You can either eat cheaply in Noosa or go for the budget-buster route. Either way you choose, there are plenty of worthy options to lure you off your beach towel. These are Noosa’s essential eats.
1. Miss Moneypenny’s
Another place where coastal cool plays out; bar and restaurant Miss Moneypenny’s caters to a slightly younger crowd and vibes up the Noosa Woods end of Hastings Street come the weekend. The antipasto board here will be enough to fill you and your mates up, while you drown in hot cantimpalo salami and freshly baked ciabatta. And if you’re on the sharing train, not ordering the truffle fries or truffle mac and cheese with prosciutto crumbs would be a lost opportunity.
Address: 6 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
2. Bistro C
For the most iconic Noosa dining experience, I’d send you down the boardwalk to Bistro C. There are few places on Australia’s coast where you can enjoy a well-put-together meal and a glass of good wine metres from the beach. If the exclamation-inducing location isn’t enough, the chic interiors will win you over. And yes, they serve Veuve Clicquot – and Cristal, if you don’t mind.
Address: 49 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
The nearby Wasabi has some incredible fish-slicing chops and is highly regarded for its Omakase (chef’s choice) menu. This establishment is on the highest end of prices, but the food is lip-smackingly incredible. The Omakase menu begins with a series of lighter plates, while gradually serving the heavier portions. All of the ingredients used are seasonal and grown at their own farm, Honeysuckle Hill. There are two types of menus, the Kohaku (short) and Kyara (long), depending on how trustworthy you are, you choose the number of dishes.
Address: 2 Quamby Place, Noosa Sound
4. Rickys River Bar + Restaurant
If you’re looking for something away from the main street, make your way to Rickys River Bar + Restaurant for elegant riverside fare like the restrained but on-point casarecce with parsley cream, truffle butter, sautéed mushrooms and a hazelnut pangratto. And if you’re seafood obsessed, you can’t go past the Moreton Bay Bug with local white fish and scallops, S.A. mussels and pipis, potato and fennel bisque. All ingredients are fresh and direct from Australian shores.
Address: 2 Quamby Place, Noosa Heads
5. Jimmy Fox
Butcher’s paper on the wall. A makeshift sign. Eco paper plates and bamboo cutlery. That’s all that’s needed, it seems when your food is as tasty as the fare at Jimmy Fox in Noosaville with ex-Berardo’s chef Jason Cox at the helm. Located in a shopping complex across from Noosa River, this new street food café changes up the menu daily. One thing always remains, however: the gourmet burgers loaded up on soft, house-made buns, along with great coffee and a lengthy juice and smoothie menu. The pulled pork tacos were the winner of the day. Hands down.
Address: 7/203 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville
6. El Capitano
You’ll be wooed inside by the nautical-cool decor, chilled tunes and breezy, beachy vibes but you’ll stay for the pizza at El Capitano. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better slice in town, especially when it comes to their organic sourdough base (that’s been through a 72-hour fermentation process). They also host their popular “Hump Day” sessions on – you guessed it! – Wednesday nights, featuring local and touring musicians. Pizza, cocktails and live music is a winning combination by any standard.
Address: 52 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
7. Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co
At the lower end of the budget, is Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. Betty’s is a bit of an institution in Noosa. It may look like a super-hip city import, but it actually began life as a tiny stall on the beach many years ago. The burgers are still cheap at $10 for a classic and the ‘concrete’, ice-cream studded with anything from Krispy Kreme doughnut to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, is irresistible.
Address: 2/50 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
Noosa’s resident Italian eatery is housed at Bombetta. For both the Bombinos (bambino translates to children in Italian) and the adults this is the go-to stop for a drool-inducing Mediterranean meal. The focaccia as a starter is extremely warm and freshly baked, with a drizzle of olive oil and Italian herbs. But their mains aren’t anything to be sniffed at, the pan-fried ricotta gnocchi with sautéed asparagus, snow peas, watercress and manchego are like soft little pillows of heaven.
Address: Unit 1/77 Noosa Drive, Noosa Heads
9. Paradise Arcade
Obsessed with margaritas and guac? Then you need to visit Noosa’s Cali-Mexican inspired restaurant and cocktail bar, Paradise Arcade. Not only do the margaritas come on tap, but you’ll find an extensive cocktail list to boot. Spend a long lunch or evening eating your way through the mouth-watering menu of tacos, burritos and tostadas. But don’t forget to order up a plate of chilli chocolate churros for dessert.
Address: Shop 8b/14 Arcadia Street, Noosa Heads
10. Noosa Beach House by Peter Kuruvita
‘Another day, another celebrity chef’, you might secretly think to yourself, but expect to do as we did and quickly eat your words. Chef Peter Kuruvita took over the old Cato’s Bar & Grill at the Sheraton Noosa in 2013, and while the party still rages on downstairs, the intimate restaurant space at Noosa Beach House is elegance, Noosa-style. Hot tip: Order the seared yellow fin tuna with ruby grapefruit, sweet pork and crackling for starters and save room for the dessert tasting plate if you need a bit of cloud-like soufflé in your life.
Address: 16 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads