PEDESTRIAN.TV has partnered with Tourism and Events Queensland to ensure you eat at only the best spots when travelling.

Anyone else the type of person who forces their mates to travel halfway across the city just to taste some of those‘ fairy floss-topped pancakes? Well, now’s the time to up the ante and get yourself across the country to the sunny state of Queensland (borders permitting, of course), and make like Gandalf telling Shadowfax to ‘show us the meaning of haste’. You’ve come to the right corner of the internet today.

A good food experience is the cornerstone of any good holiday and, after a recent solo trip to Queensland, I’m here to tell you exactly why you shouldn’t be sleeping on the northern state’s food game.

From the quirky outskirts and hidden laneways of the Brisbane CBD to the plethora of bars and eateries lining the Gold Coast, and all the way up to the tropics — there’s no shortage of award-winning culinary delights right on our doorstep. A coastal island dinner date right on the shore of the Great Barrier Reef? I’m in.

Unbuckle thy pants, because we have the perfect foodie bucket list to save for your next QLD trip.

BRISBANE

You know that feeling of exploring a new city? Where the sensory overload of stumbling upon pockets of the CBD that excite you more than a new episode of MAFS? Just me? Well, Brissy’s hidden food haunts will get your tastebuds firing and feeling some type of similar way, too. From Howard Street Wharves to the Fish Lane Arts Precinct, my best advice is to save these spots to your Google Maps and dedicate an entire day (or a weekend) to a self-guided foodie tour.

First, get your gob around Felix for Goodness, a little café tucked away in the CBD that specialises in sustainable goods and makes everything from scratch. Think brunch, baked goods, preserves and even natural wines — the perfect base to fuel up for the day.

Next up, make your way to South Brisbane and explore everything Fish Lane has to offer (my last name’s Gill, so I have no choice but to stan Fish Lane). Wandering Cooks has a rotating roster of seasonal plates sourced from local farmers, and for my plant-based pals, you’ll want to head to El Planta for house-made Mexican and margs (because when is Mexican ever a bad life choice?) or cop yourself a load of Grassfed’s cauliflower nuggets and stacked vegan burgers.

Pro tip: head to Next Episode, a New York-inspired secret cocktail bar next door where you need to enter a secret code on a red phone to get in (the code is found in their Insta bio and changes weekly).

Now, speaking of hidden gems, I get a kick out of finding random places in unassuming parts of town when travelling, so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Deer Duck Bistro. Picture this: you and your mates enjoying a five- or nine-course degustation of modern Australian European, fine dining food that has a quirky edge, seated amongst French renaissance furniture, old silver cutlery, crystal whiskey decanters and antique paintings.

Exhibit A: No words, only emotions…

GOLD COAST

In case you’ve somehow managed to miss it: the Gold Coast has become a veritable foodie spot and it also has the bonus of being easily accessible from every major city in Australia.

Your hit list should include iconic Pan-Asian restaurant Rick Shores (but be sure to book well in advance), Las Palmas Bar and Restaurant for Latin American flavours, and The Tropic at Burleigh Pavilion, which has one of the best ocean views on this entire list. It also has an open kitchen, so you can watch head chef Guillaume Zika work the pans.

In my opinion, there’s legit nothing better than a home-cooked meal and shared plates between mates. Enter MAMAN (French for mum), founded by two mums who serve up Mediterranean-meets-Middle Eastern delights in the most beautiful, minimalist space that would fit right in on a Greek Island. The menu is all about local, organic and handmade goodies so fire up the group chat, save it in your Google Map guide and book into their private dining room for your next weekender.

SUNSHINE COAST

If there’s one thing you do when you go to Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, make it a meal and cooking class at the award-winning Spirit House.

Located directly inland from Coolum Beach (about 30 minutes from Noosa), Spirit House is one of the most celebrated Asian-inspired restaurants in the country. Plus, they also have a bar and cooking school, all set in a lush tropical garden. As always, you have options here. You can either book a cooking class to learn how to wield a wok, or let them do all the hard work for you and book a seat in the restaurant.

TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND

Beam me up to the boutique timber bungalows in Tropical North Queensland ASAP, Scotty! Nestled in the treetops of the deluxe beachfront eco-resort Thala Beach Nature Reserve, sits Ospreys Restaurant. Overlooking the region’s untouched coastline and mountains, it’s hardly a shock that Ospreys is famous for its panoramic views, wildlife and local ingredients, sourced right from their neighbours.

It’s the house-made gnocchi in truffle oil with fried sage leaves, toasted hazelnuts and adzuki bean tendril for me, but look, if it’s the miso-buttered corn on the cob or bug tail for you, then I say live your truth. We’re both living local, sis. Located between Cairns and Port Douglas, Thala has the highest level of advanced eco accreditation possible and is the perfect base to explore both the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.

Speaking of rainforests, I also *highly* recommend Flames of the Forest. It’s Australia’s only true rainforest dining experience and basically, you’ll learn about the world’s oldest living rainforest, complete with an Aboriginal cultural performance, all while scoffing a seven-course candlelit dinner under the canopy.

GREAT BARRIER REEF

For the fancy folk at the back, this one’s for you, and if my future husband is reading this, well, this is also for you. Welcome to Orpheus Island Lodge where we — I mean you — can design your own custom menu with their culinary team before enjoying a candlelit six-course degustation and matching wines right on the pier of the island overlooking the coral sea. Talk about boujee brews and views, right? This could be us…I mean you.

While not food-related, the best thing to do before a romantic six-course degustation is a big romantic dive. Orpheus is one of only five commercial tourism operators that has access to the Museum of Underwater Art in Townsville. And, I mean, where else can you live out your Little Mermaid fantasy? This could also be us. . . I mean you.

Image: Mark Fitz for Tourism & Events Queensland / Instagram user orpheusisland