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The Botanical Café, Mt Coot-tha

Home > Brisbane > Cafes | Walks | Free | Family | Parks | Animals and Wildlife | Coffee | Fun for Children | Gardens | Nature | Vegetarian
by Sigrid Parker (subscribe)
Travel writer, with teenage kids, who treats Brisbane as a holiday destination...every weekend!
Published March 28th 2012
The Botanical is a perfectly placed cafe pit-stop in the midst of the leafy jungle of the Mt Coot-tha botanic gardens, a tranquil watering hole just 6 km from Brisbane's city centre.
Botanical cafe
Enjoy the gardens from the cafe
Botanical cafe food
Spicy potato wedges, salad and a toasted wrap

It is more than just another local café. It is the setting that keeps drawing me back. There is heaps of space to lounge amidst nature on the massive deck (hard chair or sofa?) and literally sit back and take time to smell the roses.

It is also kid-considerate (there is a TV to keep little friends entertained while adults chat), has lazy late breakfasts on the weekend, live music (Sundays from 2pm) and serves more than just ice cream and cakes.
But I like it best for being the perfect combination of Coffee plus Activity, the chance to burn some calories before rewarding myself with a cappuccino.

There are 52 hectares of meandering manicured botanic gardens to explore. You can sprint around the different climatic zones, enjoy a guided tour (free), see the stars at Brisbane's Cosmic Skydome, or potter around with the kids and grandparents, and then indulge in a little coffee 'n' cake. It is totally stroller and wheelchair friendly and entry to the gardens is free.

For me, the newly-expanded deck is the best bit. It hangs out the back, wide and deep with views over one of several lagoons. You can almost touch nature. And if your arms are not quite that long you will almost certainly be greeted by one of the residents: Water dragons, those large long tailed, prickly lizards, completely harmless but barbaric in appearance. It will bring out squeals of delight - or horror - in everyone. Not as cute and cuddly as the koala but an amazing relic from prehistoric times.
Botanical cafe wildlife
Not as cute as a koala: local wildlife adds to the atmosphere

What to feast on?
The Botanical is open daily 9-5. Breakfast consists of sour dough toast, bacon, eggs in all shapes and sizes and pancakes. There are coffees, ice creams and gourmet cakes for morning tea. For lunch it is a choice between the a la carte menu or old favourites such as tapas, salads and burgers. Plus a kids' menu, of course.

On weekends, there is an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet between 8 and 11.30am and beer and prawns to accompany the jazz on Sunday arvos. Options for vegetarians are limited and there are some gluten free meals.

So, having filled a hungry belly it is back to the gardens to walk off lunch. Did you remember to pack some stale bread from home? The moorhens would love a feed too.
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Why? Earn your coffee by doing something active. Or just enjoy someone else’s garden and cooking
When: Open every day 9-5pm
Where: 152 Mt Coot-tha Road, Mt Coot-tha, Brisbane
Cost: Gardens are free. Coffees from $3.90, pots of real tea $4.90
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