Making it that little bit harder to concentrate on the menu.
Making it that little bit harder to concentrate on the menu.
As it turns out folks, the Gold Coast is quite the good-looking city. With all of our green mountains and beguiling beaches, you’d expect venues to be taking full advantage of the glorious vistas we have on show. And guess what — there certainly are!
We’ve taken a good look around our city and put together a list of the very best places you can eat with your eyes. These spots in our opinion have the most impressive views across the Coast: so, you can both enjoy tasty eats and marvel at some magical views.
Eagle Heights Mountain Resort
The view alone is certainly something to write home about. Make your way up Mount Tamborine and treat yourself to lunch at Eagle Heights Mountain Resort. They do an exceptional feast and frosty cold beers. Best of all though? You can enjoy stunning views of the entire Gold Coast from up there, past the skyline and out to the ocean. It simply doesn’t get much better.
Where: 1683 Tamborine Oxenford Road, Mt Tamborine
Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
If your idea of a great eating experience is savouring delectable food whilst taking in a world-class view, then look no further. Part of the opulent and highly revered Marina Mirage complex, Glass is positioned perfectly to spoil your eyes with incredible views across the Main Beach Marina, Broadwater and beyond. (Providing the multi-million-dollar superyachts don’t get in your way!) Along with the incredible decor, the menu offers an array of culinary delights making it easy to see why so many celebrities have visited this restaurant in the past.
Where: Shop 27, 74 SeaWorld Drive, Main Beach
The newest venue to the Gold Coast’s dining and party scene is Surfers Pavilion in Surfers Paradise. Sitting pretty overlooking the Nerang River, nab yourself a spot on the deck and watch the boaties and jetskiers zoom past as you relax with a glass of frose or champagne and oysters. Their Sunday Sunset Sessions are already gaining momentum as the place to be to listen to some epic tunes and watch the sunset over the west.
Where: 30/34 Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise
The recently revamped surf club in the heart of Broadbeach has long been loved for its laidback ocean side vibes — and the fact it’s found right on the sand with uninterrupted beach views — means it was a no-brainer to be added to our list. The kitchen does a great job of turning out some tasty eats, perfect for the family or just a relaxing Sunday arvo with your crew.
Where: Beachside, Old Burleigh Road, Broadbeach
Obviously. You’re practically dining in the ocean at this Burleigh Heads gem. Found right on the sand, one can expect to be so close to the sea, you can smell it but with exceptional service and incredible food it certainly is a giant step above the local surf club. For us, it doesn’t get much better than dining (and drinking obviously) at Rick Shores. Their share plate menu is filled with absolute taste sensations and the cocktails are always pure perfection.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Located in the very same building as Rick Shores, Burleigh Pavilion is double the fun with a sit-down dining venue – The Tropic – on one side and a more casual dining slash drinking style area – The Terrace – on the other. The Pav, as it’s affectionally known, is a firm favourite amongst both locals and visitors due to the top-notch people-watching potential, plus it’s possibly one of the greatest views on our coast.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Having only been open a matter of months this Palm Beach rooftop bar/eatery has already secured itself as an all-round revered place to visit. The wrap-around balcony and seating towards the back of the space are treated with extensive views of the beach. Turn the other way and you then find unhindered views out towards our gorgeous hinterland. We suggest you go by around magic hour and order yourself one of their amazing cocktails — and let the sky/ocean do their thing.
Where: 1099 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Currumbin Beach Vikings SLSC
Makes sense that surf clubs have got the goods when it comes to highly rated views. Currumbin SLSC is perhaps the most iconic in our city, if not Australia. The vistas extend the entire coastline from Surfers to Tweed. Sitting right on the sand in one of our most sought-after suburbs with the ocean washing in underneath is quite special. Add to this great food, constant drinks specials and live music: Currumbin SLSC is the ace up your sleeve when you’re stuck thinking of somewhere to go.
Where: 741 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
It’s long been a favourite amongst locals and tourists, and quite frankly it’s not hard to see why. The two-storey space overlooking Duranbah Beach has a tucked-away loft space for eating in with views down the mesmerising Tweed Coast to Kingscliff. On-street level when the conditions are right — which they often are — you’ll witness some of the best surfers taking apart world-class waves just below you. Nature or surfing, you’ll be spoilt for choice here.
Where: 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson
The time has finally come friends, Burleigh Pavilion will open it’s doors this weekend – Saturday the 22nd of December to be precise and it’s set to change the local dining scene in a BIG way.
In case you’ve been hiding under a rock and missed the news, the gist is this: the beachfront space has undergone a multi-million dollar renovation and it’s going to bring the good people of the Gold Coast a beachside venue the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Sydneysiders Ben May and Robert Magid are the duo behind the build, not to mention famed Sydney venues Manly Wharf Hotel and Mrs Sippy (love) plus Seminyak Beach Club in Bali. So you know it’s gonna be the absolute goods.
Once home to Oskars up top and still home to Rick Shores down below, the new addition to the ocean front building will boast both a full-service 235-seat restaurant called The Tropic, and a larger more casual fixture named The Terrace.
The Tropic is said to be a more casual style of sit down dining with all your fave fresh seafood, pizza and burger options while The Terrace will offer more of a bar snack dining situation.
The space will be a whitewashed style of fitout with a breeze block bar and a rooftop-style area filled with beach umbrellas and absolutely perfect for sipping cocktails in the sunshine all summer long.
There are showers and surfboard racks just outside so you can actually walk right off the beach and into the bar. Which is just too good.
With 180 degree views of the ocean and a constant salty breeze blowing in, you’ll have the pleasure of watching the surf roll in (and the surfers) while counting your lucky stars you’re a Gold Coaster.
What a time to be alive.
See you there this weekend and probably every weekend after that to be honest.
LOCATION: Goodwin Tce, Burleigh Heads
Words by Kirra Smith
Oh Burleigh you little beauty, what’s not to love right? Since the dawn of time (or the dawn of the GC at least) Burleigh has been one of the most-loved suburbs amongst a slew of strong contenders.
Sure, the beach is beautiful (that Hill is iconic for a reason) and James Street boasts all the best eats and acai bowls galore but it’s more than that, Burleigh has a soul of its own born of cruisy, barefoot, salty seabreeze vibes you simply won’t find anywhere else.
Gushing aside, we’ve found the best of Burleigh so you don’t have to.
We say when in Burleigh do as the locals do, so here’s our guide to the best eats, bars, shopping spots and places to visit so you can see why the locals love it and you should too (or else).
The fine dining venue has become part of the fabric of Burleigh’s bustling heart, but it’s also become one of the Gold Coast’s premier dining destinations. Tucked away on West Street, the five-star, seasonal produce-led restaurant is an absolute must-visit and your dining experience there is one you won’t long forget. The produce is sustainable and the wine list is filled with some of the most stunning natural wines in the world. The service is impeccable too, but in a fun, not-too-formal way. We LOVE.
Where: 2A/8 West Street, Burleigh Heads
Literally opening out onto the sand at Burleigh beach, Rick Shores is loved (not only locally) for its stunning sunset views and those tiny little taste sensations otherwise known as Bug Rolls. If you’ve never tasted one, you’ve been wasting your life, make a booking RIGHT NOW and order them all. Wash them down with one of Rick’s signature cocktails and you’re a bonafide Burleigh-ite.
Where: Shop 3, Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
Yum, contemporary Cantonese food, we love you. Mr Hizola’s is dishing up the goods in the form of tasty share-style dishes and we are here for it. Particularly the sizzling steak dish that is all kinds of delicious and an array of epic cocktails to match.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
If you’re looking for fancy food but with the relaxed vibe that’s quintessentially Burleigh, look no further. The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jake’s trip through Vietnam and a desire to eat some of the very best street food in the world every single day. Same. It’s a refined style of dining paired with mouthwatering cocktails and a sleek, paired back vibe. Jimmy Wahs is one of the Gold Coast’s most impressive eateries and we are big fans.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Town Hotel
If you haven’t seen this new reno, then where have you been? One of the best glow ups on the GC recently (in our humble opinion), Burleigh Town Hotel has nailed the pub-style menu and good vibes. The perfect place to set up for the arvo with your besties and the kids, there’s loads of space for the little ones to roam and plenty to keep them entertained while you kick back with a beverage in hand. Say less.
Where: Tsipura Drive, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Gelato Co
We’re softies for the sweet deliciousness that is gelato. Burleigh Gelato Co know how to deliver on flavours worth melting for, they’ve got all the classic Italian flavours you know and love along with their own signature specials. Guaranteed you’ll love them un-cone-ditionally.
Where: 9 Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
The guys behind Seadog know coffee. Starting as a humble little hole in the wall – literally – Seadog has become the go-to for a quick bite and a brew. And don’t worry, your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – you really are seeing double because you’ll find the crew on the bustling James Street or down the other end at the old faithful Burleigh Bowlo, perfect spot for a piccolo and park hangs.
Where: 8/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads and 1, Bowls Club, Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
Tarte Bakery & Cafe
There’s good reason this gem is heaving at all hours, the home of the iconic muffin top (IYKYK) and some of the best coffee in town, it’s not just locals who love it – you’ll find Gold Coasters and beyond flocking here for a taste of the goods. Come for a coffee and to get around their huge menu with something for everyone – literally, it’s impossible to not love something. Plus, we’re pretty sure it’s mandatory to leave with a pastry in tow – go on, you deserve it.
Where: 1748 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Social by name, social by nature – Social Brew is one of Burleigh’s best coffee hangouts whether you’re looking to catch up with the crew or a spot to work for the day, there’s a reason these guys have stood the test of time. A staple spot to visit in Burleigh for their signature iced coffee, come for the caffeine and stay for the bites.
Where: 34-36 James Street, Burleigh Heads
The baked goods that come out of this friendly little bakery are honestly something else. Owners Geoff and Lisa are passionate about baking and opened Burleigh Baker to provide us with the best tasting and most nutritious Artisan Sourdough and boy do they deliver. They use only the finest ingredients and the traditional process of fermentation. Do not buy bread anywhere else. You’re welcome.
Where: 13/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Something To Drink
Paloma Wine Bar
From the brains that brought us Labart is the one and only Paloma. This small but mighty wine bar has one of the largest selections of boutique wines (we mean, it is in the name) with some seriously epic eats to accompany. We can’t go past the steak frites – seriously, don’t sleep on this – and if you don’t know where to start on what to sip the expert team always nail the reccos. Pop a Pet Nat on your must-try for something a little bubbly or if you’re more of a red drinker, their signature chilled reds are the ultimate for a hot summer’s day.
Where: 12 James Street, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good time, slightly fancy Australiana bar of your dreams and it is perfectly at home in Burleigh Heads. Rosella’s very quickly became a firm local favourite when it opened last year and with both a drinks and food menu made up entirely of Australian produce, we are in love. There are cocktails made with Nutri Grain, some of the tastiest toasties around and all the very best Aussie beers. It’s refined, beautifully decked out and created by a couple of absolute legends. Love.
Where: 6/1734 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Justin Lane Rooftop
Don your finest frock and rally up your girlfriends for a Sunday session and a spot of people watching on the roof at Justin Lane. With cocktails in hand and a balmy breeze blowing in through the windows, you need never go anywhere else again. After a few hours, pop downstairs for one of Justin’s famous pizzas and that’s your Sunday sorted.
Where: 1708 – 1710 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
A somewhat hidden little speakeasy in the heart of Burleigh Heads, Lockwood Bar specialise in all of the very best varieties of whiskey along with many a local tipple transformed into tasty cocktails. It’s a laidback, jazz bar kind of vibe, low lit, often with live music and once you’re inside, you likely won’t want to leave. We dig it.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Brewing Co.
If there’s one thing Burleigh deserves (the big legend), it’s a brewery and Burleigh Brewing Co. certainly delivers. After opening in 2006, Burleigh Brewing Co. has produced nine delicious drops with delightful names such as ‘My Wife’s Bitter’ and ‘FIGJAM’ – perfectly Burleigh. Get a sixer for Netflix and chill or head into the brewery from Wednesday to Sunday afternoons to get amongst it. There’s live tunes too, what a combination.
Where: 2 Ern Harley Drive, Burleigh Heads
Something To Do
Well hasn’t this simple little piece of Mother Nature become a local legend? No matter the day of the week (but particularly Sunday arvos) “the hill” as it’s affectionately known is packed with picnic rugs, ball games and groups of revelers basking in the sunshine. Looking out over the ocean and with the city in the distance, it’s the perfect spot for a late afternoon lemonade or early morning coffee date with the crew. If you’re feeling energetic, take a stroll around the hill to Talle Creek for some Insta-worthy scenery or if you’re into hill and chill then order some takeaway and perch up on a picnic blanket to soak up the scenery.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Bowls Club
A relaxing little beachside club loved by young and old alike, Burleigh Bowls has been around since 1937 and is certainly a prime piece of real estate these days. Barefoot Bowls roll on from 12 to 5pm every Sunday and it’s a measly $5 per person including coaching and bowls (AKA ball whipper snappers). Live music can be heard on Sunday arvos from 2 to 6pm. Get down and support your local while sipping on a schooner.
Where: Connor Street, Burleigh Heads
David Fleay Wildlife Park
Nestled in the heart of Burleigh Heads, David Fleay’s is a wildlife park with a difference. Stroll through the tranquil surroundings to experience some of Queensland’s most iconic natural habitats and meet the resident wildlife — all in just one day. Explore the park solo or join the dedicated Park Rangers at the daily wildlife shows.
Where: Corner of West Burleigh Road and Loman Lane in West Burleigh
Shop With Us
If you’re in need of some retail therapy then James Street is the only place you need to go. The range of shopping has everything you need whether you’re looking for some new additions to your home from Maison & Maison or to update your wardrobe at Emte you’re guaranteed to leave suitably more stylish. If you’re looking for the perfect piece of art to dress your walls at work or home, Art Yarramunua is our pick for their incredible collection of indigenous art, expertly curated to celebrate the rich cultural history of Australia’s indigenous communities.
Where: James Street, Burleigh Heads
Burleigh Farmers Markets
Everyone’s favourite Saturday morning market adventure. Get up early, grab your basket and set out in search of fruit, veggies and of course, your first coffee of the weekend. These days the farmers market also boast locally made clothing and homewares, flowers, meat and seafood and delicious breaky and lunch options. There’s also live music and plenty of laughter floating around. Happy days.
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
The Village Markets
Our beloved boutique fashion and lifestyle market, The Village Markets, is home to hundreds of local makers and has helped to launch the international careers of countless creatives. Head down for an early morning coffee and breakfast while wandering through the stalls until it’s time for lunch. Oh, and there’s always live music if you need a breather. It’s the best way to spend a sunny Sunday
Where: Burleigh Heads State School, Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
If Queensland weather doesn’t shout rooftop bars at you in a high-pitched squeal, we don’t know what will. Our climate, coupled with the amazing hospitality scene here in our city, means these open-air meccas of good times and delicious libations are the prime place to find yourself — any time of the year! It’s all about drinks in the sunshine and snapping selfies with picturesque backgrounds for Insta-bragging purposes.
So, in honour of bars in high places, here are 11 next-level rooftop bars you should make it a priority to visit this weekend — and next weekend, and the weekend after…
The Exhibitionist Bar
When HOTA opened its brand new state of the art gallery building last year (the biggest outside a capital city, by the way), we all knew the art scene was about to go up a level or two. What we didn’t realise was that a sublimely positioned rooftop bar was a part of the deal also. The highly talented Tom Angel heads up a bar and creative cocktail list, which is a seriously good spot for a sundowner — and the ideal place to take out of towners!
Where: Level 5/135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
Glitzy, glamorous, and generally a wonderful time all around, Tropic Vice was the rooftop bar Nobby Beach was yearning for, and it came to fruition in 2021. The ideal spot for a weekend catch up, a mid-week cheeky cocktail, or an epic bottomless brunch every Sunday. Do yourself a favour: find yourself here sipping a cocktail whilst drinking in the gorgeous hinterland view.
Where: 2215 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Island Rooftop
Find the Gold Coast’s largest open air and much-loved rooftop bar perched on top of the The Island in Surfers Paradise. The Island Rooftop is part nightclub, part bar, part live music venue, and all the parts are a fun time no matter the day of the week. Head there for the epic weekend Grazy Days lunch or just to feel like you’re on Island time.
Where: 3128 Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise
Nineteen at The Star
The fanciest of the bunch is undoubtedly Nineteen at The Star, complete with velvet booth-style seating, an infinity pool and ocean views for days. Found atop the The Star Gold Coast’s The Darling, Nineteen is the perfect place for people-watching, dressing up and sipping on fancy tipples while dancing the night away. Oh and be sure to take a snap on the runway that stretches out in the pool!
Where: The Darling, Gold Coast Hwy, Broadbeach
The Palm Beach Mexi restaurant doubles as a rooftop bar with views out to the ocean and lots of salty ocean breezes. The eats are fresh and flavoursome, and there’s many a margarita on the list to soothe that sweltering summer humidity we’re currently experiencing. Get into Frida Sol.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Mr PP’s Deli & Rooftop Bar
A game-changer in Southport’s food and beverage scene was Mr PP’s, a deli and rooftop bar boasting city views and plenty of good vibes in the century-old postal building. There is a generous menu full of pizzas, tapas and charcuterie boards and this, folks, is the reason we love rooftop bars. Plus cocktails and local tipples, of which there are many at Mr PP’s. Live music on Sundays too.
Where: 43 Nerang St, Southport
Everyone’s favourite multi-restaurant establishment, The Collective also boasts a sweet rooftop bar with some epic cocktails for your sipping pleasure. You can also order eats from one of the five menus on offer and watch the sunset over the ocean while you’re at it. We HIGHLY recommend.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
A much-loved favourite and the Gold Coast’s first official rooftop bar, Justin Lane is still one of the most popular rooftop’s since it’s opening in 2011. The space is intimate with booth-style seating overlooking Burleigh and plenty of cocktails to tickle your fancy. Downstairs is all the delicious pizza you could possibly need, so fill up on that, then head upstairs to mingle with the gang.
Where: 1708-1710 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Last Night on Earth
Pretty sure that if it were, in fact, your last night on Earth, you would want to spend it at a sweet rooftop bar with bulk cocktails at the ready. Which maybe isn’t the point of Southport’s Last Night on Earth but a good intro nonetheless. Last Night on Earth is the work of local legend Arran Wollams and his crew; it’s a somewhat underworld themed rooftop bar in the heart of Southport offering good times aplenty. It’s a dive bar, but not as you know it. Check it out.
Where: 50b Nerang St, Southport
Moxy’s Rooftop Bar
This rooftop bar located down in southerly Coolangatta has beautiful glimpses of the ocean, lots of live music and an impressive cocktail menu that’ll keep you coming back for more. Whilst they may not do eats, you can order from the Mexican joint downstairs, and we’re fairly sure there’s nothing that pairs better than bulk cocktails and tacos. Always lively and worth the trip down the Coast.
Where: 2/152 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Aviary Rooftop Bar
Perched atop Mantra on Sharks, Aviary Rooftop Bar’s views are as stunning as their extensive drinks list. With 180 degree views over the Surfers Paradise skyline and the ocean, it’s the perfect place for an after work beverage or Sunday arvo session with the crew. Ohh and don’t even get us started on their authentic Italian pizza’s, and tapas… if you know, you know.
Where: Mantra at Sharks, Melia Ct, Southport (next to Southport Sharks)
Words by Alex Mitcheson.