14 December 2021

Six great coffee stops around the valley, from Bega to Candelo

| Lisa Herbert
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The Nook

Does The Nook have the best coffee in the Bega Valley? Photos: Lisa Herbert.

A country drive from Bega through Wolumla to Candelo will reap many rewards – especially from the excellent cafés waiting to sate your hunger and thirst.

And in addition to great food and drink, you’ll be injecting some much-needed cheer into these fire-affected communities. Get out and about!

The Nook, Bega

Address: Rixons Arcade. Shop 3, 158 Carp Street, Bega
Hours: Monday to Friday 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturday 7:00 am to 1:00 pm
Bit on the side: Ah-maze-ing sourdough sandwiches
Coffee: Gabriel Coffee, Sydney.

This could be our favourite coffee in the Bega Valley. There is usually a queue here but even if you do have to wait a little, there’s usually some good conversation to be had. And good coffee is always worth it, I say.

I asked manager Brent why his coffee was so good and learnt about the true ‘ristretto’ method of pouring this golden brew without the usual shot-basket pressed into his machine; it just flows unimpeded by funnels or chemical build-up straight into the cup. So yes, fruity, strong and pure crema in each of my lattes, thank you! Nook slow brews their own chai which you can smell throughout the arcade when it’s cooking. There’s a cabinet full of raw treats, and the toasted sandwiches here are excellent. They’ve just added a voluptuous Ploughman’s Lunch board to the menu, which is definitely recommended.


Byblos bursts with fresh food and squeezed juice.

Phoenician Street Food, Bega

Phoenician Street Food
Address: 149 Auckland St, Bega
Hours: Monday to Friday from 7:00 am
Facebook: Phoenician Street Food
Bit on the side: Mouth-watering Lebanese Food
Coffee: Sacred Grounds Organic Coffee

Wassim of ‘Lebanese Street Food’ fame opened this café after operating his food van in the area for many years. Coffee is tasty, creamy and strong. Turmeric and chai lattes are on the menu, as is a good old-fashioned Vienna Coffee. There’s a huge selection of fresh juice options, also Lebanese sweets and pastries, dip platters and generous falafel and shwarma wraps, Lebanese bagels and toasted flatbreads. The beef in the shwarma has been slow-cooked in spices for hours and the smell wafts through this light, colourful corner shop (next to the NRMA office). Homegrown flowers adorn every table, and Wassim’s bright personality shines from behind the counter.


Bega's Evolve.

Fresh, free-range, wholesome at Bega’s Evolve.

Café Evolve, Bega

Address: 210 Carp Street, Bega
Hours: Monday to Friday 6:00 am to 4:00 pm, Sat 7.30 am to 2:00 pm, Sun 8:00 am to 12 noon
Bit on the side: Sustainable angle, contact point for climate action groups
Coffee: Wild Rye’s Seasonable Blend

Café Evolve, in the main street of Bega, serves coffee and hearty meals, opening up at the cock’s crow most mornings for locals out, about and on the town. Serving Wild Rye’s locally roasted coffee, using Tilba Milk and an abundance of seasonal produce, much of it homegrown, the busy café spills over into Candelo Books next door and hums and bustles with town activity and catch ups.

The specials board changes frequently and on closer inspection, you start to notice something taking place on a deeper level. Much of the produce featured comes from the owners’ home garden and nearly everything is made from scratch under the oversight or at the hands of Peter Haggar and Anna Leamon, who are determined to develop the cafe into a ‘planet friendly’ eating house for all.

"I love my customers!" serving between Bega and Mogareeka.

“I love my customers!” serving between Bega and Mogareeka.

Expresso Yourself, Bega & Mogareeka

Address: Rear, 99 Carp Street, Bega (weekends at Mogareeka Boat Ramp)
Hours: Mon to Thurs 8.30 am to 4:00 pm. Friday 8.30 am to 7:00 pm. Sat & Sun 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Bit on the side: Best sausage rolls in the street!
Coffee: 1080 Grind, Mystery Bay.

In her sixth year of operating her coffee and food van Expresso Yourself, Monique still loves it. Serving Mystery Bay’s 1080 Grind Coffee, Tilba Milk, Mimosa Meats and Kalaru Eggs, plus her Dad’s now-quite-famous sausage rolls, Monique’s van now has a semi-permanent home in Carp Street Bega (behind Get on the Table Top Gaming). When the weather allows, Monique also has a seasonal spot at Mogareeka Boat Ramp during the Summer months. Monique is from a long line of bakers, so she knows her stuff and is a welcoming hospitable soul or as she succinctly puts it: “I love my customers!” Grab a milk crate, or find a spot in the lounge-style setup, and enjoy an excellent coffee or baked goodie and yes, the sausage rolls are that good!

Sleepy Candelo now has great coffee as well as rustic charm.

Sleepy Candelo now has great coffee as well as rustic charm.

Candelo Café and General Store, Candelo

Address: 48 William Street, Candelo
Hours: Monday to Friday from 8:00 am, Saturday & Sunday from 8:30 am
Bit on the side: Candelo Markets are on first Sunday of every month.
Coffee: Wild Rye’s Roasting Co, Pambula.

What a stunning journey up to Candelo on the Wolumla-Candelo Rd, a true country drive. Housed in a gorgeous Federation building with high ceilings of pressed tin and skylights and wide country verandas, this is a space to linger, perhaps sipping a very tasty latte. Pambula’s Wild Rye’s Coffee Co beans are used in the café, which is open seven days, serving breakfast, lunch and morning teas, with occasional dinner and live music. Fresh juices and smoothies and breakfast burritos are also available. Excellent toasted sourdough sangas of smoky beef and cheddar, Buddha bowls, falafel bowls and tandoori soba noodle salad deserve mentions, all reasonably priced, plus a kids menu is available. We can’t go past a sexy smoked-brisket sandwich, and with cheddar? Oh my! Definitely a 2-3 napkin sandwich. Follow them on Facebook to keep up with frequent events; dinners, pizza nights and live music.

For a preview of the best cafés from Batemans Bay to Moruya, click here and the best cafés from Tathra to Bermagui click here.

Do you have any Café suggestions around Bega and Candelo?

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You missed out if you didn’t experience Issys in Bega. Delicious coffee, Nutella chocolate, teas and the food is the best I’ve tasted in Bega.

Lisa Herbert1:52 pm 15 Jan 19

Hi Therese, thanks for suggesting Issi… I’m looking forward to getting to their next themed dinner so I can write about that. Always on the look-out for more dining options!

What about Scotch Oven, Bemboka?

Lisa Herbert1:53 pm 15 Jan 19

Thanks Linda Jane, I look forward to cruising through Bemboka soon!

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