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.
Canteen is our pick if you’re in the market for something traditional. It’s one of the oldest urban cafés in Noosa, likely filled with chatter for most of the day. The ‘Canteen Classics’ menu comprises of all the good stuff you’re used to seeing: a bacon and egg breakfast burger, smashed avocado on toast, poached eggs and jalapeno corn fritters. On the other side, dive into something more experimental: smashed peas and goats cheese bruschetta, barbeque pork belly omelette or an ice-cold organic acai bowl.
Address: Shop 2/4 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads
If you’re in need of a gentle health kick up the butt, let Jungle and Co be the remedy. Your breakfast will be enriched with probiotic and prebiotic rich foods, with the space doubling as a wellness institution injecting goodness into your body. Grab a cold-pressed juice, jungle shot and botanical elixir to-go, accompanied by avo with beetroot feta, peas, chilli, hemp oil or hemp seeds on gut-health toast.
Address: Shop 3/19-21 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads
Larder and Baked is a concept café that has been serving aesthetically pleasing meals since 2018. The team makes everything from scratch, ensuring a playful spin on the typical breakfast menu. Think poke bowls, fresh and inventive salads, gourmet sandwiches, smoothie bowls, cold-pressed juices and of course, coffee.
Address: 1/29 Sunshine Beach Rd, Noosa Heads
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
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
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 does alfresco dining better than most, but if the weather isn’t in your favour, there are some excellent indoor dining spots.
Bang Bang, in the centre of Hastings Street, feels like you’ve been transported to an uber chic Melbourne restaurant – mixed with a Sunny Coast relaxed vibe.
The place is dimly lit and has an ‘old world’ feel about its chandeliers, candles and distressed plaster walls, while the South East Asian-inspired menu is bursting with fresh and vibrant flavours. Dig into a Thai-style curry or opt for the ‘bang-quet’ and have the kitchen bring out six or seven delectable courses. The Harvest Moon cocktail, with gin, elderflower, kaffir lime, lemongrass and fruit is the perfect palate-cleansing accompaniment.
Address: 6/32 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
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
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
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
‘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
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
Gin and Coffee, together at last. Moonstruck has invented a brand new local flavour, combining boutique coffee with a wide, unique range of locally sourced gins. To line the stomach beforehand, grab a quick breakfast or lunch in the refined, mosaic marble space. Pastries, toasties and classic Reuben sandwiches are on offer, as well as signature cheese and charcuterie platters. Vegan and vegetarian options are available.
Address: 5 Hastings Street, Noosa Heads
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
If a night cap calls, head to Village Bicycle. With one of the latest closing times in Noosa, this is an unpretentious jaunt where you can sink a few after hours. There’s a graffiti-clad beer garden, vintage bike behind the bar and an extensive booze menu. Better still, there’s a delicious snack menu to line your stomach. Burgers, wings, tacos, hotdogs and poutine.
Address: 6/16 Sunshine Beach Road, Noosa Heads QLD 4567
Tucked in the depths of the warehouse estate, those who hunt down Heads of Noosa Brewing Co will be abundantly rewarded. You’ll find an industrial vibe here; high ceilings, feature lighting, wooden doors, bar stools, dark timber tables and textured cement walls. Beers are inspired by the nearby rocky headlands of Noosa Heads, bottling raw natural ingredients and slinging them to the masses.
Address: 85 Rene Street, Noosaville, QLD 4566
This small-batch boutique distillery adds an artisan flare to the outskirts of Noosa. You’ll find Pomona nestled at the foothills of Queensland’s Mt Cooroora, slinging spirits that are distilled on-premises.
There is a wide-range of upscale gin cocktails, and local craft beers on tap. Their signature twist on an espresso martini features Brookies Mac liqueur, Mr Black coffee, cinnamon syrup and moonstruck espresso.
The share-plate food menu provides blissful accompaniments. Think warm sourdough with olive oil, anchovies and guindillas, duck pate, local olives and charcuterie boards.
Address: 18 Reserve St, Pomona