If you love coffee, there will be a particular way that you enjoy it. Do you prefer a latte, flat white or cappuccino? Half strength, double shot, skinny, full cream, with sugar, no sugar, with sweetener, extra hot or not too hot? One thing that we can all agree on, is that when you find a good coffee venue, then you tend to go back to it - time and time again. The right blend of flavour, without the bitterness, is a winner in all of our books.
So where is the best coffee in Nelson Bay? The best thing to do is follow the locals and try out the popular coffee venues for yourself. The following cafes are my personal favourites that I have found so far, however if you have one that I haven't mentioned, please leave the name of the cafe at the top of this article. If you're a parent, like myself, and you've had a long night with the kids, then the first cup of coffee is a life-saver...
The Little Nel is arguably the most popular café in Nelson Bay for good reason. The food is spectacular and the coffee is even more so. Grab a takeaway coffee and take a walk down the road to the Nelson Bay Foreshore, or stay and enjoy your coffee with a delicious, creative breakfast and friendly service. They use Suspension Espresso beans from Newcastle. See here for details.
In House Kitchen Café is another popular venue in town, located on the corner of Donald Street and Yacaaba Street in the heart of Nelson Bay. This welcoming café makes their smooth-tasting coffee with Allpress Espresso beans from Sydney. Just like The Little Nel above, this café offers creative, healthy dishes which taste as good as they look. Don't be put off by the line out the front, the coffee is worth the wait. See here for details.
Also check out the family friendly Nice Café and also Essence Espresso for a delicious, organic coffee with a teddy bear surprise!
Enjoy the whole coffee experience at In House Kitchen, Nelson Bay
Mermaid Café at Shoal Bay Country Club is a popular choice, for coffees to enjoy with breakfast, or to grab a takeaway and sit on the beach across the road. Their smooth coffee is the ideal pick-me-up after a late night. See here for details. The Kiosk at Birubi Beach (next to Crest Café) is another good takeaway coffee option, with a buzzer system so you can look at the waves and go back to pick it up when its ready. Make sure you also grab a burger while you're there! See here for details.
Longboat Café is located at Fingal Bay and it is a popular café to sit and enjoy brunch - however if you just want a takeaway coffee to walk up the beach with, there is also a kiosk on the side to grab and go. The coffee is smooth-tasting, hot and full of flavour. A coffee and walk along the beach is the ultimate way to start the day! See here for details.
Cheers the weekend! Good coffee and good views at Fingal Bay
Cartel Pizza Co is a tucked away little gem at the Salamander Bay village shops, 15 minutes from Nelson Bay. Although many people may not have heard about this little venue, I discovered Cartel Pizza Co one weekend and have been back multiple times since. The young couple who run it are friendly and they open for breakfast, as well as being a takeaway pizza joint for dinner. Have a chat with the owner Chris about the coffee beans he is using that day - his passion and enthusiasm are contagious. Each time we visit, he introduces us to something new and each one is just as delicious as the last. Although the Village Grind is popular down the road, this coffee is even better. Give it a try! See here for details.
Where is your favourite coffee haunt around Nelson Bay? Please leave a comment at the top of this article and share your local tips. You can find some of the best coffee, in the most unexpected places...
Support a local at Cartel Pizza Co! Image: Original photos from Cartel Pizza Co Facebook