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New: That Blue House

Fresh food and good vibes at Cooly's latest.

Beach bums and baby mamas rejoice, there’s a new spot in Cooly to grab your post-surf, post-walk latte and it ticks all the right boxes.

That Blue House, literally a big blue house on Dutton Street, opened a mere two weeks ago and already has locals flocking to sample the wholesome dishes and tasty raw treats.

Coolangatta’s latest is just a 200 metre walk from the beach making it the perfect place for your first turmeric latte of the day or lunch after a morning soaking up the sunshine.

It’s open and airy with a fresh sea breeze wafting through the deck for those who prefer to dine outdoors on those balmy Gold Coast days (read: every day).

Dishes are wholesome and fresh, with a few cheeky sweet ones thrown in for good measure eg. French Toast like you’ve never seen topped with honey cinnamon mascarpone, grilled banana and edible flowers.

Add a little bit of Mexico to your morning with a Breakfast Tostada. It’s a soft tortilla with fresh tomato salsa, bacon, chorizo, avocado smash and cheese topped with a free-range friend egg, lime and hot sauce. Hola!

Corn fritters with a chilli twist are the third standout dish served with avocado, spinach, house-made chipotle mayonnaise and a balsamic glaze.

What are you waiting for, walk those sandy feet over to your new Cooly favourite quick smart. It’s the one with all the good vibes flowing out.

HOURS: 6.30am to 4pm.

LOCATION: 5 Dutton Street, Coolangatta.

Words and photos by Kirra Smith.

16 reasons locals love Coolangatta

Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)
Rooftop of The Pink Hotel, Coolangatta (Image: © 2017 The Undercurrent)

Coolangatta is our southernmost suburb and it’s almost like stepping back in time for a taste of the good old Gold Coast, a little slower and sleepier (the way we like it) but with a sprinkle of some seriously epic eats for good measure – dreamy.

If you’re a fan of chill coastal vibes and pumping surf, where you can soak up the sunshine all-day long and hop from beach to bar as your heart desires then Cooly’s got your name written all over it. The laidback lifestyle is just one of the reasons why locals love this little beachside suburb, but we’ve found another 16 for when you want to go exploring.

Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Dining at Franc Jrs. (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Franc Jr’s
I’ts called the famous pizzeria for a reason, Franc Jr’s have gotten a rep for dishing up the best pizzas on the Gold Coast – maybe even Queensland. Big call, I know but IYKYK. Home of their signature Sicilian square pizza, pop down for takeaway or dine in with a bottle of pinot to wash down your pizza. Our pick is the red strip with a pickled grape salad on the side (sounds weird but trust the process) and a frozen marg if you fancy a tipple.
Where: 2/102 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Pipi's Restaurant, Rainbow Bay (image by Brooke Darling)
Pipi's Restaurant, Rainbow Bay (image by Brooke Darling)

Pipi’s Restaurant
Cooly brought in the big guns with Brisbane hospitality mavens, the Gambaro Group bringing Pipi’s to life and it’s something Southern Gold Coasters have been waiting for. Pipi’s is the newest seaside sensation to call Cooly home and you best believe our tastebuds can’t get enough of it. Nothing to be crabby about with a Mediterranean-inspired menu – Chargrilled Mooloolaba King Prawns and Freemantle Octopus Carpaccio just a couple of the stars of the show. If you’re feeling boujee then treat yourself to a Kaviari Caviar Bump – served with a shot of Belvedere or glass of Tattinger.

Special mention to the cafe-style sequel to this suave new seafood nosher, Awaken Cafe. Situated underneath Pipi’s Awaken thos caffeine-slinging counterpart is giving girl-next-door (but, y’know, downstairs) in the very best way.
Where: Level 1/275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta

Kefi Cafe, Coolangatta (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
Food at Kefi Cafe, Coolangatta (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

Kefi popped up on the café scene in late 2023 and their suitably summer vibe has been gracing our social channels here, there and everywhere. With coffee and food as delicious as the interiors are gorg it’s the kind of spot we could just spend all morning long at. With a Mediterranean twist on your classic brekky favourites, fuel up with a feed or pop in for the viral strawberry matcha and take a stroll on the beach because, wholesome.
Where: Corner of Griffith & McDonald Street, 2/110 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Interior of Cooly Breeze Restaurant and Bar, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Cooly Breeze
There’s something about being beach side and on a rooftop that just hits different, throw some fine dining into the mix and that’s our kind of trifecta. Executive chef Marcondes Almeida Neto has combined gastronomy with the flavours of the Medierranean Coast for bold flavours you’ve never tasted before. A feast for your eyes and your tum, the dishes are almost too pretty to eat… almost.
Where: Level 13 of Beachcomber International Resort, 122 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Coolangatta Pie Shop
This iconic Gold Coast pie shop has been around for more than 50 years, so it’s no wonder they’re serving up some of the tastiest pies around. We’re partial to a baked good and fortunately, the Coolangatta Pie Shop have them aplenty – perfect for that post surf carb load.
Where: 50 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Maverick Hair & Art (image supplied)
Maverick Hair & Art (image supplied)

Maverick Hair & Art Studio
If you’ve been looking for a place to tame that mane then say less, because Maverick Hair & Art Studio’s got your back. Or hair, I guess. The award-winning salon and of course, their stylists, know their way around the locks and can we just say – they do one of the best blondes we’ve seen on the GC, and that’s no easy feat. The refined industrial feel is a pretty little paradise to sit back and relax while you’re pampered, which is exactly what you want when you’re investing hours in those tresses – t’s the crown you never take off, after all. No bad hair days here
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Bar Evelyn
This place has been a hotspot for locals and visitors ever since it popped up on Marine Parade a couple of years ago. Cooly’s home of antipasto and pasta, you best believe we want a pizza that. Our picks? If you’re a seafood lover like us then the bug bucatini and pickled mussels with bottarga mayo, cucumber and dill are a must try. Sweeten the deal with their house-made tiramisu – do as the Italians do, we say – and one of their season sours.
Where: Shop 20/58 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Clay Cantina (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Clay Cantina (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Clay Cantina
One thing about us is that we are always down for a Mexican moment. Now let’s taco-bout the margs, specifically the Laneway Marg – just trust us when we say their signature agave inspired bev is everything you’ve been looking for in a marg and more. Taste the flavours of all your fave Mexican fare, or if you’d rather a hands on approach to your dining experience, get the crew together for their signature cooking classes where you’ll get up close and personal with their most-loved recipes. Gracias!
Where: 2/16 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Greenmount Beach Surf Club (image supplied)
Greenmount Beach Surf Club (image supplied)

Greenmount Beach Surf Club
With unsurpassed views in a northerly direction, you can take in everything overlooking the spectacular Greenmount Beach right up to the skyline of Surfers Paradise and, on some days, beyond. If the surf’s up, watched the surfers below shred waves or wipe out with an ice cold schooner in hand.
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Cinebar Licensed Cinema, Coolangatta (image supplied)
Cinebar Licensed Cinema, Coolangatta (image supplied)

Forget that there was a ripper cinema in Cooly? How could you! It’s time you get acquainted with Cinebar, a restaurant-style movie experience where you can get the full dinner, drinks and show vibe without having to lift a finger – or leg for that matter. Because we’re all about efficiency, kick back and catch up on the freshest flicks while you’re wined and dined for the ultimate date night with your special someone or your gal pals.
Where: The Strand at Coolangatta

4 Pines Coolangatta (image supplied)
4 Pines Coolangatta (image supplied)

4 Pines
On the brew-tiful beach front you’ll find one of the vibiest beachside breweries we know, the ultimate for whether you’re escaping the surf or just looking for a spot to kick back with live tunes and a beer in hand. You’ll find all your 4 Pines favourites, like the classic Pacific Ale for a fresh and fruity finish or the Pale Ale for a more crisp and citrusy taste, on tap and calling your name. Well, what are you waiting for – hop to it!
Where: The Strand, 28/72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Ottimo Gelato (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

If you want the inside scoop then here it is – if you want to be served up gelato the Italian way, Ottimo know that sticking to tradition is anything but boring. Having studied at the Gelato University of Carpigiani (yes, that’s a thing), owner Davide let’s his Italian heritage swirl through each delicious morsel whether it’s Ferrero Rocher or passionfruit flavoured. We give it an High Distinction!
Where: 18/52 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Nothing like a bit of healthy competition to get the heart rate up, blitz your bestie with more than 200 classic arcae games to choose from. With full-sized bowling lanes, dodgem cars and laser skirmish there’s something for all ages – including the big kids at heart.
Where: Level 1, 72-80 Marine Parade, The Strand, Coolangatta

The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)
The Pink Hotel exterior (Photo by @sydneygirl63)

The Pink Hotel
Not a Cooly local? No problem, because one of our most aesthetic hotels just happens to call Coolangatta home! It’s impossible to miss the iconic pink glow of the Palm Springs inspired Pink Hotel, if it weren’t for the fact that you can spot the GC’s glorious skyline from it, we’d forgive you for thinking you were in the California desert. Originally a motel, the legends behind The Pink Hotel lovingly restored it to its current glory so now we gorg destination for the ultimate staycation – love that for us.
Where: 171 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)
Eddie's Grub House (Image: © 2017 Inside Gold Coast)

Eddie’s Grub House
Rock ‘n roll meets fried chicken, burgers and whiskey: does it get any better than that? Get a mouthful of naughty but nice American classics in this soul food dive bar. They regularly have live music and karaoke nights if you’re feeling brave, it’s long been a Cooly institution for good grub and good vibes – for good reason!
Where: 171 Griffith Street, Coolangatta

Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)
Cooly Rocks On (image supplied)

Cooly Rocks On
It’s got to be one of the most colourful creations that Cooly has brought us, each and every year we love seeing Cooly transform into the home of motors and music with a dedicated festival to celebrate the lifestyle of yesteryear. Think Hot Rods, Elvis Tribute Artists, Swing Dancing, Pin Up Pageants and so much more,
Where: Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Words by Jacqueline Bojanowski.

14 reasons locals love Kirra

Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Champagne Pina Colada, Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Nestled between Bilinga and Coolangatta, Kirra may be small but she is also mighty.

Best known for a pumping, world-renowned surf break and ever-present chill vibes, there’s so much more to Kirra than just waves and a pristine stretch of sand (although that’s motivation enough for us).

Here are 14 reasons Kirra locals ain’t budging for love nor money, and why the wider GC community can’t get enough of this thriving yet mellow footwear-optional ‘burb.

Billy Chow, Kirra (image by Pandanus Lane)
Billy Chow, Kirra (image by Pandanus Lane)

Billy Chow
When news spread that Kirra was scoring the new sister to Nobby Beach cult fave Ally Chow, involuntary salivation immediately ensued. One of the more recent additions to the eats scene of this beach-blessed suburb, Billy Chow is already beloved and absolutely no one is surprised by this development. Serving up share style all-day feasts, it’s one of those spots that’s got everything going for it – incredible pan-Asian eats, stellar sips, a swoon-worthy fit out and a ripper beachfront vantage. All of which make it an especially swell long (looong) lunch spot, if you ask us.
Where: 76 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)
Kirra Beach House, Kirra (image supplied)

Kirra Beach House
Making waves for all the right reasons – the hotly-anticipated arrival of Marine Parade’s sprawling new dining addition, Kirra Beach House, redefined the southern eats and sips game. The handiwork of local hospo gun, Dave Galvin, which speaks to the caliber in and of itself – but just wait till we get to the three seperate bars, insta-worthy interiors, cabana-studded wraparound terrace, and panoramic ocean views from all angles! We’d be remiss not to also mention the Mediterranean-style grazing and crafted cocktails. Perfect 10’s all round.
Where: Level 1, 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

MADE Barber & Barista, Kirra (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)
MADE Barber & Barista, Kirra (Image: © 2024 Inside Gold Coast)

No longer coasting by on the merits of its stellar beaches alone, Kirra’s really been stepping things up on the foodie front of late. Just one of the hip new haunts we can thank KTQ Group’s multi-million dollar beachfront transformation for, Made is the second endeavour for Tugun’s MADE Barber & Barista founders Josh Blair & Britt Westcott. A slick, industrial style space bringing gourmet toasties, cafe treats and tight trims to Kirra’s esplanade, beach trips just got a little more productive and whole lot tastier.
Where: Corner of Musgrave & Miles St, Kirra

Kirra Beach Hotel (image supplied)
Kirra Beach Hotel (image supplied)

Kirra Beach Hotel
Back and looking better than ever after a hefty zhuzh up, a fresh look for Marine Parade’s stalwart watering hole is yet another slam dunk we owe to the mammoth Kirra Point Project development. Still the same no-fuss favourite at heart, now nestled one level beneath the slightly posher Kirra Beach House. If you’re in the mood for casual chews and brews, this place will happily hook you up with a cheeky pint and parmi – and some pretty spectacular views, of course.
Where: 2 Marine Parade, Coolangatta

Homewares, Cotton Living (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)
Homewares, Cotton Living (Image: © 2022 Inside Gold Coast)

Cotton Living
Who doesn’t love a luxurious homewares store that’s also a patisserie café, and the answer is a unanimous NOBODY. In its beautiful new location, Cotton Living showcases stunning handmade furniture and timeless accessories to make every room in your abode sing. Everything is Insta-worthy with a focus on natural colours and textures, plus you can grab a croissant with your cushion and #WhatsNotToLove. This luxurious space right by the beach is family-owned and the obvs choice for your next coffee date with the gals.
Where: 1 Lord Street, Coolangatta

Native State, Kirra (image supplied)
Native State, Kirra (image supplied)

Native State
A boutique gym and European-style bathhouse, Kirra’s self care prospects have never looked better since Native State swanned into town back in 2023. An all-in-one wellness destination, whether you’re craving an invigorating ice bath, or a sweat-sesh in the state-of-the-art studio or infrared sauna; you can choose your own adventure with casual sessions, classes and memberships available. No matter what your dream workout looks like, reward your efforts with a bliss out with soak in the bathhouse to finish… be warned though, you might never want to leave.
Where: 3/2 Creek Street, Coolangatta

Siblings Kirra (image supplied)
Siblings Kirra (image supplied)

Another of Kirra’s panoramically blessed haunts (anybody sensing a theme here?) Siblings revived the heritage listed beachside Kirra Pavilion which was once but a humble Pizza Hut. And lbh, it’s hard to feel sad about farewelling our childhood icon when the replacement comes bearing gifts this good. Founded by local restaurateur royalty Jarrod Kyle and TJ Cianci, Siblings is a modern Australian brunch and dinner showstopper, dripping with 1950’s Miami beach vibes goodness. The menu is infused with fresh seafood and share-plates a-plenty and don’t even get us started on the cocktails, because this place takes their sips seriously! You haven’t lived till you’ve been.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra

Kirra Shelter Shed, Kirra Beach (image supplied)
Kirra Shelter Shed, Kirra Beach (image supplied)

Kirra Beach Pavilion
While driving around the headland, you may have noticed the cute little shelter overlooking the ocean. It’s a great place to hide from the scorching sun, and has certainly seen a lot over its lifetime – more than a century to be precise. Early photos of Kirra Beach show the shelter in place by around 1916 and we love ourselves some GC history. The Kirra Shelter Shed makes for a great viewing platform and is the perfect spot to watch whales frolic out in the big blue.

Kirra Surf
Speaking of institutions, Kirra Surf is a must-visit when cruising into this salt-kissed suburb. Whether you’re in the market for some new threads, a new board or you’re a total surfing rookie just looking to get started, these guys will hook you up. Their range of surfing apparel, products and know-how is unrivalled, the staff are super friendly, and there’s always at least (twenty)two things you’ll want to take home with you. 10/10 beach rats agree, this place is one of the best.
Where: 6/8 Creek Street, Kirra 

Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)
Hibachi Chicken Achiote & De Lechon (Pork) taco's, Agave Rosa (Image: © 2021 Inside Gold Coast)

Agave Rosa
A taqueria that does mexi eats, but not as you might expect, Agave Rosa is Kirra’s casa of modern Mexican fusion. The only thing more vibrant than the telltale hot pink interior is fresh and zesty eats this place is churning out on the reg. From the brilliant mind that brought us Project Tokyo, imagine a menu where your favourite Mexi flavours are melded with bold Japanese influences. The result is inventive and tantalising creations like Chipotle Hibachi Chicken Tacos and pico de gallo drizzled Tuna Tataki – just add in a round of Classic margaritas (because sometimes you can’t improve perfection) and you’ve got yourself a tastebud party.
Where: 74 Musgrave Street, Coolangatta

People watching the waves at Kirra Beach (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
People watching the waves at Kirra Beach (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Kirra Beach Bakery
One of the best barometers of a town is its local bakery – and no visit is complete without a trip to Kirra Beach Bakery. Serving quintessential Aussie bakery fare at its finest – if it’s been a while between cheeky nostalgic treats (think Jam and cream donuts and Custard slice) this place will have you reevaluating your priorities.  Whether you’re in need (need being the operative word, here) of a post-surf pie, sausage roll, quiche or pastie, a healthy salad sando or sweet treat (don’t judge) for the road, Kirra Beach Bakery is the place. Get down there early in the morning for fresh-out-of-the-oven bread and enjoy a slice or two with the local ‘gulls while watching the sunrise. Good stuff.
Where: 11/48 Musgrave St, Kirra 

Tofu Poké Bowl, HiPoke (image supplied)
Tofu Poké Bowl, HiPoke (image supplied)

A dish originating in Hawaii, the poke bowl phenomenon is here to stay. Made of colourful salad and protein combinations artfully arranged in bowls almost too pretty to eat (almost). For our pick of the signature bowls, the Salmon Sashimi always slaps – as does the Karaage Chicken made with edamame, carrot, corn, sweet chilli mayo and lotus root chips. Satisfying and healthy, the entire menu is preservative free and all seafood is sustainably sourced. It’d be rude not to try them all.
Where: 18/48 Musgrave Street, Kirra

Bike riders at Kirra (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)
Bike riders at Kirra (image courtesy of Destination Gold Coast)

Kirra Surf Life Saving Club
We can always count on surf clubs to bring great vibes and an even better location, and this is one of the best (shh, don’t tell the others). Just footsteps from the sand, this old boy has been around longer than you (est. 1916) and is a firm fave amongst all Gold Coasters. It’s the perfect family-friendly spot for dinner with your brood, or a sundowner or two overlooking the ocean. Perch up on the deck and let that balmy sea breeze take you to your happiest place.
Where: 15 Marine Parade, Kirra 

Kirra Hill Lookout
If by this stage you’re suitably fed and watered (read: bursting at the seams) the only thing left to do is drink in the world-famous Kirra beach in all its glory! Trek to the top of the headland and prepare to be wowed by views from Main Beach to Snapper Rocks and everywhere in between. If you wanna make a day of it, pack a picnic or fire up the barbie (you’ve earned it after that walk) – and thank your lucky stars you get to live in the best place on Earth. No bias, just #facts.
Where: It’s on the big hill, you won’t miss it!

Words by Bianca Trathen & Kellie Leader

The Strand at Coolangatta

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