Your New Lunch Hour Hotspots: The Best Cafés in the Brisbane CBD
These are the best cafés in the Brisbane CBD that you need to know about, so you can take your lunch hour from drab to fab.
With a slew of newcomers to Brisbane's cafe scene and old-time favourites that never fail to delight, there's no denying that Brisbane has upped its cafe game in a big way. From healthy acai bowls to classic egg and bacon rolls, there are plenty of brunch hangouts and local coffee spots in and around Brisbane that will float your boat. Brisbane’s central business district is known for its cocktail bars and fine dining, but there are plenty of lunch cafe options to make your day a little more delicious.
Ready to dine? Here is our edit of the best cafes in Brisbane CBD to kickstart your day.
Best Cafes Brisbane CBD - Inner City
Baked goods you can feel good about! Nodo Donuts combines artisanal methods of baking with healthy gluten-free ingredients to create guilt-free and wholesome food (now, that's what we're talking about!). Renowned for their ‘baked not fried’ donuts, their cafe follows their food philosophy and embraces ‘the nodo way’ with fresh, gluten-free and seasonal ingredients being the core of their dishes. Visit their ‘grab & go’ style cafe on Elizabeth Street for a fresh offering of baked goods, nourishing salad and veggie bowls as well as easy lunch eats to enjoy.
A brand new Parisian-inspired cafe has landed in the Brisbane CBD. Escape the thoroughfare of the busy Brisbane streets and watch the hustle and bustle from the sanctuary of this luxurious and airy cafe. With high ceilings and a white marble countertop, the elevated air of Lait Noir speaks of effortless style. You'll find Toby’s Estate brews and hot savouries like beef bourguignon pies and classic sweets like croissants and raspberry, almond and coconut tarts. If you’re keen on a heartier lunch, opt for a burger and fries or ragout pasta.
2/144 Edward Street, Brisbane City
The Maillard Project
If you’re searching for the best cafe in the Brisbane CBD for a great cup of coffee, pop The Maillard Project on your list. On top of serving quality brews, they also roast their own beans and teach javaphiles and hopeful baristas the way of the coffee machine. In a laboratory-chic setting created by Clui Design, light stone, wood and glass form the decor. Serving espresso from two stations at a low-set island in the centre, The Maillard Project excel in reimagining coffee and highlighting the new techniques and offerings they bring to the Brisbane cafe community.
119 Charlotte Street, Brisbane City
Felix For Goodness
Easily one of the worst-kept secrets in the city, Felix For Goodness is one of the best cafes in the Brisbane CBD for breakfast, lunch and after-work drinks. Once upon a time, this building was an old record storage room, but it’s been brought back to life to serve top-tier organic coffee, nutritious juices and even organic wines in the evening. On the menu, you’ll find all-day brunch meals that have an elevated homestyle feel, and there are plenty of sides to beef up your dish or share with your friends. Explore their range of take-home pickles, relishes, soups and sauces, to keep the fresh and flavourful vibes rolling all the way home.
If you can’t cope without a daily cup of joe (or three), head to Cubic. One of Brisbane’s best cafes in the CBD for a consistently good cup of coffee, this little pitstop in the legal precinct serves up specialty roasts and the most delicious house blend. Chosen for its ability to cut through milk, this syrupy and round blend has distinct flavours of dark chocolate and caramel. If you’re feeling a little extra, opt for the house blend in Nitro form. An odourless, colourless gas is used to give Cubic’s Nitro coffee a creamy and thick texture that will have you hooked in no time! To curb your hunger pangs, enjoy house made delights like New York cheesecake, gluten-free chocolate brownies or orange cake.
Ricochet was named from a tale of impatience. Regular market-goer and founder of Ricochet, DJ Urozgani, tired of waiting twenty minutes for his morning energy boost, so took over management of his favourite coffee stall, soon reducing the wait time to 2.5 minutes! Quickly earning a reputation as one of the best cafes in Brisbane for quick, quality coffee, he set up shop in the busiest and most time-poor location of all… the Brisbane CBD. Step into the Espresso Bar on Edward Street to sample their Artillery blend that has been honed and refined to a perfectly roasted flavour sensation. Hurry in to get your Ricochet Coffee, but sip slowly and savour your brew.
Best Cafes Brisbane CBD - City Fringe Suburbs
King Arthur Cafe
King Arthur Cafe has a strong reputation as one of Brisbane’s best cafes. Housed in a World War II army hangar (as a surprising number of venues in this area are) in the Valley, this two-story cafe is a popular meeting place for weekend shoppers, weekday workers or any Brisbane local chasing a delicious coffee and a simple yet inspired menu. Brunch on a sourdough crumpet with rhubarb and honeycomb crumble, or visit after 11am for lunch and enjoy heartier dishes like tarragon gnocchi.
Sitchu Tip: This cafe is also pet-friendly, with pups welcome to join you on the lower level as you get your caffeine fix.
164C Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley
Light-filled and fresh with pops of greenery all around, Joedy's is the perfect spot to ease into your day. Having expanded to three locations, Joedy’s is building quite the empire, but we adore their New Farm location for its proximity to the Riverwalk and New Farm Park. This wholesome café is all about incorporating locally sourced and sustainably farmed produce into its menu. From the Barramundi tacos to the souffle pancakes, you can be sure that the ingredients used are some of the best in the region - this alone makes Joedy's one of the best cafes in Brisbane.
2/938 Brunswick Street, New Farm
The in-house roasted coffee beans alone have earned Industry Beans a spot on our round-up of the best cafés in Brisbane but trust us, there's much more to this sleek café than just coffee. The pro-level Melbourne coffee roasting team have descended on Brisbane’s keen coffee scene with a menu of modern Australian favourites and coffee served in every way imaginable. The space is huge, encompassing room for diners, private functions and a roastery all in one. Natural light abounds in this converted warehouse space tucked in the quiet backstreets of Newstead. Pop by for a coffee and see what all the fuss is about.
18 Proe Street, Newstead
This light-filled café is located smack bang in the middle of Brisbane's West End and has been making tastebuds and bellies happy for some time. Morning After puts a modern twist on classic brunch food and plates up creative and flavourful dishes for the morning, as well as ‘after’. You can’t beat their MaMuffin for a morning carb load, with wagyu & pork sausage, scrambled egg, double cheese, hot smokey bbq sauce and a hash brown stacked on a steamed English muffin. Aesthetically pleasing and palate-gratifying, Morning After is high on our list of the best cafes in Brisbane.
Corner of Vulture & Cambridge Street, West End
It didn't take long for Halo Ground to become one of the best cafes in Brisbane, not only for its sleek interiors but for its all-inclusive menu. As well as plant-based menu items, Halo Grounds has options for vegetarians, pescatarians and people who are gluten or dairy-free. Every plate that this cafe dishes up looks like a literal piece of art, from the mouth-watering omurice bowls to the humble crumble hotcake. If you’re ready to switch up your regular and try something incredible, head to Halo Ground for your next brekkie or brunch date, you won’t be disappointed!
100 Brookes Street, Fortitude Valley