As per our usual mortal norms, we tend to gravitate towards places to visit that either have stunning water views or mountain views. There's nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy a coffee and a bite to eat while taking in Mother Nature's most panoramic offerings, but, whilst we like to visit the well-trodden paths of suburbia, we tend to miss out on the little hidden treasures that are more often than not, off the usual beaten tracks. With this in mind, I have chosen five of my favourites, that might be slightly under-the-radar for most readers, but are nevertheless true gems and well worth a visit.
From little things big things grow - a mantra I truly hope comes to fruition for Backstreet Cafe. This little treasure is away from crowded shopping centres and literally in a 'back street' of suburbia, which is my idea of heaven - no people en masse to deal with.
Backstreet Cafe are open seven days a week from 6.30am for yummy breakfasts, lunches and of course, the all-important coffee - in this instance Kai Coffee. They have also just introduced 'Twelve Buck Tuesday' with everything on this Tuesday's menu for $12 - the only catch, you have to mention seeing the post on Facebook. To assist readers/diners please click here.
Stuck for dinner plans on a Friday night? Backstreet Cafe open every second Friday night from 5.00pm, for a unique inexpensive dining experience, with the next date being 23 June. These dinners are BYO and visitors would need to check directly with Backstreet Cafe to ascertain specific dates - nothing worse than turning up and the cafe is closed. Keeping tabs on their Facebook page here is probably the easy option.
Sample Friday night dinner menu - Image: Backstreet Cafe FB page
Okay, you've got me! This is not your usual fixed-abode, under-the-radar coffee outlet, but the mobile Espresso XO Coffee Caterers have many abodes, covering Caloundra to Noosa. And yep, theoretically, if you're not at one of the functions that Espresso XO cater to, they could quite conceivably slip under your radar.
Espresso XO are an independent mobile family business, who very charmingly wear their hearts on their sleeves. By supporting the local businesses of Kai Coffee and Maleny Dairies, Espresso XO are ensuring that your daily coffee fix has a local as well as a global knock-on effect.
PJ from Espresso XO loves nothing more than to be of assistance at your social event, whether it's a uni function, a corporate event, a wedding or even your birthday party. And, besides, wait until you see their very quaint coffee transporter - an Italian Piaggio Ape - it will be love at first sight!
Sporting an extensive menu, from short blacks to salted caramel fudge steamed in milk, make your next coffee count with Espresso XO Coffee Caterers, a business that encompasses all things 'community'.
3. Hamptons Espresso Buderim
Shop 2, 9 Goshawk Boulevard Buderim, QLD
Open - Weekdays 6.00am to 5.00pm and Weekends 6.00am to 2.00pm
Buderim's newest espresso bar - Image: Elaine de Wet
Hamptons Espresso Buderim is Buderim's newest espresso bar and cafe, tucked away in a little boutique shopping centre in leafy suburbia on the border of Buderim and Sippy Downs. This new kid on the block offers visitors the opportunity of indoor and outdoor seating, with bright, sunny and cheery Hamptons chic decor.
Hamptons Espresso feature a diverse selection of house-made cakes and sandwiches using locally-sourced produce; yummy light breakfasts and lunch and exotically named smoothies, coffees and teas. How about trying a 'turmeric latte', a coffee using Hamptons own blend of turmeric, coconut oil, spice, black pepper and steamed almond milk; or a Japanese Sencha Green Tea! There's something to suit every discerning palate.
We found the staff exceptionally friendly, the service was super-fast and our orders had a floral creative touch. It might be worth getting yourself a loyalty card at Hamptons Espresso - with coffee so yum and every tenth coffee free, you wouldn't want to miss out on your 'just' rewards!
This is a great location to meet with friends or sit back to read a book and enjoy the ambience that this cheerful 'new kid on the block' has to offer. Plenty of on-site parking is also available.
4. Macan Cafe
Shop 3/6 Norval Court Maroochydore
0424 488 122
Open - Mondays to Fridays 6.00am to 3.00pm and Saturdays 7.00am to 2.00pm
Macan Cafe help children world-wide through Compassion Australia - Image: Elaine de Wet
Off the well-known streets of suburbia in Maroochydore, you will find Macan Cafe. Macan Cafe has inspirational visions - to help children world-wide by sponsorships through Compassion Australia, as well as raising awareness to save the Sumatran Tiger.
To achieve these wonderful goals, Macan Cafe utilise the speciality Kai coffee, who also sponsor children through Compassion Australia in countries like Africa, Asia and South America. With every five kilograms of Kai coffee sold a child is able to be sponsored with World Vision.
Macan's range of sweet and tasty treats - Image: Macan Cafe FB page
Macan Cafe has only been operating for a few short months and offers visitors free Wi-Fi and a very comfy lounge area with a stunning fireplace to enjoy on those chilly cold days. At present, Macan Cafe doesn't have a menu but prefer to offer a range of sweet and savoury tasty treats to enjoy with your coffee. Get yourself a loyalty card because every eighth coffee is free.
A fireplace to warm the cockles of your heart - Image: Elaine de Wet
With Macan Cafe's philosophy of 'leaving memorable footprints' for our children to inherit, it makes it all the more satisfying for us to have our coffee fix of the day, knowing that there are beneficial advantages to having a latte.
5. The Art of Bean
2/7 Norval Court Maroochydore, Queensland, QLD
0422 675 471
Monday to Friday 6:30am – 3.00pm and Saturday 7.00am – 12.00noon
A creative space, a coffee lounge and a noshery - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Art of Bean is one of those hidden little treasures tucked away in a suburban street away from the hum-drum of tourists and holidaymakers. 'A creative space, a coffee lounge and a noshery' is the most apt description of this very funky creative hub. The Art of Bean provides a comfy 'out-of-home-office' experience with free Wi-Fi, a workbench and even charging stations for those looking for the perfect spot to get those creative juices flowing.
Enjoy a made-to-order breakfast until 10.30 in the morning or choose something from The Art of Bean's all day menu, which offers wraps, rolls, winter bakes, and salads, ensuring that vegans, vegetarians, carnivores and gluten-free are all catered to.
You will love the relaxed, laid-back creative space at The Art of Bean, another gem definitely worthy of a bookmarked visit.
We really are fortunate to have such a diverse selection of top coffee shops on the Sunshine Coast and what better way of paying it forward than by 'having a coffee, with benefits', and ensuring that these little hidden treasures off the main tracks of suburbia, are around for many years to come.