Brisbane’s best coffee: where to get your caffeine hit

Whether you judge a coffee shop by its machine, the length of a barista’s beard, single origin offering or variety of brew methods – let’s face it, Australians are total coffee snobs.

When it comes to good coffee, Brisbane knows its stuff and if you hate to be disappointed – stick to the below list and we promise you’ll be in safe, coffee-tamping hands.

These are among Brisbane’s best coffee shops.

Inner-city hotspots

Strauss, Brisbane City

Strauss

Hidden down a laneway, this tucked away gem of a cafe has a warm vibe (perhaps thanks to its heritage styling and raw brick walls) with its main gal “Spirit” the Kees van der Westen machine buzzing on the front counter. Strauss serves its own house blend, a rotating single origin and bottled cold brew.

Coffee Anthology, Brisbane City

Coffee Anthology Photo Credit: @basketballfreak6
Coffee Anthology Photo Credit: @basketballfreak6

Anthology: a collection of literary works. Coffee Anthology: a collection of coffee. When ordering there is generally a choice of three roasts for espresso coffee, plus cold drip and cold bottled coffee. It does a mean matcha waffle too.

Duce & Co, Brisbane City

Duce & Co

A new addition to the CBD, Duce & Co is a quaint spot hidden near Central Station on Edward St. Drop in for coffee, great tunes and cool art. A second room off from where the baristas pull shots is filled with cafe tables perfect for a quiet meeting.

LTD Espresso, Fortitude Valley

Known for hilarious footpath A-frames, LTD uses Cleanskin Coffee in its espresso (with different blends for white and black coffee), filter, cold bottled brews and special nitro-infused cold coffee. Be sure to pair with a lush treat from the counter.

John Mills Himself, Brisbane City

John Mills Himself

The first challenge is finding the place. This tiny laneway establishment is a coffee spot by day, bar by night and sits within a historic former printing office. Not settling on one roaster, JMH sources beans from The Single Guys, Coffee Supreme, Marvell St Coffee and Blackboard Coffee. It offers V60 pourover and cold bottled coffee as well as espresso.

Gauge, South Brisbane

This South Brisbane cafe uses a Marvell St Coffee Roasters blend, plus offers a single origin by rotation. There’s also the choice of batch brew filter or pourover to accompany breakfast, lunch or dinner. Do order the sweet black garlic bread.

Dramanti CBD, Brisbane City

With an artisan roasting house out on the bayside at Wynnum, Dramanti’s cup is fresh as can be. A recent name change to Café Pronto fortunately hasn’t altered the sacred caffeinated beverage. It offers bottled coldpress too.

Bellissimo, Fortitude Valley

Bellissimo Cafe's bar

Australia’s highest awarded coffee roaster from 2010-13, Bellissimo Coffee roast in Bulimba by the river at its cafe and warehouse. It also has a two-storey cafe in Fortitude Valley near James St to drop by for coffee and cake pre or post shop.

Botero, Brisbane City

Image credit: Savannah Van Der Neit

Venturing into Queensland from the Central Coast, Botero coffee has found its home in a multi-storey historic building that has shaken up that end of the city. An innovative cafe menu and coffee cocktail list only adds to the experience.

Bear Bones, Fortitude Valley

Drop into Bear Bones HQ and enjoy a cup of life from the warehouse-styled cafe space out front. There’s a short cafe menu to enjoy in the industrial location too.

Campos, Fortitude Valley

Fortitude Valley’s original laneway cafe, Campos HQ has the goods. Book yourself into the bean bunker room for a cupping session ($30) each Saturday and Sunday at 2pm.

Contessa by Blackstar Coffee, Brisbane City

Contessa by Blackstar Roma Street Brisbane

Opposite Roma Street Station, Contessa is West End coffee roaster Blackstar’s CBD cafe. The galley of a space serves espresso alongside its well-known cold-pressed coffee in a bottle made using local Maleny Dairies milk.

Marchetti, Brisbane City

Maybe it’s the old crooners, the mosaic tiled floors, the cannoli in the window or the art deco ads on the walls. Marchetti transports you from downtown Brisbane to old world Italy, and the espresso is damn fine.

Toby’s, Brisbane City

Toby’s Estate Espresso Bar on Albert St is dedicated to serving the finest specialty coffee sourced directly from farmers around the world. As well as serving popular espresso-based coffee, the brew bar offers a range of coffee-drinking experiences featuring Chemex, AeroPress, syphon and V60.

Ricochet Espresso, Brisbane City

Using Blackstar beans from the favourite West End roaster, Ricochet’s hole-in-the-wall cafe is the perfect combination of quick coffee, great staff and a good vibe.

Pourboy, Brisbane City


Using coffee from Mecca, Pourboy does pourover and cold drip coffee as well espresso. It operates as a full breakfast and lunch cafe with a great menu.

Need more suggestions? Check out our guide to where you'll find the best coffee in Brisbane City.

North of the river

Wolff Coffee, Hendra

Wolff Coffee and Big Bad Wolff Espresso Bar

Drop into the giant roasting warehouse on Gerler Rd to enjoy three choices of bean espresso, filter coffee, nitro cold brew or a coffee pop (that’s a kick on a stick, an icy pole with real caffeine). Book in for a free weekend cupping session too, pick up specialty coffee equipment for home or take a short course in latte art here too.

The Tiller Coffee, Alderley

Over in Alderley, Tiller Coffee is an alfresco specialty coffee joint run out of a shipping container. The crew serves coffee by a variety of Australian small roasters, with local Wolff Coffee producing the Tiller house blend. Besides espresso, brew methods include chemex, aeropress and cold drip.

Queen of Pops, Wooloowin

Queen of Pops

Owned by the same people as Wolff Coffee, Queen of Pops is the edgy sibling. The hole-in-the-wall cafe on Sandgate Rd is home to specialty coffee and six varieties of coffee pops. Each coffee pop contains a hand-drawn double ristretto – giving you a caffeinated kick to start your day. Queen of Pops also has cold brew nitro coffee and tea taps, and single origin soft serve.

Neighbourhood Coffee Roasters, Bardon and Albion

These guys know their coffee and they take it pretty seriously. In Bardon, the cafe is housed inside a former general store and today also has a huge vegetable garden that supplies the kitchen. The Albion roastery has a more industrial feel to it and is perfect for a Saturday coffee after a morning out. The owners are passionate about sustainable business, using a ZeroWaste composting system and recyclable takeaway cups.

Death Before Decaf, New Farm

The Death by Decaf machine

It’s open 24/7. Yep, you read that correct. This New Farm coffee shop never closes, making that 3am coffee hit always a possibility. Drop in for metal, hardcore and hip-hop tunes and a cup of the good stuff.

Fonzie Abbott, Albion 

Sweet F.A. is the name of this Brisbane roaster’s signature blend. The caffeine supplier has its roast house at Albion on Fox St. You’ll find Fonzie in other cafes around Brisbane too.

Bunker Coffee, Milton

Bunker Coffee, Brisbane

Like the name suggests, this Milton coffee shop is tucked into a concrete vine-covered bunker-like space. Owned by the same people behind John Mills Himself, expect the same great coffee and service.

Elixir, Stafford

Stafford’s finest drop, head straight to the source on Hayward St. The multi award-winning coffee roaster produces multiple blends plus single origin and swiss water decaf. The on-site cafe has a full breakfast and lunch menu too.

The Java Lounge, Paddington

Stopping in at The Java Lounge is like stopping by a friend's place. Take a book or that magazine you've been meaning to read and sink into one of the couches with a coffee and croissant - you'll feel right at home. The cafe also has a small menu and quick, on the go options.

South of the river

Blackstar, West End

Blackstar Coffee

Roasted in West End, Blackstar also bottles cold brew coffee and sells it around Brisbane cafes. Just off Vulture St, the sidewalk cafe has the ultimate West End vibe.

Piggyback Café, Jindalee

Piggyback Cafe

Out in Jindalee (of all places) Piggyback serves coffee in a way that’s captured likes on many an Instagram feed. Head barista Emily has mastered the art of rainbow lattes or rainbow coffee, pouring the milk with a mix of multiple food dye colours to produce crazy-looking patterns.

Dovetail on Overend, Norman Park

Dovetail on Overend

A husband and wife team operates this galley of cafe in suburban Gordon Park. Serious about coffee, Adam started as a prolific cafe reviewer, his interest led him to take up at job with Uncle Joe’s Coffee House in Coorpooroo. Unsurprisingly, Dovetail serves Uncle Joe’s beans, has tested every almond milk available to find the best and never charges extra for gluten-free.

Destination coffee

Told You So, North Lakes

North Lakes darling Told You So is a hip local joint that serves espresso, cold drip and nitro coffee using Single O beans. Drop in for a slice of cake with coffee, because we told you so.

Fort Coffee, North Lakes

Nearby, Fort Specialty Coffee dishes out the goods plus a short but sweet menu of breakfast and lunch items. Drop in for house blend or single origin espresso, plus batch filter, aeropress or pourover. Oh, and coldpress in bottles.

First Coffee Co, Wellington Point

Wellington Point’s First Coffee Co is the go-to for caffeine in the area. Dramanti Roasters has designed its signature blend plus you’ll find beans from other local and interstate roasters on rotation. If you can’t find it, First is tucked up beside V1 Cyclery.

Cleanskin Coffee Co, Brendale

Cleanskin provides beans to cafes all over the city, but as you might have noticed in the list – there’s nothing like visiting the roasting source. Drop into the espresso bar in Brendale to pick up specialty coffee gear, do a barista course, or simply grab a latte to go.

The Single Guys, Kenmore

The Single Guys focus on sourcing the best single origin coffee to serve to customers in Brisbane’s west. The white space is an Instagram dream and its short menu will keep you fed.

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