As Australians, our obsession with coffee is well regarded around the globe. One of the leading destinations for specialty coffee, our cafe culture is well and truly thriving. Our penchant for espresso-based concoctions is an integral part of our heritage tapestry, and a modern-day ritual for many. And where better to find the refined perfection of a warm cappuccino than the local cafe?
Originating from the historical coffeehouse, today’s cafes are polished establishments offering limited food menus anchored in the service of coffee. Typically focused on catering for breakfast through to lunch, cafes offer a casual and relaxed approach to dining.
Drawing on flavours from the far corners of the world, Wagga’s cafes present a mixture of highly evolved dishes. From pancakes as you like it to breakfast tacos and Turkish eggs, there really is something for everyone. Add to this an assortment of pastries, cold-pressed juices and more, and the region’s cafes will tantalise your taste buds.
Whether you prefer a double macchiato, smooth flat white or dirty chai latte, you have come to the right place. We have curated a selection of the finest cafe establishments in the Riverina region. Read on below to find out more.
What makes a great cafe?
Great cafes nourish the body and mind. Their curated menu options offer the chance to indulge in conversation or simply watch the world go by. While a great cafe is many things, we believe the following are all important features:
- Curated menu. Great cafes are masters of simple yet delicious fare. With a perfectly poured coffee at the heart, their curated selection is the perfect way to start a day. Harnessing food trends, they present modern-day classics with a new-age twist, with something fulfilling for everyone. From hearty eggs to a green bowl or something sweet, the hardest thing will be deciding what to order!
- Atmosphere. Cafes are such a fantastic way to enjoy an early meal – and for good reason. Not only do they satisfy the palate, they also lift the mood. Housed within points of interest with tastefully designed interiors, the best cafes beckon you to stay. Be it interesting scenery, a welcoming vibe or some smooth tunes, they are the perfect spot to enjoy a meal or snack.
- Brilliant barista. Now, while it may seem trivial, the quality of a cafe’s coffee cannot be understated. The best cafes are home to brilliant baristas – coffee bean craftsmen, if you will. Always on point, they never skip a beat. Whether it’s a cold-drip specialty coffee or a regular almond cappuccino, they know exactly how you like it.
- Convenient. Great cafes are super convenient. Not only are they easy to get to, they are open when you need them most. Importantly, a good cafe should be able to accommodate its patrons. Even the busiest should be able to move diners along swiftly, ensuring room is made for those in line. Consider factors such as opening hours, accessibility, parking, and access to transport.
- Open to all. One of the greatest things about popping into a cafe is knowing that you will be comfortable. Families with young children, the elderly and those with a furry friend are all often welcome. The best cafes take this a step further by providing fun activities for kids and some treats for pets.
The best cafes in Wagga
Region Riverina has combed through online reviews and recommendations to compile a list of the most recommended businesses according to you.
To be listed in our Best of Wagga series, each business needs to have consistently received positive feedback on Region Riverina and Facebook as well as maintained a minimum average of 4/5 stars on Google.
Part library, part arthouse, and part café – The Curious Rabbit is well and truly in a league of its own. This bohemian gem offers plenty of interesting things to see and do. From hosted events and art classes, through to curling up with a book or two, it is the perfect venue to indulge in a coffee or two.
Boasting decadent Belgian hot chocolate, smooth coffee, and an extensive breakfast and lunch menu, The Curious Rabbit is sure to surprise and delight. From sweet treats and toasties through to salads and frittatas it is a wonderful place to dine.
As Michael “ML” stated on Google, “Cute and quirky little haven for caffeine and book lovers. The artistic impression was quite impressive, and the coffee was smooth to the taste buds.”
Taking pride of place at 67 Coleman Street is newcomer The Brew Wagga. This vibrant neighbourhood café has made a name for its warm and welcoming hospitality. More than just a coffee shop, their mantra is all about bringing people together over a warm cup of coffee and exceptionally good food.
Featuring an extensive all day brunch menu there is something tasty for every palette. From classic eggs as you like it, to zaatar salad, and a new take on bubble and squeak, each dish is well at home. Open Monday through to Saturday, The Brew Wagga is the perfect place for a nourishing start to the day.
Brian Sweet shared this feedback on Google, “First time visit, has to be the best coffee and food in wagga. Can't wait to spread the word this place is definitely worth a visit, thanks to all the staff.”
Tucked away on the Docker Street end of Morgan Street is local gem Carlo’s Wagga. The go-to establishment for an all-day breakfast, barista brewed coffee, and a menu inspired by the seasons it really is hard beat.
Offering dine in, take away, and catering services, they have a stellar reputation for quality. Breakfast through to lunch, Carlo’s offers their spin on dishes like eggs benedict, pulled pork burgers, and Belgian waffles. For a specialty coffee and a tasty morsel, Carlo’s Wagga is an excellent choice.
Elizabeth M had this to say on Google, “Easily the best cafe in Wagga - great value for money with the freshest produce! The atmosphere is welcoming…. and all elements were cooked to perfection…. Do yourself a favour and choose this cafe for your next outing - welcoming all groups, families, couples and individuals.”
Established in 1999, Trail Street Coffee Shop has attained cult status within the Riverina region. Proud supporters of Waggas own Full Circle Coffee, the have been pouring cup after cup of life’s favoured elixir ever since.
Equally as impressive is their menu, perfect for breakfast, brunch or lunch and available seven days. Featuring mainstays like the bacon and egg roll through to more creative editions like apple pie French toast, they are most certainly worth a visit.
As Josef Winkler said on Google, “Absolutely wonderful little coffee shop! The best customer service, the best value for money, and the most amazing dishes, also the coffee is one of the best in town! Pop in and try out their amazing menu!”
Respectfully name after the original owners of the site, Mr Lawrence, the brainchild of Jamie and Luke was born. Anchored in a deep passion for home grown café culture, Mr Lawrence is a place for comfort, connection – and of course coffee.
Their worldly menu selection draws inspiration from all corners of the globe, with a nod to Australian classics. From chilli burnt egg, nori battered cod, and vegemite on toast there is plenty to choose from. Add to this an assortment of warm and cold beverages, plus options just for kids Mr Lawrence is an excellent choice.
Jessica McInerney shared this sentiment on Google, “A lovely little spot off one of Wagga's main drags serving Toby's Estate coffee. Nice coffee, the hot chocolate review was positive from my toddler too.”
Your experience with cafes in Wagga
Thanks to our commenters who have provided insightful feedback. If you believe we have got it wrong, please let us know.
Have you had experience with any of the cafes listed above? If so, share your feedback in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly is a cafe?
A cafe is a casual daytime dining establishment that centres on coffee, delivering dishes for breakfast through to lunch.
What does a typical cafe menu include?
While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to menus, most cafes feature a curated selection of limited dishes that represent their take on breakfast, brunch and lunchtime fare. Add to this a warm and cold beverage selection to round out the meal.
Do I need to make a reservation at a cafe?
While many cafes operate on a walk-in basis, some do accept and even recommend reservations, particularly in busy periods such as weekends. If in doubt, check the venue's website for self-service bookings or call directly to find out more.
Are cafes child friendly?
Most cafes are indeed child friendly, with many even offering dedicated children’s menus.
Can I bring my pet to a cafe?
Some cafes with outdoor seating may welcome four-legged friends along for the experience, though general owner etiquette should always apply. For peace of mind, call ahead to find out how your local cafe could accommodate your pet.