Because when was Mexican ever a bad idea?
Because when was Mexican ever a bad idea?
It’s fair to say we’ve had a bit of rain lately. As Gold Coasters, the outdoor lifestyle is engrained in our psyche; so when we can’t get outside and feel the sun on our face — and a margarita in our hand — suffice to say we’re liable to crack the sad.
It is, however, only a matter of time before our glorious weather returns. And as the air begins to turn crisper and the sun begins to take a shorter path through our southern sky, it’s time to explore those eateries with open-air spaces where you can hang out enjoying some great food, sipping alluring drinks and actually wear some layers for a change.
Backyard Café in Nobby Beach is already the locals’ favourite place to grab breakfast and/or coffee after a morning dip. Not just content with satiating all your morning needs though, the guys here are excited to bring themselves into the nighttime food realm with their Friday and Saturday night Backyard Cantina menu. Serving from 3pm – 10pm on both nights means adequate time to swing in either for a much-needed early Friday knock-off or a leisurely Saturday night with your crew.
The menu is hinged on family-friendly tex-mex style Mexican cuisine. Nothing is super-hot, and whilst everything is super tasty, it’s likely dishes you’re comfortably familiar with. Fair to say, it’s scrumptious food with little fuss.
Choose your fillings and then choose your style of dish — it’s that simple. From Loaded Quesadillas, Nachos and even Taco Platters, through to house-made hot Churros with chocolate sauce. Perfect for those with a sweet tooth that won’t take no for an answer.
Plenty of sharing options and a dedicated kid’s section means Backyard Cantina aims to welcome everyone. The vibe is relaxed, and the back lawn area is the epitome of what an outside eating space on the Gold Coast is all about: a sun garden during the day and fairy light lit utopia of conversation and mingling in the evening. The kind of space our big city-dwelling cousins normally fight over — aren’t we a spoilt bunch!?
The drinks list is a savvy admixture of Mexican beers, Australian wines and a cleverly put-together cocktail list. Showcasing the handiwork of the Gold Coast’s ever-popular Mr Consistent cocktail mixers, there’s a flavour for everyone. Rest assured people, your drinks will be delicious and flawless every time you order a new round.
Now that the clouds have dispersed, we say grab a friend or two and enjoy yourself some south-of-the-border flavours at Backyard Cantina. Plus, are we right in saying a slice of fine Autumn weather is long overdue?
LOCATION: 17 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
WHEN: Open 3pm to 10pm Friday and Saturday evenings
Words and photos by Alex Mitcheson.
Here’s some news that will likely incite happy dancing across the Gold Coast.
Nobby Beach has a new backyard bar and restaurant and it’s the work of someone whose venues you already know and love.
Yes friends, the newbie is brought to you by none other than Scott Imlach and his team at The Imlach Group, owners of local favourites Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Mr Hizola’s, Bine Beer Bar, Nightjar and Nightcap.
Clearly a group of people who don’t like sleeping but hey, works for the rest of us.
The new spot is now open where it is absolutely likely to be overrun by revellers who don’t mind sipping beers in the sunshine (all of us).
Found within the space formerly occupied by beautiful The Yard Café, the new venue is a coffee shop for the time being, but will include a popup backyard-style bar and restaurant and seriously, why didn’t we think of that?
It’s called The Backyard Café and it sees the crew head back into the breakfast scene after seven years. Their original breakfast chefs are back to join the team and both Bowen Choat (ex Barchino Head Chef) and Danial Garbes are stoked (obviously) to be working with the Imlach Hospitality Group again.
GUYS remember how good Barchino was?
So what’s on The Backyard Cafe brekky menu? Your old favourites such as the Classic Eggs Benny and Big Brekky Burger make an appearance, in addition to some new and exciting ones.
The Southern Style Baked Eggs with crushed tomato, black beans, spices, roast pumpkin, free range eggs, baby spinach and avocado are a vego’s dream.
While the Healthy Burrito Plate with fluffy scrambled egg, brown rice, black beans, fresh basil tomato, totilla, avocado, sambal and salsa verde will put a smile on the dile of the fit tribe of Nobby’s.
The outdoor space will be doubled in size with picnic tables and plenty of space for the entire family.
The plan is to trade at night too, offering themed nights with as many different cuisines from around the world as possible.
Guest chefs and pop-up food trucks will also be on offer until something permanent is in place.
The Backyard Café opened on Wednesday August 5th and has already brought together that Nobby’s community vibe we love so much.
They’ve done it again Gold Coasters, bring on the laidback backyard feels.
LOCATION: 17 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
WHEN: Open everyday from 6am to 2pm
When it comes to heartfelt and delicious food with little fuss, we imagine most people will find themselves siding with Mexican as one of their all-time favourite cuisines. What is there not to love?
Montezuma’s Mexican restaurant in its former spot in the Theatre Arcade of Burleigh was, well, a bit of an institution. For a little over 40 years, they were the go-to spot for many people’s taco and guacamole fix. When the proposed demolition of the arcade began to do the rounds not so long ago, most Montezuma fans began to shed a tear. But the owners had other plans…
Find yourself in the back lanes of Burleigh and you will come across the reincarnated venue, occupying a prime position on the corner as you come out of the Big B arcade and head up towards Park Avenue. You really cannot miss it!
Being perpetually drenched in the afternoon sun, this could very well be your new place to grab tacos (with margaritas of course) for a lunchtime treat.
The interior remains true to the spirit of Montezuma’s with a groovy Aztec/Mexican feel which is by no means cheesy; certainly not as cheesy as their Queso Fundido dip boasting a blend of melted cheeses, onion, peppers and a stack of toasted corn chips. Perfect for sharing.
Once the ball is rolling, we recommend you tackle yourself a combination plate, or better yet a taco platter all with the freshest ingredients and tender as they come meats for you to choose from. Even that always-hungry friend will be satisfied.
For all you vegans and gluten-free folks out there, fear not, these guys have you well and truly covered with a great selection of dishes such as gluten-free tortillas, vegan nachos and the list goes on. Not just the standard one or two picks for you to choose from! Hallelujah!
Keeping yourself hydrated is a serious job, so we highly suggest you try one of the array of margarita’s on offer there, which include: traditional, frozen or blended and a long list of flavours to choose from including bubble gum — yep that’s right. Warning, you may have more than just the one though.
For a refined Mexican experience with a dose of sunshine and genuine hospitality, be sure to check these guys out next time you’re in Burleigh Heads.
LOCATION: 1/19 Park Avenue (in the alleyway from James Street to Park Ave), Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday – Lunch from 11.30am – 2pm and Dinner from 5.30pm – 8.30pm
We love a suburb with a generous helping of things to do, eat and drink (not necessarily in that order) and thankfully, we are blessed with several such ‘burbs here on the Coast.
One note-worthy standout is the seaside sweetheart Nobby Beach. Whether you’re footloose and fancy-free, or heading out and about with the fam, there is much to love.
Let us share with you thirteen local haunts which have helped gain Nobbys such an unwavering – and ever-growing – staunch following.
Rubi Red Kitchen & Bar
She may have just opened, but Ruby is one helluva lady who’ll leave you 110% satisfied with every bite and sip. With restaurateur and chef extraordinaire Michael Lambie in the driver’s seat bringing his international culinary prowess to the table, you know you’re in for something uber spesh. Between the drool-worthy modern Asian cuisine menu and it-girl feels, it’s simply unmissable.
Where: 2235 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Zephyr Kitchen & Bar
Its casual yet sophisticated vibe, cool elegance and tropical feel make this newcomer a welcome addition and an instant hit amongst Nobby’s locals. With Mediterranean nosh and cocktails so good you’ll order way more than your PT would like (side note: try the Mushroom Truffle Arancini Balls and ALL the pizzas), if you haven’t already been, off you pop.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
This place is a VIBE. The sun-lit rooftop is the perfect setting to sip on signature cocktails & graze on a unique “Florribean” inspired menu, combining flavours of the Caribbean and South America. Promising an ‘overseas’ experience with styling accents from Palm Springs, California, Miami and Florida, trust us – she delivers the goods. And a view!
Where: Upstairs 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
You had us at Mexican. Find us a human who doesn’t appreciate a good Mexican feed and no, this is simply not possible. With eclectic art, vibes-a-plenty and all the quintessential modern Mexican foods you could hope for, this place is a sure thing. It’s laid-back atmosphere and super friendly staff add to its appeal, and any place that serves churros and cocktails can do no wrong.
Where: Level 1, 2223 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Bine Bar & Dining
Let’s talk Bine. Specialising in craft beer and perfectly matched food, and…need we say more? With 8 rotating taps, a bunch of different bottled beers, a selection of wines and mouth-watering cocktail options matched with a modest yet v decadent menu, there are plenty of reasons to love it….and come back again and again.
Where: 1/28 Chairlift Ave, Nobby Beach
Now there’s a decent dose of Japanese going around our hood, but we can never get enough. Have any of these sushi bars or poke bowl dreamboats failed us? The answer is a hard no. Okazu is no exception, this convenient grab and go spot featuring Donburi, Okonomiyaki and Sushi Rolls is as fresh as it is delicious and it has us coming back every day.
Where: 2223 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
If you’re talking a GC institution, this.is.it. Rare Groove buys, sells and trades records, tapes and CDs of all genres (tapes – eeee!). Step inside and you’re transported back in time with old-school band posters which we recognise from our bedroom wall circa 1999, and hundreds of albums to peruse. Warning: you may end up here for three times as long as you intended.
Where: 2241B Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Ahh BSKT, you are simply the gift that keeps on giving. With a menu that never disappoints and a cool, confident yet relaxed vibe reserved for enduring supernovas of this calibre, if you haven’t been here yet are you even a true Gold Coaster? Consistently voted one of the best tables in town, there is not a single dish that doesn’t hit a home run.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Nobbys
If health food is your jam (sugar-free jam of course), one would hope you’ve cottoned on to The Shack Superfood Café and if not, it’s about time you convert. With tasty eco-friendly meals like smoothies, acai bowls and wraps in a breezy, non-pretentious environment, the brand spanking new version of the previous fave The Shack Superfood Café, lives up to its predecessor’s high standards…and then some.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
The Backyard Café
Although tears-a-flowed when Yard Café closed (RIP), the silver lining is that it was reborn as the new-you-beaut Backyard Café. Serving up scrummy brekkies and brunches, don’t even start us on the actual ‘backyard’ area (hot tip: kids will love it), or the after hours Tex Mex with a side of many margies!
Where: 17 Lavarack Rd, Nobby Beach
A nautical-themed rum and whisky bar delivering old school service and quality, it’s a long-standing crowd pleaser for good reason. The space is low-lit, close-knit and always pumping. Swing in for some delish share plates, a drink or two and soak up the intimate ambience. Add live music to the equation and voila – it’s a recipe for amazingness.
Where: 4/2237 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Speaking of Mexicali and epic art, a notorious and much-loved part of the Nobbys highway strip is the eye-catching mural adorning one side of the restaurant. Designed and painted by local legend Luke Day, the colourful creation and all its pinky bluey goodness has become a favourite Insta-snap opp. Say cheese…or churros!
Where: The north side of Mexicali (you won’t miss it)
SOMM Wine Store
Yeah we’ve talked a lot about foody joints (how unlike us – said no-one ever) but there is absolutely no denying that SOMM Wine store is a firm local favourite of the vino variety. Owned by husband and wife duo Joe and Natalie, their backstory is reflected in the carefully curated wines begging to occupy real estate at your next dinner party. Specialising in a boutique wineries, you’ll find a winner (or five) every visit.
Where: 2245 Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
Words by Bianca Trathen.