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9 Gold Coast restaurants to impress your friends

Restaurant Labart by Andy Macpherson Studio

EVERYBODY loves to be the guy who knows all the best places to eat, drink and be seen. Preferably before every other guy and mostly so they can boast about how good said places are, even though they had absolutely zero to do with it.

Regardless, we want you to know what it feels like to be that guy (in case you don’t already), so here are nine places to take your friends that’ll impress their pants right off.

Because they ate too much and their pants are tight not the other thing guys. Or the other thing, whatevs.

From north to south, here we go.

Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar
A newbie up Runaway Bay way, Gotham Grill & Rooftop Bar is a two-level venue offering two styles of dining. Downstairs you’ll find a more formal steak and sit down dinner style service while up on the rooftop it’s all pizza, cocktails and chill vibes. Owner Daniel Ridgeway is the man behind Little Truffle so you know the food is the goods. The wine menu is very impressive too so we recommend getting involved in that.
Where: 6 Bayview Street, Runaway Bay

Yamagen Japanese Restaurant
Japanese food is our favourite thing and so it makes us happy that Yamagen Japanese Restaurant is alive and well. The stunningly decked out, Japanese style space allows you to watch the master chefs at work while enjoying an absolutely delicious cocktail or a fancy whisky. The menu is absolutely incredible, filled with intricately created dishes more akin to works of art than food. We heart you Yamagen.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

The North Room
An intimate little beauty tucked away in Mermaid Beach, The North Room came to us a few short years ago with a seasonal menu, sophisticated fitout and some of the loveliest folks around running the show. With a focus on fresh, ever-changing dishes made from the highest quality produce, this is one venue that is certain to blow everyone’s minds.
Where: 2527 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach (between Ventura Rd and Cronulla Ave) 

The Glenelg Public House
If you’re a fan of perfectly cooked steak of the very best quality and the tastiest possible sides to accompany, look no further than Glenelg Public House in Mermaid Beach. The vibe of the lowlit space is relaxed and welcoming and we highly recommend settling in for as long as possible with a glass of red in hand while you sample some of the best food the Coast has to offer.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Lupo
The intimate little space quickly became a firm favourite when the doors quietly opened not too long ago. Recently Lupo has undergone somewhat of a change in character becoming an Italian-style eatery and wine bar complete with refined dishes, a stunning selection of tipples and the type of vibe you won’t often find on the Coast. We absolutely adore this place and you will too.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Glenelg Public House

Etsu
Oh sweet mother of all things food and beverages let us give thanks for Etsu, the eatery of our dreams. From the freshest of sashimi to karaage chicken and Miso soaked cod, the gang at Etsu knows WHAT’S UP when it comes to eats. Also, there’s a cocktail called She’s Sweet but Shiso Sour and good grief, it’s a party in your mouth. The vibes are always a good time in there too, loud music, happy folks and the like. So much love.
Where: 2440 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Restaurant Labart
Ten stars all round for this Burleigh gem. It’s the work of husband and wife team Alex and Karla Munoz-Labart who moved up from Sydney to gift us with their foodie goodness. Offering a seasonal, share-style menu made with stunning produce and a sustainable wine list to match, Labart is fine dining at its well, finest. Not only that, the vibe is always high and the team are one of the most onto it around. Prepare to blow your friends minds.
Where: 8 West St, Burleigh Heads

Rick Shores
Hello pretty beachside situation. Not even beachside, this place is at one with the ocean, right up in there etc. Overlooking beautiful Burleigh and serving up some of the very best eats around, Rick Shores will definitely impress. Order 57 bug rolls and maybe the Roasted Sichuan Lamb and don’t be surprised if you cry with happiness. Wash it down with a Rick’s Martini and happy days friends.
Where: Shop 3, 43 Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads

Justin Lane
The Gold Coast’s first and arguably most popular rooftop bar, Justin Lane is perched atop Burleigh for bulk people watching opportunities. The open air space offers many a good vibe as well as the tastiest pizzas and some of the best cocktails in the biz. We’re quite a fan of the Passionfruit and Chilli Margarita because sweet and saucy combos are always a good idea.
Where: No 1708-1710, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads 

baskk at Kirra Point
Next up is is baskk, the Coast’s southern belle overlooking Coolangatta beach and boasting all the breezy, laidback cool vibes. They’re all about the share plates with a few pizzas thrown in for good measure and while we highly recommend everything, the Peanut Crumb Eggplant with Miso Caramel is something you must consume at least once in your lifetime as are all of the cocktails with flowers frozen into ice cubes. Yep.
Where: Shop 2, 52-58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Tasca
Coolangatta’s finest is Tasca, an intimate venue with a big heart boasting share-style eats that are some of the tastiest around. The wine menu is equally impressive and the cocktails unlike anything you’ve taste before. Thursday’s are pasta night and that is a good time let us tell you. Get down to Cooly for one of the Gold Coast’s best dining experiences.
Where: 114 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Words by Kirra Smith

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