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Australia’s 10 Best Bookstore Cafes to Read At in 2022

Australia's 10 Best Bookstore Cafes to Read at in 2022. Photographed by Tania Zbrodko. Image via Shutterstock.

Spend your day flicking through a new book at these cosy bookshops with cafes around Australia!

Name a better way to spend your day: with a coffee in one hand and a new book in the other – create the perfect oasis at these independent Australian bookstores that combine the best of both worlds.

If you’re searching for a cosy reading nook, secondhand bookstores, gastronomic lunch menus, new titles, fresh pastries and coffee that hits the spot, take your pick from our list of Australia’s best bookstore cafes of 2022 that are sure to provide the ultimate escape in taste and imagination.

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Sydney:

<strong>Gertrude and Alice</strong>
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Gertrude and Alice

Bondi isn’t just a beach, it’s a perfect excuse to go to Gertrude and Alice. This quaint secondhand bookshop cafe is a book-lovers dream with thousands of used and new books covering walls, floors and tables. It’s easy to lose yourself within the shelves but make sure to resurface for a cup of coffee and scone at their adjoining cafe. So take a seat and  enjoy one of the best bookshops with cafes in Sydney!

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1/46 Hall St, Bondi Beach, NSW 2026
<strong>Sappho Books</strong>
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Sappho Books

Although it may look like an ordinary bookshop at first glance, Sappho Books is one of Sydney’s best bookshops, cafes and wine bars all in one! This cosy space hosts everything from live mic nights to poetry reading sessions. This eccentric venue is a treasure trove of discovery with over 30,000 titles stacked within its shelves, with some out of print or ‘hard to find’. With excellent coffee and a snug atmosphere, Sappho Books is a strong contender for your next literary hangout.

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51 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe, NSW 2037
<strong>Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore</strong>
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Ampersand Cafe & Bookstore

Spread across three levels of their Oxford Street abode, Ampersand Cafe takes the meaning of Sydney bookshop cafes to a whole new level, literally. With a menu boasting their famous Apple and Berry crumble and Coconut, Berry & Chai Spiced Black Sticky Rice ($19), their food alone is worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for a quiet space to escape and read a book or connect with someone at their communal table, Ampersand provides a cosy reading atmosphere – all the reason why they are considered as one of the best bookshops with cafes in Sydney!

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78 Oxford St, Paddington, NSW 2021

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Hobart:

<strong>Fullers Bookshop</strong>
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Fullers Bookshop

Fullers Bookshop is one of Tasmania’s leading independent bookstores and is still going strong after 100 years in business. As a known presence in the local literary scene, Fullers is the home for curious readers, avid bibliophiles and, of course, the Afterword Cafe. This cosy venue is situated right next to the books providing an aroma of coffee and freshly baked goods whilst creating the most comfortable atmosphere to curl up and read. Don’t flick past one of the best bookstore cafes in Hobart!

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131 Collins St, Hobart, TAS 7000

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Melbourne:

<strong>Hares and Hyenas</strong>
Photographed by Cotton Bro. Image via Pexels.

Hares and Hyenas

This Fitzroy space is more than just a bookshop cafe, it’s also a literary hub for members of the LGBTQI+ community. Boasting titles for queer, gender- and sexuality- diverse people, Hares and Hyenas also hosts a selection of kids and young adult books with needed representation. Bookshop by day and fully licensed venue at night, Hares and Hyenas provides the best of both worlds offering literary events and musical performances welcome to everyone. For those looking for a great bookstore cafe to read at in Melbourne, nothing is as enticing as Hares and Hyenas.

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63 Johnston St, Fitzroy, VIC 3065

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Adelaide:

<strong>Mockingbird Lounge</strong>
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Mockingbird Lounge

The Mockingbird Lounge is a lot more than it seems, mixing a cafe, bookshop, art gallery and community space into a one-of-a-kind bookshop cafe. This is a bookstore that does it all – with book clubs, creative writing classes and knitting groups all happening within the Glenelg South location every week. Mockingbird Lounge is more than just about the books and its cosy reading nooks, but it’s one of the best cafes in Adelaide for those just looking to read or connect with the community.

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68 Broadway, Glenelg South, SA 5045
<strong>South Sea Books and Trading</strong>
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South Sea Books and Trading

South Sea Books and Trading is an independent bookstore in Port Elliot providing one of the best reading experiences in Adelaide. This homey adobe sets the scene with comfortable sofas, warm coffee and a large selection of books from crime, fantasy and cookery to suit anyone’s taste. Take in the ambience and browse the shelves with a coffee in hand to make for a perfect afternoon.

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53 North Tce, Port Elliot, SA 5212

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Perth:

<strong>Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe</strong>
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Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe

Known as Perth’s most unique bookstore cafe, Bodhi Tree is a vibrant literary hub stocking purposeful and uplifting books. Their philosophy to ‘feed your soul’ is not just a reference to their books, but also to their delicious vegetarian-friendly cafe serving fair-trade organic coffees and traditional herbal teas. With a healthy selection of bagels, salads and more, Bodhi Tree Bookstore Cafe is the place to feed your mind, body and soul. As the stress of the day can take its toll, unwind at one of the best bookstore cafes in Perth!

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416-418 Oxford St, Mount Hawthorn, WA 6016

The Best Bookstore Cafes in Brisbane:

<strong>Riverbend Books</strong>
Photographed by Jessica Ruscello. Image via Unsplash.

Riverbend Books

Riverbend books is a local favourite in Bulimba with its leafy deck and cosy ambience, that makes it a perfect go-to on a slow afternoon. Their floor-to-ceiling shelves are stacked well with plenty of material to browse, focusing on Australian authors and children’s books. Or, if you’d rather take a break, settle into the cafe and enjoy an all-day breakfast or a delicious gourmet sandwich for lunch.

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193 Oxford St, Bulimba, QLD 4171
<strong>The River Read</strong>
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The River Read

Combining their passion for books and coffee, the sister-team behind River Read Bookstore & Cafe has been operating one of the best bookstore cafes in Queensland since 1998. This charming bookstore cafe in Noosaville, Queensland offers the latest reads hot off the presses while you drink your piping hot cocoa. With a sun-filled courtyard overlooking the river, there’s never been a better way to find your next favourite book at The River Read.

More info

2/203 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, QLD 4566

Now that you’ve found the best bookstore cafes around Australia, find a new read with our list of the 10 Best Australian Books to Add to Your 2022 Reading List. Wanting to read more? There’s a book for that! Check out this list of the Best Books to Help You Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions.

Feature image: Photographed by Tania Zbrodko. Image via Shutterstock.
This article was first published on August 19 2020. It was updated and edited by Hunter and Bligh on July 13 2022.