Whenever I have friends visit from Melbourne or Sydney, they always tell me how lucky I am to live in such an incredible part of the world with amazing beaches, incredible weather, the beauty of the hinterland and wait for it… such amazing food! Yes, the Gold Coast has lifted it’s foodie game over the past few years and my goodness, are we a force to be reckoned with. Today, I share my favourite places to eat. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
For Breakfast (From South to North)
Niche & Co – This is for the Acai bowl lovers having been voted the “Best Acai Bowl on the GC”. They have 3 different flavours including Cacao & Coconut (my favourite), Espresso and Peanut Butter. Coffee is also great here. There isn’t much else in the way of breakfast, but it’s a great place to stop by. Located in Kirra.
Good Day Coffee – Coffee is perfection (and I’m not the only one saying that), food is delicious (honestly the BEST gluten free bread + smashed avocado on the coast) and the staff are amazing. If you like a cheeky croissant, these guys also serve up the best in town. For visitors, this is the perfect spot on the way to or from the airport, OR if you’re looking for something to eat before heading to one of the quieter beaches in town. We’re here almost every morning, come say hi! Located in Tugun.
Barefoot Barista – One of the busiest cafes in Palm Beach with a great whole foodie vibe. My best advice is to get their early on the weekends or you may have to wait for a table. Located in Palm Beach.
Parlour Coffee – Delicious and beautifully presented breakfast options. Menu isn’t extensive, but quality is perfection. Coffee is also great here. They are located in Burleigh.
Canteen – Also owned by the same Parlour Coffee Team, this place is always busy! Food is modern and fresh, influenced by traditional middle eastern flavours and produce. Located in Burleigh.
Burleigh Baker – Whilst they only have a small breakfast menu, if you love bread and baked goods you have to stop by. The baker is an ex-scientist who is incredibly passionate about preparing bread the old fashioned way. All flours are organic and fermented for 3-5 days in order to “pre-digest” the proteins, making it easier for us to digest.
Blackboard Coffee – The Varsity Lakes cafe is where this business really got its stellar reputation. I could go on, but I’ll let the menu speak for itself. Coffee is also DELISH! Located in Varsity Lakes.
Elk Espresso – One of my favourite spots for breakfast if I’m up that way. I cannot go past the brekky salad with poached eggs. I know I should try something different but it’s too good. Coffee is great. Not much in the way of healthy smoothies but food makes up for it. Get their early (I mean early), or prepare to wait a little while for a table. Located in Broadbeach.
Any of the above cafes will do a great lunch (as will many of the dinner places recommended below), just be mindful that some of them close around 2pm.
Blendlove – If you want a quick salad, smoothie, mushroom burger, sweet potato chips or a Turmeric Latte, head to Blendlove. One stop shop for vegetarians and they do some great TA options. Oh and did I mention that they are the raw dessert queens of the GC? You won’t be disappointed (unless you get there late as those raw desserts always disappear fast).
Goodness Gracias – For a fresh and healthy Mexican feast, stop by Goodness Gracias. The store is small and meals are designed to be taken away, but they have some incredible salads and gluten free options.
For Dinner & Drinks (From South to North)
Rick Shores – Our go-to bar and restaurant on the Gold Coast. The view is enough to win you over, but then the asian inspired food and the amazing waitstaff will just blow your mind. Run by the same team who own Longtime in Brisbane, RickShores is definitely worth a visit but do book ahead! Located in Burleigh.
Justin Lane Rooftop Bar – Head to the Justin Lane Rooftop for a drink (or two) on a balmy summer’s night. The drinks available at the rooftop are limited but you can head downstairs and order a round of cocktails and take them back up to the deck. They also do some pretty tasty Pizza’s however their whole menu is Italian inspired. Get in early as it does get busy! Located in Burleigh.
Greenhouse Factory – Hands down my favourite vegetarian restaurant on the coast. The team recently moved from Kirra Beach to Mermaid and I’m told that their menu has changed slightly, but I can only assume it’s still as amazing as ever (I’ll update this when I’ve had the chance to revisit the new facilities). They also do some pretty amazing organic cocktails and spiked green juices! More of a relaxed feel. Located in Mermaid Beach.
Etsu – A stunning Japanese restaurant hidden behind an old barn door. A little more along the lines of fine dining, but my goodness, delicious. Located in Mermaid Beach.
Mandala Organic Arts Cafe – A very relaxed vegetarian cafe on the Gold Coast who wins the heart of every visiting whole foodie. They are known for their pizzas – if that’s your thing, definitely check them out. Very relaxed feel. Located in Mermaid Beach.
Cucina Vivo – Located in the grounds of the casino (no judgement), is one hell of a delicious Italian restaurant. Gluten Free pizzas are one of the best I’ve had on the GC and plenty of options for the non-pasta eating folk like myself. Although this restaurant is HUGE, we can never seem to get a table without booking ahead. Located on Broadbeach Island.
The Social Bar & Eating House – Again, one of my favourite places to eat on the Gold Coast. This restaurant is all about share plates, so it’s best to visit with large group of people and order up. We can’t go past the Slow Cooked grass-fed lamb (I’m salivating just talking about it). Order loads of salads/side plates to really experience what The Social has to offer. Great wine list also. Located in Broadbeach.
If you’re visiting the Gold Coast, this is a great list to get you started. Keep checking back regularly, as I will update the list as new places come and go.
Have I missed your favourite? Is there somewhere I have to try? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!