They say a change is as good as a holiday and whoever they are, they seem to be the knowers of many things.
Not as many things as us though and since sharing is caring and here we all are again, we’ve got some news. Hail Mary opens today (October 27th) and it is, without a doubt, your new fave Mexi-joint.
White cinder block walls, a skylight strung with greenery, seating in hues of blue and signs artfully echoing your passionate love of tacos make up the open, airy space. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll ensure your phone is fully charged before you go because there are Insta story opps galore.
You may be thinking, I know that place, but you don’t and you also do. tacocat opened its bright blue doors earlier this year serving up all the best Mexi-foods for your feasting enjoyment.
After a wee while owners Lucas and Erin Schranz (of Easy Street and Luckies Diners fame) decided they weren’t digging the vibe so they closed up the roller door and made a few changes.
So what’s the go now? $6 tacos in all the most delicious flavours are the go, that’s what.
Sticky pork belly and chipotle mayo – tick. Haloumi, tomato pico and avo – tick. Fried chicken and Mary’s special sauce (you guessed it) – tick.
There’s also Popcorn Chicken (tried, tested and SO GOOD), Kimchi fries and of course, nachos and quesadillas.
Delicious cocktails (including jugs) will wash all that goodness down and we highly recommend the Cucumber and Elderflower Cooler with Prosecco and soda. Yes ma’am.
It’s a good old Mexican bonanza and it’s yours for the taking as of this very moment.
LOCATION: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Wednesday to Friday 5pm until late, Saturday and Sunday 12pm until late
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.
The Collective in Palm Beach only opened Boxing Day but already it has become a firm favourite on the Gold Coast social scene.
Now the venue has launched a build your own banquet menu to showcase the best from each restaurant and allow you more time to chat.
The new menu, incorporating food from all five of the exceptional restaurants, is jam packed with the best options from each because sometimes it’s just to hard to choose.
Luckily, with the introduction of the banquet menu, you can try a variety of small to large dishes and desserts for $40, $55 or $70 per person.
Small plates range from Pork Belly Nuggets to Hoison Duck Bao while medium plates include Singapore Chilli Crab, Tacos and Chorizo Balls to name a few.
Moving on to large plates (because, why not) choose from Gourmet Pizzas, Pan Seared Snapper Fillet and Souvlakis among many other options.
Once you’re done with all that, it’s dessert time – Nutella Pannacotta perhaps?
Available to groups of four people or more, the banquet is the perfect way to enjoy a variety of dishes and make sure you don’t miss a minute of catching up with your mates.
HOURS: 7am to 12am daily
LOCATION: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
He’s brought the Gold Coast two of it’s favourite American-style eateries, Easy Street and Luckies Diners and now, along with wife Erin, he’s about to launch a third venue.
We chat with Lucas about tacocat, the traditional Mexican restaurant opening in a Burleigh alleyway later this month.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve been here five years, I’m Tasmanian, my parents are Austrian but they moved to Tasmania about 30 years ago. My wife Erin is pretty much a Gold Coaster. She’s been here about 25 years or so and her family is here.
What do you love most about living here?
The weather, so much better than Tasmania. I’ve been here a few years and owning the restaurants, just knowing so many cool people, it’s such an easygoing place. There’s no rat race like Melbourne or Sydney, it’s just a bit more casual and chilled out.
You’re about to open tacocat in Burleigh, can you tell me a bit about it?
Where it’s going is like a garage and even though I say I don’t like being in Melbourne and Sydney, I do like the laneway vibes of Melbourne and the alleyway it’s going into is awesome. I wanted it before I knew what to do there. The space came up and I realized there was no great Mexican food in Burleigh. It’s my favourite part of the Gold Coast so I thought I could probably make tacos. I’m possible going to try and open one of every restaurant flavour-wise. Maybe I’ll do Italian or Japanese next, I don’t know.
What’s going to be unique about it?
I want to do traditional Mexican food, Mexico City type food. Not Californian or Tex Mex style, just pretty traditional but in a modern way.
What’s your background with food?
I’ve been a Chef my whole working life, about 15 years. I travelled and worked overseas, bummed around and snow boarded. I’ve been a delivery driver for a catering company all the way up to working in the best restaurants in Australia. So I’ve done pretty much everything.
You started with Nola at Blackboard Coffee, how did Easy Street Diner come about?
We were doing Nola, which was Southern food, and we opened Easy Street because we didn’t want to only do food from New Orleans. We thought maybe it was a little bit too specific. We decided to do American food and then all of a sudden the hamburgers were just delicious and started being the main part of Easy Street. Bit of a fluke really.
What’s your favourite thing about being in the restaurant biz?
When I was young I used to say I would never have a restaurant. Why would I ever want a restaurant? I would tell my mother she was crazy for thinking I should buy one. Like I said, once I’d worked around a bit and didn’t get along with a few owners, I thought I could do some things a bit better. Owning your own business is awesome, you can do whatever you want, my favourite part is not having to fill out timesheets. I love hanging out with the people I work with, trying to make everyone happy and giving the Gold Coast stuff I think it needs and that they’d like.
You also opened Luckies Diner at The Collective, why did you want to be part of that concept?
I thought Jeremy (owner) was going to do an amazing thing with that place, which he did. I thought it was a great way for heaps of different customers to eat our food, which they are, and just the whole thing about hanging out on the Gold Coast and making it better. The Collective is bloody amazing.
Have you got anything else exciting in the works?
I think I’ll just work on tacocat for a bit and hang out with our new baby. I always think about the next thing before the first thing is done but like I said maybe an Italian restaurant, you never know.
Favourite piece of life advice…
Enjoy the moment.
Being a local, we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach…Can’t really go past Burleigh because there’s people watching, restaurants, you can have a beer, it’s probably one of the greatest beaches in the world I reckon
Café…Blackboard Coffee is delicious
Restaurant…There’s so many on the Coast at the moment. I love Jimmy Wah’s
Weekend hang…Just going out for lunch, hanging out on Burleigh Hill at the moment. Sounds the same as everyone, do something crazy, take the jet ski out or jump off something high.
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 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, here are 20 solid reasons why the locals love it and you should too (or else). And yes, we understand there are many more, hold your horses for list 2.0.
The fine dining venue is only a couple of years old, but in that time has 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
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
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. Mr Hizola’s is by the gang who brought you Hideaway Kitchen and Bar, Nightjar (see below), Bine, Soho Place and Nightcap, so it’s fair to say they know what’s up.
Where: 1730 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
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.
Where: The south end of The Esplanade, Burleigh Heads
It’s the good old-fashioned party bar Burleigh has welcomed with open arms and there’s absolutely no doubt that all the best things go down behind Nightjar’s spray painted roller door. Inspired by wanderluster Sailor Jerry and with very few rules, the back alley bar is home to epic live jams, crazy cocktails and guaranteed good times.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
Iku Yakitori Bar
Yakitori translates to chicken on a stick, simple enough to describe, but much more intricate in nature. As for Iku, ask the crew when you stop in. Also found in Burleigh’s bustling back alley, Iku is even better than you’d imagine it to be. Skewers are the name of the game and no part of the chicken is left behind. There’s also veggo ones and some ridiculous edamame dip and plenty of tasty cocktails too.
Where: Justin Lane, Burleigh Heads
The stunning space offers incredible Vietnamese dishes inspired by Head Chef Jakes’ 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
Sean Scott Boutique
Gold Coast local Sean Scott is a world-renowned surf and nature photographer and his gallery on James Street is filled with his stunning images and the coolest of clothing and accessories. The gallery has been open for five years and is the perfect spot to stop in for some creative inspo or grab yourself a piece of Sean’s incredible art. Read our interview with the man himself here.
Where: 21 James 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
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
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
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
Freedom Float Centre
Floating in an enclosed tank of water may not seem like the most freedom-inducing activity in the world but trust us, it is. It’s the perfect place to experience the deepest of relaxation for the mind and body and literally involves floating weightlessly in a concentrated salt solution in a specially designed lightproof and soundproof pod. You’ll be shut off from the entire world. Sign us up!
Where: 105 West Burleigh Road, 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
Absolute beachfront views and balmy ocean breezes aside, Burleigh Pavilion is a real treat. The interior is all pastel hues with greenery dotted throughout, two distinct sides including a sit down restaurant (The Tropic) and a more casual beach bar-style situation (The Terrace) for the best of both worlds. There are tasty eats on both sides and many a refreshing cocktail. Not to mention their new baked goods-filled van. Get involved in all of that.
Where: Goodwin Terrace, Burleigh Heads
The OG of giant, gourmet burgers, Ze Pickle’s Burleigh Heads store is all the best burgery things. Opened by friends Joey, Nathan and Aaron in 2012, the concept has spread around Australia and is now loved nationwide. Paired by your favourite local craft beer or a tipple of primo tequila and you’ve got yourself a good time.
Where: Corner Park Avenue and Connor 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
David Fleays 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
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
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
Words by Kirra Smith