Every morning my husband drops me off on Eagle Street outside the Aquila Caffe. If (on rare occasions) we're early, I'm lucky enough to get my coffee quickly and head straight up to work but most mornings I join the queue of tired eyes and grumbling stomachs for our first caffeine 'hit' of the day. Don't be alarmed if the queue is long as it moves quickly and is not a representation of the staff, which are fantastic, but more the popularity of this Italian inspired establishment.
The cafe serves Lavazza and, while it's a fantastic brew, the baristas really do something special with the coffees they pump out because it's always delicious. With each coffee, not only do you get a smile and a greeting (which is rare in customer service these days) but a little chocolate/vanilla wafer for the sweet tooth. If you've missed brekky, try their mouth-watering avocado on Turkish bread.
A couple of weeks ago, I went here with some work colleagues for lunch. Perhaps it was my pre-coffee grogginess but I was surprised at their menu as I always thought of them as just a cafe not a restaurant. The sit-down area has both an in and outside section and the tables are set out neatly and easily accommodate large groups. The staff are just as efficient on the restaurant side and they deliver the menu with glasses of water as soon as you sit down.
The food and wine overall is rich, tasty and after being here a few times, consistent as well. The pasta is rich, the pizza mouth-watering and their desserts are irresistible. I highly recommend their risotto as it's creamy, filling and goes well with a glass of crisp vino.
Although this place is great for meetings and is usually teeming with business people, don't be daunted. It's also the perfect place to have an early brekky with your partner, catch up on the gossip with the girls over lunch or an after-work vino with work mates. I like how they have brought a little slice of Italy to Brissy in not only their food but also little touches like how the majority of the staff are Italian, how their menu is set out and the overall traditional Italian Bar feel of the place.
Aquila Caffe is a great example of how customer service and quality food should be and really gives the other places in the CBD a run for their money.
If you're like me and usually just make a bee-line for the takeaway coffee section, get in early one morning and try one of their brekkys or pop in for lunch or a late afternoon snack.
I walk past Aquila a couple of times each morning & I'm always amazed at the queues for coffee every day - both before the work day starts & at morning tea. They're obviously doing something right. Their coffee is very good. I don't know if they still do it, but I have had breakfast & lunch there with small groups & they always let us pay separately up at the counter at the end. It was another reason we kept going back. One of the better places around town to dine during the day.