Coz all roads lead to a margi (or 2).
Coz all roads lead to a margi (or 2).
Feeling hungry? Science proves that you might in fact be thirsty and what better remedy exists than the holy grail of liquid love, the margarita. This rings especially true on International Margarita Day on 22nd February which side note; may just be the greatest day ever created.
Here’s our roundup of THE places to sip THE drink famous for making us go weak at the knees (quite literally….).
This joint can do no wrong. Delivering more than just a carb coma with their iconic mouthwatering pizzas, this cult fave also whips up a mean – and strong – frozen margi. And believe you me, nothing says happiness like a ten-outta-ten pizza washed down with an icy take on ‘Me-hi-co’s’ national treasure. No frills here but that’s part of the charm and bonus, you can sink one on the footpath while you’re waiting for your takeaway.
Our pick: Frozen margarita
Where: Shop 2/32 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
The fare here is *chef’s kiss* but let’s talk the business; their epic cocktail selection, particularly their signature sip which just happens to be a margarita #obvi. If you’re not already acquainted with Cooly Breeze Rooftop and Bar, it’s time to be. Sitting (very) pretty on the 13th floor, it’s the Coast’s only fine dining rooftop restaurant with spectacular views to the southern coastline and the Tweed River surrounds. Bliss!
Our pick: Cooly Breeze Margi – tequila, Cointreau, fresh lime juice and homemade pineapple jalapeno syrup
Where: Level 13 of Beachcomber International Resort, 122 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
This senorita needs a margarita (and we have the shirt to prove it, shout out to Sabbi Clothing) and where better than Veladora at The Star, Gold Coast. This Mezcal-inspired speakeasy bar with an extensive range of signature cocktails, Mexican beers, and unique snacks, serves up THE OG margi to beat all margis. Bonus incoming; there’s live music on Fridays and Latin-inspired beats on Saturdays. Salud (on repeat).
Our pick: The Margarita! Herradura Plata, orange liqueur & fresh lime juice
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
With some of the most exotic and creative margi’s we’ve ever seen (and, umm, sunk), rita-lovers unite at Siblings. Their expansive cocktail menu is the real McCoy, but in our humble opinion, the ‘Margarita Obsession’ section is pure Pegasus-material. Combined with the heritage-listed beachfront location, 1950’s Miami beach vibe fit-out, and a menu to dine for, marg our words – just go.
Our pick: Sex in an Hour – blueberry infused Olmeca Altos Plata, 100% agave tequila, Joseph Cartron Watermelon liqueur, fresh watermelon juice, a touch of Philippe De Bourgogne Crème de Cassis & Fiorente Elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice, Herradura agave nectar, pink Himalayan salt, & sugar rim
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra
Kirra Beach House
Margi’s land different here so don’t walk, run. With legend Kaden Pool (ex TOKOH) behind the divine drinks menu and hospo veteran Dave Galvin masterminding the whole operation, it’s Kirra Beach House for the win. Add immersive panoramic views of Kirra Beach, a Mediterranean-style grazing menu, and an exceptional selection of world-class cocktails, and perfection mode activated..
Our pick: Kirra Beach House Tommy’s Margarita – tequila, agave, fresh lime, & coastal salt
Where: Level 1, 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Palm Springs Burleigh
Palm Springs Burleigh is a Southern Californian-inspired café, eats and drinks heaven on earth. With All.The.Things you’d expect from somewhere with Palm Springs in the name, you’ll find arches, cacti, Slim Aarons, plenty of green, mint and white hues and of course, M.A.R.G.I.S! A tried and tested Burleigh fave, extra points awarded for the get-in-my-belly-good nosh.
Our pick: Chilli Margarita – chilli infused 1800 silver tequila, Cointreau & fresh lime juice
Where: 1878 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
As you’d expect from one of the most loved Mexi-venues around, Bonita Bonita’s margarita list is off the chain good. As is the chow and the vibe, hence why it continues to pull a sizeable crowd year after year. If you’re going to line your belly coz #tequila, go with the banquet and get the best of everything this GC fave has to offer.
Our pick: Tom-Yum Margarita – 1800 coconut tequila, fresh lime, habanero, lemon grass & ginger syrup, grapefruit juice, & a salt rim
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
It’s always margarita mania at Nobby’s Mexicali! Served on the rocks and made using fresh fruit and house infused tequilas, all margis are crafted using 100% Blue Agave tequila or mezcal, freshly squeezed lime juice, and agave syrup. Choose from classic, watermelon, strawberry, passionfruit, chilli, cucumber & jalapeno, mezcal, and coconut. And we’ll take the lot #thx.
Our pick: Passionfruit Margarita
Where: Level 1/2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
Nested in Sanctuary Cove, you’ll find this intimate quintessential modern Mexican cantina with a slight Caribbean influence and srsly, what more could one ask for?! Think terracotta, venetian walls, exposed concrete, Virgin Mary statues, and a cactus at every turn. The house tequila is made with wild agave and they only use organic, freshly squeezed lime in all their cocktails…including their iconic ritas. Gimme gimme!
Our pick: Watermelon Margarita
Where: Sanctuary Cove, 39 Masthead Way, Hope Island
Let’s lead with the fact that this place has a margarita bar. Umm, need we even go on? Claiming they serve up the best margis on the Coast, we’re pleased to confirm that this is anything but just a baseless flex. Their selection is lit and they even do happy hour every day from 12pm – 5pm, slinging Classic Margaritas or Frozen Tommy’s for just $15!
Our pick: Cool as a Cucumber – Patron tequila, Triple Sec, agave, house-made cucumber syrup, fresh squeezed lime & a sea salt rim
Where: Lot 1, 70 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
El Camino Cantina
Die-hard fans of El Camino Cantina’s legendary Margaritas are never left high and dry at this Tex- Mex institution. Served frozen or on the rocks, choose from 15oz or 24oz and duh, is there any contest here coz when it comes to a rita, #MoreIsAlwaysMore. El Camino Cantina isn’t just about celebrating National Margarita Day – they’re turning up the heat for an entire week of fiesta from February 19th to 25th! Indulge in a tantalizing array of turbocharged margarita flavors as El Camino Cantina serves up something new every single day. With their ever-rotating lineup of crave-worthy concoctions, there’s no shortage of reasons to raise a glass and toast to the spirit of margarita madness!
Our pick: Blueberry Margi
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
With no less than 12 ritas to choose from, we’d be here all day listing them all and srsly, just get down there and drink people! Colourful and bold like the staff, everything they do is inspired by the vivid heritage of Mexico, with a nod to our coastal home. With a juicy taco in one hand and a salty margi in the other, life made and happy International Marg Day!
Our pick: The Illegal – Illegal Joven mezcal, triple sec, blanco tequila & lime juice
Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads
There’s no better place to celebrate margarita month than at The Collective in Palmy! In fact, this lot have taken it one step further offering cocktail masterclasses, one of which heroes our fave tequilla, Patrón. For $80 per person, learn how to whip up five Patrón-based beauties Collective-style, plus enjoy bubbles on arrival, two of your delicious creations, and a selection of the venue’s most popular grazing dishes and canapes. Please and thank you.
Our pick: Mango & Chilli Margarita – Patrón Blanco, mango, chilli & lime
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
We can tell you first-hand (far too many times over) that the resident Margi at Exhibitionist Bar (unpacked below) is one of the best. Sitting high atop the striking HOTA Gallery, this artsy watering hole delivers great flavours and explosions of tastes you won’t forget in a hurry…both in edible and drinkable varieties. Whether you want a light lunch with friends, a cocktail at sundown or a nightcap, this is where it’s at.
Our pick: House Hot Marg – Herradura Blanco tequila, marionette orange, lime & house made hot sauce
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, Top Level, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
Words by Bianca Trathen.
If Queensland weather doesn’t shout rooftop bars at you in a high-pitched squeal, we don’t know what will. Our climate, coupled with the amazing hospitality scene here in our city, means these open-air meccas of good times and delicious libations are the prime place to find yourself — any time of the year! It’s all about drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes.
So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 11 next-level rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit this weekend — and next weekend, and the weekend after…
The Exhibitionist Bar
When HOTA opened its brand new state of the art gallery building last year (the biggest outside a capital city, by the way), we all knew the art scene was about to go up a level or two. What we didn’t realise was that a sublimely positioned rooftop bar was a part of the deal also. The highly talented Tom Angel heads up a bar and creative cocktail list, which is a seriously good spot for a sundowner — and the ideal place to take out of towners!
Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
Glitzy, glamorous, and generally a wonderful time all around, Tropic Vice was the rooftop bar Nobby Beach was yearning for, and it came to fruition in 2021. The ideal spot for a weekend catch up, a mid-week cheeky cocktail, or an epic bottomless brunch every Sunday. Do yourself a favour: find yourself here sipping a cocktail whilst drinking in the gorgeous hinterland view.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s largest open air and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the The Island in Surfers Paradise. The Island Rooftop is part nightclub, part bar, part live music venue, and all the parts are a fun time no matter the day of the week. Head there for the epic weekend Grazy Days lunch or just to feel like you’re on Island time.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is undoubtedly Nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found atop the The Star Gold Coast’s The Darling, Nineteen is the perfect place for people-watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away. Oh and be sure to take a snap on the runway that stretches out in the pool!
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
The Palm Beach Mexi restaurant doubles as a rooftop bar with views out to the ocean and lots of salty ocean breezes. The eats are fresh and flavoursome, and there’s many a margarita on the list to soothe that sweltering summer humidity we’re currently experiencing. Get into Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
A game-changer in Southport’s food and beverage scene was Mr PP’s, a deli and rooftop bar boasting city views and plenty of good vibes in the century-old postal building. There is a generous menu full of pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this, folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too.
Where: 43 Nerang St, Southport
Everyone’s favourite multi-restaurant establishment, The Collective also boasts a sweet rooftop bar with some epic cocktails for your sipping pleasure. You can also order eats from one of the five menus on offer and watch the sunset over the ocean while you’re at it. We HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
A much-loved favourite and the Gold Coast’s first official rooftop bar, Justin Lane is still one of the most popular rooftop’s since it’s opening in 2011. The space is intimate with booth-style seating overlooking Burleigh and plenty of cocktails to tickle your fancy. Downstairs is all the delicious pizza you could possibly need, so fill up on that, then head upstairs to mingle with the gang.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Last Night on Earth
Pretty sure that if it were, in fact, your last night on Earth, you would want to spend it at a sweet rooftop bar with bulk cocktails at the ready. Which maybe isn’t the point of Southport’s Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless. Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew; it’s a somewhat underworld themed rooftop bar in the heart of Southport offering good times aplenty. It’s a dive bar, but not as you know it. Check it out.
Where: 50b Nerang St, Southport
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar located down in southerly Coolangatta has beautiful glimpses of the ocean, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whilst they may not do eats, you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs, and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulk cocktails and tacos. Always lively and worth the trip down the Coast.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Aviary Rooftop Bar
Perched atop Mantra on Sharks, Aviary Rooftop Bar’s views are as stunning as their extensive drinks list. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. Ohh and don’t even get us started on their authentic Italian pizza’s, and tapas… if you know, you know.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Ct, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
No Gold Coasters, your eyes ‘dough’ not deceive you – at long last, the local legends behind famed pizza joints Franc Jrs and Francie’s are slinging their signature slice from a brand new location in Nobby Beach.
The newest eat-in iteration for the Franc fam – an old school vibing pizzeria – is packed with plenty of soul, promising that same trademark, ‘good, honest Italian food’ fans have long been smitten with.
Fromage fiends can settle in for their Franc fix – with laidback vibes alongside cult fave Classic pizzas, crisp, Detroit style deep-dish pies, and frozen Margi’s.
With a lineage that can be traced back to 1996, the Francie’s origin story is fascinating, rich – and similar to the effects of a few too many frozen Marg’s – a little fuzzy around the edges.
An operation now run by Anthony Pattinson, Claudia Pattinson, James Young and Carlos Lara – the charming, 60pax Coolangatta neighbourhood pizza joint known as Francie’s was born way back in an era when, along with pizza, Anthony counted Baywatch and RnB among his great loves.
The humble spot with a shoebox-vibing kitchen was soon overwhelmed by its own success – by year two they were averaging 150 peckish patrons a night – a number that blew out to 250-300 punters in the years that followed, a frenetic pace that they couldn’t maintain.
When it came to delivering a new and improved restaurant offering, the challenge was retaining the charm, while scaling up and refining the offering to meet demand.
The new venue is a 60 seater with indoor and outdoor tables, opting for counter service to streamline the experience.
Complete with mob movie vibing mood lighting, red leather and wood finishes aplenty, the interior fit out is a throwback to the classic, 1940’s Italian American style restaurant.
The result is a nostalgic feeling Anthony likens to the 90’s rite of passage – hitting up the local salad bar, “like Pizza Hut’s all you can eat, only really, really good”, he adds.
Anthony’s life-long passion for slinging ‘pies’ – is immediately apparent in the drool-worthy menu.
The offering is split into three types – Traditional 13-inch ‘Francies classics’, 16-inch cheese pies and square, Sicilian ‘Detroit style’ pizzas, as well as a full vegan selection to boot.
Now pizza, along with a sneaky pun or three, is certainly something we’re no stranger to – with catchy monikers such as Francie’s Classic, ‘Sage Against the Machine’ made with fresh fior di latte, roasted mushrooms, pancetta, sage & pecorino, only further fuelling our obsession.
Fans of the Franc Jrs Signature – the loaded and crispy edged, Sicilian style slice – can get amongst Tomato, made with roasted cherry tomatoes, confit garlic, whipped lemon ricotta & chilli sauce or the cheese-packed White Stripe, topped with hot honey.
And with the calibre of slice selection the Franc Jrs crew is slinging, we certainly wouldn’t blame anyone struggling to choose.
But if the fan following for these pizza purveyors is anything to go by – satisfaction is a sure thing (and a carb coma).
Where: Shop 2/32 Lavarack Road, Nobby Beach
When: 4pm-10pm Wednesday – Saturday
Words by Kellie Leader.
Hola, fellow Mexican food (.. and drink, lbh) enthusiasts – aka absolutely anyone with a tastebud or two rattling around in their noggin’ – ‘tis is an extremely excellente day indeed.
With an all new Mexican eatery and margarita bar, Nude Amigos, sauntering into the Broadbeach eats scene for our feasting, frolicking and, er.. fiesta(-ing) pleasure.
For a newcomer with a name like Nude Amigos, it’s certainly easy enough for the imagination to get carried away, though thanks to the inclusion of an ‘unmatched Margarita Bar’, we’re verrrry happy to confirm this is indeed the kind of establishment where all the spicy action is of the culinary variety #notthatkindofplace #sendfoods.
For owners and passionate nudies foodies Darren and Sara, of Kin acclaim, the aim was to create a vibrant culinary playground where food enthusiasts (#itus) and margarita aficionados (#alsous) gather.
Sara adds “nestled by the park, this airy Broadbeach gem offers an oasis for sipping tequila cocktails, savouring fresh, authentic Mexican delights, and simply kicking back with your buddies.”
Umm, that gets a big sí from us!
The interiors are somewhat of a Gold Coast style ode to Cancún.
At the heart stands the sprawling venue-length bar, complete with beach-hut style thatched roof – though the glittering collection of exotic tequilas and mezcals adorning the shelves beyond do their very best to steal the show.
The breezy space has opted for an otherwise light and bright colour scheme to complement the rustic, natural elements such as travertine tiling and sea grass feature lighting, making it all too easy to forget you’re not actually on a Caribbean island vaycay (esp. after a few sneaky samples of those aforementioned sips).
The arrival of Nude Amigos to the Broady strip also officially provides some much-needed closure for the wholesome eats shaped hole left in our hearts, following the departure of Cardamom Pod and its impressive 10+ year prior reign in the spot.
Though, to the delight of our plant-based brethren, its predecessor also boasts an extensive and considered vegan and vego selection #kaleyeah.
Fresh, local produce takes centre stage for the entire lineup of enticing eats – in the form of next-level authentic Mexican fare.
“We believe in celebrating the richness of Queensland’s produce,” Sara shares.
“It’s our way of infusing the essence of Mexico into every bite and sip.”
The menu ranges from bites that will perfectly pair with any of the signature margi’s, to a full blown banquet option (and look, we’re still gonna pair it with a marg, even if that means farewell to our trusty top buttons).
Brimming with fare as instagrammable as it is flavour packed, both the Elote, Char-grilled Corn with coriander mayo, tajin and queso fresco cheese (or vegan upon request) or the show stopping Seafood Pineapple – Half a Pineapple filled with King Prawns, sautéed capsicum, red onion, coconut cream, coriander, chipotle chili, topped with melted cheese and served with warm flour tortillas will wow in more ways than one.
Of course the trusty faves are all accounted for, with Queso fundido, Enchiladas, Quesadillas all on offer as well as a stacked Taco lineup we’d happily nom our way through hungry caterpillar style every day of the week (honourable mention to the Crispy fried tempura fish – White Fish, shredded cabbage, Jalapeño mayo, Pico de Gallo and queso fresco, tho).
And if you haven’t yet gauc enough, the delectable desserts are sure to do the trick, though choosing between the Mango Margarita Cheesecake, Traditional Tres Leches Cake or Peach Cream Chimichanga may prove to be quite the impossible feat.
Might we suggest a sneaky round of piedra papel o tijera, aka scissors-paper-rock (or is it rock paper scissors?! #controversial) to settle this conundrum once and for all.
And for the hottest tip of all, because what’s hotter than a spicy marg? Several!
Where: Lot 1, 70 Surf Parade, Broadbeach
When: Lunch 12 pm – 3 pm – Wednesday to Sunday, Dinner 5 pm – 12 am – 7 Days a week
Words by Kellie Leader.
Images by Belinda Symons.