It is a known fact that the Gold Coast is home to many a person who doesn’t even puff when they run on the beach for more than one minute. Fit, glowing-from-the-inside types who have energy all day long and don’t need to eat chocolate at 3pm every single day just to stay alive.
If you are one of those people, props to you (help us) and if not, we’ve got a little newbie to chat about that’ll help get you there.
It’s Earth Pantry in Coolangatta, a new little café that opened a couple of weeks ago bringing healthy breaky and lunch eats (that are also very tasty) to the Gold Coast.
You may have heard of the Earth Pantry crew if you’ve ventured down Kingscliff way, they opened their first venture there a few years ago and as you’d imagine, it was met with rave reviews from healthy food-loving locals.
The Cooly newbie, underneath Reflections Towers on Marine Pde, offers the same extensive menu packed with very-good-for-you smoothies and bliss bowls plus tons of breaky and lunch favourites with a healthy twist and takeaway goodies too.
Let’s dive into the menu.
For breakfast don’t go past the Herby Pumpkin Bread (home baked) served with crushed avo, hommus and black sesame seeds. The Spiced Carrot and Chickpea Fritters are also the goods with a poached egg, chorizo, labneh, hommus and rocket on top.
For lunch, we’re quite partial to a Sushi Bowl with seared miso salmon, Asian greens and pickled ginger and soy mayo served on brown rice and quinoa AND the Grilled Karaage Chicken Burger with Wombok salad. Nourishing and delicious, both of them.
There are 15 smoothie and acai bowls to choose from and all of them are perfectly Insta-worthy. If we had to choose, we’d opt for the Flamingo with pink pitaya, mango, pineapple and coconut water topped with caramelized buckini, strawberries, raspberries, passionfruit, shredded coconut and chia seeds.
Wash all that down with a Dirty Chai – which we find quite hard to get around these parts – and you’ve got yourself a delicious and nutritious feast that’ll both fill your belly and make you feel like a million bucks.
It’s the perfect way to recharge after a big day of surfing and/or sunbaking across the road and the perfect addition to the Cooly eats lineup.
Healthy here we come.
LOCATION: 8/110 Marine Pde, Coolangatta
HOURS: 6am until 4pm daily
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Coolangatta is our southernmost suburb and an uncomplicated little town. Apart from when in summer (and outside lockdowns), you can travel between two time zones — by simply crossing the street!
Time travelling aside, Coolangatta has long been loved for its laidback, beachside vibes and of course, pumping surf when the elements align and the swell fills in. These days, there is a multitude of reasons to visit other than amazing beaches and world-class waves. These include outstanding food venues, lively bars and a few other businesses worthy of your attention. So here are some worthy reasons for a nip into Cooly town.
Have a beachside coffee at Vanilla Lily
Quite possibly Coolangatta’s prettiest cafe, Vanilla Lily is serving up solid coffees and fresh eats in a beautiful setting opposite Greenmount Beach. Chill with the local community who love this hangout and enjoy the delectable fare. Our pick is the Avocado Toast with sliced radish, dried chilli flakes, pomegranate and drizzled with raw honey and lemon on a slice of sourdough.
Where: Shop 2, 110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Drink a beer at the Coolangatta Hotel
The Cooly Hotel is an absolute must-do. This well-known bar is opposite the town’s main stretch of sand and is often the place folks find themselves towards the latter part of the day. The attractions are world-class live music and great vibes aplenty. Pull up a chair and make an afternoon of it with salt-licked breezes blowing and uninterrupted beach views.
Where: Corner Warner Street & Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Enjoy some good food at Choofas Smokehouse & Seafood
Conveniently located on the town’s main street, the guys at Choofas offer some exceptional fresh and cooked seafood alongside BBQ style smoked meats, ribs, buffalo wings, burgers, steak, chicken and salads able to fill all hungry-bellies. The BBQ smoked meats are rubbed with Choofas own dark dry rub, then cooked long and slow to ensure tenderness and flavour. Choofas Horn Bar is also stocked with over 60 top brand rums, otherwise enjoy a cold beer on tap while overlooking Coolangatta beach as the sun goes down.
Where: 150 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Grab a pie from the Coolangatta Pie Shop
This iconic Gold Coast pie shop has been around for over 50 years, so it’s no wonder they’re serving up some of the tastiest pies around. You can also get some outrightly delicious caramel slices while you’re at it. Perfect for a mid-morning fuel up or after a big afternoon session of surfing. Fun fact: they’re open 24 hours on weekends.
Where: 50 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Eat pizza at Francie’s Pizzeria
Francie’s is some of the best pizza you’ll ever sample, so without hesitation, it quickly became the local’s favourite pizza bar. As purely a walk-in and no reservations style venue, swing by ahead of the crowd for delicious and inventive toppings. Our pick is the Pears Brosnan: Gorgonzola, pear, Prosciutto, and Mozzarella. YUM.
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Take a stroll through The Strand
The Strand at Coolangatta is a great respite from all the action at the beach. Filled with all you retail needs (ALDI, Woolies etc), dining (the views from the upstairs restaurants are outstanding) and entertainment (hello Timezone and Cooly’s only cinema). Spend some time strolling around the boutique shops in the air-con; you’re sure to find something you love here.
Where: 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Scoop your way through all the flavours at Ottimo
Ottimo serves up great coffee and makes all of their moreish gelatos in-house, but why are their plethora of dazzling flavours so damn good? Likely because the owner and head gelato maker Davide is Italian and has studied for a diploma from the Gelato University of Carpigiani — we didn’t make this up, it’s true!
Where: 18/52 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Release your inner child at Timezone
Have the heavens opened up? Or are you simply up for a bit of fun? Timezone Coolangatta features full-sized bowling lanes, over 200 video games, dodgem cars and laser skirmish. Not just one for the kids!
Where: Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta
Start your day with brekky at South East Espresso
A Cooly favourite for a tasty breakfast and excellent poured Paradox coffee, find South East Espresso tucked a block back from the majestic Rainbow Beach. It’s the ideal spot to satisfy those early morning hankerings, and if you fancy visiting again (which you will after a surf), they’re open for lunch too.
Where: 5 Dutton Street, Coolangatta
Indulge in an Italian feast at Little Cooly
Little Cooly is serving up some mind-blowing handmade pasta alongside a 100-strong Italian wine list that reads like a love letter to Italy itself. If it’s date night, look no further — and if you’re desperate for great pasta, well they have you covered on all bases. In an ode to the local area, dishes have been named after Gold Coast icons and suburbs and shine a light on local produce, for instance The Snapper Rocks features Tweed River prawns, mango, cashews and avocado or The Greenmount features Bangalow bacon, spicy chorizo, a fried egg and mozzarella.
Where: Level 1, Shop 120/72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta
Get your art on at Maverick Hair & Art Studio
Pop into this tucked away gallery for a fabulous hair spruce up or to enjoy some fresh local art including that of Cooly local Byron Coathup. You’re sure to find sweet, locally designed souvenirs to take home. Your favourite local brand, The Undercurrent is stocked here too. Grab a Cooly tee to remember your time.
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Take in the view at Greenmount Beach Surf Club
With unsurpassed views in a northerly direction, you can take in everything overlooking the spectacular Greenmount Beach right up to the skyline of Surfers Paradise and, on some days, beyond. If the surf is good, you can also be entertained by surfers as they jostle with each other and generally tear waves apart — the level here is high. Our favourite is an icy schooner in hand and an amber sunset: perfection.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Eat a burger at Eddie’s Grub House.
Rock ‘n roll meets fried chicken, burgers and whiskey: does it get any better than that? Get a mouthful of naughty but nice American classics in this soul food dive bar. They regularly have live music and karaoke nights and are one of the best spots to catch up with mates before a night on the town.
Where: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Shop local at Cooly’s Beachside Markets
On every second and fourth Sunday of the month, Queen Elizabeth Park comes alive with plenty of local traders selling anything from raw produce to clothing and accessories. The perfect place to take a stroll with a coffee in hand and the sun on your face — be prepared to spend some money.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta
Have a sunset cocktail at Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This Griffith Street rooftop bar is always packed with sunset and weekend revellers sipping on cocktails living their best lives, and this should include you. Regular DJs and insta-worthy drinks mean this venue is a top place to see in the weekend or alternatively help you get over a hump day from hell. Either way, head upstairs and let the good times roll.
Where: 2/152-154 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
Pizza and puns are, without a doubt, two of the best things ever created. Oh and also wine and GUESS WHAT, you can get all of those things at Cooly’s new kid on the block.
In a move that quite frankly has skyrocketed Coolangatta into coolest suburb on the Coast status, Francie’s Pizzeria is bringing over 15 pizza flavours, their own range of wine and a whole lot of soul to the south and we are stoked (and also very full).
The intimate space has all your favourite things, a glossy white brick feature wall, a neon sign, perfectly placed greenery and vintage-style photographs depicting some of the coolest characters in entertainment history. You might even catch a glimpse of owners Claudia and Tony’s model-esque parents and grandparents.
The pair have dubbed their style of eats Neo-nepolitana which we’re pretty sure translates to super delicious and also aesthetically pleasing. All attempts at humour aside, the pair have done their research (tough gig). Prior to opening Tony travelled from New York to Philadelphia to gather ideas and inspiration including paying a visit to Pizzeria Blanco, who are apparently the cult leaders of the pizza world. Hence, the venue being a north American style of pizzeria.
On his travels Tony learnt that the sky’s the limit when it comes to creating big, bold flavours and thus friends, that’s exactly what he did.
Here’s your favourite part: the names of the pizzas are puns and what could be better in the world honestly.
The Pears Brosnan is made with pear, Gorgonzola, speck, thyme and fior de latte. The Fennel Countdown is house made fennel sausage, red onions, parmigano reggiano, tomato and a garlic crumb. The Kale Me Maybe is Tuscan kale, roasted chilli, buttered mushroom, garlic and aged cheddar. Too good.
Get this, there’s also an entirely vegan menu with seven pies, plus entrees and seriously, be still my heart.
Claudia and Tony make their own sourdough, lemonade, sweet tea and hummus (you’ll want to bath in it) and they’ve created something completely unique and perfectly befitting of Cooly’s super chill vibes.
Get it gang.
LOCATION: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta
HOURS: Wednesday to Monday 11am until 2pm and 5pm to 9.30pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
uxtaposed against the sparkling Coolangatta sea is the dark and grungy good-time den that is Eddie’s Grub House.
It’s a New Orleans-style dive bar and rock n roll personified with a dartboard in the corner and chalkboard pillars sporting cheeky messages and tiny works of art. Framed photos of Elvis and the like adorn the back wall while another is stacked high with a collection of spirits the King himself would be proud of.
Put simply Eddie’s Grub House is all the good things you won’t find anywhere else on the Gold Coast and if that’s not enough to persuade you, their new menu definitely will.
Eddie’s war cry reads “Whiskey, beer and fried chicken. All Marinated in Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll” and while this is true, burgers and hot dogs are the stars of the latest show.
The Menage Abbatoir consists of an all beef patty, two southern fried chicken tenders, bacon, cheese, an onion ring filled with red cheddar, Coopers Ale BBQ sauce and special sauce – it’s a doozey, good luck. Not quite that brave? The Philly Cheeseburger also packs an all beef patty simply plus cheese, sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers. The Sloppy Joe Cocker is a beef party, chilli con carne, sour cream and shallots. Prepare to get saucy.
Onto to the hot dogs. They’re all made with Eddie’s signature jalapeno, course ground dogs rammed into a milk bun and served with fries of course. The O.G is literally that – a timeless hot dog classic filled with ketchup, mustard and red cheddar cheese. The Philly Cheese Dog boasts matching ingredients to the burger of the same name but dog-style.
If all that’s not enough to render you useless for the rest of the day add on some Texas Chilli Cheese Fries – they’re coated with Eddie’s fire dust, bacon and scallions and smothered in hot cheese sauce.
Forgive us for we have sinned.
HOURS: Tuesday to Thursday 12pm to 10.30pm, Friday and Saturday 12pm to 12am and Sunday 12pm to 10pm.
LOCATION: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.