One thing Ipswich has is an abundance of is great cafes and no two of them are the same. Here, Lifestyle Blogger Eva Lewis shares 20 places you’ll find coffee and a bite in and around the heritage city.
Breakfast at Stephanies
Breakfast at Stephanies at Robelle Domain has injected a bright spring garden feel into this space with movie references on the menu adding a fun element. Surrounded by a white picket fence and plenty of shade looking out to the Robelle Domain oval and water park area, this cafe is a welcome addition to a family-centred hub. Open seven days a week, this is a great place to meet the family over pancakes and waffles or big breakfasts, or a burger and a lunchtime coldie. Open Monday to Sunday 8am to 4pm, phone 3470 5402.
Brookwater Golf Cafe and Bar
Love coffee and golf? Then Brookwater Golf Club is the place for you. The Brookwater Cafe & Bar is an idyllic place to relax if you’ve played golf or not. Whether you sit indoors or outside on the terrace, you will have an expansive view of the impeccable greens on the 18th hole as well as the greenery of the trees that typically surround the entire course and if you’re lucky you will see a resident kangaroo or two. Enjoy a Merlo coffee with classic breakfast favourites or light snacks from the bar menu or indulge in a glass of champagne over lunch with some friends. There’s a children’s menu too. At 1, Tournament Drive, Bookwater, it is open Monday to Sunday for breakfast from 7am to 11am, lunch from 11am to 3pm and dinner Friday and Saturday from 5.30pm to 9pm. Phone 3470 9421.
Modern and trendy, Cactus Espresso is not only home to tasty homemade pastries, cakes, savoury snacks and coffee, it is somewhat of an arty hub. You will notice local artists’ work on display, hear funky music play and notice a small stage – that’s because Cactus Espresso also hosts regular live music events and speakers. This one is also a favourite with cyclists. if you love your Sunday morning bike ride, Cactus Espresso is the place for a well-earned post-ride coffee with plenty of space outside for you, your bike and your cyclist mates. At 173-175 Brisbane Street, open 7am to 2pm daily, phone 3282 8299.
Colleges by the River
If the calming effect of looking out over the water is what you need then Colleges by the River is the perfect place to visit. No matter where you sit at this outdoor cafe, you can enjoy the picturesque Brisbane River and the birdlife frolicking around it. This is very much a family friendly (and dog friendly) location for a simple but delicious breakfast and lunch with an impressive playground right next door for the kids as well as expansive parkland. At 408-492 Mount Crosby Road, Chuwar, open Monday to Sunday 9am to 3pm, phone 3281 2011.
You will get a nice surprise when you stumble upon Dancing Bean – a hidden gem at the back of the German-themed restaurant Heisenberg Haus where you can enjoy a coffee that’s roasted on site as well as breakfast or lunch. It’s the perfect spot to soak up the sun that shines onto the outdoor seating, an outdoor area with a really great vibe. Parents in need of coffee have been well considered, there’s a huge blackboard wall inside the cafe and a kid’s area to keep them occupied while you get your coffee fix. If you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur this place is unique in that you can see the coffee beans as they’re being roasted at the back of the cafe, just don’t forget to take some home for yourself. At 164 Brisbane Street, Ipswich. Open Monday 7am to noon, Tuesday to Friday 7am to 2.30pm, Saturday 6am to 2.30pm. Phone 0413 000 979.
Where in Ipswich can you enjoy a high tea? Here at Dinmore Cottage. This workers cottage in Dinmore has been transformed into a quaint little escape, perfect to catch up with a group of friends over tea and cake. There’s a high tea for all budgets and appetites or light meals if you prefer. A visit to Dinmore Cottage is like a step back in time; the cottage, the furnishings, the china, and the tradition of high tea – it’s a lovely way to experience some old world charm. Good to know: Dinmore Cottage even hosts workshops including pottery making and kokedama workshops. At 1A Dinmore Street, Dinmore, open Wednesday to Saturday 10am to 4pm, phone 0424 968 250.
Set in the 88 Limestone precinct, Dovetails restaurant is an elegant light-filled space that brings a fresh, contemporary aesthetic to this restored heritage precinct. The restaurant has earned followers for its modern produce-driven lunch and dinner menus but it is equally popular as a morning coffee spot. Enjoy breakfast out on the shady deck that wraps around an historic poinciana tree overlooking manicured lawns. At 88 Limestone Street, open Tuesday to Friday 7am to 1pm, Saturday 7am to 10.30pm and Sunday 7am to 2.30pm. Phone 3819 0264.
Ellen & Rod
Ellen & Rod, it’s not the name of this cafe’s owners but rather the result of a creative play on the names of the streets this cafe is situated on – Ellenborough and Roderick streets. Soak up the sun on Ellen & Rod’s sidewalk – dogs invited. Another Ipswich cafe known for embracing fresh local produce, Ellen & Rod’s menu is always changing the mouth-watering breakfast and lunch items showcasing the produce in the best way possible. Think avocado, salsa and a poached egg with caramelised balsamic, poached eggs on pumpkin sourdough or a huge classic BLT with chicken. Housemade cakes and pastries are also a specialty at Ellen & Rod, flaky almond croissants for breakfast? Top it off with a remarkably good coffee or a cup of handmade chai latte and you’re set for the day and very like to return. On the corner of Ellenborough and Roderick streets, Ipswich. Open Monday to Friday from 6.30am to 2pm and on weekends from 6.30am to 1pm. Phone 0420 680 251.
Evolve Organic is the destination for vegan and vegetarian food in Ipswich. Tasty, fresh and healthy, the creations you’ll find here will make your mouth water even if you’re not vegan or vegetarian. Who said nachos needed to have meat to be delicious or that a burger needs a meat pattie to be really good? What about a Vegan Bagel with cashew cream cheese, caramelised onion, garlic mushrooms and roasted veggies. Pretty good, huh? Evolve cafe is also known for its cold-pressed organic juices, the best way to get a hit of nutrients and leave you feeling energised. The food at Evolve is not only what will bring you here, it’s the relaxing outdoor garden and the vast organic supermarket – Market Organics, that Evolve is situated within. At 53 Downs Street, North Ipswich. Open Monday to Friday 7am to 4pm. Phone 0448 800 324.
Fourthchild Cafe Restaurant & Lounge Bar is a landmark space in the busy Top of Town dining, art and shopping stretch in the heart of Ipswich. The large airy dining features an impressive large-scale painting stretching along one of the exposed brick walls but it’s also the well-stocked cabinets that will catch your eye here. Cakes baked on site and well-made Campos coffee seal the deal. At 6/126 Brisbane Street, Ipswich. Open Monday 7am to 5pm, Tuesday to Thursday 7am to 6pm, Friday and Saturday 7am to late and Sunday 7am to 3pm. Phone 3281 9934.
Journey’s Kitchen & Bar
There’d be very few Springfield locals that don’t know about Journey’s Kitchen & Bar. It’s bright, bold and modern with a warehouse feel, industrial style lights hanging throughout. The kids have been thought of too, there’s a play corner and the lagoon is just a short stroll down the hill for a swim afterwards. It’s always great to find establishments that cater to everyone and for almost every occasion. Journey’s is a child friendly restaurant and breakfast, lunch is served here with dinner on Friday evenings. For breakfast think waffles, pumpkin pie pancakes or a tower burger. For lunch perhaps sticky pork belly is your style, Journey’s vegan Buddha bowl or southern style chicken. Friday night dinners are always popular with ribs, tapas and fresh pasta regularly making the dinner menu. There are also children’s menus too and don’t forget to ask the staff about free fruit for kids. At 51 Barry Alexander Drive, Springfield. Open daily 6am to 5pm as well as from 5.30pm to 9.30pm on Friday.
Located on the original lake at Springfield Lakes, head to Moselles if you’re looking for a laid back breakfast, lunch or dinner experience. Specialising in a mix of Vietnamese and Western cuisine, the two best things about Moselles are the view of the lake and that it’s the perfect place for a restaurant style dinner in the suburbs. There are plenty of tables taking in the view and where you can soak up the sun. A plus to this restaurant is the fenced kids playground right out the front, a perfect way to entertain kids who can’t sit still while you enjoy your breakfast or lunch. At 18 Springfield Lakes Boulevard, Springfield Lakes. Open Sunday to Thursday 7am to 4pm, Friday to Saturday 7am to 9pm. Phone 3381 9046.
Queens Park Cafe
Big, bright and airy is the drawcard for this cafe, as well as an extensive menu to choose from, this cafe is a local favourite because it ticks so many boxes. Right in the middle of Queens Park, the Queens Park Cafe is the perfect start (or finish) to a day enjoying all that this vast parkland has to offer – Nerima Gardens, Ipswich Nature Centre, Queens Park Education Centre and the playground. This cafe has loads of space, perfect for big groups or parents with prams. At 10a Merle Finimore Avenue, Ipswich. Open daily 8am to 5pm. Phone 3281 5167.
Rafter & Rose
Delightfully charming with splashes of greenery, Rafter & Rose is loved by many. Everything you eat here is lovingly baked fresh daily and fresh local produce is the star of every dish. You’ll be hard pressed to find a favourite here because everything is so amazingly delicious. Pumpkin pie, pistachio and rosewater cake, baked cheesecake, almond croissants, jam donuts, breakfasts with bacon jam…you can see the love that goes into making every piece of food here and there are plenty of vegan and gluten free options. What people love about Rafter & Rose is that it’s completely unique; this family business is like no other cafe in Ipswich. From the lovingly curated garden in the laneway with plants in old saucepans and trailing out of lanterns to the fresh pumpkins for sale, homemade chutneys, jams and locally sourced honey, it’s easy to feel completely at home here. At 1/17 Ellenborough Street, Ipswich. Open Monday to Friday 6.30am to 2pm, weekends 7am to noon. Phone 0401 073 644.
Raw Energy Springfield
It’s all about fresh and healthy food at Raw Energy Springfield. It’s where you can visit for a smoothie or juice after a splash around at the Orion Lagoon or where you can visit for a healthy and wholesome lunch. Don’t be put off by the name if you love your meat, Raw Energy is about fresh and healthy food that caters to everyone. From bacon and eggs to Wagyu beef burgers to spiced chickpea bowls and quinoa, sweet potato and kale burgers, come here if you’re conscious of what food you eat. Raw Energy is bright and colourful, the food is healthy and delicious and it’s likely you’ll definitely feel energised both physically and mentally, after a visit here. It’s certainly a welcome addition for the health and lifestyle conscious and those wanting to improve on their food choices. On the ground level, GE Tower, 6 Yoga Way, Springfield Central. Open daily 7am to 3pm, phone 3413 1021.
Rustic Vintage Charm
A welcome addition to the Ipswich landscape, Rustic Vintage Charm is exactly that, a space filled with rustic, vintage goods and with the old world charm reflected in the old building which this cafe/gift shop now occupies. You can grab a coffee and a piece of cake here while you sit and admire the trinkets, artwork, second hand pieces and decor that line every wall and corner of this shop, many pieces by local artists. This is also a hub for creativity, hosting crochet and other workshops, a great activity to do with friends over coffee. At 39 Downs Street, North Ipswich. Open Tuesday to Friday 7am to 4pm, Saturday 8am to 3pm and Sunday 8am to noon.
Special Branch Collective
Do yourself a favour and take the quick trip down the highway to Marburg where you’ll find the Special Branch Collective, a little gem of a place that sells premium potted plants, quality garden gifts and vintage finds. While you’re there, you can enjoy a cup of Dancing Bean coffee or if tea’s more your thing, they have plenty on offer. Special Branch Collective is heaven for gardeners, antique treasure hunters and people seeking homewares and art pieces with a difference. It’s also home to pieces by local artists. It’s somewhat of a family affair bringing this treasure trove together. The owner of Special Branch Collective, Emily Birnie, sources the plants from her sister and brother-in-law’s nursery, Green Cloud Nursery. Emily’s father also owns the adjoining Scotland Yard Antiques where you’ll likely score a unique find. At 64-66 Edmond Street, Marburg. Open Wednesday to Friday 7am to 2pm and on weekends 9am to 4pm.
The Girls’ Coffee Bar
The Girls’ Coffee Bar on the Warrego Highway at Marburg is a popular stopping point for those heading from Brisbane to Toowoomba. There’s plenty of space for the whole family and it is open seven days a week. Short on time? You can text your coffee order in to 0488ORDERS so it’s ready when you get there. Be sure to check out what’s on the shelves too – there is always a tasty selection of condiments of sweet treats to buy. Oh and there’s a sister cafe with the same name at Fernvale too. At Shop 1, 207 Edmund Street, Marburg. Open Monday to Friday 6am to 5pm and on weekends 7am to 5pm. Phone 5464 4465.
The Yard on Glebe
A hidden gem in the suburbs, The Yard on Glebe has a homely vibe and amazing fresh food options. It’s not your typical classics here – everything has a unique spin. Think Moroccan Eggs with beautiful golden pumpkin hummus or Black Forest waffles with macerated berries, chocolate ganache, berry coulis and Chantilly cream. The avo smash comes with beetroot feta, dukkah and whipped feata. The Yard on Glebe offers an all-day breakfast, light lunches, homemade cakes, artisan pastries, fresh juices and specialty coffee and is worth the detour if you’re after food with a twist. At Shop 1/176 Glebe Road, Booval. Open Monday and Tuesday 6.30am to noon, Wednesday to Friday 6.30am to 2pm, Saturday 7am to 1pm, Sunday 7am to noon.
Who would have thought that a shipping container come cafe servery in an Ipswich laneway could be transformed into something so funky and eclectic? 116 Laneway is the perfect place to inhale some happy vibes; it’s dotted with colour and greenery everywhere you look. Tucked away from the main street, this cafe and bar is the perfect place to escape for a quiet cuppa, beer, wine or decadent milkshake. Most famous in Ipswich for its indulgent milkshakes including the Candy Shop, Salted Caramel and the Nutella Tim Tam milkshake, if you’re having a diet free day, this is the place to visit. There are plenty of healthy options too including breakfasts, smoothies, fresh salads, bagels, burgers, wraps, kids meals and more At 116 Brisbane Street, Ipswich. Open Tuesday to Sunday 7.30am to 2pm.