Petals and Pinecones
The life mission of Petals and Pinecones is to have you leave just that little bit happier. And this one-of-a-kind café can’t miss. It’s a glorious blend of the healthy – think smoothie bowls – to the most pumped up, blinged out milkshakes you’ll ever see. The Atherton café has generously sized dishes that look like a work of art and use heaps of fresh fruit and vegetables. Tucked away behind the SuperCheap Auto carpark, it caters for everyone including vegans and has brilliant coffee to boot. Family owned, this uplifting, fun café experience will have you buzzing.
Nick’s Restaurant in Yungaburra is part Swiss diner, part alpine lodge and part community meeting place. It’s vibrant, welcoming and the food is delicious. In a world of nondescript restaurants, going to Nick’s is actually going somewhere. There are skis and a herb garden at the front door and in this big, busy restaurant diners are happy and often noisy. With a mix of Swiss and Italian cuisine there’s plenty of pasta, pizza, antipasto platters and Swiss treats such as rosti, bratwurst and Kaseschnitte, which is wine and cheese on toast. Honestly. Service is fun and friendly, and on an exceptional night there could be music and singing.
Tin Town Sweets
Lolly shops are heaven: jars and jars of sweet jewels covering the shelves as far as they eye can see. And they’re equally tempting when you’re all grown up. Think bullseyes, milk bottles, sherbet lemons, humbugs, acid drops, gumballs and other old-time delights. Tin Town Sweets in Herberton is a happy place of lollies, chocolate and liquorice by the scoop, with a café for good measure.
This café in the jungle has kangaroo, emu and crocodile on the menu and real water dragons running round the deck. There’s large murals of rainforest animals on the walls but sit outside this Kuranda institution and the flora and fauna are real. Frogs was established in 1980 by Terry Pates and he still runs it along with his wife Victoria. Customers love the single origin coffee and the barramundi caught just down the road. There’s also a good range of curries and homemade goodies such as macadamia, tomato and smoked chilli sauce. The laid-back vibe, free wi-fi and super service make locals and visitors love Frogs.
Described as Disneyland for coffee, Coffee Works in Mareeba is a café and museum where entry buys you all day tastings of incredible edibles including coffee, tea, chocolate and liqueur in unlimited quantities. It’s also a fabulous collection of tea and coffee artefacts and collectables – dating back as far as the 1700s. Consider it a treasure chest for the tastebuds. Chocolates are made on the premises and there’s also small batch roasting of a huge range of beans sourced globally. If you counted the varieties you’d get past 40. The Mareeba premises and other locations round Tropical North Queensland grew from a single stall at Rusty’s Markets in Cairns in 1988 and founders Annie and Rob Webber are acknowledged pioneers of Australia’s coffee culture.
Originally published 24th July 2018