Cooly's new kid on the block.
Cooly's new kid on the block.
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.
The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train. Thankfully these days, we need not venture far to find our plant-based fix, with a plethora of veg-vibing establishments all vying for our affections.
As the masters of mind-blowingly good meat-free eats, these veritable veggie experts are in a legendary legume of their own.
While we may be guilty of throwing the word ‘institution’ around a little liberally at times, Cardamom Pod (and it’s crew of certifiable whole-food wizards) is a name known the coast over as a haven for plant-based folk and those craving nourishing nosh.
While we sadly bid adieu to the original Broadbeach location (and then a fond ‘hola’ to Nude Amigos in the same spot – coincidentally also offering a considered assortment of vibrant vego options) – thankfully the name lives on through the second Pod residing at Brickworks Ferry Road. Get your fill of creative and colourful all-day eats such as the Buddah Bowl, Blinged Out Avo Benny, and if we really must choose – the French Toast *never* fails. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: 3/3 Brolga Avenue, Southport
The delightful folk at Blendlove believe nothing is worth eating, if it hasn’t been created with love and let it be known that everything they create there, is worth eating. Co-founders Riki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. They whip up their treats in-house without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. Plus, keeping us plied with our daily Blackboard coffee fix earns them a bunch of extra brownie points in our books (guilt-free, sugar-free ones, of course).
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport
Mermaid’s middle-eastern eatery, Falafels, has since expanded from its initial exclusively meat-free menu, but its primarily plant-based roots remain (as do the legendary falafels we know and love, praise be chickpea).
This small but mighty neighbourhood noshery specialises in fresh and flavour-packed portable bites with a mediterranean focus – all plied with secret-recipe sauces, dips and house pickled veg. The famous hand-crafted falafels have a rep as the best you can get your mitts (and mouth) around on the Coast. Available any which way you like – Plate, Pocket or Salad – aka stuffed in a pillow of pita, or perhaps piled atop a throne of veg, tahini and hummus (or not, for the #hummushaters… we’re told they’re out there… #blasphemy).
A trip to Falafels will give you allll the feel-good feels (namely satisfaction).
Where: Shop 2c/1 Lakeview Blvd, Mermaid Waters
Temple of Spices
Ahhh, vego curry, how we love thee. A wholesome, hearty, hug in a bowl – and for many of us, the gateway dish to discovering that meat-free can be mind-blowingly good, yes? Mermaid’s resident spice slingers, Temple of Spices has quite the rep for treating local diners to incredible Indian eats – including a dedicated menu of main-character vibing veg/vegan dishes to tempt anyone and tantalise every tum. Quell those cravings and chow down on chutneys, coconut rice and your choice of protein swimming in creamy, spice-laden curry – your tastebuds will be happy as Lassi. And for anyone considering skipping the Vego butter? That gets a big yeah, naan from us.
Looking to bolster your meat-free meal with an all-out feast? Spice up your night and split one of the plant-based banquet packs with your Dahl-ing (thank us later).
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
Tian Ran Vegetarian
Meaning nature in English, Tian Ran provides the purest of vegetarian and vegan Asian cuisine. Their meals are free from meat, dairy, alcohol, garlic, onions and MSG and they also offer a gluten-free menu. The team are passionate about providing quality food and make their meat substitutes with soy, wheat, yam, seaweed and mushrooms. Serving wholesome helpings of healthful eats made with love, that in no way compromise on flavour or satisfaction – and impressively so, considering the restricted ingredient repertoire. Don’t believe us? Just check their reviews #amustvisit.
Where: 2468 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Milkman’s Daughter
The funkiest little vegetarian joint around is Mermaid’s The Milkman’s Daughter, tucked away on Alfred St and serving up some of the very best (and most stacked vego food). The interior is as cool as they come filled with cascading greenery and terrariums built into tables, you’ll be Insta-snapping up a storm. The entirely vegetarian menu is made up of both all day breakfast and lunch options and my word, will you be hard up to make a choice.
The Farmers Breakfast is a perennial fave among frequents – but you ‘batter’ believe the loaded Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, piled with vanilla turmeric custard, granola, walnuts, passionfruit, berries, pistachios, lemon zest has to be one of the most bonkers brunches going (in the best of ways).
Where: 2/43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach
To the uninitiated, the Dalas Kitchen specialty of salads, sodas and sweets seems to strike the balance of naughty and nice eats – but as it turns out, its just nice.. and nicer – with the latter comprising of sparkling water topped homemade soda syrups and raw sweets.. so get amongst it guilt-free, y’all.
One of adulthoods greatest tastebud revelations remains that salad can be both nourishing and oh-so-satisfying (for those of us who grew up knowing ‘salad’ as sad iceberg and token tomato slices slapped on your plate, anyway). Dalas Kitchen is of course, serving up the former – Nobby’s wholesome eats dispensary delivers our daily veg-vibing, summery side-dish and salad fix, all 100% ready to tuck right in. Because sometimes we need a star salad without that whole cleaning-every-pot-and-pan-we’ve-ever-owned song and dance, right? #exhausting. So go on, grab some of that goodness to-go and get in that daily 2&5 in the most soul satisfying of ways.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach and Pavilions, Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
A crew that’s especially keen on their greens, delivering crafted plates of plant focused, whole food eats that are also downright delicious. Their foodie philosophy of ‘sometimes naughty, mostly nice’ – is an approach we can wholeheartedly support, especially since they also happen to serve a killer marg #ourkryptonite (and also something we get around with gusto).
In their ever-tasty eight year tenure, they’ve amassed an army of loyal local fans (both vegans and meat eaters alike) that would follow them *almost* anywhere for their flavour-filled fare. Which is lucky, since they recently relocated little further south, making the move from Miami to Talle… and yeah, we can manage that – anything for our Cauliflower Wings (and coconut marg, lbh) fix.
Where: 268 Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With everything from Creamy potato bake, saucy layers of veg-laden Lasagne to an array of salads and desserts, there’s always something tasty to try and a line up of people waiting to get in on the goodness. Eat in or takeaway and definitely don’t forget to indulge in the lemon, mint and ginger refresher, it’ll make your day.
Where: 20 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 72 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
Psst – specifically seeking eateries sans animal products entirely? Check out our lineup of the best vegan GC restaurants here.
Words by Kellie Leader.
If there’s one thing that’s certain in life, it is that vegetables are very good for you and also, you can never eat too many (unlike say, Tim Tams).
The gals at Greenhouse Canteen know this better than anyone, which is why a second (technically third but more on that later) vegan eatery recently opened in everyone’s favourite southern suburb, Coolangatta.
The Cooly Canteen is as beautiful as you’d expect with rustic wooden dining settings placed amongst a vintage white-walled backdrop. Hanging plants and strings of fairy lights are suspended from the peaked glass ceiling, allowing guests to star gaze and devour gourmet goodies all at once. Bunches of native greenery are strung throughout and the signature, hand-scrawled “it’s cool to be kind” sign sets the scene on the front deck.
The latest venue was opened by long-time Greenhouse Canteen customer and equally passionate, plant-based advocate Jenny Madigan as a franchise of the original space and, of course, it is perfectly befitting of the brand.
The food is to die for (except you won’t die because, veggies) and there are cocktails and desserts and good vibes and catch ya later hard-earned cash.
Choose from small or large eats or a combination of both and for the love of God don’t go past the Eggplant Parmigiana made with baked eggplant, Napoli, basil pesto, almond feta and crispy kale. Also the Buffalo Cauliflower Wings which are besan (gram flower) battered florets with ranch dressing and house-made tomato relish are too tasty to not eat every single day.
Owners of the Miami venue (Charlie and Natalie) were met with rave reviews when they first opened in Kirra and when that venue closed, they made the (blessed) move to Miami.
From there it’s been the Greenhouse gang taking over the world. Hallelujah.
BRB, moving to Cooly.
LOCATION: 1/140 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: from 5pm until late Tuesday to Sunday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that anyone who doesn’t go mental at the mere mention of pizza, is, in fact, a weir-dough.
And no, we didn’t just say that for the pun, because in our eyes, pizza is a cocktail in edible form.
In other words, a ‘slice’ of heaven and we could never have too many, irrespective of the contribution to our love handles.
To pay homage to our numero uno nosh, here is list of local pizza joints in whom we eternally crust.
Transporting diners to the heart of Italy, this Paradise Point newbie does THE most traditional Nona-endorsed wood fired pizzas. Another quality Euro eats destination from GC Hospitality Group’s Jack Chaglasian and Mark Geraghty, our northerners are running, not walking, to wrap their jaws around these bad boys. Award-winning Head Chef Youseff brings both flavour and passion-a-plenty to the table and guys, its B.Y.O. Nuff said.
Our pick: The signature La Casetta Pizza
Where: Shop 9/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point
La Bella Cellar
This hidden gem knows how to woo a crowd! Back open for business, they are launching a brand spanking new menu in a few weeks’ time, and we are drooling in anticipation! Using the freshest seasonal and locally sourced produce (bravo), the only thing yummier than the nosh is the gorgeous Palm Springs-esk fit-out! Definitely one for the Insta feed.
Our pick: Garlic Prawns Pizza
Where: 3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
When you see the red and white umbrella’s opposite the beach on Pacific Parade, park and enter immediately! This two-storey cutie serves up multi-million dollar ocean views and mighty fine pizzas to match (and cocktails…because nothing says happiness like a slice of Italy in one hand and a margi in the other). The staff are incredibly smiley and friendly, and you would be too if you were here every day!
Our pick: Tartufo Pizza
Where: 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
If you haven’t been to Gemelli Broadbeach (or one of its sibling restaurants), are you even an actual Gold Coaster? Cooking up real Italian food made with love, their traditional methods combined with modern flair mean all the meals are a ten-outta-ten. With a cosy yet cool rustic vibe, there are always bums on seats and the atmosphere is lit.
Our pick: Pescatore Pizza
Where: Mantra Broadbeach on the Park, 2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
If simple Italian flavours done exceptionally well toot your horn, then make a date with the Star Gold Coast’s Cucina Vivo. Chef Fabio has gained quite the cult following, affectionately known as the best Pizzaiolo Chef outside of Italy. This man is the master of the wood-fire oven, and the ever-popular venue’s secret weapon. After your pizza fix, pop up to Nineteen at the Star to dance it off!
Our pick: Fabio’s Pizza
Where: The Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Broadbeach
This joint is all about slinging pasta, pinot, and playful vibes with impressive coastal views. I mean, is that not everything we hold dear?! Whether it’s date night, catching up with mates or mustering the family for that long-overdue lunch, their friendly, laidback staff will make you feel at home. Using loads of deliciously fresh local ingredients, they feature some must-try unique combos. Challenge accepted!
Our pick: The Coolangatta Supreme
Where: The Strand at Coolangatta, Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Another Cooly beachfront Italian stallion, the pizzas at Bassk are on-point. In addition to the nosh, they also do a mean (good mean) Friday arvo/evening sesh with a candlelight dinner and live tunes, then invite you to back it up with more live music and boogying on Saturdays from midday. Add two-for-one cocktails from 3pm-5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and we are so there!
Our pick: Queen of Stracciatella Pizza
Where: Beach House Seaside Resort, 52/58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Fans of pizza and beer (aka, everyone), this one’s for you! Boasting a brewery, taproom and a mouth-watering menu to boot, it’s a locally operated GC fave. Striving to connect with their ingredients, the land they were grown on, and the people that plant, pick, deliver and pour, the team is full of passionate souls who genuinely dig what they do #respect.
Our pick: Pulled BBQ Beef Pizza
Where: 17 Christine Avenue, Miami
Aviary Rooftop Bar
This 2022 Open Table Diner’s Choice award recipient nestled on top of the Mantra at Sharks hotel is known for its delicious handmade pizzas, cocktails, and sharing tapas-style dishes. Tuck into $15 pizzas on a Thursday and take in the sweeping views of our glitter strip’s skyline and the Hinterland. Oh and the fit-out – perfect for a selfie or 25.
Our pick: Hot Mess Pizza
Where: Mantra Southport Sharks, 5 Melia Court, Southport
Mediterranean and Moroccan vibes collide at Toro’s, with a whole lotta pink and panache! The spread here is quintessentially Italian, but with a healthy dose of tasty modern accents to keep us interested. It’s super relaxed yet chic vibe is right up our alley, and the pizzas will delight even the most discerning pizza connoisseur. Yep, she’s a winner on all fronts.
Our pick: Di Toro Pizza
Where: 7/2 Eighth Avenue, Palm Beach
Surfers Pizza & Kebab
Come on admit it – we’ve all lined up at the iconic SPK for a dirty kebab and/or giant slab of pizza at stupid o-clock after a night of boozing and boogying. With fresh and authentic pizzas, kebabs, snack packs and more, they’ve got your late-night hunger pangs sorted. Also open in Arundel, the hours may be slightly different, but the pizza quality is the same!
Our pick: Pepperoni Pizza
Where: 24 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise & Corner of Napper Road & Daintree Drive, Arundel
Franc Jnrs Famous Pizzeria
This Cooly newbie is bringing back the old school with simplicity, authenticity, and good times. A gimmick-free traditional pizzeria rocking a non-pretentious 90’s dining vibe, you haven’t lived until you’ve sampled their Detroit style Sicilian pan pizzas. A reinvention of the insanely popular Francie’s (which will also make a comeback), we’ll see you there. Like, every night.
Our pick: Sicilian Square Detroit Style Pizza
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
You’ve seen it. We’ve all seen it. The big, modern rustic stunner on the highway in Palmy is a traffic-stopper and we’re pleased to confirm that what’s inside is as epic as the outside. IYKYK the nosh is amazing and if you don’t – get down there stat. In particular, the pizzas are #goals, divided into red and white sauce bases. Try them all because carbs, shmarbs.
Our pick: Carnivore Pizza
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Another long-standing GC winner, Justin Lane is the king of pizza. It’s come a long way from its humble beginnings, growing from a wee little pizzeria into a packed, multi-level restaurant, bar and event space. The perfect spot for a casual slice and catch up with your crew, you’re bound to run into at least 35 people that you know. And that’s just on a Monday.
Our pick: Margarita
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Okay so we’ve given savoury pizza’s a good ‘ole plug in this list, so now it’s time to give our inner sweet tooth a little bit of a thrill and talk dessert pizzas! Using ingredients like fairy floss, M+M’s, toasted marshmallows, fruit, nuts and even cornflakes, it’s a guaranteed sugar high – and your dentist’s worst nightmare.
Our pick: Strawberry Blonde Pizza
Where: Oracle East Building, 1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Words by Bianca Trathen.