Young and old, two legged and four, you’ll find the dawn lovers and ocean gazers gathering at the Classic Coffee Kombi van from 6am every morning (Sundays during Summer).  Parked for the past six years opposite the iconic Surfrider apartments on South Av headland, David does a simple trade in excellent coffee and breakfast wraps served with the most breath-taking view on the beaches.  Check out Classic Coffee on Instagram for awe-inspiring photos of the sun rising over the Pacific Ocean.

Established for over twenty years, Swell café is an Avalon institution.  Owned for the past 11 years by fourth generation hotelier and friendly Scotsman Barry Blythe, Swell is part of the fabric of this laid-back community.  “I think the formula is simple; greet your customers with a smile, serve great coffee and food that the locals love, and they’ll keep coming back for more”.  Menu standouts are the kaffir lime chicken baguette with mint and peanuts (it’s never left the menu) and the house-made sweetcorn fritters.  Relax amongst the loyal customers and step over the diverse dog breeds – some of whom break out of their yards and return to Swell after their owners have left for work. 

With the recent expansion into the premises next door, Beco@Chelsea has opened the ultimate outdoor Summer Lounge.  Formerly the Chelsea Tea House, we love that the Beco team pays homage to the name and continues a legacy of great coffee and happy vibes.  Beco means “a hidden place” in Portuguese and the group also owns cafes in Newport and Mona Vale.  Transport your mind to a beautiful terrace somewhere in Europe…

Just around the corner The Sneaky Grind is the perfect pick-me-up, to and from childcare or school drop off.  While it may suit you to grab a coffee on the hop, James and his team encourage you to linger.  Enjoy the infectious energy of the laneway as kids, dogs and patrons gather, or tuck yourself away in the back room where large tables and chess sets encourage a slower pace.  You can also shop for cult brands such as TCCS in the Surf Collective corner.

Across the intersection in Paterson laneway, the Hungry Ghost is busy grilling legendary jaffles and serving excellent coffee in beautifully tactile, hand-crafted cups.  Little more than a hole in the wall, this café is all about connections between people.  Pull up a milk crate, sit on the curb, lean on a wall - it’s a relaxed community meeting point that’s all about the ritual of simple pleasures.  In Buddhism, Hungry ghosts are characterized by insatiable hunger and craving; satisfy yours here especially if you’re a fan of home-made carrot cake. 

If you’re hankering for a phenomenal brekky roll, Avalon Organics has the goods.  The inclusion of a house-made hashbrown amongst the egg, bacon, rocket, cheese, relish and aioli is genius.  The café is an extension of the store which supplies Avalon village with organic fruit, veggies, specialist produce (paleo, vegan etc) and various wellness and sustainable products.  Tables and chairs line Avalon parade so you can get amongst the passing promenade of locals and tourists. 

Health is also the key focus at Nourished.  The corner location caters to all; opt for the express coffee van out back (grab an Anzac cookie to see you through ‘til lunch) or the full-service café out front.  The wholefoods-based menu is impressive with dishes that were designed by The Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter, the former owner.  Plenty of plant-based goodness accompanies the dishes and the juices/smoothies are super popular. 

For those of us who hate grocery shopping, the adjacent Chill Bar provides a welcome respite.  Serving the best from Italy as an espresso and gelato bar (and they do both equally well), it’s a popular spot come 3.30pm on a Friday, especially as the days grow warmer.  That’s not to say it isn’t busy at other times of the day; the large tables invite bigger groups for great chats and multiple coffees. 

by Fleur Robinson