Brisbane's best riverside coffee and brunch spots

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Brisbane’s booming cafe scene is best enjoyed by the water. But where to go isn’t always obvious, with some of the very best venues hidden in charming enclaves, parks and precincts. With the help of a little local knowledge, we’ve found some of the very best Brisbane cafes and brunch spots by the river.

North of the river

MICA - Newstead

MICA Brasserie is known for is decadent pastries and baguettes, but many people are unaware of their delicious French breakfast and brunch options. You can't go wrong with a classic omelette or eggs benedict, but if you want something sweet Giuseppe's breakfast tiramisu will be the highlight of your day! MICA offers breezy waterfront vibs with its canal-side view, but if you want to bathe in the waterfront sunlight, grab your coffee and favourite pastry to go and head over to Newstead Park.

Location: MICA, 194 Breakfast Creek Road, Newstead

Ciao Papi - Brisbane City

On the weekend, Howard Smith Wharves Italian restaurant Ciao Papi rises early to serve a keenly priced breakfast menu washed down with tea, coffee and freshly squeezed juice. On the menu is slow braised pork ragu with beans and poached eggs on rye, and a mortadella, smoked mozzarella, rocket and fried egg roll with tomato relish. Coffee is Ciao Papi’s own blend, roasted off-site by a specialty roaster. Grab a table on the deck and you’ll have the Story Bridge and CBD as your backdrop.

Location: Ciao Papi, 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane City

Barko & Co. - Teneriffe

Housed inside a heritage-listed brick steam-engine room in Teneriffe, Barko & Co serves a tight menu of elevated all-day breakfast dishes such as brioche French toast, a blue cheese omelette, and huevos rancheros. For drinks there’s fresh-pressed juice, smoothies and organic Colombian specialty coffee. Where to sit? Outside, people watching on the verandah, with views of the river and Bulimba beyond, of course.

Location: Barko & Co, 71 Macquarie Street, Teneriffe

Mary Mae's - New Farm

Located at the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse, Mary Mae's offers uninterrupted river views along its sun-drenched terraces. Stop by on your morning walk to enjoy a brunch taco, salmon bagel, or classic eggs benny. If you happen to have your furry friend with you, don't stress as dogs are more than welcome.

Bring your friends or partner to indulge in the signature Saturday brunch which kicks off with a cocktail. Pre-bookings are essential.

Location: Mary Mae;'s, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm

Sorelle Eatery - St Lucia

Sorelle Eatery is St Lucia's newest Italian-inspired cafe with warm vibes that is located just around the corner from Dickson's Park along the Brisbane River. Taking inspiration from its older sister cafe and deli, Tognini's, just up the road in Milton, the food is exceptional. If you're there for brunch, enjoy a tiramisu cruffin, chilli scrambled eggs, mortadella toastie or mini cannoli.

Location: Sorelle Eatery, 242 Hawken Drive, St Lucia

South of the river

River La Vie - Tennyson

Blink and you’ll miss this charming, garden-lined cafe on the river opposite the Queensland Tennis Centre. The all-day menu is a collection of stripped back classics, and features savoury mince with carrot, celery and a poached egg on sourdough, and a brioche breakfast burger crammed with mesclun, tomato, maple bacon, halloumi and a fried egg. For drinks there’s freshly squeezed juice, smoothies, tea and Coffee Supreme coffee. You get only the barest glimpse of the river here, but that’s only because of winsome gardens of the adjacent Ken Fletcher Park – a great spot to wear out the kids afterwards.

Location: River La Vie, 190 King Arthur Terrace, Tennyson

Joey's Restaurant - Kangaroo Point

This clifftop spot was given a new lease of life in late 2020 by Bellissimo Coffee owners Michael Koo and Mark Bignell, and Brisbane entrepreneur Jordan Cowen. The result is a beautifully appointed all-day alfresco eatery with jaw dropping views of the river and the CBD beyond. For food, there’s a mushroom frittata, sweetcorn fritters, and a bacon and egg burger, followed by an Italian-leaning mains menu. On the drinks list is exceptional coffee (of course), tea and freshly squeezed juice before cocktails and a refined wine selection (compiled by former Aria and Arc Dining sommelier Ian Trinkle) take over later in the day.

Location: Joey's Restaurant, 29 River Terrace, Kangaroo Point

West End Markets - West End

From early morning until just after lunch on Saturdays, Davies Park hosts the West End Markets. Bring your friends, family and dog/s for a relaxed morning stroll around the markets which have over 150 vendors. Purchase fresh produce from local businesses and then enjoy breakfast from one of the many vendors. For a relaxed end to your visit, grab a coffee and head for the fig trees for a quiet sit on the riverbank.

Location: West End Markets, 277 Montague Road, West End

Your Brisbetter day out doesn't end here

Head over to the Brisbetter Explore page for even more inspiration on where to go and what to do in Brisbane. With both day and night options, there’s loads of ideas for your next day out.

On the go? Download the Brisbane app today to discover and share the best things to see and do around Brisbane.

Editor's note: The featured content in Brisbane Explore is created to inspire residents and visitors to plan a day out exploring Brisbane. Brisbane City Council disclaims any relationship with, or endorsement of, businesses featured in this article.

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**This article was updated in November 2023.**

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