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Kirra gets a vibrant new Mexican Restaurant + Taqueria

Agave Rosa mural (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Agave Rosa mural (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

If there is one thing out there we can all likely agree on; it’s that superb food and libations deserve to be enjoyed in fabulous surroundings. And whilst the Gold Coast is a playground of natural beauty and sublime weather, some eateries simply gel with their environments that little bit better, you know?

One segment of the bustling eating scene we think fits this bill to a tee is Mexican food and a good sea view. The kind of place where a steady afternoon sea breeze helps you get over all those spicy flavours and a sandy outlook provides the perfect backdrop to sip a margarita — or five.

Aligning the ever-beautiful Kirra beachfront with zesty and vibrant flavours of Mexico is the newly opened Agave Rosa on Musgrave Street. A strong contender for your new preferential summer hangout!

The owner behind this newly opened venue is no stranger to hospitality. Franz Zdesar had a hand in the much-lauded Project Tokyo in Mermaid Waters, and long before that, spent years living and working as a chef in some of Europe’s most well-respected restaurants. Let’s just say he knows his way around a chopping board! Now with a fantastic position just off the sand, he hopes to bring an energetic and easy-going taste of Mexico to the southern Gold Coast.

Hibachi Wagyu Rump, Tuna Sashimi Tostada & Sandía cocktail, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Hibachi Wagyu Rump, Tuna Sashimi Tostada & Sandía cocktail, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The fit-out to this oceanside venue is bright, fun and ultimately welcoming. Outside there’s high bar seating with views out to the beach and built-in concrete booths, which cleverly look rustic yet refined at the same time. Inside is where immense accents of hot pink and warm reds come to life, with cactus flower beds and a seriously eye-catching mural. All punctuated by a charismatic white breeze block bar aptly positioned to pour cocktails all afternoon long.

Franz has a deep understanding and love for all things Japanese, but at the same time appreciates and adores the simplicity and enjoyability of Mexican food: the kind of stuff you could eat every day, right?! This said, the menu is a modern take on Central America — minus the cliches — and with added hints of Japanese flavours. Meaning if you order the Hibachi Wagyu Rump, your corn side will come dripping in miso butter — trust us, it works! These nuances throughout the menu are subtle. In the separated taco section, you’ll be able to choose from traditional flavours like crispy skin pork belly, pickled cabbage, and salsa verde or tempura fried line-caught fish, chipotle mayo and grilled pineapple salsa.

And if this little section had the salivation glands in your mouth activating, just wait until you read the rest of the menu.

The menu can be shared amongst a few or enjoyed more traditionally. You’ll also come across a selection of smaller plates ‑ such as fish ceviche — sides, extras and a couple of desserts worthy of your attention: avocado brûlée and chilli chocolate truffles with dulce de leche.

Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Like any Mexican establishment worth their salt, a smart and tasty collection of signature cocktails is supported by a slew of differing margaritas like the Coco (coconut) and Chile (chilli). The beer selection is simplistic, and in time they will be pouring Japanese-made beer from the tap. For those who feel like a lighter refreshment, we suggest you familiarise yourself with one of Mexico’s most famous soft drinks: Jarritos. There are five flavours for you to choose from, and once poured over ice, these are a sure-fire way to cool yourself down in the summer heat.

With a recent opening, the venue has already experienced a flurry of attention. At this point, they are kindly asking all diners to book ahead where possible. All that’s left once you have your booking is to wander in off the beach and saunter over to Kirra’s newest down-to-earth taste of Mexico.

Hours: Open Wednesday – Sunday 5pm – late & Lunches: Friday-Sunday 12pm noon – 2.30pm
Where: 2/74 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Agave Rosa interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Agave Rosa interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

13 bueno Gold Coast Mexican spots

Goodness Gracias (image supplied)
Goodness Gracias (image supplied)

It’s one of life’s greatest pleasures; eating Mexican and drinking margis so when Cinco De Mayo rolls around each year, we rejoice because we have an excuse to do just that (like we needed one).

For those who flunked history or have just wiped out too many braincells with said margaritas over the years, Cinco De Mayo commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862 aaaand….we’ve lost you. Anyway, back to the margis (hello again), we have compiled a list of some of the Coast’s best Mexican restaurants that we love a whole enchiLOTa.

Goodness Gracias
A little (somewhat hidden) gem on the Gold Coast Highway is Goodness Gracias serving up plant-based Mexican eats that are some of the tastiest around. With some incredible menu items, you’ll be hard-pressed to choose just one dish. But if you ask us, regardless of which you choose you’ll be sure to have your sombrero knocked off, even if you aren’t vegan!
Where: 1A 1114 – 1116 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

El Camino Cantina (image supplied)
El Camino Cantina (image supplied)

El Camino Cantina
With shops across the country, we’re lucky to have ourselves one of these spicy little dens of Mexican magic here on the Goldy. Slip in and slip on a sombrero and let the endless fantastic food and de-lish cocktails flow. Positioned on the promenade waterfront dining precinct at Robina Town Centre you have the perfect place to enjoy al fresco dining with your gang. Their Carne Nachos deserve a special shout-out. Because, if you know, you know.
Where: 1009/1010 Level 1, 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina

Beach Burrito Company
The southern belle can be found overlooking the ocean in Coolangatta, usually packed with people and with all of the good vibes on offer. There are what feels like endless burritos on offer, and why not go all boujee and get the ‘Cali upgrade’, which means the beans and rice are replaced with hot chips! Yes my friends, you read that correctly, and yes, our mouths are watering!
Where: The Strand,Shop 25/26 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Montezumas Burleigh
After relocating from the beachside arcade to just off James Street, this family-friendly Mexican purveyor of good times sure can serve up the goods. The menu is quite extensive, so shall we suggest the Combination Plate? Because why not have a little bit of everything and give ’em all a go. Plus through in a Margarita for good measure! Because it wouldn’t be a Mexican fiesta without one!
Where: 1/19 Park Avenue In the Alleyway From James Street to Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads

Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Agave Rosa
Fresh, delish dishes with dashes of distinct oriental flavour (say that after a few tequilas), served Mexican style is what you’ll get in spades at Agave Rosa. It’s funky, bright and welcoming feels are perfectly complimented by their phenom menu mixing our two fave cuisines with finesse. And like any Mexican establishment worth its salt, their cocktails and margaritas slay!
Where: Shop 2/74 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta

Clay Cantina
With its cool, casual laneway dining outside and inviting, home-style dining inside (open kitchens are life!), this feisty Latina dishes up the best Mexican outside of the Motherland. And we’re not actually joking. Plus, you can transform into a Mexican Masterchef yourself with super fun classes using authentic ingredients and tools. This sage and terracotta-hued heavyweight can do no wrong.
Where: 2/16 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

La Diosa Mexicana
If you’ve got cheap but cheerful Mexi goodness on your mind (same) this one’s for you! Taco Tuesdays offer delish $4 tacos or if you’re down for an all-you-can-eat taco fiesta (SAME!), you can go gangbusters on these Mexican bad boys. Serving up all your traditional faves, it’s great for groups as the fit-out and vibe are a’pumpin.
Where: Circle on Cavil, Shop 11/3184 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Tacos, La Diosa Mexicana (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Tacos, La Diosa Mexicana (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Hail Mary
Boasting a fit out and décor to die for and a delish menu to match, Hail Mary is a standout. Serving up the freshest, flavoursome Mexican nosh, it’s a no-brainer. With specials like two tacos and a beer/wine or soft drink for $20 on weekends, what are you even waiting for? Ohhh and don’t miss their Burrito Wednesdays!
Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads

Bonita Bonita
Eats institution Bonita Bonita (and little sister Bon Bon pouring mezcals and tequilas for pre or post-dinner party starters) is a long-standing fave. Its dimly lit, moody and ornate interior design never ceases to impress and create an intimate vibe. Enjoy the mouth-watering eats (the grilled corn…OMG) and don’t even get us started on the cocktails.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Mexicali
Always busy, the Cali meets Mexico feels of Mexicali have us coming back again and again. You can’t go wrong with a banquette if you’re in a group, and you even have the option of adding a bottomless drinks package (sold!). Sunset cocktails on the balcony never get old, and a snap under the ever-changing lightbox message above the stairs is mandatory!
Where: Level 1, 2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Mexicali (image supplied)
Mexicali (image supplied)

Frida Sol
Sibling to Bonita Bonita and Bon Bon, this texture-rich stunner pays homage to the almighty Frida Kahlo and oozes a delectably sultry vibe. With live DJs on Sundays from 1pm – 4pm and a divine modern Mexican menu, it’s a Mexi lovers home away from home. One of our FAVES.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Holy Jala
This fun-infused Cooly local serves up a juxtaposition of Mexican, Spanish and other Mediterranean flavours and the result is mexcellent! Offering a free food banquet on Saturday when you buy a drink (yes, you read that right), why wouldn’t you give it a whirl. It also has a food truck so if you’re looking for catering, you know who to call!
Where: 140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

The Aztec
Kicking around since 1995, The Aztec Broadbeach…along with The Aztec Coolangatta…is a hit with the whole fam, boasting a fun-loving mixture of cosy booths, ultra-modern furnishings and an epic fluro bar. A colourful and upbeat venue, you’re spoilt for choice with all the Mexican goodies you’d hope to find. Insider tip; wear your oversized tee and order the loaded nachos.
Where: The Aria Building, Shop 11/17 Albert Avenue, Broadbeach & 152 Griffith Street (Twin Towns end), Coolangatta

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Hail Mary (image supplied)
Hail Mary (image supplied)

Haig St Kirra

14 reasons locals love Kirra

Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, Kirra is the unassuming seaside village within our swiftly expanding city.

Nestled between Bilinga and Coolangatta, Kirra may be small but she is also mighty. Just ask the locals.

Warning: the word Kirra may be slightly overused within this article.

Here’s a list.

St Helens Bar + Kitchen
The newest of the bunch is St Helens, a laidback eatery from which you can feel the ocean breeze on your face while enjoying fresh, seasonal eats made from local ingredients. The family owned business has quickly become a firm favourite due to their welcoming, good vibes, quality and affordable menu and of course, the perfect location. Head in there for a delicious feast.
Where: Shop 2, 78 Musgrave St, Kirra

Kirramisu
Famous for an overflowing dessert cabinet including, you guessed it, tasty tiramisu, this little gem has become an institution in the beachside suburb. Not only loved for their clever name, Kirramisu serve up a bangin’ breakfast and lunch menu, fresh juices and smoothies and all with a side of sparkling ocean views. It’s the little place with the big soul.
Where: 2/28 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Kirra Surf
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into the footwear-optional suburb. Their range of surfing products and apparel is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly and there’s always at least two things you’ll want to take home with you. Pop in for a visit and marvel at the larger-than-life posters of your fave good-looking surfer boys.
Where: 8 Creek St, Kirra 

Baskk at Kirra Point
Right on the cusp of the Coolangatta and Kirra border is baskk at Kirra Point. Also a bit of a newbie, baskk is bringing cruisy, lounge bar vibes to the already rather chill suburb. Serving a range of tasty tapas and some absolutely stunning cocktails (there’s flowers in the ice cubes guys), it’s the place to be for long lunches that turn into decadent dinners.
Where: Shop 2, Beach House Plaza, 52-58 Marine Pde, Coolangatta

baskk at Kirra Point

Bread and Butter
The Kirra institution recently got a spectacular makeover to match it’s spectacular menu and the people of Kirra (and the rest of the Gold Coast) were very happy about it. They’re serving up pizza, pasta and gnocchi of the tastiest varieties including all you can eat for $30 on Thursday nights. Plus you’ll get those delightful salty ocean breezes from right across the road. Best.
Where: 76 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Kirra Hub
A very recent addition to little old Kirra is Kirra Hub, a social eatery all about good food, good drinks and chill place to spend time with your people. The concept venue, in the Kirra Surf Apartments building, offers three types of cuisine under the one roof. Think pizzas, burgers and authentic German dishes. There’s so much deliciousness to choose from.
Where: 2 Creek St, Kirra

Kirra Beach Bakery
A visit to Kirra isn’t complete without hitting up the local bakery. Whether you’re in need of a post-surf Sweet Chilli Chicken Pie or a pre-dinner Vanilla Slice (don’t judge), Kirra Beach Bakery is the place to go. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local seagulls while watching the sunrise.
Where: 1/100 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Cotton Living
Who doesn’t love homewares. Cotton Living, located opposite the beach, is one of the best, showcasing stunning handmade furniture and accessories. Everything in the store is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures and the deepest of ocean blue hues. It’s a luxurious space inspired by the beauty of the Coast and you’re sure to find something to take back to your own abode.
Where: Shop 5, 34 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Kirra lookout by Andrew Shield

HiPoke
The poke bowl phenomenon has taken the Gold Coast by storm and why wouldn’t it. Originating in Hawaii, poke bowls are made up of protein and salad combinations artfully arranged in bowls and perfect for both consuming and Instagram snaps. Two of our favourite things. Of the signature bowls, we’re all about the Karaage Chicken with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Summer is just around the corner folks, time to get healthy.
Where: 18/48 Musgrave St, Kirra

HSD Kirra
Since surfing is king in Kirra, it’s no surprise that a tiny little converted surf shack has become a favourite for local hangs. Previously the shaping digs of Dorrington Surfboards, the classic little brick building is a family owned affair stocking all the best surf-friendly goods from boards and accessories to clothing. Head down and stay awhile, HSD is oozing with good vibes.
Where: Nirvana by the Sea, Shop 2, Cnr Musgrave and Douglas Streets, Kirra

Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
Located right on the beach, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm favourite amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect spot for an afternoon cold one overlooking the ocean or an affordable dinner with the crew. Sit yourself on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze float your worries away.
Where: 15 Marine Pde, Kirra 

Kirra Hill Lookout
Where better to feast your eyes on the beautiful beach that Kirra is famous for the world over. Trek to the top of the headland (maybe after you’ve had that pie) and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks. Pack a picnic or fire up the barbie and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it 

Gold Coast Skydive
Jumping out of a plane is all kinds of a fun time, and jumping out of a plane and landing on Kirra beach, even better. The food folks at Gold Coast Skydive are based in Kirra and once you’re out of that plane hurtling toward the sand, Kirra is exactly where you’ll land. After that adrenaline rush you might want to calm yourself with a beer or two. Luckily, the surf club is right there to assist.
Where: 1/78 Musgrave St, Kirra

Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s not only a great place to hide from the scorching sun, it’s also got some time on its back, over a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra beach show the shelter in place by around 1916. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales play out in the ocean.

Words by Kirra (sadly-not-named-after-the-suburb) Smith

Ocean image by Andrew Shield

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