We and the general public continuously crave Mexican food and who can blame us? Put simply; it’s one of the greatest and simplistic go-tos we think there has ever been, particularly when you’re tied between what food to grab with a bunch of people. One thing is for sure — it’s a crowd pleaser!
We’re encouraging and promoting the celebration of Cinco de Mayo after we couldn’t last year (since we have all learned to celebrate EVERYTHING!). But there are so many Mexican options to consider, right? True. Don’t fret, though. Our research has got you covered on the best GC places to enjoy some delicioso food — alongside a cheeky midweek margarita.
La Diosa Mexicana
This Surfers Paradise gem is an impressive venue that will cater for couples as well as large groups. There’s $3 Taco Tuesday if you feel inclined to celebrate early. Otherwise, you can grab some quesadillas, churros and burritos for a little taste of everything.
Where: Shop 11, Circle on Cavill, Surfers Paradise
Guzman y Gomez
Your favourite drive-thru Mexican mates are slinging the goods all day, every day, at their various Gold Coast locations. There are affordable burritos at every store and free delivery if you spend over $10 through Menulog — and if that’s not a reason to celebrate, we will eat our sombreros.
Where: Various locations.
It’s a Mexi-fiesta at Montezuma’s. Whether you find yourself at the Labrador, Surfers Paradise, Worongary, Burleigh Heads or Coolangatta venues with all their usual delicious eats up for grabs. Fill up on all of the nachos, chimichangas and (our fave) Queso Fundido, wash it down with some Sangria and that’s one night you won’t soon forget.
Where: Various locations.
Aesthetically pleasing as they are charming, the Burleigh Heads side alley fave serves up exceptional mexi goodness you can get on the same page with. They’ve got every single delicious menu item you could possibly want and specials every day of the week. It just so happens Wednesday is Burrito night — Burrito Wednesdays….kinda has a ring to it, doesn’t it? We’ll pay it!
Where: 6/26 James St, Burleigh Heads
One of the original players in the Gold Coast’s mini restaurant revolution, Mermaid’s beloved Mexi-eatery is a hive of the very best nachos, tacos and some of the most unsurpassed tasting cocktails around. Seating is intimate and dimly lit, so make sure you grab some friends and settle in for a night of Mexicana fused fun.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
The Nobby’s favourite is all about fresh, Cali-style Mexi eats, so you know whatever you order, it will be top-notch. From burritos to tacos and bowls, they’ve got every want and desire covered. You could hold off on the Cinco de Mayo celebrations until Thursday when all tacos are an unmissable $6 each. Winner!
Where: Gold Coast Hwy, Nobby Beach
They’ve been on the Palm Beach scene for a little while now and, in doing so, have made quite the mark on those on the southern end of the Coast. Feel like Frida Sol is somehow familiar? Very intuitive of you. They are, in fact, the sister venue to Bonita Bonita; so, it goes without saying you can expect flavoursome food and astounding cocktails from its prime rooftop location in Palm Beach.
Where: 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
Relatively new to the Griffith Street dining scene is the red hot and fun infused Holy Jala! The menu is a twist on Mexican beloveds by mixing in some Mediterranean flavours and significant Spanish influence. Bold flavours and great ambience is waiting for you at this new Coolangatta venue, with live music and specials plenty.
Where: 140 Griffith St, Coolangatta
You are always promised a good time at The Aztec in Coolangatta, consistently making delicious dishes day in, day out. That is if you can choose from the vast array of eating options you have to pick from on the menu. Get ready to settle in here folks!
Where: 152 Griffith St, Coolangatta
Words by Alex Mitcheson.
When it comes to heartfelt and delicious food with little fuss, we imagine most people will find themselves siding with Mexican as one of their all-time favourite cuisines. What is there not to love?
Montezuma’s Mexican restaurant in its former spot in the Theatre Arcade of Burleigh was, well, a bit of an institution. For a little over 40 years, they were the go-to spot for many people’s taco and guacamole fix. When the proposed demolition of the arcade began to do the rounds not so long ago, most Montezuma fans began to shed a tear. But the owners had other plans…
Find yourself in the back lanes of Burleigh and you will come across the reincarnated venue, occupying a prime position on the corner as you come out of the Big B arcade and head up towards Park Avenue. You really cannot miss it!
Being perpetually drenched in the afternoon sun, this could very well be your new place to grab tacos (with margaritas of course) for a lunchtime treat.
The interior remains true to the spirit of Montezuma’s with a groovy Aztec/Mexican feel which is by no means cheesy; certainly not as cheesy as their Queso Fundido dip boasting a blend of melted cheeses, onion, peppers and a stack of toasted corn chips. Perfect for sharing.
Once the ball is rolling, we recommend you tackle yourself a combination plate, or better yet a taco platter all with the freshest ingredients and tender as they come meats for you to choose from. Even that always-hungry friend will be satisfied.
For all you vegans and gluten-free folks out there, fear not, these guys have you well and truly covered with a great selection of dishes such as gluten-free tortillas, vegan nachos and the list goes on. Not just the standard one or two picks for you to choose from! Hallelujah!
Keeping yourself hydrated is a serious job, so we highly suggest you try one of the array of margarita’s on offer there, which include: traditional, frozen or blended and a long list of flavours to choose from including bubble gum — yep that’s right. Warning, you may have more than just the one though.
For a refined Mexican experience with a dose of sunshine and genuine hospitality, be sure to check these guys out next time you’re in Burleigh Heads.
LOCATION: 1/19 Park Avenue (in the alleyway from James Street to Park Ave), Burleigh Heads
HOURS: Tuesday to Sunday – Lunch from 11.30am – 2pm and Dinner from 5.30pm – 8.30pm
No, you’re not dreaming or hallucinating, International Margarita Day is a thing (although warning, too many margs or ritas may in fact result in dreaming and hallucinating). Friends, stick an annual reminder in your phone for 22nd of February which this year, falls on a Wednesday and whatta way to celebrate hump day #ArrebaAreeba!
As regular readers will know, we’re rather partial to a margarita or (twenty)two and *cough cough* feel a sick day coming in hot next Thursday…
Being self-declared connoisseurs of this Mexican fave, here’s a list of 17 local places you can enjoy a celebratory tipple this International Margarita Day. SALUD!
Palm Springs Burleigh
Palm Springs Burleigh is a Southern Californian inspired café, eats and drinks heaven on earth. With All.The.Things you’d expect from somewhere with Palm Springs in the name, you’ll find arches, cacti, Slim Aarons, plenty of green, mint and white hues and of course, M.A.R.G.I.S! A tried and tested Burleigh fave, extra points awarded for the get-in-my-belly-good nosh.
Our pick: Chilli Margarita – Chilli infused 1800 silver tequila, Cointreau & fresh lime juice.
Where: 1878 Gold Coast Hwy, Burleigh Heads
Nested in Sanctuary Cove, you’ll find this intimate quintessential modern Mexican cantina with a slight Caribbean influence and srsly, what more could one ask for?! Think terracotta, venetian walls, exposed concrete, Virgin Mary statues, and a cactus at every turn. The house tequila is made with wild agave and they only use organic, freshly squeezed lime in all their cocktails…including their cult worthy ritas. Gimme gimme!
Our pick: Watermelon Margarita
Where: Sanctuary Cove, 39 Masthead Way, Hope Island
One for the burbs! If you can’t be arsed driving to the more tradish margi-slinging spots, Mudgeeraba’s Panchos delivers the sweet and salty-rimmed goodness like a boss. With its bright flashes of searing yellow, pastel blue, warm pinks and hot reds, take a seat on the front deck, in the dining room for a feed, or on the large deck and garden out back which boasts its own bar #noice.
Our Pick: Their frozen margi’s – especially in this heat wave!
Where: 581 Gold Coast Springbrook Road, Mudgeeraba
El Camino Cantina
Die-hard fans of El Camino Cantina’s legendary Margaritas have a month to celebrate the Top 10 Ritas of 2023 when ten all-time great flavours hit the bar on Monday. Served Cadillac-style (cool) with a smooth, rich float of Grand Marnier, on the rocks or frozen, indulge in Watermelon & Chilli, Fruit Tingle, Lychee, Skittles, Mango, Sour Apple, Classic, Rita Colada, Strawberry and Marshmallow.
Our pick: Rita Colada
Where: 19-33 Robina Town Centre Drive, Robina & 2 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
As you’d expect from one of the most loved Mexi-venues around, Bonita Bonita’s margarita list is off the chain good. As is the chow and the vibe, hence why it continues to pull a sizeable crowd year after year. If you’re going to line your belly coz #tequila, go with the banquet and get the best of everything this GC fave has to offer.
Our pick: Tom-Yum Margarita – 1800 Coconut tequila, fresh lime, habanero, lemon grass & ginger syrup, grapefruit juice and a salt rim.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach
It’s always margarita mania at Nobby’s Mexicali! Served on the rocks and made using fresh fruit and house infused tequilas, all margis are crafted using 100% Blue Agave tequila or mezcal, freshly squeezed lime juice and agave syrup. Choose from classic, watermelon, strawberry, passionfruit, chilli, cucumber & jalapeno, mezcal and coconut. And we’ll take the lot #thx.
Our pick: Passionfruit Margarita
Where: Level 1/2223 Gold Coast Highway, Nobby Beach
With no less than 14 (that’s one-four) ritas to choose from, we’d be here all day listing them all and srsly, just get down there and drink people! Colourful and bold like the staff, everything they do is inspired by the vivid heritage of Mexico, with a nod to our coastal home. With a juicy taco in one hand and a salty margi in the other, life made and happy International Marg Day!
Our pick: The Illegal – Illegal Joven mezcal, triple sec, blanco tequila & lime juice
Where: 6/26 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Another one with a cracking margarita list, Frida Sol is the baby sister of Bonita Bonita and naturally, has ‘excelente’ genes. Paying homage to the legend herself, Frida Kahlo, Frida Sol oozes a delectably sultry vibe. Feel like you’re livin’ life up in Tulum and immerse yourself in a wonder of textures, traditional Mexican decor and all things Frida…particularly the ritas!
Our pick: Frida Margarita – Herradura tequila, triple sec, fresh lemon & cucumber juice, jalapeños, agave syrup & a chipotle rim
Where: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
There’s no better place to celebrate margarita month than at The Collective in Palmy! Kicking off on International Margi Day, the venue will be offering its own exclusive Patrón margarita menu…and you had us at Patrón! Enjoy specialty flavours until the end of March, including the Classic Patrón Margarita, Tropical Patrón Margarita, and the Hole Patrón Cup Margarita.
Our pick: Tropical Patron Margarita – Patrón Silver, lime juice, coconut syrup & pineapple juice.
Where: 1128 Gold Coast Highway, Palm Beach
Just because the joint’s Italian, doesn’t mean they can’t do a mean margi! The stunning, naturally inspired surrounds are enough for us but since it’s Margarita Month, we won’t say no to a tasty tipple or two either. The cocktails are next level, along with everything else on the menu. Line a few of those bad boys up, order a couple of pizza’s and it’s the definition of living your best life.
Our pick: Classic Margarita
Where: Beach House Plaza, 52-58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Steampunk Surfers Paradise
With modernised Victorian era décor, this glitter strip fave is always packed…and packing a darn good time. The best day to visit is in fact Monday because each week, it’s Margarita Monday! Now whilst this year, International Margi Day happens to fall on a Wednesday, we have full confidence that the legends at Steampunk will celebrate just as hard, with the likes of a classic Margarita, Chilli Margarita, Frozen Margarita, Passionfruit Margarita and Watermelon Margarita.
Our pick: Chilli Margarita
Where: Cavill Lane, 3113 Surfers Paradise Boulevard, Surfers Paradise
Because the team at White Oat can do no wrong, they naturally nail Gin Margaritas! With three to choose from including the OG Margy, Novara Margy and the Mango Margy (make it spicy), don’t hurt your head trying to choose – order all three! Bringing good times and freaking amazing gin to the north side, the bright, open, and inviting space screams ‘grab a crew’, and srsly, the stand-out copper gin distilling equipment is a vibe.
Our pick: Mango Margy (make it spicy) – Mango gin (Chilli mango gin), Cointreau, lime juice & agave syrup.
Where: 13-14/211 Brisbane Road, Biggera Waters
Palm Court, The Langham Gold Coast
Margaritas and good times go together like Maracas and Tambourines (see ‘our pick’ below to understand what we’re banging on about). The prestigious Palm Court may be famous for its bespoke take on the traditional Afternoon Tea, but its Lobby Bar mixes up signature cocktails and top shelf beverages from 4pm daily. What better way to take in the lagoon pool views and luxe coastal space.
Our pick: Maracas — Cenote Blanco tequila, Tamborine Mountain guava & lime liqueur, lime, agave, and orange blossom.
Where: The Langham Gold Coast, 38 Old Burleigh Road, Surfers Paradise
Nahm Talay Thai
Nahm Talay Thai doesn’t just bring high-end Thai nosh to Surfers, it also brings some chuck-a-sickie worthy cocktails too. One of which is of the Margarita persuasion and naturally, it’s our go-to when we’re in that neck of the woods. With multi-million dollar ocean views, this is the spot to be on International Margi day.
Our pick: Bird’s Eye Margarita – Birds eye chilli, tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, lime juice & Tajin chilli salt.
Where: Paradise Centre, 2 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise
If you’ve been to Cowch, you’ve indulged your sweet tooth and eaten your body weight in lush desserts every day of the week and twice on Sundays. But did you know you can also indulge in epic cocktails? At Inside Gold Coast, we’re well aware and never knock back an opportunity to enjoy a margi with our Milky Way Crepe. Do yourself a favour and get stuck in!
Our pick: Coco-Marsh Margarita with tequila, marshmallow liqueur, coconut and lime served with coconut rim and toasted marshmallows.
Where: Oracle East Building, E111/1 Oracle Boulevard, Broadbeach
Keeping their eats edgy and their sips edgier, Edgewater Dining certainly never fails in the wow factor stakes. This is particularly true for the margaritas section of the cocktail menu, featuring Margi’s Passion, Spelling Coconut, Sex in an Hour (#WideEyedEmoji), and Coming in Hotch. Pull up a pew on the gorgeous deck, take in the stunning waterfront views and work your way through the list.
Our pick: Sex in an Hour – Blueberry infused Espolón Blanco, 100% agave tequila, Joseph Cartron Watermelon liqueur, fresh watermelon juice, a touch of Joseph Cartron Crême de Cassis and Fiorente Elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice and organic agave nectar with a pink Himalayan salt & sugar rim.
Where: Capri on Via Roma, Isle of Capri, Surfers Paradise
Sitting high on the striking HOTA Gallery, The Exhibitionist Bar delivers great flavours and explosions of tastes you won’t forget in a hurry…both in edible and drinkable varieties. Whether you want a light lunch with friends, a cocktail at sundown or a nightcap, this is where it’s at. And we can tell you first-hand (far too many times over) that the resident Margi unpacked below is one of the best.
Our pick: House Hot Marg – Herradura Blanco tequila, marionette orange, lime & house made hot sauce
Where: HOTA, Home of the Arts, Top Level, 135 Bundall Rd, Surfers Paradise
Words by Bianca Trathen.
If, like us, you’ve long dreamed of a quick little jaunt in Tulum, Mexico but spend way too much money on things you definitely don’t need (same), your life is about to change in a big way.
No, we’re not sending you all to Tulum (sorry) but we are letting you in on something even better, a little slice of the far away paradise right here in our own backyard.
It can be found at Frida Sol in Palm Beach and yes, we know you’ve been there already to drink bulk Coconut Margaritas and take a million Insta-snaps, but where you haven’t been is the newly opened upstairs section that we are here to introduce you to.
The fitout is the work of Morgan Walsh, owner of FuFu Chinese Diner and Poke Poke in Mermaid Beach and, as you’d know from her work there, she’s quite the eclectic interior design extraordinaire.
After opening (and designing) five restaurants over the course of the past five years, she has decided to dedicate more of her time to projects such as the fitout of Frida Sol and we are pretty excited about it.
So, obviously, Frida Sol is a Mexican venue (owned by one Ryan Renwick) and the design is extremely reflective of that with giant succulents and cactuses planted throughout, brightly coloured artworks and copper adornments to bring the space to life and textured tables and walls giving it an authentic Mexi-feel but in Palmy (yay). It’s all whites and greens and rattan furniture and the vibes are high there. Love it.
In the new upstairs area, the sophisticated, earthy vibe is the same but the space has been absolutely transformed from it’s previous 8th Ave Terrace life.
It’s an intimate space, inspired by the beachside location, with louvered windows opening out to 180 degree views of the pretty Palmy ocean and while it’s an extension of the downstairs area, it’s also got a few fun little additions.
The floors are polished wood and offset by concrete-esque high tables that all back onto rendered, highly textured walls that look like they would be quite the challenge to make (for people who have no idea how to make things i.e. us). The entire space has a stunning sandy, seaside cave-like feel but it’s refined and beautifully lit and we would like to move in.
The bar looks like it belongs on a balmy Mexico beach with shaggy grass sprouting out the top into the room and giant cactuses and succulents (that we would like for our house please) are placed into planters along the side walls and through the middle of the space while the prettiest round pendant lights hang from above.
Morgan has used polystyrene that she chipped away to give the appearance of a natural rock formation on the walls and honestly, how does she come up with this stuff.
There are also water features along the back wall and quirky little touches that you’ll recognise as Morgan’s unique touch throughout.
The space can be hired for your next party and it’ll also be open for sunset drinks and a little plate of Mexi-goodies or two with the gang. It’s casual but also fancy and perfect for any good times you might be planning in the future.
It’s a real stunner gang, get in there and prepare to be amazed.
LOCATION: Level 1, 1176 Gold Coast Hwy, Palm Beach
HOURS: Open nightly from 5pm
Words and photos by Kirra Smith