A Foodie's Guide To The Gold Coast

27 June 2014

The Gold Coast has been known for many things: Meter Maids, surfer dudes and kitsch 70s-style time-share holiday units, but until recently, good coffee and quality grub were not among them.

Step back from Cavill Mall and the usual greasy haunts along the Gold Coast Highway and you’ll find a foodie nirvana on the Gold Coast you never knew existed. Having recently spent a few days exploring the Coast with some local gurus, we got the word on where’s good to eat when on the Goldy.

 Heirloom tomato breakfast at Canteen

Canteen Kitchen

A perfect day in Burleigh involves an early morning swim (or surf if you’re so inclined), a walk around the headland, followed by coffee and breakfast, brunch or lunch at Canteen. Actually, the food and coffee are so good here you’ll probably come for breakfast and stay for lunch.Their modern menu has a traditional Middle Eastern flavour that they pull off brilliantly. Choose from cumin scrambled eggs with labneh and za’atar flat bread. Lashings of dukkah and joseph olive oil compliment green harrisa, goats cheese, lamb kofta and smoked eggplant. For something sweet, try the fig and pistachio granola or the caramelised banana on sourdough. What’s more, the coffee here could give any barista in Melbourne a run for their money.

23 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

 The delectable fresh seafood pizza at Justin Lane

Justin Lane Pizzeria & Bar

The only regret you’ll have about Justin Lane is wishing you’d known about it sooner. This little Italian restaurant started in one part of the lane and has now expanded to take over just about the whole arcade. Impeccable service is matched with quality ingredients and quite possibly the best pizza you’ve ever wrapped your lips around. The vibe at Justin’s Lane is impossibly cool and laidback, yet still manages to pull off an articulate sophistication, with a relaxed and humble effortlessness. The seafood pizza is a clear favourite, but the whole menu is a winner, from small bites of pork and fennel meatballs, to slow cooked beef cheek ragu pappardelle, and handmade ice cream or tiramisu.

1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads

 Meat coma: steak and ribs at Hurricane's Grill

Hurricane’s Grill

Like ribs? Like steak? Like both and can’t decide which to order? Hurricane’s Grill has you covered. A meat-lover’s paradise, Hurricane’s offers mouth-watering plates of ribs and steaks, or a combination of both. Pescitarians are catered for with fresh fish and seafood platters, and white-meat eaters can dig into some tender Portuguese chicken. Fear not vegetarians - Hurricane’s has you covered with a veggie burger that’ll give the carnivores at your table order-envy (maybe).

Soul, 4-14 The Esplanade, Level 1, Surfers Paradise

 D-I-Y breakfast platter at Lark Cafe

Lark Cafe

Part cafe, part grocer, part resto-lounge – Lark serves up epic big breakfasts and healthy lunches seven days a week. On Friday to Sunday they’re open late and add an eclectic range of pizzas to the menu too. Fresh juices, smoothies and excellent All Press coffee are served all day. But back to the most important meal of the day; breakfast is where Lark really excels, offering over twenty different breakfast menu items. You’ll have your work cut out for you deciding between the pancake stack with banana and bacon, the brekkie burrito, the eggs benedict or the avocado bite.

3640 Main Beach Parade, Main Beach

We also recommend:

  • The Fish House, 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
  • Hellenika Restaurant, 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
  • Black Coffee Lyrics, 3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
  • Commune, 1844 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh
  • The Cambus Wallace, shop 4, 2237 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Rachel Surgeoner

A self-confessed 'food-tourist', I take hunting for the world's greatest sandwich very seriously, my quest has taken me from Berlin to Hoboken. Stopping off only for vintage shopping, craft beers and Mediterranean sunsets.