The pristine waters of Australia’s largest saltwater lake are surrounded by a buzzing café scene.

The community of Lake Macquarie are spoilt for choice, with a mix of new spots popping up alongside much-loved institutions that keep them coming back for more.

In fact, the picturesque region of Lake Macquarie is fast becoming a destination for food lovers and coffee aficionados. Here are our top tips on cafes to try.

BELMONT

COMMON CIRCUS
36 Brooks Parade, Belmont

To put it simply, Common Circus is stunning and has perfected the café/homewares store concept. Once you have slowly perused the store, you will have worked up a decent appetite. Dine amongst the divine, from smoked salmon bagels, to chicken toasties and raw sweet treats, this is an experience that will ignite your senses in every possible way.

SOTOS TEA & COFFEE BAR
45 Evans St, Belmont

This cute hidden gem in Belmont is tucked away and is true local love. The acai bowls and sour cherry sourdough seem to be the pick of the crop. The local community rave about the coffee and, what makes it even more delicious is the non-stop smiles from the staff. Soto’s is bursting with friendliness and flavour.

BLACKSMITH

THE YOGA PLACE CAFE
6 Mitti St, Blacksmith

The Yoga Place is a haven for wellness, with Yoga and holistic practitioners mastering their craft. Once you have reached a complete state of zen, head to the café set amongst a tranquil garden. A totally plant based menu will have you glowing from the inside out. Buckwheat pancakes, smoothie bowls and warm nourishing soups are constants on the menu. Namaste.

CAVES BEACH

BOFFEE CAFÉ
64 Caves Beach Rd, Caves Beach

Open from 6am in Caves Beach, Boffee is the top spot to stop off for early risers and exercise fanatics. Serving up Danes Coffee and scrumptious bites, we are hearing very good things about the brekkie wrap. There is plenty of space to sit in or out, but nothing beats a sunrise at Boffee.

REDHEAD

SEA MAIDEN COFFEE + HOME
2/105 Colishaw St, Redhead

Rattan lights hang from the ceiling of this coastal chic sanctuary, which is a café and lifestyle combo. Sip your Glee Coffee with a raw treat. Or, stay awhile and select from the brunch style menu featuring maqui berry smoothie bowls, crunchy toasted muesli and an avo smash that will make your heart skip a beat. Once you have filled your tummy, pop upstairs into the @villalane showroom, a mecca for interior lovers.

CARGO ESPRESSO BAR
Redhead SLSC, 2a Beach Rd, Redhead

Dust the sand off your toes as you step off the beach and into Cargo Espresso Bar. The pour is from Sprockets Roasters and the menu is full of everything you would wish for from a beachside kiosk – burgers, bowls and brekkie rolls. Cargo wins when it comes to atmosphere and a killer view.

TORONTO

GREG AND AUDREYS
2/32 Victory Pde, Toronto

American diner dreams are made in this retro institution in Toronto. Starting from 10am, patrons flock from near and far for the 50s style menu featuring hot dogs, fries (loaded or not), burgers and wings. Wash it all down with a thick shake or a selection from the homemade ice cream menu. Never fear, there are dairy and gluten-free options available.

WARNERS BAY

FREDELI
Shop 2/472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay

Photo from Fredelli website

Hailing from Rome, Frederico Aitoro landed on the shores of Warners Bay. Fred brought all the zest and charm from his homeland and created the most beautiful slice of Italy in Lake Macquarie. The coffee is roasted in Bologna and the deli goods are imported from Europe. Close your eyes as you crunch down on a Cannoli, indulge in a platter of cheese and charcuterie or keep it simple with a Caprese. Who knew Italy would be right at your doorstep!

Q AND CO CAFÉ
450 The Esplanade, Warners Bay

Inhale the Glitch roasted beans as you come off your morning walk, for heaven awaits. Cinnamon toast with whipped ricotta, pistachio and lemon crumb…mexican baked eggs with chilli beans, avocado and roasted tortillas…Yes, Q&CO will make your food fantasies come true. Located directly opposite the pristine Lake Mac, this is a magical spot to start your day.

CALEO
4/472 The Esplanade, Warners Bay

Photo from Caleo website

This bayside hotspot is putting food on the map in Warners Bay. Open every day for breakfast and lunch, the options are plenty at Caleo. The Winter months celebrate dishes including porridge, winter Salads and rich tasty shakshuka. Kids will be beaming from ear to ear with the Nutella bagel (topped with strawberries, banana and cookie crumble). Every Monday is FREE alternate milk day, so if you are almond, soy or oat fan, you are in luck.

WHITEBRIDGE

PEGS CAFE
157 Dudley Rd, Whitebridge

Adorned in dried flowers, Pegs Café is a haven for the tight community of Whitebridge. According to the locals, the signature dishes to try are the chilli scrambled eggs, wagyu beef burger and handmade gnocchi. Every Thursday and Friday night, Pegs opens for a themed dinner. Each month, sees a new cuisine, from Italian, to Lebanese and Southern America. The only tip is to book in advance as these nights book out quickly.

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