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Morena Espresso

A new coffee and cultural hub for Mermaid Beach.

Oh hey Mermaid, long time no see, missed you. Seriously though, it’s been awhile since we discussed the happenings of the suburb with the prettiest name in the world (biased) but here we go.

Morena Espresso quietly opened their colourful doors last week adding to the rapidly growing creative scene Mermaid has going on.

The space, on the corner of the Gold Coast Highway and Cronulla Ave (where Hula Girl Espresso once lived) is stunning, filled with locally made goodies you may purchase while patiently (haha) waiting for your cup of caffeine.

Made of two levels, there’s plenty of spots for relaxing, including a bright pink couch, a communal table set up down the centre of the space and some little tables set amongst said purchasable goodies. Brands on offer include Drift Trading Co. candles, Ecua Andino Hats, Rustic Peppermint and Kippy Skateboards to name a few local legends.

Outside, an eye-catching mural has been painted by local artists Fa Bio and Barbara Farias Lama and it’s all Spanish animals and palm trees and a pretty brunette drinking a tasty cuppa. It’s one of the prettiest on the Coast.

Morena Espresso is the kind of place you can pop in for a quick takeaway coffee or pull up a spot and spend all day working (slash making a list of all the pretty things you want to buy).

Obviously, takeaway coffee is the name of the game and the beans on offer are Byron Bay’s Marvell St.

At the moment, eats are limited to a few raw treats but in the next week there’ll be an array of tasty toasties on offer as well as smoothies, acai bowls and more raw treats. All perfect for feeding your hungry self on the go.

Not only eats and espresso, Morena will soon play host to creative workshops including song writing and salsa dancing. There’ll also be art exhibitions by local artists and all of those sounds like a very good time to us.

Pop down and say hello to the people bringing a little bit more colour, and a little bit more caffeine to your day.

What would we do without them.

LOCATION: 2550 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach
HOURS: 6am to 4pm Monday to Friday and 7am to 2pm Saturday

Words and photos by Kirra Smith

12 reasons locals love Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach T-Shirts The Undercurrent
Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2021 The Undercurrent)

Some might call it the heart of the Gold Coast. Mermaid locals will call it the only suburb worth visiting. While we aren’t ones to pick favourite children – I mean, suburbs – Mermaid Beach is definitely up there with the best of the best.

And when you’ve got these spots right on your doorstep, we can kind of understand why. So come with us and explore what locals love so much about our beachside beauty, Mermaid Beach.

Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Little Truffle, Mermaid Beach (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

Little Truffle
It’s back baby and we might just say, better than ever. Little Truffle had the glowiest of glow ups last year and we’re just oh so glad those glamorous doors are officially open again. The food is just as fancy as you remember it was but elevated to a whole new level with the mastermind chefs behind the icon among us. If you haven’t been back since Little Truffle got her face lift, it’s time to rekindle your love…
Where: 2444 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Mushroom Toastie with caramelised onion, mixed mushrooms, thyme & mozzarella, Cheese Me Baby (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Mushroom Toastie with caramelised onion, mixed mushrooms, thyme & mozzarella, Cheese Me Baby (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Cheese Me Baby
They say sweet dreams are made of cheese, or something like that anyway. So what’s sweeter than a place dedicated to the humble cheese toastie. Okay so Cheese Me Baby actually brings a whole lot more to the table than just cheese toasies, but it’s practically illegal to not get around their signature three-cheese blend sando at least once. If you’re not about the carb load (sorry, we’re judging you) then their breakfast boards and acai bowls have your name all over them.
Where: The Pod, Mermaid Beach Village, 2375 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Six-Tricks Distilling Co., Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
Six-Tricks Distilling Co., Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Six Tricks
Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us. But take that up to Six-Tricks? Now you’re talking. The Six-Tricks Distilling Co. is the ultimate new addition to the GC and Mermaid distillery scene, a carnival of cocktails it’s our favourite local haunt to settle in and sip on some spirits with their menu of seriously spirited flavour combos. Sip back, relax and soak up the great booze and good vibes all day long.
Where: 3 Brightlands Court, Mermaid Waters

The North Room, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
The North Room, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

The North Room
The North Room is one of our favourite spots not just in Mermaid, but the whole Coast for that signature, relaxed, fine-dining feel. An intimate restaurant serving up some absolutely stunning contemporary dishes that you’ll want to wrap your mouth around ASAP. Bookings are essential and they open for lunch Friday and Saturday and dinner Thursday to Saturday so you’ll want to get in quick to snag a spot. Huge fans of this place.
Where: 1/2527 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Dark Chocolate gelato, lemon sorbet, and Pistachio gelato, La Macelleria, Mermaid Waters (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)
Dark Chocolate gelato, lemon sorbet, and Pistachio gelato, La Macelleria, Mermaid Waters (Image: © 2023 Inside Gold Coast)

La Macelleria
Filling the gelato-shaped hole in our hearts (and stomachs), La Macelleria has been a very welcome addition to Mermaid Beach. Don’t just listen to us waffle on about it, we’ve given you the scoop now taste it for yourself. Made onsite at La Macelleria, you can watch your gelato churn, baby, churn before they dish up your flavour of choice – which is obviously pistachio, right? It’s legen-dairy.
Where: 90 Markeri Street, Mermaid Waters

Acai Bowl at Little Mermaid, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
Acai Bowl at Little Mermaid, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Little Mermaid
There’s a lot to be said about infusing a space with tropical, feel-good vibes and Little Mermaid, on the highway, has done exactly that. Decked out with plenty of greenery, a laidback beachy feel, and tons of space for all your friends this is the place to be. The bar and restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the vibe is always pumping so it’s our go-to when you’re looking for a guaranteed good time. We can’t go past the classic beachy fit-out and epic cocktails, you know it’s good when the venue lasts the test of time like these guys have.
Where: 2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Mermaid Beach Surf Club
Have we every mentioned how Gold Coast surf clubs have the best views in town? Mermaid’s is no exception, with uninterrupted ocean views, delicious meals that will fill you right up, and of course, a sweet selection of drinks to sip on. It’s an amazing spot to watch the sun go down with the crew and always provides a quality atmosphere with a buzz of people – bonus if you manage to go home with a cheeky meat tray in tow.
Where: 172 Hedges Ave, Mermaid Beach

The Borrowed Nursery, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
The Borrowed Nursery, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

The Borrowed Nursery
Never before has a plant nursery gained such a cult-like following so quickly (or perhaps ever), it’s the Gold Coast’s go-to for a hint of (green) retail therapy. The Borrowed Nursery draws plant lovers and photographers in droves due to its ‘gramworthy aesthetics and bespoke greenery. Fusing in a mix of uber chic homewares, pots for said plants and more to make the ultimate gift for you or a loved one, there’s something for all – no green thumb required. The stunning space also hosts workshops and yoga classes amongst the leafy greens but if that’s not your jam at least pop in for some healthy retail therapy and an Insta-snap.
Where: 42-44 Cronulla Ave, Mermaid Beach

Easy Street Diner (image supplied)
Easy Street Diner (image supplied)

Easy Street Diner
Blink and you might miss this beauty along the Gold Coast Hwy, so keep your eye peeled! What these guys knock out of their kitchen will have you coming back time after time. Menu items such as Jalapeño BitesPickle Poppers and their infamous Pork Belly Nuggets are absolute crowd-pleasers. But who are we to take the shine off their fantastic lineup of burgers, Give us the Royale with Cheese all the way!
Where: 12/2563 Gold Coast Highway, Mermaid Beach

Soak Bathhouse, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)
Soak Bathhouse, Mermaid Beach (image supplied)

Soak Bathhouse
Did someone say R&R? The team at Soak Bathhouse have it down to an art, bringing the ultimate oasis for recovery and tranquillity, right in the heart of bustling Mermaid Beach. With magnesium pools, massage rooms, tradition and infared saunas, steam room spa and a cold plunge pool if you’re brave, pop in for an hour or stay for the day and really treat yourself – you’ve earned it.
Where: 2532 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

The Glenelg Public House (image supplied)
The Glenelg Public House (image supplied)

The Glenelg Public House
Serving up premium steak and boutique wine (among other delicious things), The Glenelg Public House is an absolute must-visit in Mermaid Beach and just generally on the Gold Coast. If for some reason you’re not into steak (it’s okay, we won’t tell anyone), everything on the menu is top-notch and they have a selection of some of the best seafood and sides we’ve ever sampled. If you’re partial to a solid serving of cheese then you must try to raclette with pear, fig relish and hazelnuts. Keen to try something a little different? The roast bone marrow with onion jam, mustard and toast is next level. Just. Trust. Us.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Bonita Bonita Flat Lay
Bonita Bonita (image supplied)

Bonita Bonita
Mexican eats at their absolute finest can be found at Bonita Bonita. One of the longest standing taco joints on the Coast, their Taco Thursdays are a favourite amongst the locals and there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan options should that be your thing. Right next door is Bon Bon Bar so head in there for a cheeky margi before sampling all of the epic eats on offer. Our marg of choice? Well the Mezcal Margarita of course.
Where: 2460 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

Little Mermaid

Out with the old and in with the new! With no trace of the old K-bar and Meze in sight, the newly renovated space, Little Mermaid brings a bright and beachy eatery to Mermaid Beach.

When the team from K-bar ripped out their coffee bean roasters, they knew this was the perfect time for a makeover. Co-owner Tobias Diamandopoulos explains that this time around they didn’t go for what was ‘on trend’, they went only with what they liked. I guess there is something to be said for going with your gut, because Little Mermaid has quickly become one of the hottest restaurants on the Gold Coast.

Although a play on words, Little Mermaid has nothing to do with Ariel (sorry Disney fans), but has been fitted in light colours and plenty of plants, giving the space a tropical vibe.

Co-owner Joe Hutchines l has used his background in design to make the most of the rectangular space. By use of partition, swings and elevations, Little Mermaid has at least six spaces with different different vibes all under 1 roof.

If there is one common thread running throughout the whole restaurant it’s the ‘as you’re ready’ theme. Although a wait staff is available, Tobias has told me they are aiming to have Little Mermaid feel like you are at home. Are you hungry? Hop up and order from the counter. Need a water? There are plenty of water stations situated around the restaurant. Booze? No problem, the friendly bartenders are ready and waiting. Nothing is forced, its a non-pretentious local hangout with delicious food and drink on offer for when you are ready. The boys at Little Mermaid aim to have locals and visitors alike flock to Little Mermaid for an experience they may not be able to get anywhere else on the coast. Not only are they hoping the laid back vibes will draw them in, they are hopeful the food will too.

Dishing up plates to please any palate, the Inside Gold Coast favourite was the Stone & Wood beer battered fish-n-chips because it has a twist, the chips are actually big delicious potato wedges! Served wrapped in butchers paper, it’s got that old school fish-shop feel that we all have come to know and love. We also had a taste of their two favourite salads pear & walnut salad and the crispy Asian salmon salad. Although each salad has a unique flavour of its own, both can be described as refreshing and tasty. An absolute must-have.

Another must have are the cocktails. There is a whole selection of tasty cocktails made with Sol cold pressed juices delivered fresh every few days. If you haven’t quite figured out what that means, it means drink all night and feel great the next day! No more sugary hangovers (however, we can’t guarantee that for the lushes)! Cocktails are available by the glass, but we bet you can’t have just one, so you might as well opt for the jug/watering canister (hey, it’s half healthy anyway!).

A new campaign they have introduced is ‘Street of the Week’. As an appreciation to their local clientele, Little Mermaid is giving away free coffee to anyone living on the ‘Street of the Week’ for an entire week! Talk about a morning pick me up!!

Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week, head over and fall in love with this unique eatery like we did. We are dying to go back and try the Green Eggs and Ham, so if you try it before we do, make sure to tag us in your pic! #Inside Gold Coast

Located at 1a/2557 Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach

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By Marleigh Kelly

Putt Putt Mermaid Beach

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