Gold Coasters, we need to talk. Something BIG is happening – in every sense of the word – which achieves ‘life made’ status upon simply walking in. Okay so that’s a sizeable call, but we’re not embellishing when we say this is one of THE most exciting things to happen to Surfers Paradise in recent times. Set to do a darn good job at changing up people’s perception of our ‘glitter strip’, this modern coastal stunner not only looks a (multi) million bucks, but she also delivers views, eats, service and ambience to match. We’re pleased to introduce the new local dining scene Pretty Committee leader, the chic COAST Beach Bar & Kitchen.
Dripping in coastal-styled furnishings and high-quality on-fleek accents, COAST is every bit the refined glamour girl. This spectacular $2.5 million-dollar venue adorning the first floor of the brand-new Ocean by Meriton is all about fine modern Australian shared cuisine, and breathtaking uninterrupted views of the big blue. The ocean and skyline are complemented with a timeless muted coastal colour palette, natural earthy tones including Tasmanian Oak furnishings, rattan and marble fixtures. There are distinct dining spaces, divvied up into a 110-seat restaurant and 160-seat bar, including a main dining room, lounge area, private booths, and sprawling outdoor bar areas. There’s even a statement 14m marble bar and guys, that’s a whole lotta margis right there #CheersToThat.
Other must-mentions are the Spanish-style Josper oven which ‘rewrites’ flavour with its bespoke smoky goodness, and brace yourselves (and your liver…and umm, your credit card…) for the venue’s standout feature piece; a 26-year vertical Penfolds Grange Magnum Collection. It’s valued at over $60k and holy bejesus, we just fainted. Guests of COAST have the exclusive privilege of being able to order this liquid gold, making it a wine enthusiast’s fantasyland.
So who on earth has answered our prayers and created this sophisticated food lovers paradise? Local hospitality power couple Justin and Elizabeth Allie are the proud ‘parents’, and the force behind the likes of Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar, The Fish Shak, and catering company A-lister Gourmet en Counter. They have certainly outdone themselves here, catapulting Surfers into a whole new stratosphere of eats and sips sophistication. You would certainly expect a venue of this calibre to recruit an Executive Chef of similar stature and yep, you’d be bang on. Rhett Willis is the chosen one, with over two decades of culinary experience in some of the country’s best venues, including Jellyfish and Cha Cha Char #props.
Now one of the best things they do here (and there are a lot) is actual share food. As in carefully considered, bite-sized or pre-cut dishes that won’t spill and splosh all over the show. For starters, may we suggest Wasabi Leaves with sand crab, chilli, lime and caviars, and “The Éclair” with chicken liver parfait and Chambord jelly (salivation). Moving on to the Josper fired sharesies plates, the Lamb Shoulder from Junee New South Wales with smoked paprika and labneh is pure culinary perfection. And it would be remiss of us not to make mention of COAST’s signature dish and boy is this one spesh; The Tomahawk by John Dee Optimal. We’re talking 120-day grain fed, dry-aged for 30 days in the exclusive in-house dry ageing fridge, and served with chef’s sides and condiments. Again, life made.
Wash it all down with a bottle from the 2,000 strong wine bottle cellar front and centre in the restaurant, with up to 120 varieties of ‘grape juice’ primarily sourced from Australia’s most celebrated wine regions #supportlocal. And don’t forget to order a signature cocktail (as if you would) and the Salty Tailor comes highly recommended with vodka, maraschino, curacao, lemon, almond foam and saline.
So make sure Friday 5th August is earmarked in your calendar to coast on into Coast and experience first-hand how this show-stopper will reshape Surfers Paradise’s foodie landscape. Amen – we’ll drink to that!
Where: Level 1, Ocean by Meriton, 86 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Opens Friday 5th August
Words by Bianca Trathen.
We all get excited when we hear a new modern Australian noshery is Gold Coast bound. Especially when it’s rumoured to serve up locally sourced land and sea eats in an uber-chic beachside setting, because no surprises here – this is our ‘curren-sea’! But there’s more to unpack here, because this notable newbie will propel us straight into ‘Mind Blown’ status, with a Josper oven for charcoal grilling flavour elevation. The result? A levelled-up taste bonanza, beautifully staged in the new Meriton Suites along the Surfers Paradise Esplanade. So friends, prepare for a ‘sanding’ ovation when you experience the $2.5 million COAST Beach Bar & Kitchen, the new pinnacle of relaxed GC dining. Oozing casual sophistication, this sun-believable stunner is set to open mid-June…and we’re ‘beachy’ keen!
With uninterrupted ocean views and a location-appropriate design infused with muted blue, green, contrasting brass, leather and marble fixtures, COAST, you have our undivided attention. Adorning the first floor of the Meriton Suites, the 750 square metre venue will showcase flexible but distinct spaces spilt into a 110-seat restaurant and 160-seat bar. This includes a main dining room, lounge dining area, private booths for a more intimate vibe, and a spacious outdoor bar area for wining and dining with the ocean breeze. But the piece de resistance has to be the 14-metre marble bar… Just imagine the cocktails you could drink here!
The brainchild of GC restaurateur super couple Justin and Elizabeth Allie, COAST certainly has good genes. The Allies boast over two decades of experience in the industry, responsible for the likes of Longboards Laidback Eatery and Bar in Surfers, The Fish Shak in Southport, and in-demand catering company Gourmet en Counter. And the name dropping continues with Space Cubed Studio – the architectural masterminds behind Loose Moose, Rubi Red, Cali Beach and La Luna – tasked with the high-end fit-out which echoes the land and sea focus, and construction connoisseurs Open Projects Group handling the build.
Who is the Head Chef entrusted to deliver a share style menu defined by delicious, simple and locally sourced dishes you ask? The one and only Rhett Willis, who keen reality show fans will recognise as the silver medallist from MasterChef: The Professionals. This certainly isn’t his only claim to fame though, with over two decades of culinary experience in some of the country’s best venues, including Jellyfish and Cha Cha Char and Sir, we’ll pay that.
If you’re anything like us, we drooled a little (and by a little we mean a lot) when we heard the signature dishes will include the Chef’s In House Aged Cut of Beef smoked at the table, and the Duck Liver Parfait Stuffed Brioche Doughnuts. And remember their secret weapon which we mentioned earlier? Yep, we’re talking about the Josper again. Which is a traditional Spanish charcoal oven which delivers a bespoke smoked flavour. Oh and for the vegetarians amongst us, never fear! Because they’re promising an extensive array of vegetarian options to round out the menu #SoMuchYes.
We’re not done with the wow factor though, coz the venue will exhibit a 2,000 strong wine bottle cellar, comprised of 80% Aussie vinos and has there ever been a better centrepiece in the history of centrepieces? No, there has not. While we’re discussing wine (we do this a lot), COAST will also offer an impressive vintage vino collection with prized drops from Torbreck, Yalumba and Veuve Clicquot, to enjoy on their own or with a complementary food pairing. Fancy!
AND, for the fine wine devotees? Brace yourselves, because you can sip on a 26-year vertical Penfolds Grange Magnum Collection valued at over $60,000! Aaaand we just fainted.
So ‘water’ you waiting for? Start planning a mid-June rendezvous at COAST with your faves because this one is sure to be something special.
Where: Level 1 Meriton Suites, 86 The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise
When: Hours of operation to be advised
Words by Bianca Trathen.
Well now, aren’t we the lucky ones for being fantastically spoilt with endless glorious beaches here on our golden coast. Kilometre after kilometre of pristine sand awaits you around every outcrop, headland, and creek; creating the rather envious — and ever-present — predicament of what beach you might lay your towel on.
It’s the finer details, the nuances if you will, which separate the good from the great. By that we mean not just the beach itself — but the amazing places you can grab something to eat/drink from nearby! As official beach experts, we take great pleasure in outlining the finest patches of shoreline on the Gold Coast for your sun-kissed reading pleasure.
For all readers living north of Surfers Paradise, Main Beach is a huge drawcard when it comes to getting yourself some beach time. And there is little reason why you wouldn’t find yourself here on a perfect day with your favourite book and sunblock. This quiet and sprawling section of sand is backed by some of the Coast’s most luxurious resorts before finally coming to an end at The Spit, which offers you peeks of South Stradbroke Island. Often empty and within striking distance of most northern suburbs, this is a stellar choice for spending an hour or three.
Eat: The Seafood buffet at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort is a must-try either for lunch or dinner. Open to outside guests of the resort and serving the freshest seafood straight from the trawlers.
Do: Peruse the shops at Marina Mirage, then walk to Fisherman’s Wharf (affectionately known as Fisho’s) for a sunset drink overlooking the magificent Broadwater filled with yachts in the Marina. If you’re out late, take a moonlit walk along the beach after dinner to finish off a perfect evening.
The one and only. One of the main reasons why tourism exploded here in the latter part of the last century was indeed Surfers Paradise. A suburb that is a lot of things to a lot of people, but almost certainly the most recognisable part of our coastline for visitors. Although the busy end of town, you will always find a piece of the beach to yourself — finding a car park however is a different affair altogether (catch the tram)! The pedestrianised pathway along the beachfront is the perfect opportunity to pull out your skateboard or dust off your roller skates/blades and experience the beach, in a slightly different way, whilst being active. Regardless of the crowds, if the weather is playing ball, the beach here is one of our best.
Eat: There’s a myriad of options here, however, we suggest you head to Mos Burger (a stones-throw from the beach) to tuck into some Japanese-inspired burger goodness.
Do: We all know shopping is a type of therapy and therefore good for you. Once you’ve had your share of sun, sea, and sand why not shower off and head to Paradise Centre or Soul Boardwalk – you’ll find some of the Coast’s best retailers and sweet ice-cream shops perfect for a hot day.
Further down you’ll find Broadbeach, which can be defined as being a slightly more relaxed and slower version of the vibrant Surfers Paradise stretch. For a morning walk with some incredible sunrise light, this is where you need to be at. When you’ve had enough of getting sand in all of your small places — there’s a spattering of green areas and parks with some great BBQ facilities and seating areas. Still, with its fair share of extravagant looking high rises the shadows begin to creep across the beach (depending on the time of year) around the 3pm mark. By this time, it could very well be time to grab a cocktail anyway…
Eat: A Gold Coast institution, Elk Espresso is the answer to all of your breakfast and lunch dreams. And being positioned on the corner of Oasis Shopping Centre and merely metres from the beach is nothing short of perfection in our eyes.
Do: Feeling like the midday sun is getting to you? Head inside the Oasis and you’ll be met with a tonne of shopping options, making it a tough call to go back to the beach.
The jewel in the crown? Quite possibly, and for good reason. Burleigh has, we think, exceeded all expectations of what a modern Gold Coast suburb should be. With its admixture of surfy/bohemian/laid back vibes and a plethora of shops and eating options, you can easily spend a whole day here and want for nothing. Lush greenery meets golden shoreline as the iconic point and National Park frame the beach at the southern end before it winds a parallel line with the Pacific Ocean towards Miami Hill in the north. Take the day off, grab your sunscreen and put your phone on silent, because this part of our coast is truly a special one.
Eat: With the same eye-watering view, Rick Shores, The Burleigh Pavilion and The Tropic are the ideal places to grab something to eat, and or drink, and remember how lucky you are to be here.
Do: There’s no arguing that the beach here is fantastic. Do as the locals do and head up Burleigh Hill as the sun begins to set and you get to savour those last parts of sunlight as it cascades towards the horizon.
Controversial inclusion or not, being not technically a beach in the sense it isn’t backed by the ocean, Tallebudgera Creek beach is still one of the best places you can get some sun on your skin whilst submerging yourself in pristine water. Being a creek with shallow sand bars, the way the sunlight enters and refracts around the water always provides you with so many different variations of the colour blue! The real magic about this location is the fact you have two different sides of the creek to explore; both have their advantages for when the sun, and wind, start to move throughout the day.
Eat: Nearby Custard Canteen is the creation of husband-wife duo Ben & Ursula Watts of Bam Bam Bakehouse and Cubby Bakehouse fame. Need we say more?
Do: Take a wander down into nearby Palm Beach and treat yourself to some rooftop action either at Frida Sol or Las Palmas.
Having some of the squeakiest and whitest sand along our 70km coastline, Coolangatta Beach was a dead fire inclusion on this list. Unbeknown to some people, the north-facing aspect of this beach, provides some great protection from the southerly winds – meaning no unexpected blasts of sand to the face. Much like Burleigh Headland, Greenmount adds a rustic green backdrop to the beach and acts as a great lookout so you can appreciate the nearby surfing going down at Rainbow Bay. If surfing isn’t your thing then you may well be lucky enough to catch glimpses of dolphins which are known to gracefully glide their way past on any given day.
Eat: Amble your way from the beach to Little Cooly just inside The Strand, with some much-loved pasta and pizza and their signature Sip Sessions from 3pm daily. It’d be rude not to!
Do: Take a stroll to nearby Kirra, walk to the top of the hill to truly enjoy the views of the Gold Coast from a southern perspective. Once you’ve done that, and burned enough calories, it’s time to head to Ottimo for some of the best handmade gelato this side of Italy.
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
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.