The Palm Beach venue opens new upstairs space.
The Palm Beach venue opens new upstairs space.
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 well and truly been embracing it’s new found cool kid status.
While we can’t pinpoint the exact moment it officially transformed to ‘it’ suburb, lucky locals have been living large of late, with the emergence of all the beachside haunts to frolic between (though they do have to compete a little more for parking these days).
While in years gone by, the only thing reliably making Palmy a ‘must stop’ destination was a quiet-ish (albeit stunning) beach, and the high chance of catching a red on the way through. With an influx of laidback eateries, noteworthy restaurants, swanky bars and luxe boutiques popping up left right and centre, there’s never any shortage of things to do. These days, we can think of at least 17 epic reasons that make this buzzing suburb THE place to be.
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 Steak & Ale Pies, Scotch fillets, fish and chips and on Sunday nights, an authentic Taste of Scotland tasting menu. All the very best things. Get in.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Palm Beach Farmers Market
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
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)
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
It’s every local boho babe’s dream come true. Opened in 2013, White Bohemian stocks all your favourite hippy-esque labels including GD brand Kivari, Byron Bay cult-fave labels SPELL and Arnhem. These guys were one of the first to bring us the magic of the laid-back luxe aesthetic before the #boho trend took over the world (and our wallets), so we trust them and their epic curation of all things effortless style endlessly. 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 Allpress 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
Good Day Coffee Palm Beach
Launching a cafe in a hip and happening suburb surrounded by competition stiffer than a morning espresso is not for the faint of heart – but ever since they branched out from their OG Tugun location late last year, locals and weary travellers alike have unanimously agreed it’s always a good day for Good Day Coffee Palm Beach. Friendly faces serving Blackboard coffee and other staples like pastries and goat’s fetta laden smashed avo toast – we could easily eat and drink here every day. The epitome of simple eats, and great coffee, done well.
Where: 1073 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
Palm Beach Ave
PBA is one of those gems that so quickly won our hearts that we seem to forget this pretty-in-pink art deco stunner is only relatively new to Palmy’s ever-growing strip of uber-cool beachside hangouts. One of those venues where it’s 10’s all round, the tropical luxe, chandelier-laden interiors have us swooning every time, and we can never seem to get enough of the knockout food and cocktails (no matter how much we regret it the next morning). Plus they do bottomless brunch, so, need we say more?
Where: 6 Palm Beach Avenue, Palm Beach
Tank Bar & Dining
We can never seem to talk about Tank without the urge to get, well… tanked, which is some fairly genius subliminal marketing if you ask us. In our defense, what else are we supposed to do in a cracking little craft beer bar? We’re certainly not there to lick stamps.
The 10 rotating craft beer taps offers a nice mix of local and international brews, and the laid-back vibes of a modern beach shack style bar a hops, skip and a jump from the ocean are pretty hard to beat. Plus, with two levels, there’s plenty of primo spots to perch up, catch the sea breeze and watch the GC Hwy go by.
Where: 1166 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
As we’ve probably already well established by this point, us Gold Coasters are big suckers for a cute fit-out. It’s hard to tell if it’s the perfectly peachy-pink interiors, or the Italian aromas wafting from the kitchen that keep us coming back to Toro’s Pizza like moths to a flame. And spoiler alert: it’s definitely the latter, since there are few smells that compare to that of a freshly baked, still bubbling wood-fired pizza. Carbs, cheese, more cheese, and BYO – this place is what Italian dreams are made of.
Where: Shop 7/2 Eighth Ave, Palm Beach
Overcoming the momentary temptation to leave this one out (in hopes of greedily keeping more of those highly coveted tables all for ourselves) – but no list about epic Palmy spots would be complete with such a glaring omission. Dishing up authentic Mexican eats, the menu is short but sweet, sticking only to their specialities with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients. Any day featuring beachside, street-style tacos like the zesty Birria Beef (complete with signature consommé to dip), and a coconut marg (because marg) is a very bueno day indeed.
Where: 1136 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Canvas Palm Beach
Who doesn’t love starting their day with a visit to their friendly local barista, with a leisurely peruse of some hand crafted homewares on the side #theperfectmorningdoesexist. And hey, if some of the latter – such as a candle that smells like bliss in a jar, or some cute ceramics – happen to come home with us along with a great cup of coffee, we’ll happily take the dopamine hit while we’re doing out bit to #supportsmall.
For Palmy locals the cute digs and delightful café fare are a definite draw card, but for parents the park proximity makes this spot unparalleled – along with the blissful moment’s peace and quiet babycino buys.
(And yes, we stopped being cool right around the same time we started caring about babycinos and where the good parks are.)
Where: Shop 3, Magnoli Building, 1338 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Words by Kellie Leader.
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