We found culinary gold, just over the border.
We found culinary gold, just over the border.
Quite obviously the Gold Coast is home to a growing number of epic eateries that will keep your Instagram feed filled for the rest of time. However, sometimes it’s nice to step outside your comfort zone and taste something slightly further afield.
Upon investigation, it seems there are plenty of epic eateries just outside our pretty city that are guaranteed to knock your socks off (should you be wearing socks due to these slightly chilly temps) now that border restrictions are easing.
Also, how fun are road trips (miss you!). Grab your gang and get out on the open road, your tastebuds will thank you.
Not even where to start to be honest. Harvest is THE GOODS. They weave fresh, local and organic produce into dishes that are the equivalent of Chris Hemsworth in the looks department and as tasty as anything you’ve ever eaten. Anything. Found in a renovated weatherboard cottage and with a deli, bakery and coffee shop on the premises, it’s an absolute must-visit. You need never eat elsewhere again. Where: 18-22 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar Village
The Mez Club, Byron Bay
It’s Mediterranean magic at The Mez Club with high ceilings, all of the white walls, wooden furniture and on point rattan seating and light fittings. The vibe is laidback sophistication, the food is share plate style and the cocktails are all the best things in the world. How does a Peach & Thyme Collins sound? Gin, peach liquor, fresh thyme, lemon juice and soda – it sounds like a party in your mouth does it not. GO NOW. Where: 4/85-87 Jonson St, Byron Bay
Federal Doma Café, Federal
It’s Japanese food in the Byron Bay hinterland and it’s some of the best you’ll ever put in your mouth. From hand-rolled salmon cones to the tastiest miso soup there is and Japanese-style burgers, you’d be crazy not to eat one of everything. The produce is fresh, there’s live music on weekends and you can sit outside under the trees, sampling stunning food and contemplating why it is you live in the city when apparently the country is where it’s at. Where: 3-6 Albert St, Federal
Mavis’s Kitchen Restaurant, Uki
Nestled at the base of the Mt Warning is a 25-acre former dairy farm, home to a relaxed country-style restaurant where as much produce as possible is sourced from the organic kitchen garden. The breakfast and a la carte lunch menus are filled with beautiful dishes that taste like your loving Grandma cooked them (if your loving Grandma is Nigella Lawson). If you over-indulge, which you will, you can stay overnight in a pretty little log cabin surrounded by sweet, sweet serenity. Where: 64 Mount Warning Road, Uki
TOWN Restaurant And Café, Bangalow
It’s the quaint little town known for fresh air, mountain vibes and epic weekend markets but were you aware there is also quite a lot of good food to be taste-tested? Probably since you’re reading this, but let’s power on. TOWN is a modern, one-hatted (for their degustation) restaurant offering next-level contemporary eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cute as a button too (who decided buttons were cute). Where: 33 Byron Street, Bangalow
Spice Den, Casuarina
Oh guys, Spice Den is the business. Just 25 short minutes down the road, it’s an Asian fusion-style establishment serving share-style dishes you definitely won’t want to share though. There’s ridiculous curries, sashimi, whole snappers, scallop shooters – all of the good things. One visit is definitely not enough. Do yourself a favour and order the Grilled Spice Lamb Roti and report back (with samples if you don’t mind). Where: 9 Dianella Drive, Casuarina
Fleet, Brunswick Heads
The tiny Brunswick beauty is perhaps the most stunning venue on the NSW north coast. The ever-changing menu is made up of a series of smaller dishes, each with a focus on a few primary ingredients and each is sleek, refined and packing a flavour punch. Produce is sourced sustainably, as is the wine menu of course and there’s a degustation menu if choosing becomes too much. It’s authentic, local, incredible food that must be tasted to be believed. Where: 16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads
Words by Kirra Smith
Sundays are reserved for one of three purposes; chilling with the fam and getting prepped for the week ahead, sneaking in a little Sunday sesh to delay Monday as long as humanly possible, and our fave, a spot of road trippin! We’re lucky on the GC as we’re inundated with scenic drive options, and only need to travel an hour or two to find lots of beautiful, unique sights and activities.
We’ve broken it down to five destinations and provided a small snapshot of what you can find at each. Toot toot!
A trip up the mountain isn’t complete without a stroll along Gallery Walk. It’s a melting pot of eclectic finds, with over 70 shops in the one block. You’ll find everything from fashion, jewellery, arts and crafts, cellar door outlets, chocolate, fudge, food outlets, cafes…and even a cuckoo clock shop. If you’re looking for something unique or need to buy that friend who has everything a gift, chances are you’ll find something here.
Where: Long Road, Tamborine Mountain
Enjoy a beautiful walk through the rain-drenched Eucalyptus forest to the magical Curtis Falls. Wander past towering trees and through a canopy of ferns, down to this miniature and photogenic waterfall. The 1.1km walk should only talk half an hour or less to get down to the falls, but you will likely want to stay awhile and soak up the peacefulness. Top it off with a spot of morning tea at the Curtis Falls Cafe. Lovely!
Where: 16 Eagle Heights Road, North Tamborine – Get there via Eagle Heights Road and park right at the entrance to the walk.
This 18-acre working distillery is the darling of the Scenic Rim. A Prohibition-style space with an established vineyard, lush rolling meadows and of course, a generous gin and cocktail bar, there’s a lot to love. Settle in for a bev or a feed, or BYO picnic rug and chill amongst the vineyards. You can partake in complimentary lawn games if you so desire, and they’re pro pop here so Fido can come too!
Where: 89-123 Hartley Road, Tamborine Mountain
The Glow Worm Caves
Take a guided half-hour walk through lush rainforest to a purpose-built cave, filled with thousands of shimmery glow worms! Everyone can get up close and personal with a glow worm here without damaging delicate wild habitats #CueApplause. And the best part? It’s conveniently located in the Cedar Creek Estate Vineyard and Winery, you can enjoy a tipple pre or post tour…or pre and post tour!
Where: Cedar Creek Estate, 104-144 Hartley Road, North Tamborine
Mountview Alpaca Farm
Located in O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard, you can meet alpacas and drink wine and srsly, life made. Choose between 15 and 60 minute alpaca experiences where you can walk and feed these cute creatures, or go all out with an alpaca picnic, alpaca devonshire tea, or a wine, cheese and alpaca package (#us). Set in a boutique vineyard and historic Queenslander homestead, it’s as picturesque as it is fun.
Where: 852 Lamington National Park Road, Canungra
Farm & Co.
No doubt Instagram has informed you there is a field of sunflowers just a short 25 minute drive away where you can frolic, take selfies, pick said sunflowers and generally pretend you don’t have a care in the world. There’s also a coffee shop where you can sink into an oversized lounge chair while gazing at the sunflowers and contemplating a new career in farming, live music of a weekend, a tasty array of brunch eats and fresh veggies you can take home too.
Where: 529 Cudgen Road, Cudgen
Take a 5-minute drive to Duranbah to the iconic Tropical Fruitworld where you can see, taste and learn about fruits from around the world grown in the family plantation. The award-winning farm tour is a must and speaking of musts, you do need to pre-book. Grab a bite to eat from Plantation Café, and shop for the delicious fresh home-grown produce and unique fruit products made on site from the Marketplace.
Where: 29 Duranbah Rd, Duranbah
Check out restful riverside town Chinderah, stopping in for a refreshment and snack at The Chindy. Also known as Chinderah Tavern, The Chindy boasts a big old deck overlooking the widest river in the world (not a fact) and supplies all the cold beer, wine and tasty eats you could wish for on a Sunday afternoon. There’s live music, sunsets if you time it right, and just general non-city good times. Right next door is Cubby Bakehouse you can get yourself some dessert for the drive home.
Where: 156 Chinderah Bay Drive, Chinderah
The Farm Byron Bay
A must visit for everyone (especially anyone with a little person in tow), The Farm is a destination in itself. See how the farm operates and say hi to the animals, and meet the infamous mascots Braveheart the Scottish Highland cow and Bobby the rooster. Collect macadamia nuts from the macadamia trees, have a meal at Three Blue Ducks restaurant, or grab a little something from The Bread Social to eat outside on a picnic rug. There’s a playground for the anklebiters and plenty of beautiful open space to explore.
Where: 11 Ewingsdale Road, Ewingsdale
The Crystal Castle in Mullumbimby
Instagood alert! Sit in an ancient amethyst cave, pose with rare and amazing giant crystals, and wander five hectares of subtropical, crystal-filled Shambhala Gardens and rainforest. You can even touch the World Peace Stupa, a project blessed by the Dalai Lama and join in Crystal Sound Healings at 12pm and 3pm! Grab a bite with a stunning hinterland view at Lotus Café and let the kids run amok in the playground.
Where: 81 Monet Drive, Montecollum
The heart of beautiful Brunswick Heads, swing in for a drink or a feed at this classic Aussie pub. Somewhat of an institution and a fave far and wide, relax under the beautiful Poinciana trees in the beer garden and soak up the ambience. Always busy on Sundays, if you can push the friendship and stay on till the early evening, you’ll generally be rewarded with live music and an even more awesome vibe. Pub grub at its best.
Where: Mullumbimbi Street, Brunswick Heads
A collective of creative local artisans and curators of fine goods who are passionate about what they do, this is our jam! Honouring the space and the essence of the Byron Bay Hinterland, Newrybar Merchants enables customers to experience rustic charm effortlessly blended with sophistication within a beautiful and unique retail space. Shop everything from faaarshion, to homewares, to wellness products and everything in between, it’s a must.
Where: 16 Old Pacific Highway, Newrybar
The Ivory Waterside
Barely over the boarder but for the northern GC folk, it’s a Sunday drive to Tweed Heads so we’ll let this one fly. Recently undergoing a bit of a nip and tuck and overlooking the adjoining marina and picturesque Terra Creek, it’s the ultimate in casual waterside dining. The food is consistently delish and guys, you can even get your rad on with tons of vintage arcade games in Benny’s Arcade. Talk about a one-stop-good-times-shop! Add it to the list.
Where: 156 Wharf Street, Tweed Heads
Wollumbin National Park.
Unfortunately closed until the end of October due to flooding etc, this World Heritage-listed national treasure is well worth a look once it reopens. Previously known as Mt Warning National Park, lose yourself in some of the largest and oldest tracts of sub-tropical rainforest on Earth. Wollumbin, which rises from the park to a height of 1,157 metres above sea level, is a remnant central vent of an ancient volcano and yep, that’s a drawcard right there.
Where: About 12km south-west of Murwillumbah off Kyogle Road, Mount Warning
Tweed River House
This one is special! From the vantage point of the verdant riverbanks, settled at the tropical foothills of the Tweed Caldera in Murwillumbah, this century-old riverside plantation house has been lovingly restored to maintain its original character and charm. The elegant yet relaxed renovation creates a unique space that reflects the gentle pace of the Northern Rivers, oozing 1930s style with a French twist. They’ve even been nominated for a Chef Hat Award by the Australian Good Food Guide so if the aesthetics aren’t enough to get you there, the nosh will be!
Where: 131 River Street, South Murwillumbah
Baked at Ancora
Another one that’s close by when you’re a bit strapped for time is Baked at Ancora. Believers that sweet treats and waterside picnics go hand in hand, we concur and we can’t get enough of this Parisian style café bakery. From their signature croissants and traditional classics like pain-au-chocolat, to the more unique and inventive flavour combos, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in actual Paris. Well worth the waistline damage.
Where: 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads
You just know this one will be cool by the name. A small independent boutique bottleshop and delicatessen run by a chef and a sommelier, this trendy yet totally unpretentious local fave is #goals. Grab a sub and stock up on a vast array of sensational deli goodies for your evening platter. Don’t even get us started on the booze, which you can take home (including phenom cocktail ingredients) or enjoy in-house. We recommend passing on DD duty and settling in for a few.
Where: 20 Bay Street, Tweed Heads
Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre
There’s always something new to discover at the Tweed Regional Gallery, housed in a large, modern, architecturally award-winning building with views to Wollumbin/Mount Warning. While you’re there, a meal at the new in-house eats haunt Apex is an absolute non-negotiable. With a stunning outlook and design to reflect the vista, indulge in a unique combo of rustic French patisserie goodies and modern cafe plates with a very ‘now’ pan-Asian twist. Add a cocktail and instant happy place.
Where: 2 Mistral Road, South Murwillumbah
Important side note incoming…. Check out What’s on in the Tweed for the region’s official event calendar here
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Being a Gold Coaster, you’re no doubt aware that a bike crawl is the perfect mix of a bike ride and a pub crawl complete with a personally curated crew and hopefully a whole lotta laughs.
Plus, you get to drink beer while also exercising and that, friends, is the Aussie way. Grab the gang and get on board our route from Palm Beach to Broadbeach, with stops at all the very best spots along the way. Let’s just call just go ahead and call it the Tour de Gold Coast.
To start the day off and to build a proper exercising foundation, meet at one of Palm Beach’s delightful brunch joints. We love Sisterhood Coffee, Barefoot Barista and Custard Canteen, all of whom offer quite unique and super yummy breakfast options – start your crawl the right way with a mean feed to get you going.
Once you’ve fuelled up and consumed a coffee or two, it’s time to saddle up and spin those wheels along Jefferson Lane, en route to Burleigh admiring all the fancy pants beach houses along the way.
Definitely stop in for a dip at Talle Creek once you’ve set yourself up with some of your Custard goodies (can confirm the Portugese Tarts slay), maybe check out some cute pups at the dog beach, snap an Insta pic (because if you don’t, were you even there) and off you go.
After cruising around Burleigh Hill you’ll find yourself in beautiful Burleigh Heads and here your options are endless.
If you’re lucky, The Village Markets will be in full swing (they’re on the first and third Sunday of the month), so why not check out some local designers and shop up a little storm before drink time.
Feeling like some good ol’ pub grub? Head to Local or Apres Surf. If you’re after something a little bit different Mr Hizola’s and Jimmy Wah’s have your upmarket Asian cravings covered. On a budget? No problem, try Wahoos for some fish tacos or just pull up some grass on Burleigh Hill with a few takeaway pizzas from Justin Lane and watch the surf roll in.
Back on your bike and you’re off along the esplanade to Nobby’s, but don’t forget a quick stop at Palm Springs for a spicy marg – it’s one of their signature cocktails for good reason.
By now it’s probably early arvo and Nobby’s is sure to be in full swing. Park your pushies and head into The Arc for pizza and live music or Bine Bar & Dining next door for a pint or two of specialty craft beers and their cult favourite 75cent chicken wings (happy hour runs daily from 3pm to 6pm – you’re welcome).
Holliday Coffee is the next stop on the list, perfect for a caffeine hit (we’re assuming you’ll need it after all that biking) and a jaffle because carbs = life.
If you’re not up for a sneaky Sunday drink and more into the physical benefits of a bike crawl, BSKT has a huge range of healthy eats that will give you the fuel you need to push those pedals – they do also have wine and beer if you fancy a cheeky sip. If something more fancy is up your alley, try Ally Chow for delish Asian eats before heading upstairs to Tropic Vice for rooftop bar vibes and cocktails that taste like summer.
Once you’ve had your fill, it’s back on your bike and on the way to Mermaid Beach.
Trek along Hedges Avenue through Mermaid and choose from a HUGE range of spots to stop along the way. Goccia is serving up all the very best Italian eats (carbs for energy obviously) while Poke Poke has tasty poke bowls and curries for days.
If you’re in need of another sweet treat (energy fuel of course) it would be rude not to have a pit stop at Bam Bam Bakehouse. Rumour has it an almond croissant is all you need to keep those legs moving because we’ve got another few stops on the map.
A little further along, the Mermaid Beach Surf Club has all of the icy cold beers to enjoy while overlooking the ocean and, once you’re suitably refreshed, it’s time to pedal on.
The final destination is in sight, Broadbeach (if you’ve made it this far), with a HUGE array of eating and drinking holes to satisfy any desire.
Who needs food if you can have beer? Skip dinner and head straight to The Broadbeach for a huge, high vibin’ Sunday session.
Up for a little after beverage sweetie? Check out what’s swirling at cult favourite fro-yo joint Yo-Chi.
If you’re after something more relaxed, Kurrawa Surf Club has big meals and lots of cold drinks again, overlooking the ocean – plus, after all the riding no doubt you’ve worked up a hefty appetite.
For dinner, try Spice Kitchen & Bar for some next level Thai or Sofia’s for a pasta fix – both at The Oasis Shopping Centre. If work’s off the menu for Monday and more drinks are in order, Marilyn’s Bar is just a short ride away and the perfect small bar vibe to round out the night.
And you’re done! What a time. Make sure you’ve locked up your bikes, share an Uber home and pick up your loyal companion Monday arvo.
*Bicycles are considered vehicles under QLD Law, so are subject to alcohol laws. Make sure to check out the QLD Laws here before undertaking a Bike Crawl.
Words by Kirra Smith and Jacqueline Bojanowski.
Dining out can be a mixed affair. From finding yourself excitedly catching up with friends over share style plates to sitting down in a sophisticated environment with huge explorations of flavours — and no doubt courses. There is undoubtedly an eating-out experience for every occasion. Boutique dining room-style destinations offering polished and carefully orchestrated dishes are growing in popularity; offering diners the chance to take part in a culinary journey from the moment they sit down until the moment they wave goodbye.
How do nine luxuriant courses of utter seasonality and divine savourings sound to you? Like something you need in your life, we think you’ll agree. Brought to you by renowned Sydney Chef Alex Munoz-Labart, Restaurant Labart provides one of the most on-point submersions into culinary wizardry you’re going to find outside of a capital city. Once you have taken your seat, enjoy the pared-back wooden furniture and muted colour accents permeating serene yet urbane feels. Seriously: what is there not to adore about this place?
Where: 8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
The North Room
A sophisticated and contemporary dining room in Mermaid Beach, The North Room made its debut in mid-2017 introducing locals to share-style dining. The ever-changing menu focuses on seasonally inspired dishes served in a clean and minimalistic space. For wine lovers out there, rejoice. You’ll be treated to exceptional and lesser-known wine producers hand-picked to accompany the exquisite flavours of whatever chef/owner Tim Stewart has opted to curate for the day’s menu.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Rd and Cronulla Ave)
If the backdrop is something you consider heavily when choosing a destination for eating out, how does a world-class art gallery sound? Home of the Arts (HOTA) brand spanking new Gallery building would not have been complete without an astounding place to eat and drink, right? Enter Palette. With the talented and much experienced Dayan Hartill-Law as Executive Chef, the ethos is simple; high-quality produce with amazing provenance underpinned by knowledgeable yet approachable staff. Book in for an evening visit and be amazed by a degustation menu directly inspired by neighbouring art installations.
Where: The Gallery, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Glenelg Public House
One for the meat lovers out there: what these guys don’t know about preparing and serving up mouth-watering steak isn’t worth knowing. The menu cleverly hinges on incredibly diverse, quality produce — both from the paddock and the ocean — with old-school yummy dishes served with a contemporary Australian flair. For those who feel like something a bit special, there is an additional section for oversized select pieces of meat which can be sliced and brought out ready to share. Be sure you come with drinks on your mind, as the back bar and wine selection are another strong point at this Mermaid Beach ode to good food.
Where: 9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
Eddy + Wolff
The décor and styling of this tucked-away Robina hotspot will inevitably make it hard going if you intend on ordering anything quick. A central island bar with wrap-around high seat dining is the epitome of modern, sophisticated eating, and we reckon you’ll fall for it in a big way. A fusion of Asian flavours awaits you from an uncomplicated share style menu with its devoted section to BBQ: Octopus Tentacle with tangy nashi pear glaze is the absolute highlight here. Another eatery with a ‘distinction’ in Instagram profiles, showing off some mighty sexy-looking cocktails you just must try — all with subtle but considered nods to the orient.
Where: 44 Commerce Drive, Robina
When you’re yearning for top-notch Japanese eats within a small and intimate setting, then this under-the-radar restaurant in Currumbin Waters, we think, fits the bill to a tee. From the moment you arrive, the cheery staff will bring the specials blackboard over to your table and talk you through what delicious edible sensations are on offer. If it’s available, we recommend the black sesame crusted Salmon or any one of the baos — they’re all fabulous. Pair up whatever you opt for with a selection of sakes and Japanese beers to round off a great experience of Japanese cuisine on the southern Gold Coast.
Where: 10/27-31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Being one of the longest-standing — and most celebrated — restaurants in our city, Little Truffle most certainly has a piece of our heart. But what is it about this unassuming Mermaid Beach haven of flavour? Is it a European-inspired menu filled with the most deftly put together mouth-watering dishes, or a dazzling wine list, perhaps it’s the exceedingly polished service? You know what, we think it’s all three — and a whole lot more!
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
From the same folks behind the ever-popular pizza restaurant, Francie’s, this newly opened Mediterranean delight is already bringing all things delicious to the people of Coolangatta. Aesthetically, this bolt hole with a fresh white interior is the kind of place you’ll want to settle into and be in no hurry to leave. With a menu centred around some incredible handmade pasta — with a separate vegan menu — we think you’ll join us in agreeing Griffith Street just got a whole lot better. The textbook spot to pop in for an afternoon wine — or fall in love with the menu and stay late into the night.
Where: 14 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Lupo arrived at Mermaid Beach to a whirlwind of rave reviews, and here now, nearly four years later, the adoration hasn’t stopped. The comfortable space offers a homestyle Italian menu with lashings of love and an atmosphere to match. Made up of the very best produce around, if you take a look at their Instagram anytime soon: beware. It’s plausible you’ll be lost to the world scrolling their drool-worthy photos for a while. The Pork Cotoletta is crumbed pork that will ruin the humble Chicken Schnity for you forever.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
When the prospect of visiting the cutest little Italian eatery comes your way, you should be keen as can be. The newly opened Bottega on Chevron Island features handmade pastas to hand-rolled and stretched pizzas, fired right on the spot in their pride of place pizza oven — beside the entrance, no less. Sprinkle into the equation some out-of-this-world imported wines, which you won’t find on the high street every day, and Bottega is the answer to your pasta-induced prayers.
Where: 58 Thomas Drive, Surfers Paradise
The Little Plate
Another hidden in plain sight gem, The Little Plate manages to pack a punch in the flavour department by taking Euro and Asian favourites and turning the taste up to 10! You’ll consistently find a large selection of as-fresh-as-possible specials, giving this Burleigh restaurant the ultimate replay value — no two visits will ever be the same. We suggest you give their tasting menu a go at least once and let the experts take care of the rest.
Where: Shop 11/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
Words by Alex Mitcheson.