Newcastle, Australia has enjoyed one almighty resurgence over the last five years – and a burgeoning coffee scene has caffeinated that revival. With friendly neighbourhood coffee shops and trendy inner-city cafes springing up across the booming beach city, check out our pick of the top places to grab a cuppa in Newcastle.
The one-line bio on Suspension’s website says it all, really: “It began as a roasting house in a neighbourhood of ill repute and became an institute of coffee, creativity and community.” This grungy Islington icon has developed a cult following by pouring quality coffee they’ve roasted themselves, dishing up generous breakfasts and selling a huge range of cutting-edge coffee-making equipment plus bags of their beans.
This cafe was has been at the forefront of the revival of Newcastle’s inner city over the last six years, serving consistent coffee (their beans are roasted by Suspension), home-baked cakes and tasty snacks in a homely space on King St. Local office workers and beach-goers alike fill Good Brother’s rustic wooden chairs on the footpath, only a couple of blocks from the sand.
It’s impossible to miss this Carrington favourite, with the brightly coloured tiles out the front resembling a life-sized game of Tetris. Ground Up has transformed an old butcher’s shop into a trendy suburban cafe with a clean interior and leafy courtyard that’s always packed on weekends.
This is perhaps the only cafe in Newcastle that’s as eye-catching as Ground Up, with its bright red facade sticking out like a beacon on Darby St, the city’s hub of shopping and dining. An institution of Newcastle’s coffee scene long before it took off, Three Monkeys continues to serve generous brekkies to huge crowds well over a decade since it opened.
Hidden behind a roller door among the warehouses of working-class Wickham hides a cafe that’s just too good to keep secret. This tiny hole in the wall packs huge flavours into its coffee and menu, attracting both tradies seeking their caffeine fix and cafe aficionados looking for Newcastle’s best brews to its industrial-chic space.
The stunning views over Newcastle are a good enough reason to visit Estabar… and that’s before you even start talking about the great coffee, and the mouth-watering gelato and the fresh, nutritious, seasonal menu. Together with the sleek charcoal interior and peerless seaside location, Estabar is a compulsory stop for coffee-lovers visiting the Hunter.
In Sydney or Melbourne, a cup of coffee in a space as cool as this — a postage-stamped sized cafe in the fashionable beachside suburb of Merewether — would likely be accompanied by a side dish of coffee snobbery. But at Esther C, the uber-friendly service is every bit as big a draw card as the scrumptious coffee roasted by Sydney heavyweights Reuben Hills.
Introducing Newcastle’s best option for the health-conscious caffeine addict, with a finger-licking menu of simple, nourishing food bowls made with nutritious, seasonal ingredients. Blue Door also operates a kiosk on the beachfront if you like your cuppa with a helping of salty sea air.
You have to really be looking for this cafe, tucked away off the main drag, Hunter St. But those who do successfully locate the Bank Corner are treated to a charming courtyard cafe that has a distinctly European streak through its breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings.
More upmarket than the exposed brick and quirky murals of most of the rest of Newcastle’s booming coffee scene, this shiny glass-walled venue is a sophisticated dining option in the breezy East End of town. The sunny East End Hub plates up locally-sourced produce from its open kitchen just a stroll from the beach.