The so-called Garden City is brimful of cafes – take your pick from eight of Toowoomba’s best.
The pretty little city of Toowoomba, has a surprisingly vast supply of cafes that tap into all kinds of different tastes. From a hole-in-the-wall skateshop-cum-coffee-house to a social enterprise cafe that showcases the works of local artists, and a Melbourne-esque laneway cafe with an inventive menu, start the day right at one of Toowoomba’s best coffee shops.
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Situated right next to Toowoomba station, this smart little cafe is open daily for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Ortem is a perennially popular spot that always seems to be buzzing with punters, and serves up colourful, artfully plated dishes at its streetside tables. The menu runs the gamut of all the classics, but often with a small twist: the avocado toast is sprinkled with dukkah, the buttermilk pancakes are topped with passionfruit curd and fairy floss, and there’s a veg-heavy eggs Benny just for vegetarians. Moreover, if your appetite’s yet to pique, you can opt for a mini portion of one of the mains, or try one of Ortem’s special sweet and savoury boards out for size.
Address: 15 Railway Street, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4632 0090
Ground Up Espresso Bar
‘Come for the inventive and decadent breakfast menu, stay for the expertly brewed single origin Blackboard Coffee Roasters’ coffee’, should be the mantra at Ground Up Espresso. Located in a mural-freckled laneway, this overachieving Toowoomba cafe has a bit of a playful Melbourne air about it. Gorge on wildly fluffy ricotta pancakes, or the super stacked Benny, replete with double-smoked bacon, slow-cooked brisket, a house hash brown, fried halloumi, spinach, poached free range eggs, hollandaise, and locally made sourdough. Not for counting calories.
Address: 501 Ruthven St, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Sweet Talk Coffee
Housed within the recently developed Longs Quarter, Sweet Talk Coffee has proven a strong addition to Toowoomba’s booming cafe scene. With its exposed brick walls, tall ceilings and concrete bar counter, there’s an air of industrial-chic to this light-filled space in the city centre. The menu, meanwhile, has a definite whiff of sophisticated continental inspiration – dishes such as crispy sumac squid with romesco sauce, labneh and fried capers; and ricotta doughnuts bathing in a sauce of house-made crème diplomat and roasted apple, line the menu.
Address: 3/203 Margaret St, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4549 4983
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Milk and Honey Espresso Bar
Milk and Honey’s seasonal all-day breakfast and lunch menu is largely on the more wholesome side of things: think house-made crumpets, almond milk porridge, avo on toast, soup, and a baked veggie burger, with a handful of options that cater to little ones as well. This dependable, relaxed venue is also conveniently located just a short, 10-minute walk from the leafy Queens Park Botanic Gardens too.
Address: 6 Ann St, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4659 8896
Framed Espresso bar
A specialty coffee bar located in the ‘burbs, Framed is among the city’s best when you’re in need of a caffeine fix. Make a morning of it and tuck into some of the bar’s cakes and pastries, settling into one of their leather armchairs, or timber bar stools, and enjoying some downtime with a good book. The venue shares the space with a framing studio, so you could peruse the selection before setting off too.
Address: Corner, Ruthven Street, Hurstway Ct, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4528 2458
Grinds espresso rail
A dedicated skateshop cafe slap bang in the centre of the city, Grinds Espresso Rail is serious about two things: its Wolff Roasters coffee, and the skateboards and skate apparel it purveys. This well-loved hole-in-the-wall shop zeroes in on all things local, from the beans that come from a micro-roastery in Brisbane, to the independent skate attire labels it hosts, showcasing homegrown talent. Fans of Grinds’ brews can also take home a box of Wolff Roasters’ bold ready-to-drink cold brew, as well as its beans.
Address: 2/255 Margaret St, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4638 8983
Sage+Butler Neighbourhood Cafe
This small East Toowoomba neighbourhood cafe has a loyal following for its reliably strong coffee, reasonable prices, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, and rather moreish cinnamon scrolls. Pull up a pew at one of the tables outside on leafy Margaret Street and devour one of Sage+Butler’s homemade cakes and quiches in the sunshine.
Address: 62 Margaret St, East Toowoomba, QLD, 4350
Phone: (07) 4573 4883
Banter Coffee Kitchen
A cafe with a difference, bohemian Banter Coffee Kitchen is a social enterprise, offering employment opportunities to the local migrant and refugee community. The cafe even boasts its own commission-free gallery wall, named The Brouhaha, where works by Toowoomba’s local artists are showcased, and rotated every six weeks. There’s a real community feel to this Toowoomba CBD establishment, with growlers of local honey for sale, and a new mural from the exhibiting artist gracing the cafe’s facade every six weeks.
Address: 229 Margaret St, Toowoomba City, QLD, 4350
Phone: +61 404 512 370