So you’ve given the old treadlie plenty of TLC till it glints in the early morning light, pulled your socks up to regulation height, completed a lap or two of the River Loop, and uploaded it to Strava. What’s next, I hear you ask? It’s time to sit back, bask in the glory of your post-ride endorphins, and sip a well-deserved cup of cycling fuel. Brew, battery acid, nectar of the Gods, whatever you call it, and however you drink it, it’s time for a coffee.
Of course, having smashed it out sprinting up Cemetery Hill in your attempt to gain KOM glory, the old legs are feeling just a wee bit tired. Thankfully, our top Brisbane spots for your post-ride coffee are all located conveniently near many of your favourite rides.
#1 Espresso Garage
This is the post-ride hot spot to wet your whistle. With lashings of lycra and a veritable feast of bikes to ogle and envy, this small hole-in-the-wall serves up super quick coffee and offers plenty of bicycle parking so you can keep a close eye on your pride and joy. Well placed along Grey Street, South Bank, Espresso Garage – simply known by the Garage by those in the know – even has its own kit and occasionally organises bunch rides followed by breakfast.
And that’s not all. Had a mechanical and want to drown yourself in a trough of coffee? Before you do, pay a quick visit to one of South Bank’s handy Community Bike Repair Stations just nearby. These stations have a range of tools to help keep your wheels in tip top condition, and it’s no wonder some have called the Garage Brisbane’s cycling mecca. Can’t find a space amidst the swarms of cyclists? Try My Sweetopia just next door for a freshly baked cupcake instead.
#2 Lucky Duck Cafe & Bar
Serving up a well-made brew and top-notch meals to nosh on post ride, Lucky Duck is a mere hop, skip, and a jump from the top of Cemetery Hill. Situated up and over the hill along Gladstone Road (ok, so there’s a bit more climbing to be done), this duck-themed cafe makes magic from piles of avocado and thick slabs of haloumi. With a range of beards, glasses, and personalities behind the espresso machine, both hipsters and cyclists mix freely inside, outside, and out the back of this cosy cafe, bonding over the excellently made coffees. Even better, they’re licensed if you’re after a sneaky alcoholic beverage. Get in quick if you prefer your coffee to have a view of your wheels – there’s limited seating outside.
#3 Morning After
New kid on the block, Morning After, is a brand spanking offering from mother and son team, Soula and Yianni Passaris. Situated under the Glass Factory on Vulture Street, Morning After focuses on locally sourced bites and offers a carefully curated and balanced menu with the help of dietician and nutritionist Lisa Peterson, just in case that lycra is fitting a little too snugly. Coffee snobs, behold, this cafe serves up a mean cup of joe and invites customers to choose from one of two boutique Aussie coffee beans. Feeling a little fruity? There’s a coffee for that. Prefer a darker, richer flavour? Coming right up (and very highly recommended).
What Morning After lacks in bike parking, they more than make up for in mouth-watering meals. If you’ve had your fill of the usual breakfast suspects, try a fresh sand crab omelette with betel leaf, shallots, chilli, peanuts and lime. Carb-loading in preparation for your next event? Morning After has you covered with a breakfast carbonara. That’s right, breakfast like the pros on papardelle, 63 degree egg, field mushrooms, guanciale (fancy Italian cured meat) and pecorino. Could this place get any better? Stop by on Sunday for ‘Yiros Sunday’. Apparently that’s a thing in Brisbane.
Note: keep an eye out for the smooth-talking, lycra-wearing Italian waiter; he’s a demon up Coot-tha.
#4 Alberto’s Shot
Pace yourself before you visit Alberto’s Shot on the weekends – the owner enjoys a leisurely sleep-in before opening at 7:30 on Saturdays and Sundays. Nonetheless, this beloved local cafe is perfectly situated on Montague Street, which makes coffee and breakfast easily accessible to those of you spending early mornings dashing along the River Loop. Staff are friendly, and there’s a superb range of caffeinated beverages well suited to any weather Brisbane might throw at you. Need a bucket of coffee before you can even contemplate clipping in? Order a Bonza (large) coffee. There’s also caffe shakeratos and latte freddos on the menu for those scalp-meltingly hot summer days (let’s face it, that’s about 8 months of the year), and proper Italian hot chocolate guaranteed to send your sugar levels soaring. Lucky enough to squeeze in a loop or two on weekdays? Thankfully, Alberto’s is ready to pull you an eye-wateringly strong espresso at 6:30am Monday to Friday so you can start your morning with a bang.
#5 The Baker’s Arms
Do as the Europeans do, and sip your cappuccino or flat white with a freshly baked pastry. And where better than The Baker’s Arms in Woolloongabba. Never before has a pain au chocolate been flakier, a quiche more decadent, or a croissant baked into a pudding quite like these offerings at this specialty bakehouse. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, diary intolerant, or looking to shed kilos but not meals, there is something here for you. To top it off, these heavenly baked treats can be washed down with that smoothest of coffee blends, Campos. Rich, ethically-sourced, and delicious.
Think it can’t get any better? You’re wrong. A quick clomp down the road in your cleats and you’re at Planet Cycles, browsing happily around two levels of cycling-related goodies. They even have Planet Femme for all of you lady-cyclists (also just known as cyclists) and ensure that female-specific bikes and gear are spread throughout entire store. If you’re not ashamed to strut your stuff further afield, The Yellow Jersey Bike Shop is just up the road. Ogle the customisable Trek frames whilst sipping your takeaway, or pick up some Trek branded accessories.
Image credits: Daniel Maddock; Morning After.