You Hungry? Dig In To 33 Of The Gold Coast’s Best Restaurants
Food worth driving forBy Astrid Taemets | 28th September 2021
After a lot (and I mean a lot) of pizzas, pastas, dumplings, and burritos, we’ve finally curated an essential list of 33 of the best restaurants along the Goldie that are truly worth unbuttoning those jeans for! We know, we know – you’re welcome!
And if you love this list of GC eateries, check out our list of the best GC rooftop bars.
By the way, we consider everyone in this list the best of the best! To make finding your next favourite that much easier, we’ve ordered the list alphabetically by suburb and also have filtering tabs for your convenience. Did we miss someone from the list? Let us know here! Hide the form
- Brisbane CBD
- North Brisbane
- East Brisbane
- South Brisbane
- West Brisbane
- Gold Coast
- Sunshine Coast
- A - Z
- Z - A
Best wood-fire pizza on the Goldie? It definitely has my vote! This small pizzeria dishes up some seriously cool and unique flavour combos including the Beesting with soppressata and mozzarella covered in sweet, sweet, hot honey. Drooling? No matter your choice, each pizza flavour combo packs a punch! There are also plenty of side plates and starters to choose from, and a separate, specialised vegan menu. With a strict no booking policy, make sure to turn up early to avoid the dough-lovin’ crowd, or grab yours to takeaway, and sit on the quieter, picturesque beaches of southern GC.
Residing a little more south? Coolie kids, we got you covered! Baskk Italian offers the mouth-watering flavours of southern Italy in a rustic dining experience. Think creamy Byron Bay burrata, chargrilled octopus and Tuscan-style ossobuco. PSA: they even offer a classic meatball sub! Hey, how you doin’, Joey Tribbiani?
Entwined with old-time wonder, this beach-side establishment offers a modern interpretation of traditional techniques, producing all your favourite fresh, Italian eats. The bright lights on the building may draw you in at first, but you’ll definitely stay on for their authentic Italian menu, including pizza, pasta, and everything drool-worthy in between.
If you’re a little further south, Frida Sol is Bonita Bonita’s hacienda-style, coastal sister restaurant, sitting pretty above the GC highway in Palm Beach. You’ll be getting all their famous dishes and drinks whilst basking in the ocean breeze filtering over from across the road.
Las Palmas Bar & Restaurant
Bringing you delicious flavours from all across Latin America, this menu is designed to be shared, bringing family and friends together in celebration. Perched over the bustling highway and just steps from the iconic sand stretch of Palm Beach, Las Palmas is the peach-perfect place to wind down and welcome in the night – with a Bittersweet Symphony cocktail in hand, of course! No matter what, be sure to try their Papa Rellena, a slow cooked beef and potato puree dream come true, all wrapped up in a crunchy golden ball. Yumbo.
Let your senses be carried away in this pretty-as-can-be, pastel plantation-style restaurant, hovering over the shores of renowned Burleigh Heads beach. Relax to the cathartic sounds of crashing waves, revel in the panoramic views of the GC skyline, and let esteemed head-chef, Guillaume Zika, take your taste-buds on a trip of a life-time with his culinary expertise. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, always. Get. The. Dip.
Close enough to dip your fingers in the crystal blue waters of Burleigh beach, this waterfront venue is one of Gold Coast’s most iconic locations. Famous for their fried Moreton Bay Bug Roll, this influencer favourite has carefully curated an award-winning Asian fusion menu, prioritising locally sourced fresh produce, ensuring each dish is melt-in-your-mouth perfection.
If you’re after some modern Vietnamese in the heart of Burleigh, we got you covered! Offering a myriad of flavour-packed dishes, undo your belt buckle and prepare to eat your weight in tempura barramundi, soft shell crab Banh Mi, Vietnamese prawn pancakes and, of course, braised beef short rib! There are options for every eater with Jimmy Wah’s also offering a completely vegetarian and vegan menu as an alternative. Dig in!
Iku Yakitori & Whiskey Bar
Hidden in the back alley of Justin Lane, Iku Yakitori & Whiskey Bar offers all the charcoal grilled meats you could ever dream of, cooked over a unique Japanese Binchotan. But, if you prefer a classic omakaze menu, Iku also offers a delectable five course feast that changes weekly. You can go time and time again and still experience something new in this open-kitchen, contemporary Asian restaurant, full of character and sophistication.
Light Years Asian Bar & Diner
Originally from the colourful shores of Byron Bay, this energetic, neon-lit restaurant is unexpectedly home to some of GC’s best Asian-fusion cuisine. Casually located along the highway amidst local shacks and cafés, Light Years offers all your fusion faves including dumplings, bao buns, curries, and the best damn crackling prawn toast you’ll ever eat! With constant groovy beats and Instagram-able décor, this place is a big vibe.
From the street-side arcade all the way up the rooftop bar, every inch of Justin Lane oozes casual sophistication. Famous for their fresh, hand-made pasta and sourdough wood-fire pizza, Justin Lane pride’s themselves in producing fresh and simple Italian inspired cuisine to the streets of Burleigh Heads for over ten years. A true GC institution.
Maman Bar + Kitchen
Ever wanted to try a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine? This is what you’ve been waiting for! As the name suggests, walking into this whitewashed Mediterranean haven should make you feel like you’re strolling the streets of Mykonos. With a no-nonsense food and drinks menu that focuses on bringing the best produce to the table and letting the simple ingredients shine, you’re sure to get a feast fit for a family.
Harry’s Steak Bistro
Using locally sourced organic fruit and veg, and working alongside some of Australia’s top cattle producers, Harry’s dishes out some of GC’s best steak, right in the heart of Burleigh Heads. Chow down on 300g of drool-worthy miso glazed flat iron steak or their famous wagyu steak sandwich!
Sometimes good things come in small packages, but not when it comes to these guys and their nachos! Inspired directly from the beach suburbs of Southern California and Mexico, California Tacos have truly captured the essence of fresh Baha-style Mexican cuisine. Fun fact: the owners of CT grew up on the border of Mexico for over 25 years, so you know you’re in safe hands with authentic, trustworthy Mexican flavours.
Welcome to Hideaway’s smaller, but equally as popular sister restaurant, that shines a light on all things Cantonese. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, treat your tastebuds to a vibrant menu with whole lotta spice! Don’t be greedy at Mr Hizola’s – all the plates are designed to be shared. The real question is, how many plates can you handle?
Eddy + Wolff
Naming the establishment after the two streets they originated from in Canberra, owners Thao and Vien have infused their rich, Asian heritages into their passion of hospitality, producing one of Gold Coast’s most exclusive fine-dining restaurants. It’s important to book in early, as this intimate space only allows for limited numbers, assuring that each seasonal, mouth-watering dish and connoisseur cocktail are individually perfected. Let Eddy + Wolff transport you from suburban streets of Robina to a cosy bar in downtown Hong Kong.
Alit with neon-pink lights and low-hanging pendants, Ally Chow sits juxtaposed against the horde of local shabby-chic bars and cafes in the bustling nook of Nobby Beach. Serving contemporary Thai and Vietnamese cuisine with an Australian flare, Ally Chow’s head chef has multiple awards under his belt, including a chef hat, and has created a truly unique selection of dishes.
Driving down the Gold Coast Highway, you’d easily miss this modern Japanese izakaya-style restaurant hidden behind a giant, whitewashed timber door. It’s easier to spot at night with its constant line-up – you could say this place is a crowd favourite! Designed to share, Etsu lets you indulge in all your Asian cuisine fantasies.
Rich in flavour and ambiance, immerse yourself in this modern Mexican kitchen smack bang in the heart of Mermaid Beach. Adorned with traditional Talavera decor, Frida Kahlo murals and antique Virgin Mary statues, this local establishment has been gifting the GC with some of the best tacos and sangrias we have ever tasted. Better yet, they offer $5 tacos every Thursday. So, if you can’t decide… well, you know… “porque no los dos?”
Simplistic and homely, this European inspired eatery is often overlooked amongst the bustle of its neighbour, Bonita Bonita. But don’t let that deter you! The open-fire oven and softly-lit lights permeate the atmosphere, making you feel right at home within the warmth of the intimate dining room. Make sure to try their prawn risotto or their pork cotoletta for a truly unforgettable Lupo experience.
Social Eating House + Bar
Located off the main strip of the atmospheric Oracle precinct, this contemporary Australian restaurant has definitely set the benchmark for the Gold Coast foodie scene. Grab plates to share or dive headfirst into their larger meals like their 1kg slow-cooked lamb shoulder. No matter what you point to on this desirable menu, you’re sure to leave with a big, satisfactory ahhhh.
From the owner of Social Eating House, Orzo is a relatively young GC establishment, expertly combining traditional Italian techniques with world-wide influence. Prioritising quality over quantity, Orzo’s strength is within their attention to detail, creating an authentic Italian experience just steps away from the sandy Broadbeach shoreline. If you’re wanting a formal feast with the ease of casual dining, then this is the perfect choice for you.
Simply translating to ‘twins’ in Italian, this family run business truly encapsulates the essence of rustic, Italian dining. Influenced by the many diverse regions of Italy, the boys at Gemelli’s showcase their appreciation for their cultured upbringing and have produced an award-winning modern Italian establishment, now with multiple sister locations reaching up the coastline, all the way to James Street. With fresh, in-house pizza and pasta made daily, this low-lit, sensual space is the perfect spot for a romantic night out.
Hideaway Kitchen & Bar
Whether you’re outside under the sky of oriental-themed umbrellas or cozied-up in a booth against the backdrop of their energetic street-art murals, you’ll be sure to feel a million miles away from the bustling streets of central Broadbeach. Hideaway Kitchen & Bar perfectly encapsulates the vibrancy of Asian street food and culture, offering an extensive menu where even the pickiest of eaters will admit defeat in foodie satisfaction. If you’re after a contemporary twist of a cult-classic dish, be sure to try their Tom Yum Siam cocktail.
Offering cutting-edge modern Mediterranean cuisine amidst a stunning backdrop of coastal inspired architecture and design, Miss Moneypenny’s is living up to the potential of its multi-award-winning sister restaurant in Noosa. Indulge in seared Darling Downs wagyu, Hiramasa kingfish ceviche, and the best char-grilled Ora king salmon stick you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
Explore the authentic tastes of Tokyo in this provocative menu found within the discrete and luxurious halls of the mezzanine level at The Star. Traditional flavours contrast the contemporary art of Kiyomi’s plating, showcasing their expertise and craftsmanship in all aspects of the hotel dining experience.
Mamasan Kitchen + Bar
Take a walk down Oracle Boulevard and you’ll be mesmerised by the tantalising, oriental aromas wafting out from this award-winning establishment. Blending both modern and traditional cuisine from Southeast Asia, Mamasan has curated a menu focused on the share food philosophy and banquet style dining, along with Sian inspired cocktails and Japanese sake.
Everyone likes the new kid on the block, and this time, it’s Anekawa. Tucked into a corner just off of the streets of old-town Mudgeeraba, ex Rick Shores chef, Koki Anekawa, has set out on his own culinary expedition, opening an intimate and relaxed dining space inspired by his hometown of Saga, Japan. Focusing on traditional Japanese methods of cookery, Anekawa utilises ethically sourced Australian produce to create new and exciting seasonal delights. Of course, a customary cellar of Japanese whiskeys and sakes are available, as well as selected cocktails. I may be upsetting a few locals in uncovering this hidden gem to the masses, but it’s well worth it – Anekawa deserves all the hype!
Let me introduce you to one of GC’s best local establishments! Mike’s Kitchen has been providing locals with expertly cooked flame-grilled steak and slow cooked ribs for over 25 years. From starters to dessert, this steakhouse has all the South African traditional treats that will make you drool. We’re talking boerewors with mash, lamb potjie, and even a classic melktert to finish! But of course, you can’t go past their half-rack of pork ribs or 500g rump steak. Make sure to wear your stretchy pants – you’ll need them!
Seascape Restaurant + Bar
Perched above the hustle of tourist hotspot, Surfers Paradise Esplanade, Seascape Restaurant + Bar is a multi-level venue with both a bistro and bar on the first level, and fine-dining restaurant on the second. Indulge in unrivalled ocean views alongside some of the GC’s freshest seafood, with price points varying depending on the restaurant you choose. Sauvignon, sashimi, and a salty breeze? Count me in!
Nestled within the contemporary cool QT hotel, Yamagen combines the seductive vibes of an izakaya bar with the culinary brilliance of new generation Japanese. Whether you’re indulging in market-fresh sashimi or delicious char-grilled kushiyaki, your tastebuds will be singing praises all night long! And, with their extensive whiskey list, you’ll be sipping in luxury under the low-lit showcase of Tokyo chic, modern chandeliers.
Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
Located on the multi-million-dollar harbour of Marina Mirage, Glass epitomises simplistic elegance. With access to some of the freshest seafood straight off the boats, you’ll definitely want to make time this visit this ritzy joint on a balmy summer night out!
This new kid on the block only opened in September, but it’s already gaining traction as top contender of hottest place in town! With an aesthetic fit-out and a menu that consists of simple Italian share plates, you’ll be begging the crew for a road trip to Tommy’s.