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 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
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
This place is a sure thing when it comes to tasty eats and a drinks menu as long as your arm (maybe longer). From the fancy downstairs restaurant area to the recently added and already much-loved rooftop bar, Hellenika is a foodie’s dream come true. They make a dip called Taramosalata and it is the single most delicious thing we’ve ever eaten. Of course, there are countless other incredible Greek dishes but that dip, love of our lives.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
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
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
8th Ave Terrace
A Palmy goodie, 8th Ave Terrace is also somewhat of a rooftop style space, also with inside eating options because winter is here friends. This delightful place offers a tapas style of menu including a dish called Duck Ham with cured egg yolk, soldier, paté and fresh pear and that is something you must eat. They also have mains if that’s more your style (both please) and we’d go the Goats Cheese Cannelloni with carrots vichy, macadamia cream & glazed roast beets in case you were wondering.
Where: 31/1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Five restaurants in the one cool space is all the best things in life. Choose from American-style, Italian, Mexican, Australian-type thangs and Japanese and you can eat from any and all menus. If your friends are the picky types, this one is your best bet. You can sit inside amongst the market-style restaurants, out in the open under the Gold Coast sky or up on the rooftop bar overlooking Palmy. Choose your own adventure.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
baskk at Kirra Point
Last but certainly not least 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
That’s a long one, thanks for sticking with us.
Words by Kirra Smith.