We love it when new and exciting restaurants open their doors. And even with a global pandemic in full swing, some brave and hardworking people still came together and opened some incredible restaurants/eateries here on the Gold Coast in the year that was 2021.
There was something for everyone and all occasions, so read on and discover the newest places to be rocking your tastebuds!
Decadence and seriously good Italian flavours collide with an outstanding drinks list on the reg here. Book yourself a table in this heart-of-Broadbeach joint, and you won’t be disappointed.
Where: Oasis Shopping Centre, 71b Victoria Ave, Broadbeach
Nashville fried hot chicken has never tasted this good outside the land of the brave and the free — until now, that is. Hit up their Southport-based venue or find their food truck when you can. It’s hard to miss their signature blue and yellow branding!
where: 8B/59-73 Meron St, Southport
Serving up authentic Japanese izakaya-style eats Tuesday to Sunday every week for lunch and dinner, this place is here to aid those times when all you want to do is gourmandise on sushi. So if you haven’t already, put this place on your to-visit list pronto.
Where: 1/62 Thomas Dr, Surfers Paradise
This legendary venue skipped across the highway and is now in the thick of the action, just off James Street. Consistently serving up the Mexican you know and love, this should be your go-to any day of the week.
Where: 1/19 Park Ave (in the alleyway from James St to Park Ave), Burleigh Heads
Gods of the Sea
In a nutshell: take incredible fresh seafood produce and put it in the hands of a talented kitchen led by the ex-Head Chef of Burleigh’s The Fish House. It is important to note though that they moved from Nobby Beach to Marina Mirage late last year.
Where: 74 Seaworld Dr, Shop/16 Marina Mirage, Main Beach
Cross Eyed Mary
Simple, honest Italian, yet refined enough to make it worth the trip to Coolangatta. Believe us, new age wines and handmade pasta have never tasted so good. It has to be tried to be believed.
Where: 114 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Overindulging your senses is a legitimate threat when you pay a visit to Palette… an ultra-seasonal and gastronomically-advanced restaurant built within Queensland’s newest, show-stopping art gallery.
Where: Home Of The Arts Gallery, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
A homely and entirely genuine Italian experience awaits you on Chevron Island. Expect a cosy bistro-style venue that makes it oh so hard to leave! Strongly recommend the Risotto Isola della scala.
Where: 58 Thomas Dr, Surfers Paradise
A hidden in plain sight Brazilian-style burger joint that offers up extremely big-flavoured eats. With rotating specials, this place has high replay value. Oh and our plant-based friends won’t be disappointed here. Shoutout to their D’Musshy burger, with lashings of confit mushrooms and miso mayo. *drool*
Where: Shop 9/2462 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Spice Thai Kitchen & Bar
Primely positioned on the exterior of the Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach; you can treat yourself to great Thai cuisine for lunch or dinner, any day you feel like it. Because yes, you do deserve it.
Where: Shop GO.67 Oasis Shopping Centre, 75 Victoria Ave, Broadbeach
A chicken shop with a difference, Freddy’s waltzed onto the James Street scene in September and hasn’t looked back since. Succulent salads, brilliant burgers and the very best free range chook right in the heart of Burleigh Heads.
Where: 19 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
If you haven’t been, you ought to change that fast. This family-run ode to Belgium is the perfect place for any occasion specialising in Belgian mussels and meatballs. You’ll be coming back for time after time. It doesn’t get more authentic than this.
Where: 136 Duringan St, Currumbin
Not content with running a highly successful local market stall, these amigos thought it was about time to put down some roots in Palm Beach. Some incredible local produce and deftly considered mex flavours make these guys a hit.
Where: 1136 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Cheese Me Baby
From a much-loved market stall to being one of Mermaid Beach’s best new eating spots, make a trip to Cheese Me Baby for hard-to-find wines and all of the cheesy goodness you can handle. Toasties will never be the same for you.
Where: The POD, 2375 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Fast and damn tasty — Two Yolks has brought some severe burger action to the locale of Burleigh Heads. And when has dipping tater tots in a runny yolk never not been amazing or mesmerising? We rest our case.
Where: 13 Connor St, Burleigh Heads
Scott’s Luncheonette Bar
Yet another reason to hit up Palm Beach. This modern, adept sandwich bar is run by hospo heavyweight Perry Scott, and of course, offers top-notch drinks along with their epic sandos.
Where: Shop 1/1114 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Throw in an incredible position and view with a talented head chef and outstanding Italian menu, and you’re on your way to understanding what Tommy’s is about. Stick your Out of Office autoreply on because this is the perfect place to go AWOL.
Where: 818 Pacific Pde, Currumbin
Sabor Brasil Bar
Uber tasty and hearty Brazilian home cooking is at the very core of this Nobby Beach hangout. Come for a true savour of South American and stay for the good vibes.
Where: Shop 2/2243 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Varisty Lakes won itself a must-visit Italian restaurant in the shape of Oscar Italia last year. Sporting regular live music and next-level pasta and pizza, if you haven’t checked it out, we suggest you point the car in that direction stat!
Where: 4/190 Varsity Pde, Varsity Lakes
The Star Gold Coast is on a mission to have the very best eating-out options on the Coast, and frankly, we can’t argue. Uncle Su is the decadent and high-end Chinese restaurant you have been yearning for. Be sure to order the Peking Duck: it’s simply the best.
Where: Ground level, The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach
Shiraz Persian Restaurant + Bar
Having moved to a newer and grander location, this lauded Iranian eatery offers the same delicious menu and unparalleled service that explains why they have won so many awards.
Where: 2893 Gold Coast Hwy, Surfers Paradise
Steer into Treetops West Burleigh for a brilliant lunch sans reservation, and you’ll be experiencing fantastic roman style pizza. Oh but let us not forget that irresistible Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek with porcini mushrooms and red wine sauce. Yum is an understatement.
Where: Treetops Plaza, 7 Classic Way, Burleigh Waters
A couple of cool hospo cats took over the legendary Panchos of Mudgeeraba, and it looks like the good times have been coming ever since. Unpretentious and delicious mex treats plus jugs of sangria await everyone who drops by.
Where: 581 Gold Coast Springbrook Rd, Mudgeeraba
Paloma Wine Bar
When the team behind Restaurant Labart thought they’d try their hand at a high-end wine bar on James Street, the stars aligned. Chic, fun, and packed to the rafters with wines from all over the world, you’ll lose an afternoon with minimal effort here.
Where: 12 James St, Burleigh Heads
Little Red Dumpling Broadbeach
Right in the heart of all the action in Broadbeach, Little Red Dumpling makes getting into delectable dumplings or devouring bao’s any day of the week such an easy affair.
Where: Shop 113/89 Surf Pde, Broadbeach
From the team who brought us Project Tokyo in Mermaid Waters, Agave Rosa is bringing Baja flavours to Kirra Beach — and we’re not mad. If there’s a better way to transition from beach to margarita, we’ll wait to hear it.
Where: Shop 2/74 Musgrave St, Kirra
Pre takeoff, post-landing (or truthfully, anytime) is a great time to come and appreciate the diverse and cleverly put together offering of Madame Za at Rydges Gold Coast Airport. Skilfully fusing multiple Asian cuisines, do yourself a favour and ditch the terminal fast food options.
Where: Lot 5 Terminal Dr, Bilinga
Simply: Better Chicken. That’s right… And it’s their slogan too. They pride themselves on incorporating fresh and nutritious ingredients to give you finger-lickin’ fried chicken, with stacks of flavour, but without too much guilt involved. We highly recommend The Wonderbird with fresh cabbage and carrot slaw, pickle, red onion, bacon jam, cheese, chicken and aioli. Need we say more?!
Where: Shop 2A, 1730 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
This Mermaid Beach icon made a resurgence, and we couldn’t be happier. With a new location, whether you’ve been for a surf or not, and if you find yourself with sand between your toes and a hankering for some great drinks and sensational food, Après Surf (located just a stone’s throw off Burleigh Beach) is the calling you cannot ignore.
Where: Shop 1, 1837, Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Cali beach’s newest addition is this uber luxe restauarant. Headed by Marcelino Papio Jr, he brings his extensive culinary expertise to Saké Sisters from some of the best restaurants in the world, including Nobu Sydney, Toko Restaurant in Surry Hills and Zuma Japanese Restaurant in Dubai. So expect some top eats.
Where: 21a Elkhorn Ave, Surfers Paradise
LUCIA Tapas Garden
Oli Frost brought us Burleigh’s ode to Mediterranean cuisine, Maman, admired Vietnamese fused speakeasy bar, Naami, as well as Surfers Paradise’s burger joint, Milky Lane. And in 2021 he brought us LUCIA. A venue that oozes Spanish charm at every turn. Go for the food, stay for the insta-worthy courtyard area. Trust us.
Where: 1/445 Golden Four Dr, Tugun
Words by Alex Mitcheson.