Once you’ve ticked off the mandatory fish and chips on the beach, the Gold Coast’s food scene goes well beyond the catch of the day. Thanks to a flourishing small bar scene, you can experiment with a deconstructed mojito at Fix Cocktail Bar, sling a Peach Smash at Stingray Bar or grab a brew with a view at Seventy7 Cafe & Bar.
Casual foreshore cafes are met with a slew of hatted fine-dining restaurants, while thumping, pumping nightclubs are balanced with the quiet reprieve of Hinterland cellar doors.
Be sure to pop in for a drop at O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards or the Tamborine Mountain Distillery, before hunting down the region’s best scones with jam and cream at Teavine House, Tallebudgera.
Our top picks
Level 1, Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
For 19 years this Gold Coast mainstay has brought a slice of la dolce vita to Main Beach. Clink glasses as you watch yachts bobbing on the marina and rub shoulders with the glitterati. Perfect for couples, families and long business lunches, Ristorante Fellini offers classic Italian with a modern twist, from prosciutto-wrapped figs to twice-cooked duck ragu.
Social Eating House + Bar
Shop 137-138 / 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Social by name, social by attitude. This Broadbeach ‘eating house’ combines tasty tapas and plenty of social lubrication in a modern setting. The charcuterie cabinet is stuffed with jamon, prosciutto, and salumi, sitting alongside bar snacks such as braised lamb empanadas and small share plates such as Asahi-battered whiting. Just remember: sharing is caring at Social.
Eat like a local
Cnr Park Avenue and Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Burgers and the beach – it’s a match made in heaven! Sniff out the burgers at Ze Pickle, set in a garage-esque corner store with menus tacked on to licence plates. Burgers range from the simple Chee-Ze to the 3AM piled with maple bacon, cheese sticks and guac, and the Pablo Escoburger spiked with corn chips and pulled pork.
4 Lavarack Road, Mermaid Beach
Hipster haven BSKT proudly rides the clean-eating bandwagon, its menu laden with generous servings of organic, vegetarian and gluten-free eats. These include super berry cacao pancakes for breakfast, paleo pasta, green goji salad and plenty more superfood-focused fare. The coffee, too, is organic, while onsite yoga ensures peak inner wellbeing.
Black Coffee Lyrics
Level 1, 3131 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
When Gold Coast locals yearn for their morning pick-me-up, they head to Black Coffee Lyrics. Whether you ‘Just Want Eggs’ for brekkie or are committed to a five-course degustation dinner, BCL has you covered. Crumbed brie with marmalade, smoked beef brisket or jerk chicken pizza take your fancy? This kitschy all-day eatery doesn’t disappoint.