Shop 41 Centre Arcade
3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd
Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
+61 402 189 437
Gold Coast: a city that’s better known for its meter maids, its beaches and its struggling AFL team than its coffee culture. You will no doubt find more good cafés in the Melbourne CBD alone than in the entire greater Gold Coast region – but fear not, Gold Coastitutes, for you guys are catching up. No longer will you have to contend with overly saccharine coffees[sic] dished up by the likes of Gloria Jeans and Starbucks and watery beverages advertised as ‘lattes’ at so-called ‘beach cafés’ in Runaway Bay. Yes, good coffee in Goldie DOES exist – and I’m excited about it!
To date, the best coffees I’ve had in Goldie have been at Black Coffee Lyrics, a cool café hidden in the cesspool that is Surfers Paradise. The place itself is difficult to find; armed with Google Maps, even I managed to get lost. However, once your iPhone’s green dot (you) meets red dot (there), head upstairs rather than walk around ground level like an idiot and you’ll see it: a hipster-grunge-chic café to your left – just look for the hipsters.
At first glance, BCL seems more Melbourne than Gold Coast. The whole retro-grunge feel seems more like Fitzroy than Surfers, what with mismatched furniture, random artworks created by local artists and hipster waiters. What makes this place different from a typical Melbourne café, however, is that the hipster waiters here don’t take themselves too seriously so there are no signs of wankery or pretentiousness in the air. Wonderful.
I’m not exactly sure where the café’s name comes from. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the owner was an Ella Fitzgerald fan who happened to type in ‘black coffee lyrics’ on Google search to find the words to the seventh and eighth line late one night … then suddenly, BAM! THAT SHALL BE THE NEW CAFÉ’S NAME! AWESOME! Whatever, it’s a cool name despite the fact that I’m not much of a black coffee drinker (lattes FTW, yo!).
I’ve been to BCL several times and I’ve never been disappointed. The first time I went, I enjoyed a post-lunch latte ($3.50) with Marty. I’m not sure what beans were used but I was told that ‘came from everywhere.’ My latte may not have been the sweetest brew I’ve had, but it what I would consider an amazingly bold brew. It was full of solid flavour until the very last drop whilst still managing to be beautifully creamy and smooth. No sweeteners required.
The last time I went, I decided to treat myself to a post-facial lunch and coffee late one Friday afternoon. I had heard good things about their pizza and tapas menu so I wouldn’t have minded a pizza. Unfortunately, I was told that they weren’t serving pizza and tapas until 6pm that day so I had to settle for the lunch menu which comprised of sandwiches and salads, with the odd pasta and soup dishes. The breakfast menu was also available at the time but having already had my fill of hearty breakfasts lately, I decided to go for a roast beef panini ($10).
Packed with slices of roast beef, pickles, mustard and Swiss cheese, it was the perfect lunch. The panini also had a bit of sauerkraut in it which I admit made me a little wary as I’m normally not a fan of that stuff (UNLESS I’m buying a bratwurst from Queen Vic Market). However, the sauerkraut they used here was surprisingly mild yet still piquant enough to stand out without being too overbearing. Loved it. For an extra $4, you also had the option of adding a side of fries or a salad to your meal. I decided to go healthy by grabbing a salad, which happened to be surprisingly better than the panini itself. Shreds of lettuce, rocket leaves, red onion, tomatoes and mango bits shared a bowl with feta cubes before being held together with a lovely, light dressing. The result was a delicious balance of salty and sweet, and arguably one of the better salads I’ve had in a long time.
Unfortunately, my latte that day was a little on the burnt side – but not overly so. It was still pleasant and certainly miles better than anything I could probably find in Surfers Paradise.
An amazing café serving great coffee and great food, far away from the tourist traps of Surfers Paradise, BCL is an ideal place to chill. Its relaxed and friendly atmosphere during the day makes it a great place for a long, leisurely catch-up while at night, I’m sure it would be a lively place for post-work or pre-clubbing snacks and drinks. BCL is steezy, warm, friendly and pure awesome; Ella would be proud.