I write about health, travel, parenting (and other topics that take my fancy) for newspapers, magazines, and corporate clients. I'd love your comments on my articles, or to talk with you further at wellnessinwords.com.au or on Twitter
Published February 3rd 2016
What's the Best Waterfront Cafe on Kings Beach - Crusoes or Coffee Cat?
No charge for the sea breeze and ocean sounds at these Sunshine Coast cafes
There are few places at the Sunshine Coast where you can step out of the water and straight into a cafe. No crossing a noisy road, burning your feet on a hot car park, or trying to look like you haven't just stepped out of the ocean.
With these platinum positions, you'd be wise to wonder whether they skimp on the quality of their food or service, as some "tourist traps" do.
To reduce the risk of a burnt coffee or ho-hum brekky, which one should you choose?
First we tried Coffee Cat Kings, seeking an indulgent breakfast. My corn and zucchini fritters were a bit doughy, but served with a perfectly poached egg. My partner enjoyed his eggs Benedict including the unusual coconut-based hollandaise sauce.
Eggs Benny, with a coconut-based sauce, at Coffee Cat
At Crusoes the next day we were lured in by the $10 Coffee and Cake special (add $1 for coffee in a mug, making it more of a "$10 Unless We Charge For Extras" special). We had the most beautiful fudgey chocolate cake, and hummingbird cake.
If you need gluten free, dairy free, or vegetarian options, you're sorted at both cafes. Coffee Cat Kings also has a reasonably-priced kids menu, and seems more child-friendly overall.
Fortunately, neither cafe has given into the temptation of charging beach-goers extortionate prices just because they can.
The service While we have no complaints about the service at Coffee Cat, on the days we visited the Crusoes staff were particularly delightful. Not just going through the motions of "Customer Service 101" but genuinely warm, accommodating and efficient.
There's also a different tone set by the littlest of details - plastic cups and tepid water at Coffee Cat, compared to quality glasses and chilled water at Crusoes.
In terms of the physical environment, you'd be privileged to dine or drink at either cafe. There's nothing more relaxing than the natural soundtrack of the King's Beach surf and sea breeze.
There are subtle differences in the decor and patrons. I'd say Coffee Cat is for visiting hipsters and local surfies, and Crusoes is for the Caloundra retirees and grey nomads.
But my best advice would be to make sure you hang around long enough to test both out.
You won't even have to put your thongs back on your sandy feet to do it.
Coffee Cat is "cooler" but the service and food is definitely better at Crusoes. On our last Coffee Cat visit we were served some seriously over-ripe to tomatoes. On mentioning it to the waitress she said "Ok, thanks".