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Palm Cove Coffee & Breakfast Guide

Palm Cove is tiny, all of the action is happening along the esplanade. And it is a stunning esplanade with a spectacular mix of melaleucas and palm trees. Cafes, restaurants and resorts are sprinkled amongst it all. We make a habit of visiting Palm Cove every time we go down to Cairns. It’s a great spot to break up the trip, just on the other side of the coastal road from Port at only 35 minutes from Port Douglas and 20/25 mins from Cairns. There are a lot of places serving coffee, but only a handful of worthy options (the the best of Far North Queensland coffee is limited to a few places in Cairns), hence the Palm Cove Coffee & Breakfast Guide.

One of our favourite things to do when we pick friends and family up from the Cairns airport is to take them by Palm Cove for a coffee or late breakfast on the way back up to Port Douglas. Nothing quite says you’ve arrived in Far North Queensland like taking in the view of the Coral Sea through the palm trees.

As with Port Douglas there’s a lot of cafes coming and going and in the beginning we tried them all. There are quite a few but not a lot of great ones, I’ve done my best to whittle them down to a few favourites for both coffee, breakfast and ambience/views.

Palm Cove Coffee & Breakfast Guide

Chill Cafe

Awesome view, the best coffee in Palm Cove in our opinion, nutty flavour & stretched well but the temperature can vary, as does the food. But it’s still a worthy contender for the number one spot in the Palm Cove Coffee & Breakfast Guide. The menu is creative although you might get several different versions of banana bread in the space of a week… but the good version is real good. Can get busy and the seating is limited apart from the many bar stools around the outside, just a wicked spot to watch the town and Coral Sea go by.

  • Coffee 75% 75%
  • Food 70% 70%
  • View 98% 98%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 65% 65%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 60% 60%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 50% 50%

Portofinos Bar & Restaurant

We’d never noticed this place being open for breakfast until recently and having said that we rocked up this morning and it was closed. It’s next door to one of our favs – Chill Cafe, so it is a bit hard to turn down a “Chill Experience” but the coffee is good – breakfast to be advised. They’ve had a facelift and the day beds do like very inviting.

  • Coffee 60% 60%
  • Food n/a% n/a%
  • View 98% 98%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 75% 75%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 60% 60%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 50% 50%

Nunu Restaurant

Sometimes you just have to grin and bear a bad coffee… the last time we went, which admittedly is in the years this was the case with Nunu’s. This is probably the best spot in the country to enjoy a drink and a meal. Even a bad one will leave you paying the bill with a smile. I’m being a tad harsh, the coffee was burnt but there’s a different chef there now and is receiving rave reviews, so it’s our next stop for breaky reboot… and did I mention the view… bugger me!

  • Coffee 50% 50%
  • Food 90% 90%
  • View 100% 100%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 75% 75%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 90% 90%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 50% 50%

Jack & Shanan’s

We recently had a spectacular breakfast at Jack & Shanan’s which we popped ina dedicated post here Cafe Review – Jack & Shanan’s Palm Cove Australia. Since we first visited a number of years ago they have expanded the menu and I have to say the ones we sample were fantastic. They’ve also expanded their real estate so the chances of getting a table with a view are much greater. The coffee was better than average also. Ultimately, good food, plenty of seating in a lovely spot.

  • Coffee 80% 80%
  • Food 95% 95%
  • View 90% 90%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 90% 90%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 60% 60%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 70% 70%

Vivo Cafe/Restaurant

A classic building – ‘very Key West’ . Just a great spot, super chilled. Probably the most reliable for quality and consistency of all the cafes listed in the Palm Cove Coffee & Breakfast Guide. We’ve been going to Vivo for over 10 years and it rarely disappoints. Great for larger parties as there are plenty of seating options. Solid coffee – consistent but nothing special – and good food, the buttermilk pancakes are a bit special and the eggs benny never disappoints. Few places say “you have arrived in the tropics” like Vivo.

  • Coffee 75% 75%
  • Food 75% 75%
  • View 90% 90%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 90% 90%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 70% 70%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 60% 60%

27 Degrees

We’ve only just discovered these guys as they’ve recently set up shop. The coffee was ok, unusual set up, very casual and very retro little place tucked away down a path with some cool seating options that spread back to the esplanade. A little further up the strip than the concentration of our favs (along with Espresso & Co), being under those magnificent melaleuca trees with the ocean view is a pretty decent double. Will try the food soon and get back

  • Coffee 65% 65%
  • Food n/a% n/a%
  • View 70% 70%
  • Seating - Comfort & Availability 60% 60%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 80% 80%
  • $ - Value & Relative to Competitors 70% 70%

Espresso & Co

This is an interesting little spot, it’s one of the few that are worth noting up the north end of the strip. We haven’t tried the food but have heard good things, the coffee is ok although it’s not really of the calibre that its name suggests. It’s a bit cramped for our liking but thought it worth a mention.

  • Coffee 55% 55%
  • Food n/a% n/a%
  • View 70% 70%
  • Seating – Comfort & Availability 30% 30%
  • Chance of having a peaceful coffee/breakfast 30% 30%
  • $ – Value & Relative to Competitors 80% 80%

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