All that beach-going got you hungry? You’re in luck.
The Gold Coast is seriously underestimated when it comes to its culinary precision. And while we can’t imagine why, it means that world-class venues remain relatively under-the-radar.
Behold, our favourites for the next time you’re in town…
Eat consciously. Live consciously. The Milkman’s Daughter opened as a space where the Gold Coast community could feast on an exclusively vegetarian menu – and marvel at the presentation while they do it.
The space has since sparked the creation of a community, where sustainable diners come together to enjoy the best fresh, nourishing dishes thoughtfully created by head chef, Ana.
Address: 2/43 Alfred St, Mermaid Beach
Frequently dubbed as one of the most beautiful beachside cafes on the Gold Coast, it’s no wonder you’re reading BSKT on this list.
Pronounced ‘biscuit,’ this industrial-chic space offers wholesome, organic Modern Australian food, perfectly paired alongside an offering of in-house yoga. You’ll also find an abundance of natural light, sketched murals adorning the walls, woof finishes and plenty of barefoot beach-goers.
Address: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
When the iconic Burleigh Social shut up shop in 2019, locals were left scratching their head at what could possibly replace their beloved institution. Turns out, the community was the saving grace.
Labelled a ‘community cafe’, Burleigh Co-Op is, as its name suggests, a collaborative venture between a few savvy businesses in the local Burleigh-Miami area. The result is a popular daytime hang that serves fresh, modern food.
Wake with a brew from Social Espresso, before chowing down on something from the all-day menu. There’s house-made potato hash, falafel fritters, hot smoked tofu and everything in between.
Address: 2 Hibiscus Haven, Burleigh Heads
I really hoped to get through this article without using the word ‘Instagrammable,’ but when a place like this comes along, it simply is the only worthy adjective.
Stable Coffee and Kitchen is one of (if not the) most aesthetically pleasing cafes to ever open its doors on the coast. Floor to ceiling windows, oak wood accent, a cement breakfast bar, blush pink stone-top island tables – need we say more?
There’s a focus on speciality coffee, with famed Melbourne micro-roaster Seven Seeds doing the rounds, alongside a menu that champions Australian seafood, organic meats, and sourdough from local artisan bakers Bread Social and Burleigh Baker.
Address: Shop 1/570 Gold Coast Hwy, Tugun
Spend a weekend on the Gold Coast and you’d be forgiven for thinking Jimmy Wah was a forgotten Burleigh prince or something. That’s how often you’ll hear his name.
Instead, this restaurant is the result of a five-week motorbike tour that Chef Jake Cooley took around Vietnam.
Offering a (predominantly dairy- and gluten-free) menu of flavoursome modern Vietnamese fare, such as wok-seared squid, ong choy, chilli, crispy taro and lime; or half chicken, morning glory, kaffir lime and coconut cream, this local favourite takes its name from the Good Morning, Vietnam character, while music from the era plays over the pared-back dining room.
Address: 1724 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Housed in one of the most sought-after waterfront locations in the city, a long-lunch at Glass Dining is pretty much a Gold Coast prerequisite.
Having perfected the art of intimate meals, award-winning fare and exquisite wines, spend your afternoon gazing at panoramic views of the harbour, lingering a little longer to enjoy a jaw-dropping sunset.
Start with oysters dressed with shallot and chardonnay vinegar before sampling any of the winning plates from the tapas menu.
Address: 74 Seaworld Drive & Marina Mirage Waterfront, Main Beach
Here you’ll find Pan-Asian flavours that focus on fresh, locally sourced produce with the intention to share. If you come all this way though, it would be remiss not to order the famous Moreton Bay bug roll; a taste sensation featuring chunks of fried lobster, gem lettuce and Sriracha.
When you’re done feasting, the beach is steps away from the dining room. Just be sure to book ahead – this place is buzzing.
Address: 3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
If it’s unpretentious, relaxed ambience you seek, Lost Palms Brewing Co has your name on it.
Housed in a colourful, outdoor setting, this place more than nods to its playful American namesake. There’s tropical décor and palm trees aplenty, meaning you’ll find plenty of Queensland charm at this sunny oasis.
Grab one of the beers brewed on site and chill in the outdoor drinking area. Or if you’re hungry, one of their mouth-watering burgers will do the job. All this paired with that famous North Australian sun. Does it get any better?
Address: 11 Oak Ave, Miami
Smack bang in the middle of upscale Broadbeach lives an industrial restaurant that is both warm and welcoming. It’s Social Eating House – where the emphasis rests on casual community.
As the name suggests, the plates at Social Eating House are designed to be shared. Served on large and small tapas plates, you’ll find everything from oysters to charcuterie, tuna and whole roast chickens.
Wash it down with a drop from their wine list, or sake, beer, whisky and cocktails.
Address: Shop 137/3 Oracle Bvd, Broadbeach
Another Burleigh Heads beauty, Justin Lane is for those who love a skyward sojourn in the form of a rooftop bar. And let’s face it, who doesn’t?
Sundowners, balmy nights, a tipple under the stars… this place combines all this with views out to the ocean and Surfers Paradise skyline.
Part of the Justin Lane pizzeria and pasta bar establishment, the rooftop bar is a casual, chilled space with white umbrellas, festoon lighting, misting to keep you cool in summer and heaters to keep you cosy come winter.
Address: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Etsu is a place for those in-the-know. It’s unlikely you’d stumble across this white timber door by accident – and even if you did, you wouldn’t consider going inside.
Those who do however are rewarded with a Japanese izakaya-style dining room, filled with delightful Asian creations, effortlessly cool décor and a palette of cool stuff to match.
Feast on plates that have been designed to share; from your classics like sushi and sashimi, to more experimental tempura dishes and an abundance of innovative cocktails.
Address: 2440 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
What small-scale Tasca lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in sophistication.
Housed on Coolangatta’s main Griffith Street jaunt, this European-inspired wine bar serves as an intimate hangout for both locals and tourists looking for a spot to catch their breath.
Inside you’ll find a relaxed, low-intervention environment, where expert staff talk you through their wine list – batch Italian, French or Spanish vinos are our pick – alongside snacks and larger plates, all designed to share.
Address: 114 Griffith St, Coolangatta