Gone are the days when the only coffee you could source in Port Macquarie came from a soul-crushing chain store, now you’ll find boutique operators as far as the eye can see.
It used to be that good coffee – the kind Australians are world-renowned for – could only be found in our capital cities, but what began inside inner city cafes and boutique roasting warehouses has spread to just about every town, village and suburb in the country. It’s the art of making good coffee – and Port Macquarie is no exception. Let us take you on a coffee trail through the region.
Frequently dubbed the best coffee in town, Social Grounds has been serving Port Macquarie some seriously good beans since 2014. This graffiti-covered hideaway can be found full of loyal locals on just about every day of the week.
Inside the modern space you’ll find monochrome tones and richly-textured timbers – and the menu won’t disappoint either. Place your go-to coffee order or opt for something new with a cup of the café’s brews from Ethiopia, Sumatra, Colombia or Rwanda.
If you’re hungry, select from a blackboard of classic breakfast favourites. The bacon and egg roll is a highlight, as well as the chai bircher muesli with acai and blueberries, natural yoghurt and seasonal fruit.
This warm and charming espresso bar looks like it’s been plucked direct from the inner-city lanes of Melbourne. The inviting café is clad with natural timber finishing and favoured among those who prefer a bulletproof blend to kick start their day.
The Blackfish house coffee comes direct from Flying West, a roaster based on the Sunshine Coast, and is packed with fruit and caramel tones – just what you need before a day of exploring Port Macquarie. Find a list of hearty breakfast options with gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes thrown in the mix too.
Few cafes can boast a location as quintessentially Australian as the Salty Crew gang. This small slice of paradise can be found at Town Beach – a popular hangout thanks to its protection from south winds, and proximity to the centre of town. It’s also the site of the best sunrise spot in Port Macquarie, something that pairs beautifully with a coffee in hand.
For beans, both their organic, stealth tea and espresso blend come direct from Clandestino Roasters in Noosa. Sip your coffee a few metres from the water, indulge in a chat from the friendly staff, and tuck into a meal from their healthy menu.
Venture a little further from the town centre to the Port Macquarie Marina to begin your morning at Seasalt. The breakfast menu is packed with all the good stuff. Find a list of old faithful breakfast options in addition to some more experimental creations.
In addition to their coffee, the drinks menu includes fruit frappe and smoothie options for those who prefer their drinks decaffeinated.
With water views and plenty of boats to marvel at, many opt for an outdoor table to enjoy their coffee and food alfresco. If it’s a little on the windy side, the tables inside will more than suffice. And a tip, if you have kids, ask the staff for a tub of fish food to drop down to the small school of bream, just next to the café.
Part café, part retail space, part roaster – Peak Coffee is for those who like to see exactly how the pie is made.
Located four kilometres from downtown Port Macquarie, Peak is the first coffee-roasting business in NSW’s Mid North Coast. They came armed with a cast iron traditional drum roaster, and have been roasting for local, regional and interstate cafe owners and lovers of coffee ever since.
If you’d like to see the process in motion, or simply can’t get enough of that tantalising caffeine smell, jump on a tour of the complex. Otherwise, head straight to the counter to see surfer-barista Kenichiro Seno, and choose from two or three single origin varieties. Peak buys most of its beans direct from Uncle Ravi – a South Indian man who inherited his father’s coffee plantation, where he now oversees a community of farmers.
This place is already recognised as a favourite hangout for afternoon drinks and sunset perving, but few are aware of its morning coffee prowess.
Located on Town Green overlooking the Hastings River, The Beach House is one of the most visited spots around, thanks to its location being within mere minutes of the town centre. Many use it as a pit stop along the iconic Port Macquarie Breakwall walk, picking up their morning coffee before continuing on their way.
Another local favourite is the Rivermark Café, which you’ll find perched alongside the Hastings River. Sit back with a steaming cup of coffee while feasting on views of the surrounding seascape, where dolphins and birdlife enjoy a morning frolic. The outdoor area is vast and welcoming, with table options both in the sun and shade.
Their menu encapsulates the best of the surrounding region, featuring seafood, salad, gourmet burgers and varied weekly lunch specials. They’re also a reputable licensed venue, meaning you can enjoy a crisp glass of vino from their curated boutique wine selection.
The newly-opened Bandwagon is Port Macquarie’s latest destination for specialty coffee, quality food, music and good vibes. Set within a century-old house, overlooking the sea with a menu that doesn’t skimp on the good stuff – think bacon and egg rolls, croissants, tasty waffles, avo toast and cupcakes.
In addition to their coffee, Bandwagon is known for their selection of quality beer, as well as juices, chai and a range of tea. Their Instagram is also packed with photos of aesthetic food-perfection, and well worth a browse if you need some inspiration before ordering.