If you’re after a quick and easy meal that doesn’t involve the deep fryer, then head on over to Lulu's Cafe on Crown Street. Known for their delectable poke bowls, they keep it simple and serve them with sashimi, rice and fresh fruit and raw vegetables. If you have the time, take a seat and admire the perfectly pink interiors and insta-worthy lighting.
Table 1 Espresso
A local favourite, Table 1 Espresso's modern Australian cafe does things 'outside the box'. Known for its inventive, signature dishes, meals are oversized and come with all the trimmings. For a weekend brunch, get comfy on the terrace and take your time perusing the menu. If you're after a caffeine fix, the Campos coffee ticks every box.
The Beaumont Hamilton
Inspired by the old-school American diner, yet deeply rooted in the local cafe scene, The Beaumont is Newcastle's foremost cafe and piano bar. Taking menu cues from southern American cuisine (hello southern-fried chicken and jalapeno poppers), they have a breakfast, lunch and bar menu that satisfies hunger cravings any time of the day. Come nighttime the cocktail list takes centre stage, and each night throughout the week there'ss local entertainment, from live music to drag queen trivia.
Papa's Bagel Bar
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and baked bagels is reason alone to lure you into Papa’s Bagel Bar – a rustic little hangout in Newcastle City with exposed brick interiors, communal wooden tables and bar stools. Their impressive selection of bagels come filled with fresh produce straight from the local Farmer’s Market.
The Autumn Rooms
One of Darby Street’s most popular eateries, The Autumn Room oozes café cool – from their plant-filled interiors to their flower-adorned menu. It's an Instagramer's dream. Even though the menu is full of wholesome goodness, the Champagne Breakfast is too hard to pass on – and so are the irresistibly fluffy crumpets with lavender honey and lashings of mascarpone.
Hamilton's Rolador's bright and fun cafe serves up a heavy hit of coffee and smiles. Open from breakfast time till late afternoon, look forward to all your Australian cafe favourites, from sandwiches and croissants to smoothies and milkshakes. With its daily specials and alfresco seating, Rolador is a popular spot for locals picking up their morning coffee or catching up with friends over lunch.
A chic little espresso bar along Newcastle’s beachfront, Estabar's buzzing café is a popular haunt, particularly on weekends. They've mastered the fine art of coffee and classic breakfast dishes with effortless flair. Overlooking the beach, the outside seating is highly prized, but inside, the beautiful-yet-minimal interiors sets the scene for an intimate catch up.
3 Monkeys Cafe
Known for their all-day breakfasts and welcoming, cosy atmosphere, this long-standing café is located in a beautiful century-old terrace house on Darby Street. The friendly staff will get to know you by first name, and remember your go-to order, which we're guessing will be the ricotta pancakes smothered in a sweet and fruity berry compote.
Ground Floor Cafe
Pouring some of the best coffee in town, Ground Floor Café is well positioned for soaking up Newcastle City’s buzzing atmosphere. The rustic, yet homely interiors are just as welcoming as the staff. Pair your brew of choice with a hearty meal, and you’ll be completely set for the day.
This pint-sized espresso bar may be small in size, but their coffee is big in personality. Caffiene addicts can pull up a seat at the bar and marvel at the baristas' mastery, as they pour their single origins from Mecca Coffee in Sydney. Before you leave, grab a cheeky BLT to go and savour its toasted glory all the way down Darby St.
Core Espresso is hip to the core. Weekend brunchers flock to this achingly cool café spot to sit atop rustic milk crates and sip on V60s, cold brews or their famous bullet shots with MCT oil. Specialty coffee aside, the café is also a health lover’s haven. The menu is full of nourish bowls, detox kefir smoothies and an array of raw vegan treats.
Drift Food and Coffee
Tucked away on Llewellyn Street, Drift Food and Coffee is an open, light-filled cafe, perfect for dine-in or takeaway. Serving up modern Australian fare, the coffee and the delicious food keep the locals coming back again and again. The friendly service and relaxed vibe converts one-time visitors into long-standing regulars.
Homemade and local – just how the team at Second Fiddle like to keep it. Passionate about sourcing the freshest ingredients, Second Fiddle's modern Australian menu focuses on quality over quantity, with the perfect balance of healthy and naughty bites. Light and airy with outdoor seating, stop in for your morning coffee on the run, or take the time on the weekend to taste-test the brunch dishes...you won't be disappointed!
Bolton Street Pantry
At Bolton Street Pantry, they like to keep things humble. The raw, industrial interiors with handmade and recycled furnishings are a nod to Newcastle’s working-class roots. With an all-day breakfast menu and a modest wine and beer offering, it really doesn’t matter what time you pop in.
There's a lot to love about Raw Energy. Aside from its enviable harbourfront location, it’s also an all-in-one healthy café, espresso and juice bar. Large wholesome dishes with a side of fresh juice are the orders of the day, alongside delicious smoothie bowls – the perfect way to kick-start your morning.
Frankies on Darby
Stylishly sleek, Frankies On Darby is bright, airy and has that friendly neighborhood coffee shop vibe – the type everyone hopes to find in their local café. Set yourself up in their leafy courtyard or front veranda, and while away the best part of a morning with a cup of Campos and a good ol’ fashioned bacon and egg sambo.
Blue Door Kiosk
Blue Door Kiosk on Merewether Beach serves up consistently good coffee and health-conscious dishes from their beachside shop front. Snack on Coco Whip, smoothies, bowls and salads while taking in the beautiful ocean views. The alfresco set-up, great service, and quality fare keep the locals coming every day of the week.
Merewether Fresh Bake
A family-run bakery and patisserie, Merewether Fresh Bake keeps the locals satisfied with their delicious buttery delicacies. Just what you expect from your local bakery; all your favourite pies, cakes, slices and tarts are well represented. Make sure to go in hungry and take your time perusing the moreish options on display.
Blue Door Cafe
This small, yet wholesome café set on busy Hunter Street in Newcastle’s CBD, likes to keep things on the healthier side. Blue Door Café, with its outdoor seating and striking blue tiles, serves generously sized meals, and caters well for the kids. For a seaside view, pop down to their Merewether kiosk.
Goldbergs Coffee House
A stalwart on the café scene, Goldbergs’ Coffee House is an institution, and has been for generations. Inside, scratched timber floorboards come scattered with rustic wooden tables, whilst walls are marked with old faded posters and retro prints. Vintage to its core, it’s only fitting to order a milkshake, people watch and soak up the nostalgia.
Nestled on bustling Darby Street, Coco Monde is the perfect spot for an indulgent after-dinner treat. Their churros, waffles, French crepes and signature handcrafted chocolates warrant a visit alone, but for a truly decadent experience, bring a fellow chocoholic and dig into their fondue for two or the high tea, complete with dipping pots of melted Belgian chocolate.