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11 soul satisfying pasta dishes on the Gold Coast

Carbohydrates are friends not foe. Repeat that, please.

Lasagne, Tommy's Italian, Currumbin (image supplied)
Lasagne, Tommy's Italian, Currumbin (image supplied)

As the weather is getting colder we think it’s a fair time to enjoy some heartier and soul-satisfying dishes, and nothing quite ticks those boxes like handmade pasta goodness — with ALL of the cheese naturally. The Gold Coast has many fine Italian eateries, so we painstakingly undid a notch on our belts and to compile a list of the very best. Because we’re nice like that.

We dare you to finish this list and not be tempted to attempt a GC pasta crawl for the ages (0/0 cardiologists recommend)

Spaghetti al Gamberi, Gemelli Italian, Broadbeach (image supplied)
Spaghetti al Gamberi, Gemelli Italian, Broadbeach (image supplied)

Gemelli Spaghetti al Gamberi
The Gemelli twins are known for creating an authentic Italian experience and all their dishes, including mouth-watering pasta, are made fresh inhouse daily. While it’s near impossible to narrow our fave down to just one, if you twisted our arm we’d choose the Spaghetti al Gamberi every day of the week. These guys combine prawn cutlets, zucchini, chilli, garlic and olive oil in the best possible way.
Where: 2/2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach

La CalabreseGnocchi Sorrentina
Sorry pasta purists, we simply cannot help ourselves whenever these fluffy little hand-crafted pillows of deliciousness are concerned. Again, not technically a pasta but we can all agree, if it’s a big ol’ bowl of comfort food you’re in the mood for, no one can gnocc the magical properties of Wood-fired homemade potato gnocchi, tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella, parmesan cheese & basil coming together for one big party in your mouth. Even though cake gnocchi by the ocean doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, this still might be even better yet.
Where: Level 1, Meriton Surfers Paradise, 86 Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Gnocchi Sorrentina  , La Calabrese (image supplied)
Gnocchi Sorrentina  , La Calabrese (image supplied)

Cucina Vivo – Spaghetti Carbonara
Cleverly denoting rustic and traditional Italian restaurant vibes whilst being located in the very modern The Star Gold Coast; the dining is certainly reminiscent of any local restaurant you’re going to find in Rome. The house-made Fettucine Carbonara is served in a rich, creamy sauce, pancetta, egg, cracked pepper and pecorino cheese. We implore you to go try it.
WhereThe Star Gold Coast, 1 Casino Drive, Lobby Level, Broadbeach

Dining at Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)
Spaghetti Carbonara, Cucina Vivo, The Star Gold Coast (image supplied)

Glenelg Public House – Truffle Gnocchi
Ok ok, so gnocchi isn’t technically a pasta. But folks, hear us out. The kitchen at The Glenelg Public House is home to some of the Coast’s finest culinary steak wizards so when we say you have to swing by Mermaid Beach to savour their Truffle Creamed Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms and air-dried Pecorino Cheese, don’t even question it!
Where: 9/2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

The Glenelg Public House Truffled gnocchi (image supplied)
The Glenelg Public House Truffled gnocchi (image supplied)

Justin Lane – Pappardelle, Pork + Veal, Bolognese, Grana Padano
Few things in life are certain, but we all know that you’re guaranteed a great feed at Justin Lane. We LOVE their pizza, but their pasta game is also strong so you should probably try them all. Our pick of the bunch is the Pappardelle Pork + Veal Bolognese. Just like Nonna used to make. Eat, drink and be messy y’all.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads

Pappardelle, Justin Lane (image supplied)
Pappardelle, Justin Lane (image supplied)

Balboa – Roasted Lamb Cannelloni
Oh, Balboa you aesthetically pleasing thing you. Their fit-out, complete with a glamorous chandelier and bright red Vespa, is reason enough to visit. The pizza is outstanding, but most importantly their pasta is to die for. Do yourself a favour and try the Roasted Lamb Cannelloni. With porcini bechamel and  truffle mushroom jus this dish is what dreams are made of.
Where: 1069 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Roasted Lamb Cannelloni, Balboa, Palm Beach (image supplied)
Roasted Lamb Cannelloni, Balboa, Palm Beach (image supplied)

Ioesco – Spaghetti Marinara
As the ancient probverb goes: Knee’s weak, Mom’s spaghetti (okay so meme, technically) And the only spaghetti worth ditching Mum’s for, is the Spaghetti Marinara at Ioesco. We think even she’d agree that you can’t compete with local seafood perfectly finished in white wine, garlic and just a touch of tomato. Bringing their modern take on authentic Napoli eats to Sanctuary Cove, a trip to Ioesco is a treat for the tastebuds, and the marina views certainly aren’t bad on the eyes either.
Where: 3a Masthead Way, Hope Island

Mozza Mozza – Cacio e Pepe
Here’s a philosophical question for you: Is cheese wheel pasta, or Cacio e Pepe as it’s traditionally known, just Mac and Cheese for adults? Hopefully we’ve offended no purists with this potentially blasphemous #showerthought. Either way, roll on down to Mozza Mozza and get your cheese and carb fix all in one – for some wheel-y good value, grab two for $50 on Thursdays #yescheese
Where: Cnr. Olsen & Musgrave Ave, Southport

Cacio e Pepe, Mozza Mozza, Southport (image supplied)
Cacio e Pepe, Mozza Mozza, Southport (image supplied)

Sofia’sCacio e Pepe
Okay so since we wheeeelly love them that much, we couldn’t choose just one cheese wheel pasta. Might we suggest trying both to determine the ultimate Cacio e Pepe champion, y’know, for science? Plus, if you haven’t yet been to check out Sofia’s gorg new digs that were upgraded late last year, this one goes straight to the top of the priority list #shesa10but.. #thereisnobut #shesjusta10
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach

Cacio e Pepe, Sofia's Broadbeach (image supplied)
Cacio e Pepe, Sofia's Broadbeach (image supplied)

Radici Pasta House – Tagliatelle Tartufo E Porcini
Flying under the radar down on the southern end of the Coast, Radici is an Italian family-run restaurant who decided to make sunny Coolangatta home 5 years ago. This dish epitomises why Italian cuisine is so damn good. Take black truffle pesto marry it up with imported pork and fennel sausage and then smother it over handmade tagliatelle. That folks, is one of the finest dishes of pasta you will have south of Sicily.
Where: 99 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Tommys ItalianRigatoni allamatriciana
Last stop on our virtual pub pasta crawl (but, avert the eyes cardiologists because, well firstly, are you lost – but does anyone else have the sudden urge to try this IRL). Who wouldn’t be satisfied after a hearty bowl of the god-tier cylinders that are too good to be tube, doused in a whole lot of red sauce, pecorino and crispy guanciale. If this is rigatoni, we don’t want to be right.
Where: 818 Pacific Parade, Currumbin

Words by Kellie Leader.

Rigatoni all’amatriciana, Tommy’s Italian (image supplied)
Rigatoni all’amatriciana, Tommy’s Italian (image supplied)

Cucina Vivo

15 epic Gold Coast pizza places

Photo by Fabrizio Pullara on Unsplash
Photo by Fabrizio Pullara on Unsplash

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.

Loaded Supreme, La Casetta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Loaded Supreme, La Casetta (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

La Casetta
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

Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Mortadella Pizza, Tommy's Italian (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Tommy’s Italian
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

Gemelli
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

Cucina Vivo Dal Zotto Prosecco Long Lunch (image supplied)
Cucina Vivo Dal Zotto Prosecco Long Lunch (image supplied)

Cucina Vivo
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

Little Cooly
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 

Little Cooly signage (image supplied)
Little Cooly signage (image supplied)

Bassk Italian
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

Precinct Brewing
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

Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)
Precinct Brewing Co. entrance (Image: © 2020 Inside Gold Coast)

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

Toro’s
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

Clockwise: Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Clockwise: Grilled corn, Zucchini prawn pizza, Caprese salad, Fettuccine boscaiola, Calamari fritta & Arancini balls, Toro's Pizza (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

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

Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)
Balboa Private Dining Space (image supplied)

Balboa Italian
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

Justin Lane
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

Justin Lane (Image supplied)
Justin Lane (Image supplied)

Cowch
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.

Cowch Strawberry & Cream Pancakes + Lemon Meringue Crepes + Apple Pie Pizza (image supplied)
Cowch Strawberry & Cream Pancakes + Lemon Meringue Crepes + Apple Pie Pizza (image supplied)

Coolangatta scores a bellissima pasta + wine bar

Cross Eyed Mary bar (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

If there is one thing we would love to be doing right now, it is slurping hand rolled pasta and sipping on a glass of wine as big as our heads, watching the world go by in a cosy little Italian wine bar.

Alas, we cannot but what we absolutely can be doing is the next best thing and that is venturing down to Coolangatta to pull up a chair at a brand new venue by some exceptional people whose culinary handiwork you’re hopefully already familiar with.

Cross Eyed Mary outside seating (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

The new addition is called Cross Eyed Mary and it’s by the clever folks (and new business partner Ashley Maree-Kent) who gifted us Francie’s Pizzeria a little while ago.

If you’ve had the pleasure of munching on a Francie’s slice you’ll be thrilled to know Cross Eyed Mary’s is of the same very high quality and so you better get down there, an Italian feast awaits.

Found on Griffith Street where Tasca once lived, the newbie is everything you’d expect a quaint little Italian eatery to be – white weatherboard with a little awning and high tables out the front and inside, cosy booth seating, colourful art, stacks of wine and fruit bowls for decoration.

Cross Eyed Mary interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Cross Eyed Mary interior (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

It’s the perfect aesthetic for Italian eats, fresh, modern and comforting and with the ability to float you all the way to the Italian seaside but you know, legally.

The menu is made up of an Antipasti section with starters like Local Kingfish with buttermilk, cucumber, apple and fingerlime and Stuffed Zucchini Flowers with ricotta, lemon and herbs to name a couple.

Local Kingfish, Cross Eyed Mary (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Then, the piece de resistance, the handmade pasta.

There’s Spiced Oxtail Ragu, Ravioli with potato, leek, ricotta, brown butter sage (YES PLEASE) and Confit Chicken Tonnarelli with egg bottarga, cavalo nero and marjoram.

All absolutely mind-blowing and all created by Head Chef Ashley Kent, whose insane work you would have sampled at Tasca in the past. If not, pop it at the top of your to-do list.

Spiced Oxtail Ragu, Cross Eyed Mary (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

To sip, there’s an array of wine curated by Cork and Co. including plenty of local varieties and Whistling Boy from NZ. Hot tip; Cross Eyed Mary are the only place in Australia that sells this tasty drop.

There are also epic cocktails like the Gintelligence with Slow Gin, Tanqueray, seasonal berries, housemade mixed berry shrub and Kombucha and the Dirty Mary with gin, Vermouth and olive brine. Tried, tested and ten out of ten.

The entire menu suggest wine pairings for each dish so all you need to do is choose something tasty (won’t be hard) and then sit back and enjoy the welcoming Italian vibes right in the heart of Coolangatta.

Dirty Mary and Gintelligence cocktails, Cross Eyed Mary (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Good times await friends.

Cross Eyed Mary is walk-ins only but you can always take a stroll to the beach while you wait for a table and trust us, it’s worth a wait.

Love you pasta. And wine. And all things Italy.

LOCATION: 114 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
HOURS: Tuesday to Saturday from 5.30pm

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

Ravioli with potato, leek, ricotta and brown butter sage, Cross Eyed Mary (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
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