As we Gold Coasters know, there are certain things that make an eatery one you want to go back to time and time again.
First, a cocktail list packed with fresh, mouth-watering sips, an interior you want to model your house off, the tastiest of pizza and as much cheese as you can eat.
It’s a delicate balance of goodness and one that’s been absolutely nailed by Burleigh Heads’ newest venue, La Bella Cellar.
If you’ve wandered down Deodar Drive lately you will have noticed the white-washed bricks, terracotta tiles and lone cactus both intriguing and perfectly at home in our beloved beachside suburb.
Inside though, is where the magic really unfolds.
You’ll step through the entrance and directly into a wine cellar, one side of which is a door that opens into the space.
It’s the most best thing we’ve seen in a venue’s interior for quite some time because honestly, who doesn’t want to be in an enclosed space surrounded by wine?
Step through the wine-laden door and you’ll find a sleek, all white space dotted with cactuses, greenery and ceramics by local gal Kelly Bignell.
There are high, concrete tables and low, tiled ones and it’s all brought together by a piece of art in the back corner. We’ll let you discover that for yourself.
La Bella Cellar is the work of local lads and longtime pals Adam Farrugia and Josh Bailey, whose company Studio Build brought the space together and we’re big fans. As you will be.
To eat, there’s an Italian-inspired menu packed with fresh, delicious pizzas, share plates and the very best part, cheeseboards for which you may choose upwards from three locally sourced cheeses including the likes of Salt Bush Chevre, Bleu d’auvergne and Gorgonzola Dolce.
May as well add them all though obviously.
To drink, a selection of wines from said front entrance cellar including varietals from Italy, Australia, France and Argentina. There are plenty of unique sips, an orange wine option and some Pet Nats of course.
The cocktail list is a must-sample with Head Barman Aaron Howard shaking up some flavours you absolutely haven’t seen before. There’s an Espresso Martini with vanilla Galliano foam and a house favourite, The Vatican with gin, chartreuse, honey rosemary syrup, fresh lemon and smoked rosemary.
The Pope himself would approve of that one. Maybe. Who cares.
There are plenty of Italian flavours on offer within the cocktail menu, think almond, white peach and of course rosemary to name a few.
Is there anything better than all things Italian? We think not.
La Bella Cellar opens on Saturday 12th December, perfect timing for those Christmas drinks we know you haven’t booked yet.
Happy days Gold Coasters, you’re gonna love this one.
LOCATION: 9/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 5pm until 12am Thursday to Sunday
Words and photos 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 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
When it comes to wine growing and producing, whether you know it or not, Australia is up there in the world with some of the best. And although we might not have the legacy and history of our European cousins, we still knock out some fantastic drops!
Whether you’re a fan of Euro classics or enjoying wines from our very own Terra Australis, we think a well-rounded wine list, and therefore drinking experience, should be celebrated. So next time you feel like the wine selection should be just as good as the food, we’ve gone to great lengths to find the Gold Coast venues with great wine lists and cellars where you can sip to your heart’s content.
La Bella Cellar
If you haven’t come across this humble ode to all things Italian and delicious, then we suggest you go about booking yourself a table pronto. One sentiment many people share through gastronomy is to match a country’s food with their wine. Here at La Bella Cellar, you have countless opportunities to do so with a carefully curated list displaying hard-to-find Italian regions and varietals. But if you feel like Australian wine is just as good — and it is — they have a clever section where you can experience the same grapes and styles but from good ol’ Straya.
Where: 9/3 Deodar Drive, Burleigh Heads
Nineteen at The Star
A five-star venue overlooking the ocean and 19 floors up is the perfect place to enjoy an exceptional wine, and Nineteen at The Star is precisely that. Not to mention they have a walk-in, glass window wine room filled with hundreds of bottles of the very finest wines from across the world. Of course, the team at Nineteen are absolute stars when it comes to wine knowledge, not to mention pairing said wines with their dishes. Treat yourself to a delicious time at Nineteen; it’s pure magic.
Where: The Star Gold Coast, Casino Drive, Broadbeach
Combining art and food in a brand-new opulent setting, HOTA’s Palette restaurant hinges its menu closely on what is featured within the current exhibition in the adjacent gallery, meaning you’ll be eating with your eyes as well as your mouth. Executive Chef Dayan Hartill-Law believes strongly in freshness and seasonality, mirrored by their Australian/New Zealand dominant wine list, showcasing some fantastic producers in our own backyard. If you feel the need to keep things as close to home as possible, you’ll just adore their ‘local list’ with wines exclusively from nearby Granite Belt and Mount Tamborine regions.
Where: Ground Floor, HOTA Gallery, HOTA, 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
Social Eating House + Bar
A casual, fine dining venue in the heart of Broadbeach, Social Eating House + Bar is the perfect place for an-award winning feast plus a glass of wine or two to match. The wine menu is broken down into easy-to-choose sections, including light and aromatic whites, light to medium body reds and bigger shiraz, to name a few. The team are highly knowledgeable and can certainly help you find something to suit your tastes.
Where: Shop 137-138, 3 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
The Glenelg Public House
Long loved by Gold Coasters as the place for sophisticated home-style cooking and consistently excellent service. And it isn’t just the wine list you should be excited about; start things off with one of their superbly made house cocktails, and you’ll peruse the sizeable collection of select wines a little easier. If you’re a fan of red wine and matching it up to a melt-in-your-mouth steak, this is the place where all your dreams can — and will — come true.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Wine Barrel
As you might expect, a restaurant called The Wine Barrel has quite a selection of wine for your tasting pleasure. The Mudgeeraba gem boasts one of the very best wine lists around, and the gurus behind the bar will ensure, yours is an experience to remember. From Margaret River to Tuscany and sparkling to sherry, there’s sure to be a tipple that’ll tickle your tastebuds (and the food is the goods too). We love this place!
Where: 8/59 Railway Street, Mudgeeraba
Glass Dining & Lounge Bar
The shimmering waters and reflective hulls of nearby superyachts hopefully won’t dazzle your eyes too much when you open the drinks menu at Main Beach’s Glass Dining & Lounge Bar. Take in the extensive collection of worldly drops, and you’ll realise there is great emphasis on stellar Champagne and Australian Shiraz. So, how does starting with freshly shucked oysters and finishing off with free-range grass-fed steak sound to you — because from where we’re sitting, it sounds marvellous.
Where: Marina Mirage, 74 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach
Firmly settled as a prime lunching spot, Orzo can be found at The Oracle Boulevard Broadbeach, serving up exquisite modern seafood dishes and, of course, a wine list to match. As you might expect, the wines are of the Italian variability from various regions, and each is stunning. Whites, reds, rosés and sparklings, anything you could want to sip, and each paired perfectly with the impressive menu. Ask the team for their recommendation and prepare to be dazzled by the goodness.
Where: 1N-02, The Oracle, 12 Charles Avenue, Broadbeach
Up Southport way is the stunning little space Jafa – a wine and pizza bar boasting quite the unique array of vinos that pair perfectly with the menu. Have you ever tried an orange wine? There’s some on the menu here; trust us, it’s amazing. Not to mention an impressive array of reds from Syrah to Nebbiolo and some we’ve never encountered.
Where: 7/253 Ferry Road, Southport
Suppose your heart misses the Mediterranean Sea, as ours does. Might we suggest you take a visit to Sanctuary Cove and drop anchor at this perfect, white-washed afternoon grazing spot? Enjoy the dappled light and spoil yourself with cocktails, select dips, and imported cheeses — but make sure you have selected a suitable glass of wine to go alongside these morsels. Choose something delectable and European like French Provencal Rosé or Spanish Tempranillo, and imagine you’re on the Amalfi, even just for a short while!
Where: 38C Masthead Way, Sanctuary Cove
An institution adored by a league of perpetually hungry fans out there on our coastline. Gemellini (and the OG Gemelli) has been bringing classy Italian mealtimes to Nobby Beach for a little over five years now and shows no sign of slowing up. For wine lovers out there, you’re in for a treat. If you go by the glass, you can match great examples of European classics with their drool-worthy handmade pasta dishes. If you feel like delving into their hefty bottle selection, you can sip away and sample the best pizzas this side of Naples: sure to take you straight to Italian cuisine nirvana!
Where: 2247 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
The Burleigh Heads gem has a carefully crafted wine list of some of the most iconic producers around, along with small and innovative winemakers making their own unique type of magic. Most of the list is available by the glass, so you’re invited to sample something unique from around the world. Each tipple is a perfect match to the exceptional modern Vietnamese food menu. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of spending time at Jimmy Wah’s, they simply must be next on your list.
Where: 1724 Gold Coast Highway, Burleigh Heads
Often touted as the best steak restaurant on the Gold Coast, if you’re in need to satisfy the carnivore within you, then look no further. Indulge your thirst for something more refined and work your way through their vast vintage and non-vintage Champagne collection and start a lunch/dinner you won’t forget in a hurry. And if you need a follow up, their list is extensive and informs the reader on styles and grapes with a handy little introduction to each section.
Where: 2685 Gold Coast Highway, Broadbeach
Words by Alex Mitcheson.