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Francie’s Pizzeria

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.

11 epic vegetarian restaurants on the Gold Coast

Plant Based Cafe

The Gold Coast restaurant scene has been quick to catch up to the increasing number of people jumping on board the vegetable train.

While everyone is dishing up tasty meatless treats these days, there are plenty of veggie only venues the locals are loving. Here are 11 of the best from north to south.

Plant Based Cafe
The newest on the block, Plant Based Cafe is both aptly named AND slinging some absolutely incredible vego eats. The kitchen is headed up by former Masterchef contestant Christine Laker and she has nailed every single dish. Of course. The Zucchini and Corn Fritter Stack is next-level with a stack of low-fat, baked fritters served with tomato relish, smashed avocado and a lightly-dressed petite salad. So tasty and perfectly presented too. Try them all for yourself.
Where: 1/2 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point

Giri Kana Café
Southport’s famous vegetarian and vegan café is just as loved by meat eaters as it is by vegos. Their emphasis is on fresh and wholesome foods that are good for the body, mind and spirit – and to this end, their food is cooked with love and devotion. With salads, burgers, breakfast, juice and smoothie options you’ll be spoilt for choice at this welcoming little café. P.s they now do breakfast too.
Where: Ground Floor, H2O Broadwater, Corner Nind Street and Gold Coast Highway, 82 Marine Parade, Southport

Blendlove
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 Ricki-Lee and Sharlene pride themselves on serving the tastiest, freshest and healthiest plant-based food on the Gold Coast. Everything in their space is made fresh daily without the use of refined sugars, artificial colours or preservatives. One of the very best.
Where: 253 Ferry Road, Southport

Cardamom Pod
For many years it’s been a firm favourite amongst lovers of a delicious vegetarian dish. So much so that a second Pod opened at The Brickworks on Ferry Road. They offer creative, colourful eats and the most magical of mocktails. In a first for the Gold Coast, Cardamom Pod also offers a vegan high tea made up of a selection of their finest raw desserts. There’s a reason this place has been around for years, go discover it for yourself.
Where: Shop 1/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach and Brickworks, Ferry Road, Southport

i like ramen

Easy House
It’s a little eatery tucked away in Mermaid Beach serving vegetarian yum cha on the daily. The locals love it and it’s easy to see why. They also offer regular meat-free meals like the yummiest of stir-fry’s. Don’t go past the dumplings, there are many kinds so save it for a day when you’re absolutely ravenous, trust us, you won’t want to stop.
Where: Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters

i like ramen
If there is a perfect food for keeping you warm and nourished in winter, it is ramen. Particularly ramen by the boys at i like ramen. Which is vegan honestly but that also means it’s vegetarian and you should eat some ASAP. We love the Spicy Kimchi Ramen with a side (or three) of Panko Mushrooms and probably also a beer to wash that down. Big fans of everything about this place.
Where: 2251 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach

Greenhouse Canteen
The holy grail of health food. With the motto ‘anything you can do, we can do vegan’ they’re onto something. In the short time they’ve been open they’ve amassed a huge following of both vegans and meat eaters who can’t go past the flavour-filled foods. All produce is sourced from trusted suppliers and farmers markets with the belief that food is medicine and it should nourish the mind, body and soul.
Where: 1916 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

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. The restaurant is run by authentic, loving people who strive to provide full of goodness and flavour. Make this one a must visit.
Where: Shop 8/ 2462 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Milkman's Daughter

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 terraniums 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 Housemade Lemon Pancakes are a real treat. Get excited for this one gang.
Where: 43 Alfred Street, Mermaid Beach

Doko Demo V
One of the most diverse eateries on the Gold Coast vegetarian scene is Doko Demo V in Miami. The menu is both breaky and lunch all day, as of just recently, dinner too and it’s filled with beautifully prepared dishes that are both healthy and of the eyes-are-bigger-than-your-belly variety. We’d go the  Mexican Chicken* Brown Rice Poke Bowl because it’s a fresh, tasty option with Spanish beans, smashed avocado, ‘chicken’ made from tofu protein and a corn and coriander salsa. Plus, Mexican always. They’ve got a little bit of everything and the produce is super fresh and super delicious. So good.
Where: 1908 Gold Coast Highway, Miami

Govindas
It’s a vegetarian institution on the Coast and if you haven’t been there, you haven’t lived. With options from potato bake and 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

Words by Kirra Smith.

Doko Demo V

Greenhouse Canteen & Bar

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

11 tasty Gold Coast pizza joints

Francies Pizzeria
Francies Pizzeria

Pizza makes people happy, that’s a fact. Even the word pizza is a fun time. Say it out loud right now and pay attention to increased levels of happy. Now imagine yourself eating pizza and you’re on the same level as the rest of the world today.

Why? Because pizza is the delivery option of the gods, we made that up, but it’s one of the originals and that friends, is something to celebrate. Our way of celebrating is writing a list for you fine people to make life (and pizza finding) easier.

So here it is. From south to north because a change is as good as a holiday (it’s not).

Francie’s Pizzeria
A relative newbie in Cooly, Francie’s is the Italian bestie you never knew you needed. Run by a coupla legends who, quite rightly, saw a gap in the traditional pizza market down that end of the Coast. The crew have 15 flavours of pizza on offer and their own range of wine and there isn’t really anything better in the world than that combo. Except for maybe the fact that the pizzas have puns for name – Piers Brosnan anyone? Yeah, see. Text your order for takeaway 0411 415 554 Where: 102 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Earth N Sea
These guys have been in the business of pizza since 1976 so, as you might imagine, they know what’s up. With a view of the actual sea and all the good vibes Cooly has to offer. They’ve got MANY varieties of pizza including one called Prawneroni which is pure gold (and delicious). Mullumbimby Madness also sounds like a time you’d like to have. BRB. moving to Cooly. Open for takeaways during the day and deliveries/takeaways at night. Call on 5536 3477
Where: 60 Marine Pde, Coolangatta

Balboa Italian
The big, beautiful building on the highway in Palmy is home to a number of Italian delights, not least of all a moped suspended from the roof. As you would know, if you’ve been, their menu is the definition of next-level and the pizzas, in particular, are perfection. There are 16 varieties, divided into red and white sauce bases and maybe just try them all because life’s too short to care about carb counting. We’ll meet you there!
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach

Justin Lane
Your mate and ours, Justin Lane in Burleigh is the king of pizza. No doubt you’ve sunk a few slices while sipping on cocktails and scoping out the scene. We’re quite partial to the prawn, calamari, garlic confit, mozzarella, chilli, parsley and lemon pizza but hey, you do you. While it’s ciao for now for dining inhouse, you can still order takeaway, delivery and now with booze, just order online. Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
It seems people who have been to Stoked Wood Fire Pizza want to keep it a secret and fair enough, it’s epic but too bad, because it’s epic. Tucked away at Stockland Burleigh Heads is a gem you may have heard increasing whispers about since opening last year. Quite obviously, the pizzas are wood fired and also quite obviously that equals delicious. There are plenty of flavours, all of which are worth a sample. Call 0427 473 095 to order… personal Stoked deliveries coming soon.
Where: Stockland Burleigh Heads, West Burleigh Rd, Burleigh Heads

Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
Stoked Wood Fire Pizza

That’s Amore
Alright, if you haven’t been to That’s Amore in Miami, you’ve been missing out on some fine Italian fare. These guys are kind of hidden away in Miami Shopping Village but do not live a life that doesn’t include finding them. Everything’s good but the pizzas are pure perfection and very reasonably priced. Get it. Phone 5520 0797 or find them online.
Where: 110 Mountain View Ave, Miami

Gemellini
Woodfired pizza come at us. The Italian family behind Gemellini are a gift from the Gods. They’ve created an authentic Italian experience in Nobbys and for that we are eternally grateful. They’re all ridiculous but go the Funghi Bianca if you can’t decide. It’s got mozzarella, mixed marinated mushrooms, truffle oil and parmigiano. There’s a new updated menu with cheaper prices too for both Gemellini Mermaid Beach and Gemelli in Broadbeach! Phone 5575 1418 to get your real homemade Italian food delivered for free.
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Double Zero
Okay, so these guys are something else. They focus on traditional Neapolitan styles and they cannot be faulted on pizza production. Last time we sampled the Gamberetti e Zucchine because a. it sounds fancy and we can pronounce it and b. it’s got San Marzano tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, zucchini, garlic and prawns. YEP. Give them a tingle on 5526 8635 or if ordering online use code DZ30 for 30% off your takeaway order.
Where: 2/2715 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

Alfresco
Without a doubt one of the most iconic Italian restaurants on the Coast. For 34 years, Alfresco has seen it all. But while it’s usually a delight to dine in, we’re just happy we can still enjoy the menu at home. Our fav, the mighty Vesuvius layered with pepperoni, capsicum and a touch of chilli. Of course leave room for their traditional lasagne. Pick up or delivered right to your door phone 5538 9333, text 0402 026 083.
Where: 2/3018 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise

Salt Meats Cheese
Let us begin by saying there is a pizza with FOUR CHEESES on it and that should be enough quite frankly. Found in Surfers Paradise, Salt Meats Cheese boasts all the delicious Italian things (as referenced in their name) and although off topic, they also make pasta in a wheel or Parmesan cheese. It’s Italian gourmet at its cheesy best. Bye. Order online or call 5661 1517 to place a contactless pick-up order.
Where: The 4217, 10 Beach Road, Surfers Paradise

Pizza Paradise Gourmet Kitchen
We were once told this place had ‘the best pizza by a country mile’ and that’ll about do us. There’s a pizza called The Catch and it is indeed that. Topped with capsicum, calamari, prawns, mussels, barramundi, shallots, garlic, rocket, lemon and aioli it’s an actual taste sensation. If you’re a northerner, they’ll deliver it right to your door. Best.
Where: SHOP 3, 20 Grice Avenue, Paradise Point 

Words by Kirra Smith.

Gemelli
Gemelli
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