If, like us, you’ve long dreamed of a quick little jaunt in Tulum, Mexico but spend way too much money on things you definitely don’t need (same), your life is about to change in a big way.
No, we’re not sending you all to Tulum (sorry) but we are letting you in on something even better, a little slice of the far away paradise right here in our own backyard.
It can be found at Frida Sol in Palm Beach and yes, we know you’ve been there already to drink bulk Coconut Margaritas and take a million Insta-snaps, but where you haven’t been is the newly opened upstairs section that we are here to introduce you to.
The fitout is the work of Morgan Walsh, owner of FuFu Chinese Diner and Poke Poke in Mermaid Beach and, as you’d know from her work there, she’s quite the eclectic interior design extraordinaire.
After opening (and designing) five restaurants over the course of the past five years, she has decided to dedicate more of her time to projects such as the fitout of Frida Sol and we are pretty excited about it.
So, obviously, Frida Sol is a Mexican venue (owned by one Ryan Renwick) and the design is extremely reflective of that with giant succulents and cactuses planted throughout, brightly coloured artworks and copper adornments to bring the space to life and textured tables and walls giving it an authentic Mexi-feel but in Palmy (yay). It’s all whites and greens and rattan furniture and the vibes are high there. Love it.
In the new upstairs area, the sophisticated, earthy vibe is the same but the space has been absolutely transformed from it’s previous 8th Ave Terrace life.
It’s an intimate space, inspired by the beachside location, with louvered windows opening out to 180 degree views of the pretty Palmy ocean and while it’s an extension of the downstairs area, it’s also got a few fun little additions.
The floors are polished wood and offset by concrete-esque high tables that all back onto rendered, highly textured walls that look like they would be quite the challenge to make (for people who have no idea how to make things i.e. us). The entire space has a stunning sandy, seaside cave-like feel but it’s refined and beautifully lit and we would like to move in.
The bar looks like it belongs on a balmy Mexico beach with shaggy grass sprouting out the top into the room and giant cactuses and succulents (that we would like for our house please) are placed into planters along the side walls and through the middle of the space while the prettiest round pendant lights hang from above.
Morgan has used polystyrene that she chipped away to give the appearance of a natural rock formation on the walls and honestly, how does she come up with this stuff.
There are also water features along the back wall and quirky little touches that you’ll recognise as Morgan’s unique touch throughout.
The space can be hired for your next party and it’ll also be open for sunset drinks and a little plate of Mexi-goodies or two with the gang. It’s casual but also fancy and perfect for any good times you might be planning in the future.
It’s a real stunner gang, get in there and prepare to be amazed.
LOCATION: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
HOURS: Open nightly from 5pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
If there’s anything better than sipping a frosty, perfectly salted margarita in the sunshine, overlooking the sparkling ocean, we can’t (and won’t) think of it. Throw in a few spicy tacos and some of those Gold Coast good vibes we know and love and, well, it’s pretty much the perfect time.
Which is why, we are beside ourselves with the news that Frida Sol opened in Palm Beach just a short while ago bringing all of the above to the very-in-need-of-an-epic-Mexican-eatery, beachside suburb. And what an epic Mexican eatery it is.
Taking up space where 8th Ave once graced us with its presence, Frida Sol is perfectly at home perched above the Gold Coast Highway and overlooking one of the most beautiful stretches of sand around (biased). Having been transformed by the one and only Morgan Walsh (owner of Poke Poke and FuFu Chinese Diner), the space is quirky and eclectic with bright pops of colour and we, quite frankly, are in love.
You’ll enter through the dining room, passing the Chefs hard at work preparing tasty eats and a backlit bar punctuated with flowing greenery and, of course, all your favourite tipples.
Outside, high tables with shaggy dry grass umbrellas are the seating spot of choice so you can gaze lovingly at the black and white portrait of Frida Kahlo herself (an incredible early 1900s Mexican artist for whom the place is named) or, at your back, said beautiful stretch of sand. Along one side, a low textured wall is complete with really quite spiky cactuses and along the other, copper biblical statues shine out above you.
As you know, no Gold Coast restaurant is complete without a neon slogan sign and Frida’s does not disappoint. We’ll let you seek it out. Throughout the venue, little artworks and artefacts have been artfully placed on walls and surfaces, all nods to Frida Kahlo and her colourful, much-loved work.
The whole space comes together perfectly (of course) and it’s exactly the venue Palm Beach needed to lift the nighttime vibe to a whole new level. We could not be more excited.
The menu, love you Mexican eats, is a mix of all the things you know and need in your life, boasting punchy, can’t-get-enough flavours to be washed down with a signature cocktail or three.
To start, there are snacks along the lines of Chile Con Queso (LOVE) with smoked chilli salt, Pork Taquitos and Chipotle Salt and Pepper Calamari to name a few delicious options. From there it’s share plates for the win with a few gourmet tacos thrown in for good measure.
We HIGHLY recommend the Chorizo Croquettes with shaved Manchego, smoked sour cream and Habanero jam, obviously, plus the Charred Cauliflower Ensalada, a chargrilled corn and cauliflower salad with quinoa and toasted pepitas – pretty and delicious. Maybe eat one of everything on that menu though, just to be safe.
There are burrito bowls and an impressive array of tacos to sample. We’d go the Pescado – crispy fish with tomato pico, mango crema and queso fresco and the Cerdo Tirado – pulled pork with tomatillo salsa, pickled cabbage, pineapple chilli jam and cilantro crema.
If you can’t decide a. nobody would blame you and b. there’s a banquet for that. It’s just $40 per person and made up of MANY dishes that’ll be your absolute favourite, one after the other.
On Thursday’s it’s a taco takeover with $5 taco and drink specials and Friday’s get down for ‘Muchos Nachos’ with $10 nachos and drink specials. Sunday’s sees $29 banquets so that’s your weekend sorted.
Was it all down with the very best Coconut Margarita you’ve ever sampled and it’s happy day friends.
That’s a lot of reasons to get down to Palmy and indulge in an absolute tequila-sipping, taco-tasting time. You’re gonna love it.
LOCATION: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
HOURS: Open nightly from 5pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Over the past couple of years Palm Beach (or Palmy as it’s affectionately known) has been transformed into the Coast’s king of cool.
With new bars and eateries filling every unoccupied space, quiet(er) beaches and some of the best boutique shopping around, Palmy is moving on up in the world.
As is customary, we’ve compiled a list of the top 17 reasons locals love the place.
A sweet coffee spot underneath Sable Palm Beach, Watson Bloom is serving up exceptional brews along with plenty of plant-based treats including raw goodies and banana bread made in-house plus pastries and never-ending good vibes. Pop in for an early morning brew and a chat.
Where: Sable Palm Beach, 2/1073 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The newest burger crew around are Patty Smiths who are serving up VERY tasty burgers, made with hand-pressed patties along with loaded fries, some of the most epic thickshakes around and just general deliciousness everywhere honestly. Perfect for beachside dinners or if you feel like something yummy but can’t be bothered cooking (us, always).
Where: Shop 15A Pavilions Shopping Centre, 6 Fifth Avenue, Palm Beach
Overlooking the ocean with the perfect pastel palette, Las Palmas is bringing Latin America to Palm Beach with a share-style menu, made up of mouthwatering flavours and a fresh cocktail list to match. Head in there for a Sunday arvo session or long lunch with your loves. It’ll be your new summer fave for sure.
Where: Level 1, 1097 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Scottish Prince
Tucked away, all moody low-lit with wild times written all over it, The Scottish Prince, sister venue of The Cambus Wallace and is one of the best drinking holes we have here on the Coast. It’s primarily a whisky bar boasting over 300 varieties of the tasty tipple plus a perfectly complementary menu including charcuterie boards, meatballs, Scotch Fillets, fish and chips and the like. All the very best things. Get in.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Sisterhood brings community-inspired good vibes to the people of Palmy. It’s the work of two local gals who are serving up impressive brunch dishes made with local produce and some of the yummiest there is. Sisterhood is bringing the coffee culture back down to earth, not charging for milks that aren’t of the full cream variety and are generally creating something pretty lovely down south Palmy way. Highly recommend.
Where: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Gold Coast is home to many an impressive farmers market and one of our absolute favourites can be found in Palmy on Saturday mornings. From 6am at Palm Beach Currumbin High School you’ll find fresh local produce, artisan foods, specialty coffee, epic doughnuts, flowers, dog treats, the lot. The perfect way to spend a weekend morning.
Where: Thrower Drive, Palm Beach
Margaritas and Mexi-eats are some of our favourite things and happily, they’re on offer at Palmy’s delightful upstairs space, Frida Sol. There’s a chilli margarita that’ll knock your socks off and if you perch outside on the deck, a balmy ocean breeze – the combination of which will remind you exactly why you live on the Gold Coast. The perfect time.
Where: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
No doubt you’ve already set foot inside The Collective more than once and why wouldn’t you with five restaurants to choose from? Open for lunch and dinner, you can stay all day and, as it’s a communal dining setting, you’re bound to make some new friends along the way. So, if you’re in the mood for pizza and tacos, head to The Collective, order both and wash it all down with a cocktail at the rooftop bar.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Barefoot have been a Palmy favourite since they swung open their doors in 2011. They offer the kind of nourishing, healthy homestyle eats you’d expect when you visit your fanciest friend for breaky. Think house-smoked Miso Cured Salmon and Wellbeing Porridge packed with goodness. The crew at Barefoot also serve a mean coffee, one of the best on the Coast in fact and you, friends, can purchase the tasty single origins beans to make your own.
Where: 10 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Calling lovers of all things vintage, there’s a new kid in town and you’re going to want to head in there to peruse the goodies ASAP. The entire store has a bit of a rock ‘n roll, western vibe, reminiscent of owner Sylvie’s (enviable) style and you’ll find everything from clothes, vintage records, a few homewares, posters and the like. It’s all been carefully sourced and is in very good condition.
Where: 1/1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
The Pirate Park
Those with little ones will attest to the fact that the Pirate Park is up there with the best on the Coast. Located right near the water, the park far exceeds anything you ever got to play on as a kid with a pirate ship stuck in the sand and upended wine barrels perfect for all day climbing. If you don’t have any babes, Dune Café is close by as is the sparkling ocean and a dog beach on Currumbin Creek that’s always good for a laugh.
Where: 945 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach (on the left before the Currumbin Creek bridge)
It’s every local boho babe’s dream come true. Opened in 2013, White Bohemian stocks all your favourite hippy-esque labels including Byron Bay labels SPELL and Arnhem and locals like Mahiya and Lokoa. It’s possibly the only place on the Coast gals can go to stock up on the bohemian trend that has literally taken over the world. There’s homewares too so, you know, prepare to spend up.
Where: Cnr Seventh Avenue and Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It goes without saying that if you’ve ever driven through Palm Beach, you’ve definitely laid eyes on Balboa Italian. The beautifully appointed double-storey brick building is in a class of its own serving classic Italian dishes with modern interpretations and the freshest of flavours. It’s worth a visit just to experience the fitout, complete with overhead Vespa and exposed brick walls. The cocktails are unique and the wine selection varied. It’s all good to be honest, get down there.
Where:1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
It’s a cafe crossed with a motorbike workshop and the home of the best banana smoothies on the Gold Coast. That’s right, the best. There is not a single thing not to love about Espresso Moto from their very delicious breakfast goods (the brekky burritos are the bomb), to their use of All Press coffee and the ever-friendly staff who always say g’day. There’s also a communal dog bed and the beach is right around the corner. So yeah, it’s the best.
Where: 1389 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
A somewhat secret cocktail bar, tucked away on the Gold Coast Hwy, Suga specialises in rum and good times and if you’re keen on either or both of those you should absolutely get down there. They have an impressive cocktail menu plus plenty of epic wines (pet nats, yes please) and beers so no matter what, you’re gonna love it.
Where: 1142 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Ritual Yoga & Pilates
Found upstairs in a sunlit space oozing chill vibes is Ritual Yoga & Pilates. Owned by sisters Rose and Sophie, Ritual is only a couple of years old but has already become a favourite amongst both Palm Beach locals and those who reside in surrounding suburbs. If you’re in need of some rest and relaxation (or a solid sweat session), Ritual is calling your name.
Where: 9b Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
One of Palmy’s sweetest coffee spots is Highline, a stunning little space decked out in pastel hues and serving up some of the very best coffee on the Coast. The menu is the goods too, boasting fresh, locally sourced produce-filled dishes like jaffles, ferment bowls and even a life-changing apple pie. Great.
Where: 5/1132 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Words by Kirra Smith
Say hello to Palmy’s newest neighbour Mr Bengel – the third son of the man behind Burleigh favourites Justin Lane and Harry’s Steak Bistro.
Adam Haralampou, creative foodie genius, is no stranger to restaurant success on the Gold Coast and he has been eyeing off the prime Palm Beach real estate for awhile saying he’s not trying to reinvent the breakfast wheel but just wants to offer good food, straight up.
With a relaxed, open-living, navy on white look perfect for beachside Palmy living, Mr Bengel, Adam’s first cafe, represents a fictitious laidback local surfer in his 50’s who loves a chat. It’s also
They’re serving the much-loved Supreme Roasters coffee – born and bred in Queensland and a favourite amongst locals.
The best part is, said coffee is free Monday to Friday (March 6th to 10th) from 6am to 9am.
Serving up fresh, affordable food for breakfast and lunch, the menu will include the usual suspects – including ‘Housemade Bircher Muesli’ and ‘Eggs Benedict’ – along with a Harry’s lunch favourite – the Waygu Beef Burger.
If there’s one thing Adam knows how to do it’s simple food made delicious.
Whether you’re coming off the sand after a morning surf or heading down south for a road trip, pop in to say hello to the team at Mr Bengel.
See you there for a coffee on the man himself.
LOCATION: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach (between Seventh and Eighth Avenues).
HOURS: From 6am to 2pm daily.
Words by Kirra Smith