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The Gold Coast is on the fast track to becoming the new foodie capital of Australia – the dining’s nek- level and world-famous chefs are flocking there like a bunch of flamin’ galahs. And why wouldn’t they? It’s basically sunny all year round, the surf’s gnarly and the seafood is as fresh as it gets.
But where does one go to line their stomachs and get on the turps? We travelled to the GC and found the best wining and dining so you don’t have to (you’re welcome).
Bazaar – QT Gold Coast
7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Bloody excellent for all-you-can-eat breakfast or brunch, this buffet at the QT is like every other buffet you’ve had in this life, just ten times better. Strategy is needed – sit down with a barista-made coffee before planning your attack on the multiple breakfast bars.
They gave me things I didn’t even know I needed. It’s not just the food that’s insane, it’s the attention to detail. You can sip from a variety of flavoured milks, smoothies and homemade juices (with a sustainable straw, mind you) while you wait for the in-house chef to cook your customised omelette in front of you.
Choose from a Japanese Mediterranean or modern day Australian breakfast bar (or all three), or choose from the pastry bar complete with chocolate croissants, jam doughnuts, pancakes, waffles and more. This buffet, conveniently located at the groovy QT hotel, is the perfect staycation for you to treat yo’self – the real drama is knowing when to stop.
52 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise QLD 4217
Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner, drinks, Sandbar is one of the best dining experiences in Surfers Paradise and conveniently located a stone’s throw from the QT hotel.
It’s chilled out space makes you feel like you’ve wandered off a desert island and into a conveniently located bar next to the sea. Think Bondi’s Bucketlist but closer to the beach, because it’s damn-well possible. Here you can look at the ocean and people as you dig into smashed avo with jalapeño avo salsa or choose from the largest craft beer collection in all of Australia.
If you’re feeling a healthier option, the smoothie and poké bowl section has you covered. Perfect for casual chills with bae where you can stare deeply into each other’s eyes before walking hand in hand to the straight to the beach, if that’s your vibe.
275 Boundary St, Coolangatta QLD 4225
Great for breakfast, coffee or lunch, Café DBar is a hip, hop, happening café located on the border of QLD and NSW. If that’s not enough to make you wanna visit, you can head to any level of this beaut café/ art gallery to look at the lush turquoise waters while sipping on a freshly made coffee. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy the chilled out atmosphere of Rainbow Bay.
Try their famous salted caramel freak-shake with butterscotch salted caramel, vanilla ice-cream, whipped cream and crushed Tim Tams before straddling the border of NSW and QLD. Alternatively, you can enjoy the pork belly with tempura soft shell crab, apple, papaya slaw and shiitake apple broth before tackling the world famous popular surf spot, Snapper Rocks. This place has it all – here you can absorb them ‘grammable views, bump into professional surfers (like local Mick Fanning) or peruse the art.
4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218
Whether you’re after breakfast, lunch or dinner, the meals here are so pure you can simply forget about your bad life decisions from the night before. We get it, we’re all human, we all drink, but head upstairs to their yoga studio and sweat out those toxins. But seriously, the food here is so good you’ll want to quit your day job and start an Instagram account full of kale smoothies, yoga and righteousness because you sweat water.
If you wanna get back on it, freshly squeezed orange juice with organic vodka are also on offer here. Yes please. Coco whip mad with a variety of vegan toppings? Sign me up. Try the MVP pancakes with buckwheat and banana, wild berry compote, vegan honeycomb and coconut icecream. In the words of Hozier, bloody take me to church.
The menu also features a delicious paleo burger consisting of beef pattie including incred ingredients like pickled beetroot, rocket, dill pickles and a house fermented kombucha mustard. Wanting to stay here until evening? Enjoy the 100% gluten free menu and such drinks as the turmeric margarita, with tequila, Cointreau, freshly squeezed OJ and organic turmeric probiotics.
2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach QLD 4218
Great for lunch, dinner and dranks, this place packs some seriously cool vibes and was voted Gold Coast’s #1 Mexican by locals.
Situated in Mermaid Beach, this place is mega chilled and the perfect location for good food without the hefty price tag. The groovy lil’ venue with a Frida Kahlo-inspired décor, delicious food and pumpin’ 70s dance music will have your head swaying and toes tapping. We haven’t even gotten started on the food. The tacos are out of control – try the crispy calamari taco with pineapple chilli jam, green cabbage and cilantro cream (before you start with us, there are a lot of delicious vegetarian + vegan options too). Oh, try the Calabaza- sangria glazed pockets stuffed with pumpkin and served with corn mole and pepitas. You won’t regret it.