The Gold Coast's top 10 dog-friendly cafes

By Emily Foster on Sep 26 2016


If you've been looking for a great cafe to grab breakfast with your furry friend after the morning walk then here are the 10 most popular as voted by readers of the coasts most popular publication, the Gold Coast Bulletin!

10 Elephant Rock Cafe, CURRUMBIN

Overlooking Currumbin beach, Elephant Rock Cafe is the perfect place to take in the ocean view after exercising your dog. Enjoy breakfast or lunch from the outdoor deck, paired with a perfect coffee, freshly squeezed juice or just-blended smoothie.

9 Crema, HARBOUR TOWN

The outdoor ambience of Harbour Town shopping centre makes Crema Espresso ideal to take your pup for a trip to the shops. Relax while it takes in the sights of the stores.

8 Cafe Nineteen, SANCTUARY COVE

A haven at Sanctuary Cove for those who appreciate coffee, quality ingredients, a welcoming smile — and an always open doggie door. With fresh seasonal menus and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, Cafe Nineteen prides itself on its flavour combinations.

7 Paleo Cafe, BURLEIGH HEADS

Everything here is gluten free and available for dine-in or takeaway. Operating as a cafe and health food store, a breezy alfresco area is perfect for pups.

6 Hidden Perk, BURLEIGH HEADS

This cafe made for locals may be a secret to those outside the Koala Park surrounds, but it’s famous among its four-legged fans. The sunny courtyard is the perfect place for hounds to hang, while owners can get their fill of fresh juice, hot coffee, healthy acai bowls, and big burgers.

5 Alfred’s, MERMAID BEACH

Every Tom, Dick and Harry knows Alfred’s Diner is one of the best places to snag a gourmet hot dog — but it’s also one of the best places to bring your dog to chill out. Let Rover enjoy the spread of rich, faux grass while you dig in to one of Alfred's gourmet delights or simply sip a coffee in the sun.

4 Burleigh Social, NORTH BURLEIGH

Burleigh Social owner Jarrod Barnett says the relaxation of restaurant rules regarding animals means every dog can have its day. We didn't even think about being dog-friendly at first,” Jarrod says. But when we were building, one of our mates was always here with his dog. We loved having him hang out so we thought ‘why not have all of the dogs?’. Now we literally get every man and his dog. We have great danes, pugs, labradors, it’s great.”

3 Le Vintage Boutique Cafe, WORONGARY

Pooches can make themselves right at home in this quirky cafe-boutique hybrid. Locals wander in for a takeaway toastie or cluster for coffee on comfy lounges. Vintage finds, candles and other knick-knacks are crowded inside, where diners can order or select from a cabinet of ready-to-go fare.

2 All-Time Coffee, MERMAID BEACH

This Gold Coast Highway cafe is a big fan of animals. As well as welcoming dogs among its customers, it also offers plenty of vegan-friendly menu options. Focusing on old-school toasties and jaffles alongside its Bellissimo coffee, the cafe is becoming famous for its vegan doughnuts. Favourite pastry treats include the Notella, a vegan alternative to Nutella-infused doughnuts. Get in early as the doughnuts often sell out before noon.

1 Parc-Bah Espresso, SOUTHPORT

Catering to canines has always been on the menu at Parc-Bah Espresso.

The Southport cafe is opposite a popular dog park, meaning owners and four-legged friends alike are looking for a drink and a treat in the neighbourhood.

Parc-Bah owner Todd Cawe says the eatery offers a menu designed especially for dogs, featuring mini-meals, frozen treats and snacks-to-go … just BYO doggie bag.

“There’s been a dog groomer in this area forever and the park opposite us is like dog central,” Todd says. “All the obedience schools come here, the agility schools … plus all the locals and their dogs. A lot of our customers come here twice a day — once in the morning for themselves, and once in the afternoon when they come out to run their dogs.”

Todd says it’s not just a matter of allowing dogs on the premises but genuinely catering for them.

As well as treats and snacks, there are anchor plates to tie leads to, plenty of water dishes and lots of human attention and understanding.

“It’s all about knowing your market,” Todd says. “Given the ratio here is about one person to 100 dogs, we knew we needed to make them welcome.

“Not only are the dogs so well behaved but there is never a mess left behind. The owners are so appreciative of a place they can bring their buddy and enjoy a coffee and a chat that they go above and beyond in doing the right thing.”

Todd says as a token of appreciation, he plans to open the cafe on future Friday and Saturday nights to give the locals somewhere new to dine.

He is applying for a liquor licence but in the meantime it will be BYO.

“This is really for the locals to start with,” he says.

“We wanted to extend our menu beyond our normal breakfast and lunch cafe fare to more night-time share plates and tapas.

“We’ve been open 22 weeks now and it feels like it’s time to push our boundaries. We’re lucky to be in such a fantastic, welcoming neighbourhood.”

Todd says top-selling dishes for dogs include peanut butter and yoghurt treats frozen in a paw print shape, while human customers also love their sweet treats.

“We make everything on-site. We do a carrot and walnut cake and a double-chocolate salted caramel brownie and they just walk out the door.

“We also a have a cold cabinet where you can grab all sorts of goodies.

‘‘We aim to be a great place for customers to come for any reason — and the fact that they can bring their dogs is just a bonus.”

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