Sometimes you find great food in the most unexpected places. Kaffe Europa is exactly that. It’s a little taste of Europe in Nerang, a hidden gem in a suburb that’s often overlooked.
Granted, Nerang is hardly the epicentre of haute cuisine. Too often its busiest restaurants are the takeaway joints around the Bunnings end of town. But there are some gems as well, especially cafés.
Cadence has long been recognised as a cyclist meeting point, Helena’s Espresso hosts business and working clientele, Hudson and Rosie’s Table has a diverse clientele of young people and family groups, and Kaffe Europa is a European mecca.
Mecca? Yes, and it’s not hard to see why. There are very few continental cafés on the Gold Coast; places where you can buy an authentic Swiss or Austrian pastry to enjoy with a good coffee, the venue relaxed enough to sit and chat with friends in the sunshine.
Barbara Bauer, who owns Kaffe Europa, operates the café with the help of her sister, Andrea Pelikan, her family and local staff. Swiss born, Barbara trained in banking before coming to Australia, where she has worked in hospitality in recent years.
Opening her café at the beginning of 2021, Barbara had clear goals. She wanted to establish a place that acted as a community hub. With most clientele being return business from all over the Gold Coast, Barbara greets many clients by name.
“I wanted to open a homely place like we have in Europe where you can sit and have a coffee and cake and not spend a fortune,” Barbara tells us.
Visually, it’s a simple café that you would only stumble across. Tucked around a corner in Tibbing Street, it’s a humble, unassuming shopfront.
But that’s the point. The focus is on the food and the people. The menu is Western European breakfast and lunch dishes made from top quality ingredients, mostly simply prepared and keenly priced.
From croque monsieur to Swiss bircher muesli, German bratwurst sausage rolls to Quiche Lorraine, and traditional German pretzel to French rolls, premium butter croissants and baguettes, Austrian pastry chef Peter Scheffknecht’s daily bake includes French, German, Swiss and Austrian bread and pastries.
Smoked salmon salad, sandwiches and rolls stuffed with the best quality local hormone-free smallgoods accompanied by cheese, Dijon mustard and sauerkraut complete the menu. There are smallgoods and ‘meals to go’ in the cabinet as well, such as an authentic goulash that’s one of our family favourites.
But the stars of the show are the gorgeous Swiss, Austrian and French pastries, cakes and biscuits. The dessert cabinet holds several shelves of sweet delights: lemon tarts, black forest cake, vanilla slice, sour cherry crumble, tiramisu, lemon meringue, chocolate mousse slice, Portuguese tarts, and Swedish bombs, with specialty items such as nut and poppyseed zopf baked each weekend.
Served with a smile, sweets are the big drawcard for a mixed demographic from around the globe. From young to retired, Kaffe Europa is a favourite meeting place for those who enjoy a cake and locally roasted Premiato coffee on the sunny verandah. Now that we’re locals too, Kaffe Europa is altogether too tempting!
Kaffe Europa, Shop 2A, 1 Tibbing St., Nerang Ph: 0492 835 680
Open: Mon – Sat: 7am – 2pm