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    Locals guide to the best coffee in the Cairns CBD


    From short macs and piccolos to cold brews and cappuccinos, this is Tropic Now's guide to the best coffee spots in the heart of Cairns.



    Some people in Cairns like it steaming hot. Others prefer it when their cup runneth over with milky foam.

    Most still go for tried, tested and traditional favourites, while an increasing number of connoisseurs lean towards smaller, more cosmopolitan variations.

    Whatever your choice of coffee might be, the Cairns CBD has you covered.

    Such is the prevalence and quality of cafes in the five or so blocks in the centre of Cairns, some are even calling our city the little Melbourne of the north.

    Our panel of local experts - or coffee addicts as the case may be - did the hard yards and sampled the very best coffee the city has to offer.

    Here’s our list of the best, in no particular order. 


    Cruze Coffee

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.55 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: 105 Grafton St

    FAVOURED BY: Rusty’s Markets shoppers, office and retail shop workers, backpackers, locals in the know

    GO THERE FOR: The big, warm personality of owner Gilberto Risa - or Gil for short - and his vibrant staff. High quality and range of coffee beans (over 30 different beans) on offer. Grab a take home bag of ground coffee or beans while you’re there.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    "Best coffee shop I have ever been to. Happy friendly staff, free hot chocolates for the kids but all in all I love the variety of coffees. Staff more than happy to mix and match for something different." - Leanne Hallam on Facebook

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 8.3/10

    FACEBOOK: 4.9/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 5/5

    More: Cruze Coffee


    Caffiend

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.4 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: Shop 5, 7-74 Grafton St

    FAVOURED BY: Creative types, foodies, backpackers, laneway explorers

    GO THERE FOR: The amazing and ever-changing aerosol art on the laneway wall, delicious breakfasts and lunches, cold-drip coffee and owner Oliver James' intricate knowledge of all things caffeine.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    “Caffiend is my favourite coffee shop in Cairns! Amazing coco syrup which tastes great in a latte or a cappuccino, super friendly staff and great atmosphere.” Milly Stevens on Facebook.

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 8.4/10

    FACEBOOK: 4.7/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 4.5/5

    More: www.facebook.com/CaffiendinCairns/


    Envy Espresso

    AVERAGE SCORE: 5 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: 111-115 Grafton st, Cairns.

    FAVOURED BY:  Still new in town, Envy's clientele so far ranges from Melbournians on holidays to market shoppers.

    GO THERE FOR:  Super friendly husband and wife owners, a chilled vibe, decor with lots of light and greenery and coffee as good as the best you'll find in Melbourne. Their chai and cakes are also raved about.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    “The owners are so friendly and the coffee is some of the best in Cairns, okay...it’s number one. It’s officially my go to coffee place!”- Anna Marie Munoz on Facebook.

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: No reviews

    FACEBOOK: 5/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 5/5

    More: Envy Espresso


    Silk Caffe

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.25 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: Cnr Spence and Sheridan Sts

    FAVOURED BY: Lawyers, police, public servants and court staff, as well as delegates attending conferences at Cairns Convention Centre

    GO THERE FOR: Tasty and well-priced lunch snacks (especially the salads), friendly staff, and for the sweet (and brave) tooth...Nutella Ice Coffee made with a double ristretto, milk and Nutella and bottled daily instore.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE: 

    “Hadn’t been to Silk for over a month and the barista remembered my order soon as he saw me! Always so consistent, never too hot,definitely the perfect 'cuppa'. So much love for silk!” - Carla de Vecchi via Facebook

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 7.7/10

    FACEBOOK: 4.8/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 4.5/5

    More: Silk Caffe


    The Chamber Room

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.825 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: Suite 43-47, Village Lane, 20 Lake St

    FAVOURED BY: Office workers, serious coffee drinkers, cold drip filter aficionados

    GO THERE FOR: A hardcore coffee experience of the best possible kind.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE: 

    “The friendly team at The Chamber Rooms are taking Cairns culture up a notch. Relaxed and cool ambience. Professional and genuine service. Delicious snacks. Then the coffee. If it's a quick takeaway latte or a sit down experience you will be equally satisfied.”- Char Lee Bucket via Facebook

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 9.4/10

    FACEBOOK: 4.9/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 5/5

    More: The Chamber Room Espresso and Brew bar


    Bang & Grind

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.325 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: 8/14 Spence St

    FAVOURED BY: CBD office and retail workers, tourists on their way to the Esplanade, business people in meetings, Johnathan Thurston

    GO THERE FOR: Friendly staff. Anti-snobbery coffee service. The chance to spot a footy legend. Informal business meetings. The Fizzy Back Slap - a kind of carbonated cold coffee with plenty of kick. 

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    “Coffee is creamy and delicious, such a delicious flavour. Definitely worth going just for the coffee. Food is awesome food, best Turkish bread/toast, EVER. Service is just as good. Fave cafe, hands down.” - SalaA313 on Beanhunter.

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 8/10

    FACEBOOK: 4.8/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 4.5/5

    More: Bang & Grind


    Blackbird Espresso

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.675 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION:  Oceana Walk Arcade, 13/62 Grafton St & 205 Newell St, Bungalow.

    FAVOURED BY: Coffee lovers, visitors from Melbourne and Sydney, Cairns Taipans players

    GO THERE FOR: Supreme coffee knowledge and expertise. Arcade ambience. Healthy snacks and treats. We love the "Magic" - a sort of 3/4 flat white. Plus they do barista courses and wholesale.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    “Best coffee in Cairns by a long way! These guys know their craft. Weighing the coffee so it's consistent, ensuring the timing is perfect and not burning the coffee like many cafes. The staff are a delight, and service is prompt despite the time and care put into every cup.” Bronnie16 on Beanhunter.

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 9.2/10

    FACEBOOK: 5/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 4.5/5

    More: Blackbird Warehouse


    Shop 3 Coffee & Tea

    AVERAGE SCORE: 4.65 OUT OF 5

    LOCATION: Cairns Square, 42 Abbott St

    FAVOURED BY: Locals in the know, tourists venturing off the Esplanade

    GO THERE FOR: The blends made from Golden Bean Award winners The Coffee Roaster Brisbane. Art exhibitions on the walls. Lunch salads. Excellent cold drip coffee.

    NOTABLE QUOTABLE:

    “It was the best coffee we have ever tasted. Very much a haunt of the locals more so than the tourists out on the main street but once we found it we made sure to partake of it's hospitality and, course, it's great coffee and very friendly service.” Lauris J on Tripadvisor

    SCORES

    BEANHUNTER: 8.6/10

    FACEBOOK: 5/5

    TRIP ADVISOR: 5/5

    More: Shop 3 Coffee and Tea


    Other hot spots for coffee in and near the Cairns CBD

    There are a range of other coffee providers in and around the Cairns CBD who don't quite fit into their own category, but they're all worth checking out.

    Rusty's Markets:

    Features some of the city's best coffee from Friday to Sunday, including Billy's Coffee (also on Sheridan Street), Barista Sista, Coffee Works and iced Vietnamese coffee specialist Annee's Caphe. While not technically part of Rusty's, you can get a tasty cup from Refuge Barber and Apparel, which is on Grafton St right next to the entrance to Rusty's.

    Close to the CBD:

    Some of the city's best coffee is found just beyond the boundaries of the CBD.

    Best picks include White Whale at Portsmith, Tattooed Sailor at Bungalow, Ten One Twenty at Edge Hill, Smith St Cafe just off Sheridan St at Cairns North, Mama Coco's on Aumuller St (awesome dinners here too), Frame on McLeod St, MiPiace on Sheridan St, Ransom Coffee Roasters at Manunda, Ozmosis at Edge Hill, Sipping Duck at Stratford and Servant Espresso at Bentley Park.


    Did we miss something?

    The cafe scene is always changing. So if there's a new addition to the CBD coffee lineup, please let us know by clicking here.