Local cafés are the gems of the dining scene. They are places where staff know you by name and make your coffee the way you like it, places where you can regularly catch up for a chat over coffee or a light meal, or pick up a weekend treat.
Neighbourhood Coffee in Station Street could not be more aptly named. Owner Cleo Watterson, who owns the café, has a solid background in hospitality, including at Dune Café. Being known in the area was an asset to her new venture, especially because Neighbourhood’s location is tucked away in plain sight, just off the main drag.
The tiny shop, opened mid-2016, sits alongside Kukuzkidz children’s clothing shop which, in an unusual twist, also sells dumplings and coffee!
There’s a shady pavement area out front, and a shared back deck and grassed area, making it a great, family-friendly place to dine with children.
“I just wanted to create a space where locals could pop in, meet friends and feel comfortable,” Cleo tells us.
We settle in with a Supreme Coffee Roasters’ chocolatey ‘Beach’ brew, surveying the menu, and it’s soon clear why Neighbourhood has gathered a following.
Open from 5.30am to cater for tradies and beach-walkers, as we sit, there’s a steady stream of coffees to go and meals to eat in, plates of fresh, luscious food exiting the kitchen, accompanied by friendly banter and laughter.
The one-page food menu carries lots of options, from a pretty bircher muesli bowl to a big brekkie on the ‘All-Day breakfast’ menu, with burgers supplementing brunch at lunchtime. The specials board keeps local interest alight, as does cabinet food, with two different salads made daily, accompanying wraps, cakes, gluten-free protein balls and muffins on display.
Cleo tells us that the Hash Stack and Smoked Salmon Hoodie are very popular, and we note lots of dishes we’d like to try. Prices are moderate; a medium-sized coffee is $3.80.
Healthy is the game of the day. I’ve ordered the light and airy minted green pea and zucchini fritters, stacked with grilled haloumi, poached egg and beetroot tahini (18.50), along with an iced long black, my drink of the moment.
The ‘Green Brunch Plate’ is brain food; a bowl of goodness with grilled asparagus, avocado and quinoa salad served with a pesto and toasted almond-topped poached egg (18).
115 years ago, a railway station sat opposite the café’s present site, adding Currumbin Valley to the Nerang to Tweed line.
Now, Neighbourhood Espresso acknowledges its locals, in their own neighbourhood hangout between the valley and the beach.
‘Welcome to the Neighbourhood’ proclaims the deco on one wall and, aided by Cleo’s smile, we feel as though we’re right at home.
4/9 Station Street, Currumbin Waters, Ph: 5534 3273 or 0420 538 599
Open: Mon – Sun 5:30am to 2:00 pm/1.30pm weekends
NOTE: Good Food Gold Coast dine as a guest of Neighbourhood Espresso.