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. And now you can 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, second-hand 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 2023 that are sure to provide the ultimate escape in taste and imagination.
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Sydney:
Gertrude and Alice
Bondi isn’t just a beach, it’s the perfect excuse to pop into Gertrude and Alice. This quaint second-hand bookshop cafe is a booklovers 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. Take a seat and enjoy one of the best bookshops with cafes in Sydney!
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 bookstore 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.
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, 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!
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Hobart:
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!
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Melbourne:
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.
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Adelaide:
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 space. This is a bookstore cafe 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 a great range of books and its cosy reading nooks, but it’s one of the best cafes in Adelaide for those looking to connect with their community.
South Seas Books and Trading
South Seas 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.
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Perth:
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!
The Best Bookstore Cafes in Brisbane:
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.
The River Read
Combining their passion for books and coffee, the sister-team behind The River Read 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.
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 2023 Reading List. Wanting to discover more spectacular and famous bookstores? Check out our list of the Top 11 Most Beautiful Libraries in the World.