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9 places to sink bubble tea on the Gold Coast

Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)
Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)

For those who haven’t climbed aboard the Bubble Tea bandwagon yet, firstly sorry to burst your bubble but you haven’t lived and secondly, allow us to open up a whole new world of bubbly goodness. Bubble tea is a tea-based drink hailing form in Taiwan in the early 1980s, and anything from this era is automatically AWESOME and yes, we are totally talking about ourselves. It’s generally embellished with chewy tapioca balls, but can also be made with other tasty toppings like grass jelly, aloe vera and red bean to name a few and guys, it’s fun and delish all at once.

Whether you’re a bubble tea virgin or connoisseur, get yourself down to one or all of these delectable Gold Coast bubble tea specialists and spread the positive-i-tea!

Chatime
Thirs-tea? You will be after stepping into one of the Gold Coast’s Chatime venues. Choose from milky, fruity, frozen or fresh, select ice and sugar levels, and finish with your choice of scrumptious mix-ins! Their ready-made signature drinks are inspired by Chatime fan faves and their range is that good that you can even buy it from Woolies! Nuff said.
Our drink of choice: Fros-Tea Premium Pearl
Where: Harbour Town Premium Outlets, Pacific Fair, Westfield Coomera.

Brew Brew Bubble Tea (image supplied)
Brew Brew Bubble Tea (image supplied)

Brew Brew Bubble Tea
The pin-up for traditional bubble tea, you need this place in your life. Also serving iced tea, yoghurt, frappes and desserts, Broady’s Brew Brew Bubble Tea (say that after a few vinos) is unbelieva-bubble. Their jumbo bubble teas certainly live up to their name and we may or may not (the former) have ordered a few in our time. The realitea is we like big cups and we cannot lie.
Our drink of choice: Panda Milk Tea
Where: Shop 4/15 Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach

Dear Deer Milk Tea
If you’re on a budget and love yourself a bubble tea, get yourself to Dear Deer Milk Tea pronto. Our advice? Tell your best-teas to meet you at this oh-so-cute Varsity Lakes spot and prepare to sip your way through their entire menu.
Our drink of choice: Peach Yoghurt Smoothie with Sakura Jelly Balls
Where: Market Square, 201 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes

Dear Deer Milk Tea (image supplied)
Dear Deer Milk Tea (image supplied)

Little Sweet Café Gold Coast
There is so much more than bubble tea here and we have a toothache just thinking about it! We’re talking hot and cold bubble teas with all the trimmings, plus Fairy Floss Milk Shakes (oh yes, it’s a thing people), and a dessert known only as The Devil with chocolate waffle, chocolate ice cream, Tim Tam, chocolate flakes and Nutella sauce. I die.
Our drink of choice: Brown Sugar Bubble Tea
Where: Shop 10/2 Elkhorn Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Mandy’s Bubble Tea
The ultimate free-styler, Mandy’s will make your bubble tea whichever way you like it. No sugar? No problem! 3 ice cubes no more, no less – sure thang! Extra tea, coming right up! As authentic as it gets and a super popular haunt for CBD-ers on their break, you’ll always leave here nothing short of satisfied.
Our drink of choice: Strawberry with Cream Cheese
Where: 34 Davenport Street, Southport

Mandy's Bubble Tea (image supplied)
Mandy's Bubble Tea (image supplied)

The Bubble Shack
Just like its Townville sister from the same mista, The Bubble Shack Mermaid Waters delivers a darn good bubble tea every.single.time. Their range is mega and their flavour combos are too good not to try. Serving 3L buckets of bubble tea (say wha?) we’re bonkers for this tea-riffic idea. Drool.
Our drink of choice: Bounty Bubble Tea with an extra scoop of Tapioca
Where: Mermaid Waters Shopping Village, 7/90 Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters.

You & M Tea Shop
When we think of You & M Tea Shop, we’re instantly craving anything and everything. With flavours a-plenty, there are also a bundle of other options for the non-bubble-tea-lover (insert confused emoji). If you’re channelling a snack, try their morish Original Greek Yoghurt with Purple Rice on for size.
Our drink of choice: Lychee Green Tea
Where: 26 Davenport Street, Southport

Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)
Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)

SevenTea Two
If ever there was a one stop shop for Bubble Tea, this is it folks. The delicious flavours don’t stop with just bubble tea though. SevenTea Two also offers bubble waffles and if you’re feeling something more Euro-ish, the inside scoop is to try the Italian Giardini gelati made fresh in store. You can’t go wrong here.
Our drink of choice: Hawaaian Iced Tea with rainbow jelly and brown sugar peals
Where: Chevron Renaissance Shopping Centre, 3240 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Gong Cha
Founded in Taiwan in 2006, Gong Cha is the fastest growing tea brand in Asia with over 1500 stores in over 20 regions worldwide. How’s that for a sales pitch? Plus, is this where we say they have 19 different toppings on offer? Think Star Peach Coconut Jelly, Lychee Pearls, and Match Milk Foam. You won’t know where to start!
Our drink of choice: Milk Tea with Oats and Pearls
Where: Various Gold Coast locations

Words by Bianca Trathen.

Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)
Bubble Tea (image courtesy of Unsplash)

10 yummy açai bowls on the Coast

Oakberry Acai smoothie bowl (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Oakberry Acai smoothie bowl (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

When this little magic berry from the Amazon began to appear in our lives around five years ago, who was to know how much we’d fall for this little antioxidant-packed gem?

It’s safe to say, superfoods have taken off in a big way and are the perfect ingredient to mitigate the strains of a fast-paced twenty-first-century lifestyle – and all those cocktails, naturally. Since we first began to see açai bowls appear in our cafes, they have been elevated to an adored status, with serious attention to detail and quality ingredients making them a stock standard staple on our breakfast menus across the Gold Coast.

Whether you choose to munch yours at the office as you read your emails or scoop your way through a bowl with a few friends on the weekend: the love is real. Handily for you, though, we have compiled the spots that dish up soe of the best of this South American treat — all in the name of good health!

The Shack Superfood Café
This OG of superfood and tasty treats is part of the very fabric that makes Nobby’s Beach so damn cool. If you haven’t been and experienced their taste-filled goods, then, where have you been?!
The pick: Choose your adventure between top-quality Amazonia Energiser and Pure Açai, then take a stroll down to the beach and enjoy your bowl with a fantastic view.
Where: 2221 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Cardamom Pod (image supplied)
Cardamom Pod (image supplied)

Cardamon Pod
If all you can eat gorgeous vegetarian food sounds like music to your ears, then might we suggest you take a look at this insta-famous cafe? With some of the most eye-catching ‘extra’ food around, you won’t be disappointed with anything you order here.
The pick: The Pod Special Acai Bowl is nothing short of a piece of art, with blue spirulina crème making this a one-off colour sensation!
Where: 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach & 3/3 Brolga Ave, Southport

Niche & Co
This Tugun-based delight is the epitome of what a Gold Coast cafe is all about. Great coffee, an incredible menu of hot and cold delights, laidback village vibes, and a place where all the cute dogs miraculously seem to converge. If you know, you know!
The pick: The selection of Acai at Niche & Co is nothing short of mind-blowing. Sideline your order of coffee and pick the Mocha Acai Bowl, with lashings of raw cacao protein and mocha coconut chia mousse – perfection, folks!
Where: 4/449 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Acai Bowls with Coco Whip from Goji Granola Bar & Cafe (image supplied)
Acai Bowls with Coco Whip from Goji Granola Bar & Cafe (image supplied)

Goji Granola Bar & Café
When you see people pour nothing but devotion and passion into their work, it shows, right? Step inside Goji Granola Bar and Café, and you’ll feel this sentiment straight away with lavish-looking dishes aplenty and chirpy staff to guide you through their brimming menu.
The pick: Their acai bowl is already a marvellous thing; however, we suggest you add on their unique and rotating flavour Coco Fluffvegan coconut soft serve – to really up the ante. (You’ll thank us later).
Where: 7/60 Santa Cruz Boulevard, Clear Island Waters

BSKT
What this little Nobby Beach café doesn’t know about healthy eating isn’t worth knowing. Asides from epic eats for breakfast and lunch, this is one of the most prolific doggo hang-out spots in the city — just saying.
The pick: Their standard Acai bowl features whipped Brah acai and all of the trimmings you’d expect, like goji berries and shredded coconut for days. Perfect fuel as you pat ALL the dogs.
Where: 4 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach

Acai Bowl, BSKT (image supplied)
Acai Bowl, BSKT (image supplied)

Little Mermaid
This corner-side hangout spot has long been the locals’ favourite place to grab a coffee and a bite post-swim/surf – and it’s easy to see why. Dreamy décor and fantastic breakfast and lunchtime menus mean this is the kind of place you want to visit on the regular with salty hair and sand between your toes.
The pick: Get the Beach Lover Acai Bowl and don’t look back! All of the bright and zesty additions you’d expect but with a healthy dollop of peanut butter as its crown of glory.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Oakberry
Should you find yourself gallivanting around town or just coming in after a morning on the beach, either way, Oakberry at Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise or Coolangatta, is a great option for some wholesome fuel. You’ll find this café spot perfectly positioned on James Street, Cavill Ave and Marine Parade – all prime people-watching territory!
The pick: Where do we begin! Your options are utterly limitless here, so let your imaginations go wild and customise a bowl to your heart’s content. What we do love here though, is that the bowls are tall, so they actually fit inside your car cupholders, oh the dilemma.
Where: Various locations (Burleigh Heads, Surfers Paradise & Coolangatta)

Tugun Fruit and Flowers
Your one-stop-shop for all the significant essentials you need, and of course, some pretty darn good acai bowls! Whilst you wait for the bowl of your dreams, you can grab yourself some super fresh fruit, a candle or two, or even an epic-looking dried flower arrangement to spruce up a space at home.
The pick: The Choc Acai Bowl for us – this overflowing bowl is blended with raw cacao and almond milk and is topped with ALL of the seasonal fruit imaginable.
Where: 4/467 Golden Four Drive, Tugun

Acai Bowl from Tugun Fruit & Flowers (image supplied)
Acai Bowl from Tugun Fruit & Flowers (image supplied)

Blendlove
For vegans, this Southport café is a dream come true – and a whole lot more. When it comes to good plant-based eats that taste just as good as they look, these guys nail everything and will leave the everyday carnivore scratching their heads.
The pick: With ten smoothies you can have served as a bowl, but we can’t go past the standard acai with a spruce up of additional chocolate buckinis: delicious and nutritious.
Where: 1/253 Ferry Road, Southport

The Salt Mill
Acai bowls need to be consumed with an incredible backdrop: it’s a fact, and we’re sticking with it. So, what better distraction do you have than the gorgeous Currumbin beach? The Salt Mill is a complete haven of tasty treats and is hands down one of the Coast’s best beachside cafes.
The pick: If you go with their standard acai bowl, you’ll struggle not to spill anything as they come overloaded with mulberries, cacao nibs, passionfruit and the works. Insider tip: you can ask for a dollop of peanut butter on any of their bowls as an extra #justsaying.
Where: 785 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Acai bowl, The Salt Mill (image supplied)
Acai bowl, The Salt Mill (image supplied)

12 of the Gold Coast’s tastiest Thai restaurants

Chong Co Thai Pacific Fair - Pad Thai & Thai Beef Salad (image supplied)
Chong Co Thai Pacific Fair - Pad Thai & Thai Beef Salad (image supplied)

When you think about it – what is there not to love about Thai food? It’s fairly healthy, extremely delicious, group friendly and not to mention, the perfect accompaniment for that hard-earned night of Netflix on the couch.

We all know finding ourselves on a deserted beach in Thailand is not going to happen anytime soon. And yes, we’re fairly upset about that too. So why not experience the next best thing?

As Autumn has arrived this week, we suggest you get yourself cosy at home or venture out and treat yourself to some of the tastiest Thai flavours from one of these epic Gold Coast Thai restaurants.

Chong Co Thai
It’s hard to believe you’re inside a shopping centre when dining at Pacific Fair’s upstairs food court (you could even bring your Tinder date here). It’s the epitome of a sweet little Thai restaurant you just have to visit. They offer all the classics which will surely fill you up whether it’s for your monthly bestie-catch up or for a quick meal before catching a movie at the cinema.
Where: Pacific Fair, Broadbeach

House of Siam
You know the saying – location, location, location! House of Siam in Hope Island is right on the marina and overlooks the pier and million-dollar yachts, offering a great atmosphere accompanied by oh-so-delicious food. You might want to reconsider getting takeaway from here since the ambience of the restaurant is half the experience!
Where: Marina Shopping Village, 5 Santa Barbara Road, Hope Island

Mamasan Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)
Mamasan Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)

Mamasan Kitchen & Bar 
While not a Thai restaurant per se, Mamasan’s incredibly indulgent menu includes some Thai specialities you need to try ASAP. For example, the Oysters with Thai green chilli, nam jim and finger lime followed by the Thai Chilli Jam Prawns with kaffir lime, dehydrated pineapple and cucumber ribbons. Be sure to finish things off with the Ginger and Lemongrass Cheesecake with kaffir lime, mango and Asian crisps. You’ll surely ‘thai and go to heaven’ (sorry).
Where: 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach

Little Malaya Tweed Heads
Don’t let the name deceive you. In addition to the traditional Malaysian cuisine, you will find an array of Asian signature dishes including Thai! We’re big fans of the Tom Yum soups and Pad Thai, but while you’re there, give the Coffee Pork Ribs a try, two of our great loves combined.
Where: 32 Bay Street, Tweed Heads

Basil Thai
Tucked away along Nobby’s cute little food strip is Basil Thai, a cosy, no fuss Thai restaurant bringing you everything you’d expect from your local! The portions are huge, so it’s a great place to take your friends and share a couple of dishes. They’re also BYO and have takeaway options – what more could you ask for?
Where: 2243 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Nahm Thai Westfield Coomera - Red Duck Curry (image supplied)
Nahm Thai Westfield Coomera - Red Duck Curry (image supplied)

Nahm Thai
This is the contemporary styled Thai restaurant you just have to visit in Coomera. With gorgeous aesthetics and jaw-dropping food, the flavours and authenticity here are truly a one-off. Offering set menus for couples and families means you can relax and know Nahm Thai is going to deliver nothing short of a taste sensation. The soft-shell crab Papaya salad is likely to blow your mind.
Where: Shop R001 Westfield Coomera, 109 Foxwell Road, Coomera

Zabisan
It’s annoying, but it’s always a good sign when you can’t score yourself a table at a restaurant on a quiet weekday night. So, be sure to book ahead when you decide to pop in at Zabisan on the Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh. They bring you the best dishes North Thailand has to offer, but be warned, they can be a little bit spicy! We highly recommend the Pineapple Chicken Curry, eat in or take away!
Where: 1742 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Oz Thai
It’s safe to say the cat’s out of the bag when it comes to this Palm Beach favourite. Cherished by locals, Oz Thai serves up simple but delicious Thai food at very reasonable prices. All your favourite dishes are on offer but keep your eyes open as there are often unique specials you won’t want to miss.
Where: 1/1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Sunshine Thai Restaurant
Sunshine Thai Restaurant in Coolangatta has been serving up stellar Thai food for over 16 years. Their philosophy is to create authentic flavours using only the freshest Australian sourced produce — and we love everything about it! Offering all your favourite Thai food classics and then some.
Where: 152 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Green Curry Chicken, Chiangmai Surfers Paradise (image supplied)

Chiangmai
Found in a prime position on the Gold Coast Highway in Broadbeach, Chiangmai Thai is a much-loved spot amongst the locals. The chefs here really know how to create the perfect balance between sweet, sour and spicy – so expect only the best. And if you’re feeling spoilt for choice and can’t decide what to get, try the Massaman Beef Curry (trust us on this one).
Where: 2779 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach and second restaurant located at 5-19 Palm Avenue, Surfers Paradise

CocoHut Taste of Thailand
Serving up rich, full flavours, CocoHut’s menu features mouth-watering starters and main dishes that’ll tickle those Thai-loving tastebuds. A must-try is the Coco Tomyum Soup and Noodle, made from fresh ingredients including lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lime juice and fresh chilli that all combine to create a healthy and soothing broth that is so very tasty. Who said healthy and tasty was an impossible feat?
Where: 3114 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Thai I Am
Situated at Miami One Shopping Centre, this is a team favourite for us here at Inside Gold Coast. Mostly a takeaway spot (they do have a couple of tables to eat in), these guys serve up authentic Thai dishes with beaming smiles — after all, they do say Thailand is the land of a thousand smiles! Stuck for lunch? There’s a daily lunch-special menu available from 12pm – 3pm too.
Where: Miami One Shopping Centre, Miami

Words by Alex Mitcheson

8 of the best Chinese restaurants on the Gold Coast

Mr Hizola's (image supplied)
Mr Hizola's (image supplied)

Stick your hand up if you have a love for Chinese food! And who can blame you, being one of the richest and most diverse collections of foods you can experience — and on any night of the week for that matter! The most important aspects that make Chinese food so enjoyable are the abundant use of lavish and vibrant ingredients, creating diversified colour palettes and aromatic flavours which are impossible not to enjoy.

With a myriad of sub-styles and particular regions of China, all having their specific dishes, it equates to so many options for you, the diner. Therefore, claiming you don’t like Chinese food might imply you merely haven’t given it enough of a chance!

Whether you’re a seasoned Chow Mein fanatic or an amateur Peking Duck lover, our rundown of the best places to find Chinese cuisine on the Gold Coast will arm you with serious options next time you feel like pulling out your chopsticks.

Ally Chow (image supplied)
Ally Chow (image supplied)

Mr Hizolas
This street-side eatery is an informal affair and right at home on the bustling Gold Coast Highway in Burleigh Heads. The share style menu showcases delicious flavours which can be enjoyed by everyone — no food envy here. The menu is cleverly constructed with the offerings grouped under small dishes, big dishes, dim sum, noodles & rice. So very handy when you need to single out exactly what you are after, especially when your waiter is there with pen in hand! Having difficulty choosing? Choose the Emperor’s Feast and let them take care of it all for you.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Ally Chow
If you ever needed proof of Nobby Beach’s budding restaurant scene, then Ally Chow is a staple part of that motion. Stylish décor and a delectably distracting drinks list aren’t the final say here; you’ll find a moreish modern twist of Chinese (along with other Asian cuisines) with such plates as the Tempura Moreton Bay Bug Bao and Kingfish Ceviche on Betel Leaf, which are both sure to blow anyone’s tastebuds away.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Mei Wei Dumplings
It’s no surprise to learn Mei Wei translates to delicious after you’ve taken your first bite at this quick and easy dumpling restaurant. A more straightforward affair than The Imperial, this place packs some seriously incredible flavours. Watch your chefs work their magic through an open-style kitchen before devouring heavenly dumplings. Our pick are the Shao Mai prawn and pork dumplings — or any of their other wok or BBQ dishes for that matter. Plus there’s a scrumptious selection of bubble teas available!
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Broadbeach

Grand Dynasty (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)
Grand Dynasty (Image: © 2019 Inside Gold Coast)

Grand Dynasty
Genuine yum cha eats await you at this Broadbeach favourite and you don’t have to wait until later in the day either, as they serve up lunch and dinner five days a week! Settle in and start things off with authentic dishes such as Sang Choy Bow before taking on Pork Spare Ribs with Peking Sauce or a Mongolian Beef Hot Pot. Do yourself a favour, though and save enough space for dessert: Banana fritters and Deep-fried ice cream, anyone? Done and done!
Where: 54 Victoria Avenue, Oasis Shopping Centre, Broadbeach

Yum Cha Cuisine
This award-winning franchise has you and your gang fully taken care of for Chinese delights when you find yourself on the go. With locations at Robina Town Centre, Pacific Fair, and Harbour Town: fuelling yourself up on Cantonese style small plates has never been so easy, and you can be sure it will help you carry on your (very deserved) shopping spree!
Where: Various locations

Hideaway Kitchen & Bar
It’s tough to look past this central Gold Coast venue as not one of the finest go-to places for guaranteed good food and top tipples. Although they are pretty upfront in being an Asian-fusion style restaurant, this doesn’t stop China’s tasty flavours from finding their way onto your plate. Need proof? Look no further than their Duck Breast Pancakes with Canton Sauce or the Szechuan Lamb Zian-Bing dumplings. You’ll thank us later.
Where:  2657 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Hideaway Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)
Hideaway Kitchen & Bar (image supplied)

Miami Rice
One of the Gold Coast’s most highly revered Chinese restaurants — literally for decades! Ran by father and daughter duo Alan and Shoko Yap, this family business has an extensive collection of regular locals dropping by to be spoilt with mouth-watering Chinese and Malaysian-inspired dishes such as Sambal King Prawns and Malaysian Butter Chicken. So many people can’t be wrong, right?
Where: 2007 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Dragon Cove
Situated in Sanctuary Cove’s Marine Village and with marina-side views, Dragon Cove ticks all over the boxes when it comes to an elegant fit-out and refined atmosphere. It doesn’t stop here though. A thoroughly flavour-packed menu has Chinese classics dished up with a side of contemporary style. You MUST try the Teppan Black Pepper Beef – it’s simply incredible. Overall you’ll find a variety of dishes to satisfy any level of hunger and deciding when to drop by shouldn’t be an issue as they serve lunch and dinner six days a week.
Where: 1 Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove

Words by Alex Mitcheson.

Dragon Cove Sanctuary Cove (image supplied)
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