Australia’s Gold Coast food scene has dramatically evolved in the past few years, and we’re totally here for it.
The recent host of the Commonwealth Games, people may come to this popular area for its beautiful beaches, but they are staying for the burgeoning culinary scene.
If you’re planning to head here, expect to do a ton of dining al fresco to enjoy these quality eats (with Aus weather it would be a crime not to).
The fine-dining scene has also been evolving with plenty of innovative chefs offering sophisticated experiences like The Fish House in Burleigh Heads which won a Chef’s Hat Award this year – AKA Australia’s version of the Michelin star.
Securing itself as a foodie hotspot has not been difficult for the Gold Coast, as it offers a wide range of cuisine and dining venues.
Here’s the ultimate guide to eating in Australia‘s Gold Coast.
Must-try: Cruffin, Mermaid Latte
It may be tricky to spot from the road, but once you find Bam Bam Bakehouse you’ll see the line out the door to get artisan pastries. Bam Bam offers a wide range of baked goods and Insta-worthy pastries like Nutella cruffins, flaky croissants, or choux bombs. If you don’t feel like eating your weight in treats or being ‘extra’ by ordering a mermaid or unicorn latte, grab an acai bowl with peanut butter.
Where: 2519 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Must-try: Ricks Fried Bug Roll
Rick Shores is a must-visit restaurant, and fittingly enough, it’s on the shores of the beautiful Gold Coast. Aside from the exceptional panoramic views of the water, patrons can enjoy some delicious small plate Pan-Asian cuisine here. Ricks Fried Bug Roll is the one bucket list item you’ve got to try here, it’s a battered Queensland bug tail topped with lettuce and Sriracha and served on a soft brioche-style bun.
Where: 3/43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Must-try: Patagonian Toothfish
Basically, the Nobu of the Gold Coast, The Fish House has served some A-list diners like Hugh Jackman, Orlando Bloom, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Penélope Cruz, so you know it must be good. Just as the name suggests this eatery specializes in high-quality fresh seafood. The menu is inspired by Southern Europe flavours, and they’ve got a stellar wine program to match.
Where: 50 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Must-try: Prosciutto Di Parma Pizza
Located near Burleigh Heads Beach, Justin Lane offers the best pizza in the area. The restaurant’s menu focuses on sourdough pizza and gourmet pasta. Justin Lane also boasts a rooftop bar for those interested in only going for a cocktail. Instead of dining inside, you can also order takeaway and walk across the street to enjoy a pizza on the beach.
Where: 1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Must-try: Purple Toast, Twice Baked Almond Croissant
Offering outdoor seating in a dreamy garden setting, Paddock Bakery is the perfect place to get breakfast or lunch. The best selling pastry is the twice baked almond croissant which is filled with almond frangipane and topped with flaked almonds. Make sure to go early, as these delicious croissants sell out quickly. The menu here also offers plenty of healthy breakfast options, including a roasted beetroot and Za’atar puree purple toast, an interesting twist for those who love avo toast.
Where: 20 Hibiscus Haven, Miami
To get to Etsu you’ve got to head to the red glowing lantern outside because there’s no signage on the exterior of this inconspicuous Gold Coast hotspot. Etsu offers authentic Japanese Izakaya menu with a vibrant interior (think neon signs and bold murals). The menu offers a variety of small sharing plates such as sashimi, gyoza, and yakitori. This spot also provides a massive sake and Japanese whiskey drink list and other popular Izakaya drinks like Chuhai, a cocktail made with shochu, carbonated water, and flavoured with lemon.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Must-try: House Special Lamb
Hellenika is a Greek restaurant that offers a great selection of sharing plates (with very generous portions), but this trendy restaurant fills up the second it opens, so make sure you make a reservation to try them. When you show up come hungry, a must-try is the house-special baked lamb, a massive 1.2 kg piece of fall off the bone lamb shoulder. If you’re feeling like a sunset cocktail you can head to the recently-opened upstairs bar of this eatery, too.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Disclaimer: Travel, accommodation, and meals were provided by Tourism Australia. All views and opinions are those of the author.