love coming here for a late breakfast or lunch. It’s located in the shared space of Cornerstone Stores — a small commercial precinct that features some seriously beautiful and curated stores. In Cornerstone, you’ll find stores selling everything from wine, to homewares, clothing, and great food. Visiting is a great way to pass a few hours and get a quality caffeine fix.

Speaking of caffeine, Stable serves Seven Seeds — a Melbourne staple — year round and pull amazing shots through a large La Marzocco machine. I had a flat white when I visited it and loved it. They’ve also got rotating batch brews from guest roasters on offer, and plenty of alternative milk options if you like them. This is seriously one of the best cafe and retail experiences on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast has so much to offer. It’s known as a family-friendly holiday destination, plus it has incredible nightlife and some of the best beaches in the world — but it’s really grown up and matured it’s food and coffee scene in the last few years. What better way to recharge and discover more of the Gold Coast than at some of the best local Gold Coast specialty coffee shops. I hope you enjoy them just as much as I do. 

Arianna Leggiero is a travel & lifestyle photographer and content creator from Melbourne, Australia. She recently moved to the Gold Coast, so we asked her to help us find some of the best specialty cafes around. You can find more of her work on her website or Instagram account, @callme.harry

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