Five Must-Try Cafes in Brisbane

Have you ever had the day off work and thought – I want to try somewhere new for breakfast today, but I don’t know where? I’m here to tell you – try out one of these five (or all of them). You’ll leave happy, with a full tummy and your wallet won’t be too much lighter!

One. Bonsai Botanika, Brisbane City

This nifty place is bigger than it appears, with multiple levels of comfortable seating. The rustic, wooden look is warm and welcoming and the kitsch astroturf and fake plants actually work here, bringing life to this funky inner-city joint. Some online reviews comment on how expensive the food is – I found the menu to be varied and certainly not exorbitantly priced. There are options that are around $20 for breakfast, which is fairly average for Brisbane these days and certainly acceptable in the middle of the city; I found a delicious breakfast option for only $8 which I enjoyed thoroughly. There are several other cheaper options, all of which sounded well worth trying! I ordered the toast with lentils and guacamole, at the recommendation of the waiter, and he was 100% right – it was absolutely delicious. The bread was super fresh and soft, the toppings were fantastically flavoursome, and it didn’t take long to be prepared and served. I couldn’t have been happier! I also enjoyed one of their incredible coffees, which are consistently tasty and lovingly made. With the current chill in the Brisbane air, I opted for a mocha over my usual iced latte, and I was certainly not disappointed. The coffee is served in one of two sizes of glass, with the couverture chocolate served on the side, in a beaker that makes you question why you ever bothered going to chemistry class in school when surely this is the only appropriate use for such a vessel? You can choose between dark, milk and white chocolate – I think I might have to come back enough times to try them all! The service was phenomenal, with the gentleman working when I visited having a very welcoming attitude and giving excellent recommendations. I will definitely visit again when I find myself in the city and would highly recommend others do the same!

Bonsai Botanika

Open:    Monday – Thursday, 7am – 5pm

Friday, 7am – 9pm

Saturday – Sunday, 9am – 5pm

A: 109 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane City

P: (07) 3210 0059

I: @bonsaibotanikabrisbane

bonsai inside

Inside Bonsai Botanika, Brisbane City

Two. Dovetail on Overend, Norman Park

Tucked away on a quiet little residential street is a busy little café, which has been open on both of the public holidays on which I recently visited. The level of care the staff have for their customers is extraordinary and rarely found in hospitality these days, which makes me want to return time and time again. When I popped by on Good Friday, the café was so busy people were lining up for tables. I was only there for takeaway coffees for my girlfriend and myself, and the short wait was well worth it. They also do fresh juices, and I partook in one of their breakfast shots while I waited. I was nervous that because of how healthy and nutritious it purported to be, it would just taste like a spirulina shot and leave a bad taste in my mouth (no matter how good I felt afterwards). I was so very wrong. The shot contained a whole bunch of fresh, healthy ingredients, including wild blueberries, which meant it actually tasted delicious and left me wanting more!  While I was waiting for my coffees, I read through their menu, and I couldn’t help but start to salivate. My goodness! The food sounds truly sensational and I will be back to try it as soon as I can. Supporting small local businesses is always a factor for me when I’m choosing where to spend my money, and I will be spending more of it at Dovetail on Overend, that much is clear!

Dovetail on Overend

Open:    Tuesday – Friday, 7am – 1pm

                Saturday – Sunday, 7am – 2pm

                Monday, Closed

A: 85 Overend Street, Norman Park

P: 0435 224 407

W: (only available on tablets and smartphones currently)

I: @dovetailonoverend


Three. Little Sista Cafe, Coorparoo

Go. Just go. Don’t hesitate, don’t dilly-dally. You will not regret it. I have been a semi-frequent visitor to Little Sista for years, since it opened up around the corner of a house I used to live in, and it has only improved with time. The incredibly decent portions of food are mouth-wateringly delicious, beautifully presented, and well-priced. The coffee is great, the smoothies are wonderful and inventive, the baked goods are tempting and tasty. On top of all of that, the décor is lovely, with indoor and outdoor seating. The staff are super friendly and there is parking readily available both under the café and in the streets nearby. Little Sista is easily one of my favourite Brisbane cafés, I don’t doubt it will become one of yours too!

Little Sista

Open:    Daily, 6:30am – 2pm

A: Shop 5, 148 Chatsworth Road, Coorparoo

P: 0421 130 564


I: @littlesistacafe


little sista coffee

Iced dirty chai latte at Little Sista, Coorparoo

Four. Lady Marmalade Cafe, Greenslopes

Anyone who doesn’t know about this place has had their head under a rock for a good few years now. I used to visit Lady Marmalade before I moved into the area and lust after it when I was elsewhere – after moving to Coorparoo, I visited at least once a fortnight and took anyone and everyone I could there with me. It’s a tiny place, so you may have to wait briefly for a table, but you won’t regret it. The servings are perfectly sized – not so big you end up wasting half of it, but not so small you would ever leave hungry. The prices are incredibly reasonable; cheaper than most other equal-quality cafés I know of. And if you do still have room in your tummy once you’re done with your main course, you can indulge in some of the amazing sweets they have on offer. There are always plenty to choose from and you can’t possibly make a bad choice.

Lady Marmalade Cafe

Open:    Monday – Friday, 7am – 3pm

                Saturday – Sunday, 7am – 2pm

A: Shop A & B, 269 Logan Road, Greenslopes

P: (07) 3324 2480


I: @ladymarmaladecafe


Five. Billy-Max, Bulimba

I visited this place for the first time recently, when one of my best friends and I were wandering through Bulimba wondering where to stop in for a good coffee and a cute friend-date. We passed on the multiple places along the main stretch of Oxford Street, noticing that they were super busy and loud as was to be expected in the middle of a busy weekend day. We thought we’d passed by all of the cafés when we came across this cute little place, and decided to give it a shot. Their cabinet of baked delicacies looked incredibly inviting, but when my friend decided to save room for lunch I thought I’d better follow suit. I’ll be back to correct that error another day… The coffee was great, though it did take a little longer than expected given we were the only customers at the time. I’ve read reviews that the service tends to take a long time, so maybe don’t head there if you’re in a rush. That said, I have no qualms with a place taking a little while if the end product is delicious and I have good company (or my laptop) to entertain me while I wait! Given it’s a little bit out of the heart of Bulimba I feel that this place misses out on a lot of the custom the other places get whether they want it or not, just because of their location. I’d love to see more people going for a longer wander to visit Billy-Max and let me know their thoughts!


Open:    Monday – Saturday, 7am – 4pm

                Sunday, 7:30am – 4pm

A: 1/124 Oxford Street, Bulimba

P: (07) 3395 6011


little sista brekky

Breakfast Croissant at Little Sista Cafe, Coorparoo

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