Every town needs a beating heart where people gather, be it the town square, the piazza, marketplace or other venue at its geographical centre.
Madisons Café, situated right at a main entrance of the busy Oasis Shopping Centre, is a meeting place where ‘See you at Madisons’ slips as easily off the tongue as ‘Meet you at Tiffanys’.
Established in 1984 by Kate Madison (ex-Cafe Mocha, and later of Three Beans, Marmalade and Bumbles fame), Madisons at Broadbeach is one of the ‘grande dames’ of Gold Coast cafés.
Madisons has been owned for more than two decades by Lincoln Testa, one of Broadbeach’s undisputed identities, who we could fondly dub ‘The Mayor of the Oasis’.
The ‘hands on’ owner/operator of the café takes up his regal throne there overseeing the day’s action, welcoming and catching up with customers. From family to football and business to social small talk, there’s little that escapes his eye.
It’s part of the reason for Madisons’ success: not just its unmissable location or the great coffee and fabulous cakes (and with ex-Ten Japanese Head Pastry Chef Haruka Horiuchi overseeing the pastries they’re seriously delectable), but also the larger-than-life personality of an owner who realizes that ‘It’s all about the show’, about relationships and making customers feel wanted and connected.
What’s less well known are Madisons’ opening hours. If you ever have occasion for an early morning walk on the beach, you’ll find that Madisons is open from 5.30am, 7 days a week. There’s nothing like an early morning coffee and paper on a hot summer’s day!
There is a good choice of breakfasts available, generous open sandwiches, perfectly cooked seafood and salads for lunch with the same and more substantial meals available at dinner, such as pizzas, stir fry dishes and pastas. But for us, it’s all about Linc and the cake – the tantalising array of sweet choices and small talk that’s too irresistible to walk past!
Although inside the café itself hosts only a quarter of the seating, you can also choose to sit outside in the mall or inside along a walkway in the airconditioned shopping centre.
It’s a busy café: stand in a queue to order and pay and your food will be delivered to your table. Staff may not linger, but you’re welcome to…. Relax and smell the flowers. They’re always fresh. It’s that sort of place!
For tourists and locals alike, Madisons is the ultimate Broadbeach meeting spot. There’s no pressure for you to move on. You can dwell over your coffee and cake in the sun, read one of the newspapers supplied by the cafe and watch the Broadbeach parade of passersby. It’s ultimate catchup territory, and you can meet ‘the Mayor’!
See you at Madisons!
Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach Ph: 07 55 926 933
Open: 5.30am – late daily
NOTE: On one occasion Good Food Gold Coast dined as a guest of Madison’s.