If you love your food you’ll love the Sunshine Coast. Noosa’s Hastings Street with its oceanfront cafes and fine diners is one of the country’s most famous eat streets, but Gympie Terrace in nearby Noosaville is just as good when it comes to eating out – ask a local and they’ll say it’s better, and less expensive. Mooloolaba Esplanade is another eat street with fabulous views – don’t go home without trying some freshly caught Mooloolaba prawns: you’ll find them on restaurant menus along the coast or get them straight off the boat from one of the seafood cafes and fish markets at the end of the spit in Mooloolaba.
Feasting on fresh seafood doesn’t have to blow the budget – yacht clubs and surf clubs all along the coast offer affordable meals and ocean views. Beyond the beaches the hinterland back roads lead to organic cafes, wineries, cheese makers, ginger, nougat and chocolate factories and gourmet food stores.
Our top picks
Thomas Corner Eatery
1/201 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
It’s by the river in Noosaville but you don’t go to Thomas Corner Eatery for the views. It’s all about the food here, which is local, fresh, in season and always good, whatever is served. The menu changes daily, but you can always expect great seafood and creative takes on classic dishes. It’s delightfully casual and open for lunch and dinner every day (except Sunday night in winter).
20 Ninderry Road, Yandina
Surrounded by tropical gardens and overlooking a fish-filled pond, you could be forgiven for thinking you’ve been transported straight to Thailand, especially once the array of delicious South-east Asian dishes start appearing from the kitchen. Spirit House dishes out some of the best Thai food in south-east Queensland, and is the perfect place for a leisurely lunch. If you like what you eat you can join a cooking class. Open for lunch daily, dinner Wednesday to Saturday.
Eat like a local
Noosa Farmers Market
155 Weyba Road, Noosaville
Held every Sunday morning, this is the best place to stock up on local produce and gourmet goodies to take back to your hotel, especially if your accommodation has cooking facilities. Even if it doesn’t, it’s worth going for the organic fruit, hand-made chocolates, artisan cheeses and freshly baked goods for the ultimate pick ’n’ mix breakfast or brunch on the run.
Noosa Surf Club
69 Hastings Street, Noosa
Opposite the beach at the national park end of Hastings Street, Noosa Surf Club offers good-value meals with million-dollar views over the beach and is a great spot for lunch, particularly if you can get a table on the deck. If you really want to go local, order a bucket of Mooloolaba prawns with cocktail sauce.
4 Main Street, Palmwoods
You can’t get much more local than The Lane in Palmwoods, a food store/cafe/meeting place. It sells home-grown produce that the locals bring in from their gardens in return for “pantry dollars” they can spend in either the food store or the cafe. Grab a table under the fairy lights out the back and tuck into some of the best local food around.