9 family-friendly Gold Coast restaurants

The Wattle Hotel

At some point during the week (usually Monday for us) you get sick of preparing dinner, so you pack up the fam and head out on the town. In a frantic, find-something-everyone-can-eat without too many tears kind of way though.

So without further adieu, here is a list of family-friendly Gold Coast restaurants next time you’re in need of a reprieve from slaving over the stove for a night.

From north to south.

The Wattle Hotel
A hidden gem in Upper Coomera, The Wattle Hotel is the perfect playground for parents and kiddies. The adult menu is filled with all your fave pub-style dishes while the littlies menu has all their favourites and they’re all only $8, which is pretty much unheard of. There’s also a sweet playroom and the whole place is quite lovely to spend an evening in. Everyone will agree.
Where: 1 Reserve Rd, Upper Coomera

Southport Sharks
Not only is there a buffet so everyone can eat pretty much anything they like and go back for more, there is also a kids area filled with play things where you can let the small ones frolic while you enjoy a frosty beverage. Frenzy Food Court boasts lots of tasty dishes and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week. We’ve got a voucher here.
Where: Olsen Ave and Musgrave Ave, Southport

Café Catalina
Found in Southport, overlooking the Broadwater is Café Catalina; now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pop in for a bit to eat, treat yourself to some tapas and a wine or two, let the kids enjoy some tasty Spaghetti Bolognaise off their designated menu and then wander down to the giant playground and let them run rampant before bedtime. It’s win win.
Where: Broadwater Parklands, 10/11 Gold Coast Hwy, Southport


The newly complete market-style foodie precinct is the perfect place to take the family for a laidback night out. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from, all of the Asian street food variety, so every fussy little palette is catered for. From sushi to dumplings and tiny little sweet pancakes, we recommend sampling a bit of everything to make your night out worthwhile. Then you might like to challenge the kids to a game at Timezone nearby.
Where: 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise

Pancakes on the Rocks
So obviously pancakes are a good time for everyone and particularly when they’re being pumped out of a specialty restaurant in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Pancakes on the Rocks are ALL about family dining plus there’s pizzas, salads, crepes, pancakes and the now famous beef and pork ribs. Kids will love the creative pancakes, smiley faces included. Get 10% off your bill here.
Where: Shop T1.31, The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
Surf clubs are family friendly on principle but the Mermaid Beach Surf Club in particular has got the goods in the form of a playroom that will keep the kids entertained for hours. Some of us here have been in there and can attest it’s a good time. Of course, they have lots of child-friendly menu options AND if you go on Thursday it’s Parmy night and you can choose from Parmy’s such as Mexican, Indian and Aussie to name a few. They’re very tasty.
Where: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach

Beachside in Nobby’s is BSKT, mostly a breakfast and lunch venue but open for delightful family dinners on Friday and Saturday nights. All the food there is healthy and nourishing which is GREAT for everyone involved but there is also a gated play area so the kids can shovel in their dinner and then go run around with their new friends while you kick back and enjoy yourselves. Not to mention the balmy ocean breeze floating across from the very nearby ocean.
Where: 4 Lavarack Rd, Nobby Beach

Miami Marketta
Less a restaurant, more a market-style dining situation is Miami Marketta. Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights with food stalls and (often) live music, kids absolutely adore running around, dancing, and eating all the things. Same. There’s a ridiculous array of next-level desserts and a bar so that’s pretty much all your bases covered we think. Always a fun time.
Where: 23 Hillcrest Parade, Miami

The Collective
A well known family-friendly spot on the highway in Palm Beach, The Collective has a HUGE menu for the kids with five types of cuisine on offer including Mexican, Asian, US, Japanese and Italian eats. Everything is reasonably priced and the bar is pumping out some of the tastiest cocktails around for Mum and Dad’s enjoyment. Highly recommend for a night out with the team.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach

Words by Kirra Smith



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